Why Does My Dog Bite His Nails?

Why Do Dogs Bite Their Nails? Dogs can bite their nails as part of the grooming process, especially if their nails are very long and uncomfortable. However, they tend to bite more for medical reasons, like allergies, a skin condition or infection, or even anxiety. A dog may turn to biting for relief.


Is it bad if a dog bites its nails?

Many dogs can occasionally chew their nails, but if your dog chews his toes or claws excessively, he may have a medical or behavioral issue. Chronic nail biting can create bleeding and secondary infections, and should be discussed with your veterinarian.

Why do dogs chew on their paws and nails?

Like in humans, airborne allergens often cause intense itchiness. Dogs then lick and chew their paws to relieve the atopy itchies. Dogs may also engage in nail biting while trying to cope with itch-inducing allergies. These behaviors can also be triggered by other allergic reactions, such as those from food allergies.

Do dogs trim their own nails?

Most dogs wear down their nails naturally through being walked on hard surfaces, so their nails, except dew claws, never need cut. Dew claws need to be clipped every few months.

How do I stop my dog from biting his nails?

Make sure your dog gets regular grooming and nail clipping, and ensure their paws and nails are clean and washed. “Simple things like rinsing their feet off when they come inside, in case there are any pollens that are annoying them, can be super helpful,” Dr. Spencer said.

How do I know if my dog is anxious?

Common signs of anxiety in dogs include: Barking or howling when owner isn’t home. Panting and pacing (even when it’s not hot) Shivering. Running away and/or cowering in the corner of a house.

Do dogs lick their paws when nails are too long?

If your dog’s nails are too long or you think your dog’s paws are becoming too fluffy, this may be the reason behind their paw licking. Check the length of their nails and look for overgrown hair between their toes – or, even better, head to the vet and get their expert opinion.

Is it normal for dogs to bite their tails?

Sometimes dogs chew their tails because they’re bored or curious about their tail. Here are a few of the most common reasons why dogs chew their tails: Pain. Dogs will often chew at a painful area of their tail to provide relief.

Why does my dog hates having his nails clipped?

Pain is the main reason that dogs hate nail trims. If your dog has ever been cut too close, even once, he will remember it. Nature provides pain as a protection and if something hurts, an animal must learn to avoid, and even fight it. This is a survival instinct.

What happens if you don’t trim dog nails?

Skipping This Grooming Task Can Cause Your Dog Pain The quick supplies blood to the nail and runs through the core of it. Nerves in the quick cause bleeding and discomfort when cut. Regular nail trimming will cause the quick to recede from the end.

How do I stop my dog from biting his paws?

Take special care of your dog’s paws to ensure that they don’t get injured and develop behaviors such as excessive licking and biting of their paws.

  1. Clean your dog’s paws after coming in from outside.
  2. Check their paws for foreign objects.
  3. Consider dog booties for extremely hot or cold days.

How often should you clip your dog’s nails?

The average dog should have his nails clipped every three to four weeks, but it should be done as often as needed to keep the nail from touching the ground when your dog is standing.

Why Do Dogs Bite or Chew Their Nails? 8 Common Reasons

If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the affiliate links on our site, we may receive a small commission. In many cases, dogs rely on their teeth to get to the core of problems since it is their sole means of alleviating itching or other discomforts on their bodies. When you see your dog biting or chewing on their nails, it’s typically a sign that something is troubling them in the area surrounding their paws and nails. If this becomes a recurring problem, it might be an indication that something is about to happen.

If they are biting or chewing their nails, it’s also vital to keep an eye out for any other unusual behavior, such as eating less or not being as enthusiastic around their family members as they should be.

While there are a variety of concerns that might be causing your dog to chew at their nails, in this post we will discuss some of the most typical reasons that they do so.

Biting and Chewing in General

Occasionally, we may receive an affiliate compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links on our site. In many cases, dogs rely on their teeth to get to the core of problems since it is their sole means of alleviating itching or other discomforts on their body. A dog’s biting or chewing on their nails is typically an indication that something is troubling them in the area surrounding their paws. As long as this persists, it might be a warning that something is about to happen.

You should be on the lookout for any other unusual behavior if they are biting or chewing their nails, such as eating less or not being as enthusiastic around their family, if they are doing this.

While there are a variety of concerns that might be causing your dog to chew at their nails, in this post we will discuss some of the more prevalent ones.

