Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Benefits of Cutting Dog Nails Short: 5 Vet-Reviewed Pros of Regular Trimming

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

groomer clipping dog nails

Vet approved

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Our dogs rely on us to take care of them, and that includes all their grooming needs. While some dogs need to be groomed a lot, others hardly need to be groomed at all depending on their coat type.

However, one thing that many dogs do need is their nails trimmed, but this depends on their exercise levels and where they exercise. You’ve probably heard it at least a dozen times but trimming your dog’s nails is extremely important. It has many benefits and can cause serious health problems if it isn’t done.

Here’s a list of benefits that trimming your dog’s nails short provides.

Divider 2

The 6 Benefits of Cutting Dog Nails Short

1. No More Clicking

If your dog’s nails get too long, they will “click, click, click” on the floor. Not only is this quite annoying (for both you and your dog), but it’s a sure sign that they need their nails trimmed shorter. Often, this clicking is just an annoying exaggeration of your dog’s steps—until it starts waking up the baby or echoing through the house in the middle of the night.

2. Reduction in Damage

When a dog’s nails aren’t trimmed, they can get long and sharp, causing damage to whatever your dog touches. Your dog doesn’t have to purposefully scratch things, either. Simply jumping up on the couch can poke a hole in the fabric.

Your floors may get scratched up, and pools may be popped. All in all, it can make your life more challenging.

Long dog nails
Photo Credit: Nature_Blossom, Pixabay

3. Fewer Scratches

Not only can your dog’s nails damage the furniture and flooring, but they can also hurt you. Dogs jump up on people a lot—even those that are well-trained may jump up on their owners from time to time. If they have long claws and your dog accidentally steps on you, it can leave scratches. If your dog curls up next to you on the couch, it can leave scratches.

You don’t want to get clawed by your dog—as you imagine, this can be painful. Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is one sure way to keep this from happening.

4. Better Posture

Too-long nails can get in the way of your dog’s natural gait. They may try to adjust their gait to accommodate their longer-than-normal nails. This can be uncomfortable for the dog, cause them changes to their normal gait, and even cause them to bite or lick at them excessively.

dalmatian dog standing in the grass
Photo Credit: Piqsels

5. Less Risk of Breakage

Eventually, after growing and growing, your dog’s nails will break. However, they often won’t break cleanly or evenly. Instead, they’ll crack and often damage the quick, causing pain and bleeding. In some cases, your dog may even avoid walking because of the pain. One of the nails that most often gets damaged is the dewclaw, which can get caught easily if it’s overlong.

Breaks that reach the quick are open wounds, simply put. They can get infected, especially because they are so close to the ground. Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed can help prevent them from breaking further down the road.

close up of a dog's paw and trimmed nails
Image Credit: ulisesbeviglia, Pixabay

Divider 8


Your dog needs their nails trimmed regularly. It isn’t just to protect your legs or the floor. It’s to prevent pain and damage to the quick. Trimming your dog’s nails should only take a few minutes, but it’s an easy way to prevent all the pain and damage that may happen if their nails become too long.

Practically most dogs need their nails trimmed, though the frequency varies. Dogs’ nails will wear down naturally to some extent. However, they were designed for near-constant use outside. In our modern world, they often don’t wear down enough.

Featured Image Credit: hurricanehank, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database