People are painting their pets' nails but it's not just for show (PHOTOS)

Mar 8, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Pet grooming has reached a new height with the latest trend being embraced by some cat and dog owners — false nails.

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Soft Paws are made from a nontoxic vinyl and are applied to the pet’s own nails with glue. Just like false nails for humans, they’re available in a wide range of colours.

Who knew a boxer would look so great with long purple talons?

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Soft Paws is a U.S.-based company owned and operated by vet Dr. Christianne Schelling, who has been selling the product online for 16 years. Invented by another vet, Dr. Toby Wexler, who wanted to create a humane and effective solution to cat and dog scratching problems, it's only recently that Soft Paws have caught the attention of so many — largely due to the animal lovers who've been showing off their pets' coloured claws on social media.

While the glittery, brightly coloured nails may look like a fashion statement, they actually serve a very useful purpose: preventing overexcited animals from damaging furniture, floors and upholstery through scratching.

The soft cover means cats and dogs and stretch and scratch as normal, but no damage is done. It's considered to be a safer alternative to declawing animals, and one application lasts around four to six weeks, depending on the pet's natural growth.

As you can see, there's plenty of scope for getting creative with the colours: 

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Some owners have even matched their own nails to their pets'.

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But do Soft Paws work? According to users, absolutely. One customer described them as "a wonderful solution to scratching," while another commented, "These make living with pets even more enjoyable."

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