It’s Time To Visit The Groomer

If your dog is chewing on their nails or paws, it might simply be a sign that they are in desperate need of a nail trimmer! Dogs’ nails can become excessively long, which can make it difficult for them to do their regular chores. It’s possible that overgrown nails will put pressure on the paw pad and cause discomfort when they walk if their nails are too long. The nails on their hands might get so overgrown that they begin to dig into their flesh, causing significant agony and infection. Having long nails can also increase the likelihood of suffering a nail damage, which can be quite painful.

Hair overgrowth on the paws of exceptionally fluffy dogs can be a source of irritation in some instances.

This may be compared to the sensation of having a thick thread annoying your foot inside your sock while you’re walking.

This may also be controlled by deshedding your dog on a regular basis.

It might be a sign that it’s time to schedule an appointment with the groomer, or that you should try to fix it yourself! Remember that this is generally the least painful and least expensive item to fix, so be sure to start here first.


Allergic reactions in your canine companion can cause extreme suffering. Itching, swelling, redness, and soreness are all common symptoms of skin allergies, particularly in more severe cases. Some of the allergies that your dog may encounter are as follows: Grass allergies: It has been reported that some unfortunate pups are allergic to the grass they are exposed to on a daily basis. Puppies that have spent time outside will return inside and endure intense irritation, leading them to bite and chew their paws in an attempt to find comfort.

  1. Grass allergies in dogs can cause them to be quite unhappy.
  2. Allergic reactions to foods might manifest themselves in the form of skin redness and itching.
  3. allergens found outside or during the seasons: Just like people, some dogs are susceptible to seasonal allergies depending on the allergen that is present in the environment.
  4. The itching in their feet might be particularly severe if the allergen is prevalent in your grass.
  5. Benadryl is an antihistamine that is used to ease the symptoms of mild allergies.
  6. The suggested Benadryl dosage for dogs is 1mg per pound of body weight.

Skin Infections

The space between a dog’s toes is the ideal setting for an infection to take hold. When you add wetness to the equation, such as licking of the paws and nails, you have a formula for catastrophe on your hands. Following an episode of itching or pain in a particular place, dogs will begin to lick and bite at the affected area in an attempt to “relive the condition.” The more they bite and chew, the more harm they really do to the area where they bite and chew. This movement will frequently result in significant skin irritation and sores on the paws, which are quickly infected as a result of the dog’s contact to dirt and germs on the ground when walking.

The veterinarian will frequently put your pet on antibiotics and send you home with a topical treatment for the afflicted area as well as an E-collar to keep your pup from licking the wound any more once it has healed.

It is quite easy for grass blades, foxtails, and any other plant or stick material to become entrapped in the paw of your dog.

This is frequently accompanied by symptoms like as gnawing at the paws, swelling, redness, or lameness. If you observe any of these symptoms in your dog, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.


Even though there are several signs of nervousness, chewing and biting of the nails might be an indication of worry or boredom in your canine companion. It is common for humans to bite their nails or fingers when they are stressed, and this is no different for anxious dogs. No matter if it is due to your absence, a change in their environment, or just boredom, it might develop into an obsessive condition that can lead to more serious difficulties in the future. If it appears that this is always the case when your pup is left alone or without amusement, you may attempt to provide them with mentally engaging toys and activities to keep them entertained.

You should consult your veterinarian if your dog is exhibiting other indications of anxiety, such as destructive behavior, peeing in the house, panting, or any other troubling symptoms.

Paw chewing can cause dogs to develop an obsessive-compulsive condition, so if your dog has a chronic problem with paw chewing that you are unable to resolve, consult your veterinarian.

Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks prefer to hide in the crevices of our dogs’ coats, which makes them easy prey for them. Ticks have a particular fondness for the area between the toes on their paws, and they may inflict a considerable deal of agony by doing so. If you see your dog gnawing at their nails or toes, be sure to check between their toes and on their paw pads for any fleas or ticks that may have gotten into their fur! If you see any ticks or other unpleasant pests in between their toes, it’s best to take them to the vet so they can be removed properly.

  • Your veterinarian will be able to demonstrate how to appropriately remove these unwelcome guests.
  • This condition is characterized by red and itchy skin in the presence of fleas, or in the absence of fleas before.
  • If your dog has fleas and is gnawing at their nails and paws, it is possible that they are suffering from this irritating disease.
  • There are many various approaches you may take to treating fleas, and topical remedies are among the most popular options for treating Fleas and Ticks.

