Can you remember a time when you wore a pair of shoes that were too tight for you, all day? The tightness soon leads to pain in your toes and you end up adjusting how you walk to avoid the pain. Well, this happens to your dog when his nails grow too long. As your dog walks the nail or in the case of dogs, the claw pushes back into the claw bed. This can be extra painful as the claw grows directly from the bone. Just like we do when our feet hurt, your dog will adjust how he walks and places his paws. This is the first step of being out of balance, not by much however this is enough to cause a whole host of issues for your dog.
Next to come is the shoulder pain and stiffness as the joint is not being used as the design intended. Pain also causes tension in the muscles as they try to protect the area from further damage. Small exercise for you to try. Where you are currently sat or stood note how you feel physically, mentally emotionally and even your behaviour write this down. Now, with every muscle in your body, I want you to tense up as tight as you can. Ideally, hold this tension for 5 minutes but go for as long as you can (do not exceed 5 minutes, there is no further point). Again check in with yourself. How do you feel physically? Do you feel tired, pain or even tense still even though you told yourself to relax? How about emotionally? Do you feel your stress levels rise? Do you feel tired? wound up? Short-tempered? How has your behaviour changed? Quick to react to a situation? Also, note your pain levels too. There has been plenty of research done that shows when your stress levels are high any pain that you are in also increases.
So hopefully you can see that from just being 2 or 3 mm too long on a claw can cause a whole host of issues affecting your dog’s behaviour, emotions, and his physical body. The next time your dog seems a bit off or stressed check out the length of his claws then get him booked in with me for a trim.
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To follow next week is how to trim the claw even with a long quick.