Why Are Dog Nails So Sharp?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

All dogs have pretty sharp nails regardless of their breed. It's because your cute pup's wild ancestors hunted with claws climbed hills and dug holes with their claws. Additionally those dogs in the wild never had to trim their nails or dull them purposefully.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “Why Are Dog Nails So Sharp?“.

The reason of sharp dog nails is that they were designed by nature to be as sharp as possible for functionality.

When you look at the dogs nail (not the dewclaw which is a modified toe) you see the same bone structure that goes up to the dogs wrist called the radius and ulna. 

Keratin covers the ends of these bones (which we see as nails) to prevent them from being worn down or damaged.

As a result of this covering the dog can also use them for balance digging fast running or even climbing trees.

What are the dangers of sharp dog nails?

It is dangerous for a dog to have sharp nails for many reasons. You are more likely to be scratched or pricked by them than anything else.

Think about how easy it would be to slice through the skin if your fingernails were as sharp as knives.

The purpose of a dogs nails is also the same as that of a human fingernail – to protect their fingertips from injury.

Dogs unlike us humans have a method of defense in their nails which is unlike gloves or socks we wear to protect our hands. These claws are used by dogs for a number of purposes including climbing trees and digging into soft soil and dirt. 

Additionally if your dogs nails are too long it will be more difficult for him to walk or run comfortably.

Dogs do not like uncomfortable walks or runs so they will most likely stop walking and run frequently in a vain effort to get their claws retracted into the pads of their paws.

If you care for your dog at home consistently you do not need to keep their nails short all the time.

If you trim your dogs nails once or twice a month they should stay at a comfortable length and would not get in the way too often.

Can a dog scratch be dangerous?

A dog yes.

When playing or running dogs with sharp nails are more likely to cause injuries such as cuts or scratches.

A dogs nails can also cause pain if they have arthritis and begin to extend their claws when walking on hard surfaces (such as sidewalks).

It is possible that loose nails can cut through a dogs paw pad and even cause the pad to bleed in extreme cases.

How do I stop my dog’s nails from being sharp?

Filing your dogs nails is a very easy way to solve this problem!

It is best to use a nail grinder for this task. There are three parts:

  • The file part is designed to remove sharp edges and smooth out your dogs nails.
  • You can adjust the depth at which your dogs nails are ground with the adjustable sander part.
  • After grinding it is important to smooth out any rough edges with a buffer part.

If you live in an area with a grooming shop that offers dog nail grinding services that is another option. In any case letting a professional groomer handle this chore will save you time and do the job correctly.

What you need to know before grinding your dog’s nails at home

You may want to consider getting your dogs nails ground by a professional groomer at a pet store if they do not enjoy having their nails ground.

However if your dog tolerates nail grinding well then read on to find out what you need to know before beginning.

  1. Before you start grinding your dogs nails make sure you have the right equipment. Using the wrong size nail grinder or buffer can cause pain to your pet and may take more time than you would like to grind a single nail (if you think that sounds bad imagine filing your fingernails for 10 minutes each).
  2. Before you begin grinding your dogs nails prepare them. Soak the nails for 5-10 minutes in warm water to soften them and make filing easier. You should always remember that your dog should be relaxed and ready to be handled when filing his nails (or any part of his body).
  3. Make sure your dogs nails are clean and dry before grinding them. As a result you’ll avoid hurting him while filing his nails and be able to remove any dirt or fur stuck between his claws easily.
  4. It should not take longer than two to three minutes to grind your dogs nails. In this way you will prevent causing your dog unnecessary pain or anxiety by spending too much time on a single nail.
  5. It is a good idea to remove all loose hairs dirt etc. from between your dogs claws before sanding the nail down (this is an extra step but it may be very helpful in preventing a bad nail grooming experience).
  6. Be sure to stop grinding as soon as your dog shows signs of pain or discomfort (licking his paw shaking his leg etc.).

How often should I grind my dog’s nails?

Your dogs sharpness and how active he is will determine this.

Dogs should have their nails ground about once or twice a month.

If you’re grinding for the first time it will take a bit longer since rough edges will be left behind.

Before moving on to the next step you should grind the edges down to the point where there is no more edge left.

Is it better for an amateur to cut or grind dog nails?

Generally no.

Groomers have the experience necessary to cut and grind dog nails with minimal risk of injury. For someone who does not know what the anatomy of a dogs foot looks like it is better to let them handle this a few times until they get the hang of it.

It is quite challenging to grind dog nails as an amateur and it may take some time to figure out if you are doing it correctly. If you are not satisfied with the length of your dogs nails you should start with the slowest grind setting and gradually increase the speed.

How to make puppy nails less sharp?

You may have trouble dealing with a puppy with sharp nails if he or she is playful. Puppy bites on their paws is the most common cause of this.

A sharpened end is the result of subsequent nail growth. You should trim your dogs nails every two to three weeks in order to prevent this.

A good first step for your puppy if it isnot used to having its paws handled is to gently rub the dogs paws and surrounding tissues.

You will be able to handle your dogs feet more easily in the future if you start handling their paws sooner.

What breeds are more likely to have sharp nails?

Two breeds of dogs have naturally sharp nails: the Pug and the Pekingese.

Breeds prone to digging can also be considered since nail sharpness is directly correlated with digging activity. The Jack Russell Terrier is one of these along with Siberian Huskies and Dachshunds.

Can dog nails be filed?

It is possible to file a dogs nails.

You should be careful not to file too far up on the nail but its also a good idea to file all of your dogs nails so that they are even and symmetrical.

When running on smooth surfaces they will wear down more evenly.

What are the dangers of cutting dog nails too short?

The following injuries can result from cutting a dog’s nails too short:

It may be necessary to cut the dogs nail too short resulting in bleeding.

When a dogs nails are not filed down and are a normal length they would not cause discomfort but if they have been cut too short theres a chance that an injury can occur. 

Its possible for dogs to get infections very quickly if they have their nails cut too short.

It is especially dangerous to cut the nails too short on dogs with white or light-colored claws because the mistake would be more noticeable if done incorrectly. 

A dog suffering from pain may react negatively to you such as biting out of fear (if they are generally not aggressive). 

It can be difficult to see how short to cut your dogs nails if you have a thick coat of fur where the fur is brushed on top of its paws.

Consequently they might be cut too short without your knowledge until much later.

Professional groomers have experience cutting dogs’ nails and know how to do it safely without injuring them.


Consider the following things when it comes to dealing with your dogs nails:

Professional groomers know how to cut dogs’ nails correctly because they have had years of experience cutting them.

Make sure that before you try to do it yourself you have seen a professional and learned the proper techniques.

Once you have gotten the hang of it begin slowly. 

If you want to read more about dog daily tips read here: Dog Daily Tips and Tricks.

Why Are Dog Nails So Sharp? (Watch Video)

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