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WARNING: Trim Fido's Nails ASAP!

They may squiggle and squirm, but trimming your dog's nails is a necessary step to keeping your pet not only pampered but healthy and safe.

I can't tell you how often my pet clients show up looking immaculately cared for, except for one thing: their nails. Overgrown, excessively long...and extremely dangerous (and potentially costly!).

Forget the mock Chanel sweater, people. Spend your money instead on a set of clippers. They're cheap and will save you money on vet bills should Fido's get infected, or worse. And speaking of, here are some of the things that could happen if you don't trim them in a timely fashion:

PAIN/PRESSURE ON THE TOE JOINT: Think about it, the nail is pushing into the ground. Concrete, stones, linoleum - if it's hard, it's bad news for long nails. This constant pressure starts to affect the nail bed, which is probably pretty painful. The longer the nail goes un-trimmed, the likelier it is that the constant pressure will begin to affect the actual joint, which could end up disfiguring your dog's foot.

BODY ALIGNMENT: If Fido is constantly twisting his body to favor a less painful side, that redistribution of weight can totally throw off his natural alignment. That leads to problems walking, running and just generally enjoying life!

SPLITTING: Long nails can break, and sometimes those breaks will split the nail, or tear it right off. Not fun for Fido or you. Or your wallet, for that matter.

BOTTOM LINE: Just do it! And do it regularly. In time, he'll associate nail cutting with pleasant feelings. But of course, if Fido's just can't stop fidgeting, head over to the local groomer and order "Nail Cutting" a la carte. My local Petco does a great job. Or, simply ask your fellow dog owners for their recommendations.

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