Nail Injury

Dogs are not exempt from having their nails broken. Because of how active our dogs may be, it is common for them to suffer from nail damage at some point throughout their lives. This may easily occur if a person’s nail becomes entangled in anything or if their nails become damaged as a result of some sort of force.

This may be quite uncomfortable for a dog, causing him to lick at the damaged nail in an attempt to alleviate the discomfort of the situation. Other indications and symptoms that you may see if you have a nail damage include:

  • Licking one’s paw and one’s nail
  • Swelling in the area around the nail
  • Bruising and redness around the nail
  • A paw print on the carpet, or blood on the carpet where they have stood
  • Limping
  • Sensitivity of the paws
  • Refusing to allow you to check their paw
  • And
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If you suspect that your dog has suffered a nail damage, it is critical that you take them to your veterinarian as soon as possible. These kind of injuries are known to spread infection fast, causing your dog to suffer from excruciating agony. If infections are left untreated, they can be detrimental to your dog’s general health, and in some cases, they can be fatal. This is especially true of the dog’s archnemesis, the foxtail plant, which can become entangled in their paws when it becomes trapped there.

Skin Conditions and Mange

There are a variety of skin problems that can manifest themselves around your dog’s paws and nails, and these disorders might result in your dog gnawing or biting at his paws. Demodex mange is one of the most prevalent skin illnesses that affects dogs and cats, and it is commonly found on the paws. These symptoms include hair loss on the paws and legs, gnawing at their feet, and the possibility of secondary infections on their feet as a result of the chewing. A skin scraping will be performed by your veterinarian in order to accurately identify this illness.

Once the illness has been identified, your pup may be treated with medicated baths, oral medicine, or injections to aid in the resolution of the issue.

In addition to allergic dermatitis and yeast overgrowth on the skin in dogs, bacterial infections and Ringworm are some of the other skin disorders that can cause nail and paw gnawing in dogs.

If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from Mange, it is critical that you contact your veterinarian immediately.

Growths on the Paw

Another reason for gnawing at the nails and paws is the presence of any growths or lumps on the paw, which is a less typical occurrence. Dogs might develop interdigital cysts (cysts between their toes), lumps around their nails, or abscesses on their nails as a result of a prior injury on their nails on occasion. However, despite the fact that lumps and bumps are less prevalent, it is necessary to be aware of their presence. If you see any suspicious lumps on your pup’s paws, take him to the doctor as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

In general, your dog’s need to chew and bite their nails is a means of informing you that something is wrong with him. Whatever the reason, whether it’s time for a basic nail trim or a hint to anything more, this move shouldn’t be overlooked. While these eight typical illnesses account for a large portion of the reasons why your dog may be chewing on things on a regular basis, there are more factors that should be considered by a veterinarian. The first step in determining the source of your pup’s problem is to make a thorough inventory of his or her symptoms.

If you have a worry that you are unable to resolve, your next best choice is to take your pet to the veterinarian right away. Take into consideration the reasons listed above the next time you notice your canine companion chewing on their nails or paws!

Dog Obsessively Biting Nails: Here’s How to Help

AJU photography created this image.

The essentials

  • The causes of recurrent nail-biting are numerous and varied. Some of the most frequent include allergies, damaged nails, infections, wounds, parasites, and anxiety
  • However, there are many others. Avoid delaying veterinary care—If your dog is unable to walk, is bleeding profusely, or if the affected region is extremely swollen or filled with pus, get aid as soon as possible. It is critical to maintain proper paw hygiene — It is possible to prevent many causes of compulsive nail-biting and other damaging behavior by maintaining and cleaning your nails properly.

Why do dogs bite their nails?

Dogs bite their nails for a variety of reasons, each of which is unique. One of the most prevalent reasons is discomfort from allergens such as pollen, mildew, dust, and grass, which causes their paws and nails to become irritable. An additional factor is food sensitivity, which may be caused by common proteins such as eggs, soy, lamb, chicken, or beef, and can cause dogs to get itchy and bite their nails. It is also possible that your dog is suffering from a bacterial or fungal illness, which is causing them to scratch and bite.

