What is ‘The Quick’ In Your Dog’s Nails And Should You Trim It

October 2, 2014

Dog nails

If you start hearing the scraping sounds while your pooch is running around your house, this means his pedicure is a bit overdue. When you skip several trimming sessions ‘the quick’ starts to grow along with the nail. This means it is time to pay a visit to your vet or groomer.

Cutting To The Quick

It is important to know that your pups nails are comprised of the visible hard outer shell and a soft cuticle in the center of the nail called ‘the quick.’

If your ball of fur has light-colored nails, the quick is easily visible and trimming is easy.

On the other hand, if his nails are dark in color, trimming can be a bit more complicated and challenging.

In these cases you’ll need to be extra-careful while trimming in order not to cut the nails too short. The quick contains blood vessels and nerves, so it is of paramount importance not to cut through this area of the nail, or it will bleed and cause pain.

Receding The Quick

As we already mentioned, you have to be aware of the fact that the quick grows along with the nail. As Buddy’s nails grow (which is usually quite quickly), the quick also lengthens within the nail.

It is not rare for the quick to grow extremely close to the tip of the nail. This makes the trimming almost impossible since you are not able to cut much of the nail without risking cutting into the quick.

This means it is definitely time to take your pooch to the vet or a groomer in order to remedy the situation. The groomer will try and trim those nails as close to the quick as possible, and in time (it may take quite a few sessions), this will cause the quick to gradually recede.

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To answer the question in the title that the article completely failed to mention: both yes and no. Most pet dogs get regular nail care, while they CAN grow out longer than they should, they can be frequently trimmed to help the quick recede naturally over time. However, when a dog’s nails have been allowed to grow to excessive lengths, it is sometimes necessary to cut your losses (no pun intended) and just cut the quick. It bleeds a LOT and some dogs yelp or fuss but the bleeding can be stopped quickly and it heals. When a quick needs… Read more »