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Dog Nails Too Long

by Jordan Erenrich
(New York, NY)

Hi, the nails on my dog's front paws have grown too long and keep me up at night as she walks around the house. I'm told that filing the nails with a Dremel type tool can ultimately push the quick back. How often should this be done?

Thanks,

-Jordan

Comments for Dog Nails Too Long

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Nov 21, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog Nails Too Long
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jordan,
Using a Dremel tool to 'file' down nails that are too long is not practical. It is best to cut the nails first, and then use the Dremel tool to file off the rough edges and smooth the nail, once they are already short.

Perhaps you are trying to file a small amount off each time, maybe every few days or so? But I have not found that to be very helpful.

It is best to have the nails cut, and then Dremel them weekly.

I am curious why your dog is so restless at night? Maybe your dog does not get enough exercise during the day. If you are able to walk your dog on asphalt surfaces daily, that will help to wear the nails down, and keep them shorter.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Grooming Instructions,
- Dog Nail Trimming,
- Dog Ear Cleaning,
- Dog Grooming Kits & Other Product Reviews,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Grooming Section

Nov 23, 2011
Nails
by: Jordan

Thanks Dr Tillman. This is my first dog, and I assumed that it was normal for them to get up a few times during the night and walk around.

We live in a city apartment during the weeks, so there are often noises outside that might wake her up too.

In terms of exercise, she'll have a short morning walk, about 1 hour at the dog park each afternoon, and then an 1-2 walk/runs with me in the evening. She is home alone for most of the day, so she probably sleeps a lot then, which maybe is why she's restless at night, but there's not much I can do about that (could I leave the TV on?).

Thanks again,

-Jordan

Nov 24, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog Nails Too Long
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jordan,
Yes, that is a problem for our 'modern' domesticated dogs. We are unable to take them to work, where they do not fit in to our high tech life style, and they are left alone at home. When humans used to live in more rural surroundings on a farm, dogs were an integral part of farm chores. In an apartment, just leaving the TV on is not really very interactive.

Some things you might try: Kong toys, which you can fill with a small amount of peanut butter, tartar control treats for dogs, or freeze chicken soup inside. Leave several of them around the apartment for your dog to 'hunt' down while you are gone.

Another good toy is a Buster cube. These are also filled with food, but you can adjust the difficulty with which is makes it harder each time your dog figures out how to remove the food. It is similar to a puzzle, or a 'slot' machine for dogs!

You might also consider dropping your dog off at doggie day care 2-3 times per week. Or have a friend come over at mid-day, to play with your dog or take him for a walk.

Some might consider adopting another dog, but sometimes they BOTH just sleep during the daytime, while the human companion is gone.

There is no easy solution to this dilemma, as humans have changed from an agricultural society to a more high tech, fast-paced, urban lifestyle, where it is harder to find some free time for ourselves and our dog companions. Popular health experts for humans emphasize a 'holistic' lifestyle, balancing work, exercise, healthy diet, and family relationships. The same is true for our dogs!

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Nov 25, 2011
Dog Toys
by: Jordan

Thanks Dr. Tillman. I have tried Kong's etc with frozen peanut butter, but they only last maybe 30 minutes, not the whole day (my lab likes to eat). The buster cube looks great...I think I'll try that too.

Perhaps I can build a contraption to periodically release a food filled toy during the day on a timer, to keep her entertained throughout the day at periodic times!

Thanks,

-Jordan

Nov 25, 2011
Dog Day Care
by: Jordan

Oh and right now, my dog walker takes my dog out for an hour each day to the dog run. I've considered doggy day care, but the facilities in New York City generally let the dogs pee inside, and I'm concerned that my dog will become un-housebroken.


Nov 25, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog Nails Too Long
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jordan,
It sounds like you've got it covered! There are many novel items available.

- Dr. Wayne Hunthausen

- Dr. Ian Dunbar, Info on How to Offer Chew Toys/click on "Destructive Chewing"

You can Google "Dog Feeder Automatic" and find a number of very unique devices (take a look here for an example).

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

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