Something as simple as a pebble trapped in your dog’s paw may be obvious, but determining if your dog has an illness or an allergy may necessitate a trip to the veterinarian.

Common reasons dog bit and chew their nails

Substances found in the environment Dogs, like people, are commonly sensitive to pollen, mildew, dust, and grass, to name a few allergens. These allergies, like those experienced by humans, can be seasonal. The major symptom in dogs, however, is itching of the skin, rather than coughing and sniffling. For this reason, allergic dermatitis (atopy) is caused by the allergy, which can affect the entire body or only a few locations — generally the feet, ears, face, and front legs — as a result of the allergy.

  • Moreover, while you may be able to eradicate dust and mold from your home, some environmental and outdoor allergies are inescapable, particularly during certain times of the year.
  • The simple fact is that there are a plethora of reasons why your dog may be allergic to anything.
  • Believe it or not, when administered appropriately, human-grade Benadryl is quite safe for dogs.
  • Food sensitivities are a type of allergy.
  • In addition to atopic dermatitis, your dog may suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, and ear infections as a result of a sensitivity to particular foods in the environment.
  • A food elimination trial is the only way to determine whether or not you have a food allergy.
  • A new protein or hydrolyzed protein diet is provided to the animals for 6 to 8 weeks under the supervision of a veterinarian.

It is recommended that only veterinarian-approved food be consumed – no snacks, flavored drugs, fish oils, or nutritional supplements are permitted. After that, food is reintroduced, and you can observe whether or not there is a reaction.

An infection

Infections caused by bacteria or fungi. Most of the time, they are the consequence of another condition that has gone untreated, such as a wound or frequent chewing that has caused the skin to become exposed. Infection with bacteria or fungi can occur through an open sore on the skin, resulting in swelling, redness, pus, and an unpleasant odor. Paw infections may be extremely unpleasant for dogs, causing them to limp or become fearful of you approaching too close to them. When it comes to bacterial infections, antibiotics are typically used, but fungal infections necessitate the use of antifungal drugs.

Once therapy has begun, keep the area clean on a regular basis and train your dog to avoid touching or stepping on it.

Broken or overgrown nails

Overgrown nails may be difficult for dogs to walk on, so they may attempt to bite away at the excess nail to alleviate the discomfort. They could also try to grind their nails down by scratching at the ground with their nails for extended periods of time. In order to maintain a healthy length, the nails should not curl back around toward the paw. Nail breakage is one of the consequences of allowing your dog’s nails to grow too long — overgrown nails splinter and break more easily than short nails.

Having symmetrical lupoid onychodystrophy means that your dog’s nails are continually falling out and breaking, which may be quite frustrating for you (SLO).

It is possible that the nails will regrow brittle and malformed.

Foreign object or puncture wound

It is common for dogs to limp and lick the paw that has been punctured or punctured by a foreign item when they have been injured by a foreign object or puncture wound. Their paws may bleed or seem bloated and red. They may also be apprehensive about allowing you to examine the wound. The most essential thing is to take action as soon as possible. If wounds are left untreated, they can quickly become infected. If you come across a foreign item that appears to be simple to remove, such as a thorn, you can withdraw it using a clean pair of tweezers.

The same is true for superficial puncture wounds, which should be cleaned and bandaged.

In the days following treatment, keep an eye out for symptoms of infection in the treated region. If the wound looks to be the same or worse in terms of swelling, redness, soreness, or pus, it is possible that it is infected, and antibiotic therapy will be required.

Dryness or burns

Paw pads, like human skin, are subject to drying up, cracking, and burning when exposed to high temperatures over extended periods of time. Even though the weather is pleasant for you, asphalt and concrete may become dangerously hot for dogs to walk on, especially in the summer. It’s a good rule of thumb to place the back of your hand on the ground when you’re walking. A surface that’s too hot for you to stand on for more than 5–10 seconds is also too hot for your dog to walk on. Cold weather conditions might also be problematic.

