When I first saw my older dog Suzie lose her footing on the hardwood floors and fall, it not only broke my heart, it also scared me. I knew I was going to have to make some changes around the house to both keep her safe and keep her interacting with the family. After taking a close look at Suzie I noticed that her nails were very long.
When Suzie was young and active she wore down her nails with everyday activity and nail trimming was a monthly chore. Now that she’s not as active I have to do it weekly. Because Suzie has always been a very high strung Border Collie (you might even call her a little unstable) I always muzzle her before I trim her nails. Suzie is one of those dogs that when you put a muzzle on her she just relaxes. She knows that she has to submit to whatever I’m going to do. I have also found that using a Dremel makes fast work of nail trimming.
Dr. Debra Primvic writes in her article How to Trim Your Dogs Nails with a Nail Grinder or Dremel Tool:
“Dog’s nails continue to grow and trimming them can be a challenge for some dog owners. This depends on the dog, his personality and the dog owner’s ability to trim the nails.”
While taking care of Suzie’s nails I also keep the hair that grows between the pads of her feet trimmed. This helps keep her footing more stable when walking on the hardwood floors in my house.
If you have an older dog and you see that they are frightened of walking or very cautious of walking on slick surfaces, take a look at their feet to see if their nails are too long or if they have long hair in between the pads of their feet. Both of these can be easily maintained and will help keep your dog safe. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this maintenance on your own, just have your groomer do it. It is well worth the time and effort.
Have fun and be safe!