Monthly Archives: November 2016

Nail Trims: More Than Just Cosmetic

Nails determine what posture your dog takes as he or she moves through their environment. Posture is the interaction of your dog's body with gravity. How your dog interacts with gravity is very important in maintaining optimal health and activity levels. Input about the ground is sent from the paws, nails, muscles and joints of the body to the brain. The brain interprets the information and sends instructions to the muscles, telling them what to do.

A proper stance (for any species) is one that allows minimal energy expenditure to keep the body in an upright position. Anyone who has had to stand on their feet for long periods of time knows that certain stances and positions are easier to hold than others. For instance, standing up right is easier to maintain than a squat.

A dog's toenails should only touch the ground when they are digging or walking up a hill. When your canine companion has toenails that touch the ground as they stand or walk, their brains are receiving incorrect information, which may be causing them considerable problems.

​When the brain receives this incorrect information, the brain is being told that the dog is walking up hill, so it responds by telling the body to lean forward. When this stance is taken for any length of time, the muscles become fatigued. Fatigue is the primary cause of most injuries. Athletes know this the best.

​Regular nail trims and chiropractic care can often prevent chain of events, and the spine and knee injuries that often follow.

Common Problems Associated With Overgrown Nails

Hunched Posture
Easily Fatigued
Stiff Neck and Back
Torn ACL
Event or Sports Injuries
Torn or Broken Nails
Nail Injuries

Proper Nail Trims

A proper nail trim begins with a basic understanding of nail anatomy.

The spine of the nail is the strongest part of the nail and is where the growth begins. The best nail trim will cut as much of the spine away as possible. This allows the weaker parts of the nail to wear away and shorten before the spine grows back.

The quick of the nail is located in the middle-to-bottom part of the nail. This is the part that bleeds when clipped, but can be shorted by clipping the spine and allowing the quick to naturally wear down.

The nerve is located along the bottom curvature of the nail and is painful if clipped, however it is not painful if allowed to recede naturally.

The properly trimmed nail will have more taken off the top and sides with the bottom being left to wear down as your dog moves around. The nail will only touch the ground when your dog is walking up hill.

​Keeping your dog's nails trimmed properly is not only one of the most important grooming items, it is also a very important health step.