  1. In general, it’s recommended to avoid harsh weather conditions or to invest in a pair of dog shoes to protect your pet’s feet.
  2. Whether you live in a climate with harsh weather or your dog just has sensitive paws, paw balms and waxes can help prevent and cure dry, cracked paws by hydrating and forming a protective barrier around the paws and nails.
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Interdigital cysts (furuncles)

Interdigital furuncles are simple to recognize since they are red, meaty lumps that form between a dog’s toes and are easily removed. Those dogs with short hair and noticeable toe-webbing, such as the English Bulldog and Labrador Retriever, are more likely to develop these cyst-like growths. An interdigital cyst is a growth between the fingers (furuncle) An infection, an ingrown hair, or even mites can cause interdigital furuncles, which are often caused by a bacterial infection. However, even though surgery is seldom necessary, you should take your dog to the veterinarian to ensure that the bulge is not cancerous.

An effective mix of frequent cleaning, Epsom salt soaks, and healing balms may be required to treat the affected region. For a comprehensive list of healing methods for your dog’s interdigital cysts (furuncles), please see our guide to treating interdigital cysts (furuncles).


It’s possible that your dog’s paws are being licked continually because of arthritis pain. Rather than experiencing rapid and intense symptoms, such as those associated with an accident, you will observe your dog licking his paws over time as he gets older. A painful joint may be the source of your dog’s discomfort if he or she is older and you are unable to detect anything odd in the region (swelling, redness, nail breaking, etc.). Arthritis is a normal part of the aging process, and there is no treatment for it.

Chemokines destroy down cartilage in dogs as they get older.

This is more likely to occur in dogs who are overweight or huge in size earlier in life.

Consider some of our favorite veterinarian-approved joint medications that can assist to alleviate your pup’s painful joints:

Parasites or bug bites

Fleas, lice, and mites are all parasites that may attach themselves to your furry pet and cause them to scratch and scratch and scratch. An infestation of fleas will be followed by clusters of red pimples, which are typically surrounded by crimson haloes.

  • Fleas typically leave behind microscopic, black patches that resemble black pepper, which are referred to as flea dirt. Additionally, you may notice clusters of tiny, red pimples towards the base of the tail and on the lower back. Hair loss, particularly around the lower back and base of the tail, is also frequent in this area of the body. Fleas may be seen with the naked eye if you look very closely at them. Lice are dark brown in color and roughly the size of a poppy seed
  • They leave a mark in a manner similar to that of fleas. Lice infestations are characterized by itchy skin, hair loss, and dry skin, among other symptoms. Lice, on the other hand, are slightly larger and tan in color
  • Various species of Mitescome exist, but Scabies (also known as Sarcoptes) is the kind that causes severe scratching. Due to the fact that mites cannot be seen with the naked eye, your veterinarian will need to examine a skin sample under a microscope in order to make an accurate diagnosis.

You may check for parasites on your dog’s fur by combing through it and attentively inspecting it, but it may be difficult to determine exactly what sort of parasite has taken up residence on your dog. Read our guide on recognizing insect bites on dogs if you need help determining the source of the problem. Because parasites seldom go away on their own, it is better to get assistance from a veterinarian who can prescribe medicine to alleviate the problem.

Anxiety or mental distress

If your dog is biting his nails excessively, it might be an indication of psychological distress. When they are stressed, they may begin to excessively groom themselves, such as licking the bottoms of their feet and licking their nails. Additionally, they may tremble uncontrollably, pee, defecate, pant, or moan uncontrollably. Their demeanor may change and they may become angry, sluggish, or restless. Your dog may be experiencing emotional anguish for a variety of causes, including:

  • Overstimulation or apprehension Consider your dog to be a tiny child who is afraid of everything, including the doctor’s office, loud sounds, strangers, and unfamiliar environments. The simplest method to rid yourself of this type of worry is to decrease your exposure to it. Even if that isn’t an option or is impractical, you can experiment with calming substances, medicine, or positive reinforcement strategies.
  • Overstimulation or apprehension are possible outcomes. Consider your dog to be a tiny child who is afraid of everything, including the doctor’s office, loud sounds, strangers, and unfamiliar locations. To get rid of this type of anxiety, the easiest solution is to limit your exposure. However, if this is not an option or is not feasible, you might try calming products, medicine, or positive reinforcement strategies.
  • Loneliness or boredom are common feelings. It is possible for dogs to display anxiety-like symptoms if they do not receive enough exercise or involvement from their owners. Routine walks or jogs, as well as retrieve games and cuddling time, may make a significant difference in your dog’s mood, particularly when you have a working breed.
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Learn how to quiet your dog’s anxiety by using our top calming supplements for dogs, which we have listed below. Most underlying reasons of recurrent nail-biting need some level of owner involvement in order to be resolved, so it’s better to address the issue as soon as the problem arises. If you do not treat your dog’s ear infection, you run the danger of infection, worsened symptoms, and increased discomfort for your dog. Getting rid of and preventing nail biting is a top priority.

