Absolutely yes - dog nail trimming is very important! Toenails that are too long can easily get caught on things and get ripped. Unfortunately, I know from experience :(
If your dog ends up with a ripped and damaged nail bed, it can be very susceptible to infection. If it ends up getting infected, and you aren't able to control it, your dog could end up having it's entire toe amputated.
That might sound a little outrageous, but it's exactly what happened to my female Rottweiler Savannah.
right front inside toe became infected and we were unable to control
the infection before it got into her bone. We ended up having the toe
amputated, rather than worry about having her lose her entire leg, not
to mention her life.
She got along just fine with a missing toe, but. . .
My boy Chevy also tore his right rear outside toenail, and we've been struggling with it for almost 3 years now. Watching it closely, and having him on antibiotics several times to stave off infection getting into his bone.
For the most part, dogs that are very active on rough surfaces will keep their own nails nicely trimmed. But, if your dog spends a lot of time on grass, etc. then you'll need to be diligent in trimming your dogs nails.
I'm sure you've seen the old guillotine style dog nail trimmers. I
personally hate them, especially for dogs like the Rottweiler with big
feet and thick nails.
If they aren't razor sharp, and if you don't do it super fast, the nail ends up getting stuck instead of getting cut. I'm not a dog, but can't imagine that would feel too good.
Or. . . . when you're just about ready to clamp the trimmers shut your dog jerks his leg. The next thing you know, blood is spurting everywhere!
when that happens, your dog probably thinks you're pretty evil too, and who can blame her? Of course drawing blood makes your dog really look forward to the next time doesn't it?
There are other dog nail trimming tools, that are meant for dogs with thicker nails like the Rottweiler or Bull Dog, but I've found that they pose the same problem with cutting the nail too short. Causing pain during dog nail trimming makes your buddy want to duck and cover if he thinks you might touch his toes.
I found something way better, and while my boy Chevy still doesn't like to have his nails trimmed, it works one heck of a lot better, and doesn't cause him any pain. It's a Rotary Nail Filer, similar to a dremel tool.
I've been using it for almost 5 years now, and never once has blood gone spurting across the room ;0) You've probably seen T.V. commercials for similar products.
They work just like a nail file for
humans, only it turns very fast with a motor, and some have a plastic guard.
You'd be very hard-pressed to get too close to the quick when trimming your dogs nails with one of these. At first, it seems to tickle their toes a bit, but doesn't hurt at all.
After using it a few times you'll find that your dog at least doesn't completely duck and cover when you mention the word "toes" :0)