Any activity can injure a dog's paws and affect the health of his nails. Dog nails are sensitive, as there are nerves and blood vessels in the nail bed, according to VetInfo. With the proper treatment for an injury, good nail care techniques and a well-balanced diet, a dog can have long, strong nails once again. Pet Amours, however, advises against letting a dog's nails grow too long because it can lead to pain and different injuries.
Know how to groom a dog's nails properly. DogGroomer.com states dogs need to have their nails trimmed every three to four weeks. One of the risks associated with trimming a dog's nails is clipping the quick, which is a blood vessel at the end of each nail. If you are not sure how to trim a dog's nails properly, schedule an appointment with your vet or a professional pet groomer so they can show you how to do this safely. It is important to trim a dog's nails periodically, even if you want them to grow long and strong, because this will prevent ingrown nails, splits and tears.
Prevent toenail problems. In addition to keeping a dog's nails trimmed, properly care for any damage to a dog's nails to prevent infection, which will weaken the nails. Keep your dog's paws dry to prevent fungal infections. Periodically examine his paws for any abnormalities, such as thorns or sores. If a dog has a fungal infection, the swelling and pain in his foot will cause him to limp. If there is a bacterial infection, the dog's toes will feel warm and he will limp from the pain.
Treat toenail problems. Treatment of a nail injury depends on the type of injury. Treat minor bleeding caused by cutting into a dog's quick by washing the wound and placing a bandage around the paw so the dog does not lick the injury. VetInfo recommends dog owners take their pet to see a veterinarian if a dog's toenails are cracked, severely broken, damaged or infected. The vet may need to sedate the dog to remedy the nail injury, which would otherwise cause a lot of pain. In addition, bacterial or fungal infections in a dog's nails or paws may be a symptom of serious disease or malnourishment. Treating the disease, in addition to feeding him a well-balanced diet, will help a dog's nails grow long and strong.
Do not feed your dog any supplements or give her any medications without first consulting a veterinarian.
- animal paw image by Ramona smiers from Fotolia.com