  • Check your dog’s paws, body, and behavior on a regular basis for symptoms of illness. Excessive biting can cause skin breakdown and infection, thus recognizing signs as soon as possible is always recommended. The unpleasant sound of constant biting, gnawing, and licking should serve as the first indication that you should look into the situation more thoroughly. Smooth, clean, and devoid of dirt or open sores, a healthy paw is a sign of good health. Is the affected region red, swollen, bleeding, or infected in any way? In addition to the face, what other regions of the body have a distinctive appearance? You should also pay attention to any changes in your pup’s behavior.
  1. Ascertain that your dog is receiving the appropriate amount of exercise. While a lack of activity might cause your dog’s nails to grow fast, it can also have a negative impact on his mental health, leading him to get bored and exhibit anxiety-like symptoms. Excessive walking, on the other hand, can cause unpleasant wear and tear on the paw pads. All of these disorders have the potential to cause chronic nail-biting. When it comes to exercise, the objective is to maintain a healthy balance, and this balance differs from one dog to the next. If you are unsure about how much exercise your dog should be getting, see your veterinarian.
  • After taking your dog outdoors, be sure to clean his paws. If environmental irritants like as road ice, fertilizers, debris, and allergies are allowed to remain on your dog’s skin, they can be dangerous. Making it a practice to sweep away dirt with a dry towel after walks will help to lessen the likelihood of discomfort.
  • Walking your dog on rough terrain or in extreme weather conditions should be avoided. If your dog’s paws are subjected to scorching pavement, ice, or rough terrain, they are more susceptible to dryness and cracking. Prevent your dog from being overheated by touching the pavement before going on a walk on hot days. If the pavement is too hot for you, it is too hot for your dog.
  1. Avoid taking your dog for a stroll on rough terrain or in really cold weather. Paws become more susceptible to dryness and cracking when exposed to hot pavement, ice, or rough terrain. Prevent your dog from being overheated by conducting a touch test of the pavement before going for a walk on warm days.
  • If you have any concerns, you should consult a veterinarian. In fact, many of the causes of chronic nail-biting will necessitate the usage of prescription medicine. In the event that you are not confident in your ability to identify the problem or in your ability to correct it, you should always take your dog to the veterinarian.

Dog nail hygiene 101: tips, tricks and what to avoid

The most effective technique to deal with excessive nail-biting and chewing is to prevent it from starting in the first place.

Nail washing and trimming on a regular basis will considerably lessen the likelihood of uncomfortable, broken nails.

Nail trimming basics

Overgrown nails are not only uncomfortable, but they are also more prone to breaking and splintering than normal nails. Dog nails that are in good health should point down toward the ground rather than curling back inward toward the paw. Blood vessels and nerves are found within the “quick” of a dog’s nail, which is formed of the substance inside the nail. Because the sensitive quick does not reach the entire length of the nail, we are able to trim them without causing any discomfort to your dog.

  1. When it comes to dogs with light nails, the quick may readily be seen through the outer shell.
  2. If you mistakenly clip the nail too short, don’t be concerned.
  3. Furthermore, with regular trimming, the quick will actually retreat with time, making the operation less prone to accidents.
  4. The following are the tools you’ll need for nail trimming:
  • Nail trimmer is a tool that is used to trim nails. Both electric grinding tools and classic guillotine cutters are effective in this situation. When pushed into the nail, styptic powder helps to halt bleeding. This item may be purchased at any pet store. If you don’t have any baking soda on hand, cornstarch can suffice.

Pro-tip: If your dog is worried, consider having a second person soothe and distract them while you are working on your project. Treats and caressing have a tendency to be terrific distractions for children.

When to consider paying a groomer to trim your dog’s nails

If the procedure gets unbearable, there’s no shame in bringing in a professional groomer. It goes without saying that you want your dog’s experience to be as short, painless, and anxiety-free as possible. If any of the following apply, you might consider groomer intervention:

  • Your dog is exhibiting tremendous anxiety. When you have an aggressive or restless dog, it might be tough to clip his nails. Using sedation may be essential if you are unable to soothe or keep your dog immobile. You’re feeling uneasy or unconfident in your own skin. It’s quite acceptable if the notion of accidently cutting a nail too far makes you queasy. Because groomers cut nails on a daily basis, the likelihood of an accident is significantly reduced

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Why is my dog chewing claws?

