A dog’s nails grow continuously, much in the same way as a humans. It is vitally important that you keep your dog’s nails trimmed down, as safety and health concerns exist for dogs with overgrown nails. When it comes to nail clipping, you have three main options: Do it yourself, ask the vet to take care of it or bring the dog to a groomer. The option that works best will depend on your budget, time and comfort with performing grooming tasks.
Clipping at the Vet
Every dog needs regular trips to a vet for immunizations, comprehensive exams and other basic procedures. While you’re in the vet’s office, you can also ask to have your pup’s nails trimmed. The exact cost depends on the vet in question and whether you have health insurance for your pet. Most vets charge between $7 and $20 for the service. You may be able to pay more to have the nails ground down instead of clipped. Speak with your veterinarian for more information.
Clipping by a Groomer
Nail clipping is included with most grooming services, and the price of these services varies greatly by dog and shop. For instance, a bath for a large dog could run $20 to $40 and a full grooming more than $100 for specialty large dogs, while a professional grooming package for a small show dog could run up to $90 depending on the breed and the cut required. You can swing by the groomer’s for a quick nails-only service, which generally runs about the same as at the vet, between $7 and $20, depending on the shop and the specific method utilized.
Hazards of Home Clipping
It is not advisable to attempt clipping your dog's nails at home in lieu of seeking the help of a professional. Dogs have blood vessels in their nails known as quicks, and accidentally cutting these can be painful and traumatic for the dog. Nail clipping, as with haircuts and other advanced grooming, is best left to an expert. Bringing your pup to the vet or an experienced groomer for regular clippings should be a part of his normal hygiene routine.
Benefits of Clipping
Keeping your dog's nails trimmed is about more than just aesthetics. When nails are overgrown, dogs find it painful to walk and may be limited in mobility. Broken nails are subject to infections; in extreme cases overgrown nails can actually grow back into the pad of the paw. Fixing nails that have become extremely overgrown requires that the dog be put under anesthesia and is very costly. For these reasons, it is critical to ensure your dog's nails are always kept at a healthy length.