Often, the cause of your dog’s nail biting may be traced back to a medical or behavioral issue that he or she is suffering from. Nails that are too long Your dog’s nails might grow excessively long if they are not properly groomed on a regular basis, making it difficult or even uncomfortable for him to walk. Fractures and other injuries can occur as a result of overgrown nails. Nails or toes that have been injured An injury or trauma to the toes or claws can cause discomfort, and your dog may give extra attention to this region as a result of the discomfort.

  1. Diseases of the Claws Claw illnesses, albeit rare, can cause your pet’s comfort to be compromised by causing the nails to grow unnaturally (onychodystrophy), to become inflamed (onychitis or paronychia), or to soften and split (onychodystrophy and split) (onychomalacia and onychoschizia).
  2. Medications and Medical Conditions Besides interdigital cysts, hypothyroidism, hypoadrenocorticism, diabetes, and vasculitis are all diseases that might cause your dog to devote inordinate attention to his claws and toes.
  3. Infections caused by fungi Fungal infections, which are most commonly caused by dermatophytes or yeast paronychia, generally affect either one or two nails, resulting in rough sandpaper-like nails or abnormally soft nails.
  4. Bacterial Infections are the most common type of infection.
  5. If only one claw is damaged, it is more likely to be attributable to trauma, whereas several infected claws indicate the presence of additional underlying medical issues.
  6. Infection with a parasite Various parasites can cause your dog’s nails to grow improperly and get inflamed, which can be quite uncomfortable for him.
  7. It is possible for these mites to overpopulate the body when the body is debilitated by another medical condition, leading in claw deformity and infections.

If your dog is infected with the parasite Leishmania, his claws may get thicker and more curved.

Pollen, mold, and even fleas can cause an allergic reaction in your dog.

Boredom Our dogs, like us, might grow bored if they don’t have enough stimulation in their environment.

AnxietyMany dogs can develop damaging behaviors such as nail gnawing when they are experiencing a lot of anxiety.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Compulsive disorders are characterized by a flurry of habits that occur repeatedly and persistently.

A dog’s presence indicates that he or she is unduly frustrated or worried, and this may be caused by a variety of factors including changes in daily routines, changes in the environment (abuse, sickness, isolation, loss of companion, or a lack of socialization).

Why Does My Dog Bite His Nails – Wag!

In the same way that people do, dogs have their own set of peculiarities and behaviors that may range from looking strange to their pet-parents to being entirely relatable at other times, depending on how they are raised. Nail-biting is a practice that both dogs and their owners engage in on a regular basis. In humans, it is typically related with worry or tension, boredom, and, more recently, a person’s personality, among other things. Nail biting has been connected to a variety of personality traits, with some researchers suggesting that nail biters are more likely to be perfectionists.

The Root of the Behavior

As it turns out, this pattern of conduct is rather widespread. There are a variety of reasons why a dog would bite his nails, ranging from the completely innocuous to the slightly alarming. In the case of the former, it is natural for dogs to groom themselves by licking their own paws and nibbling on their own nails on occasion. It is also likely that your dog’s nails have grown too long and that walking has become uncomfortable, if not painful, for him. In addition, if your dog spends more of his time indoors or on the grass in the backyard rather than on the pavement on longer walks, where his nails may naturally be filed, this is more likely to occur.

  • It is the responsibility of every dog owner to ensure that their dog’s nails are of the proper, comfortable, and healthy length.
  • If your dog is chewing his nails on a regular basis, check the length of his nails and, if necessary, cut them.
  • Check to see whether having them trimmed makes a change in the behavior of your furball.
  • In the same way as people do, dogs can display compulsive behavior or urges for a number of causes, the most of which are connected to anxiety.
  • This will allow your veterinarian to assess what might be causing the behavior and to rule out any medical issues.
  • This will also aid in determining whether or not his behavior is a result of noise or separation anxiety.

Encouraging the Behavior

The decision as to whether you should allow the behavior to occur or prevent it from occurring will be heavily influenced by the cause for the conduct. Especially if the behavior is connected to worry, it is critical to treat the underlying issue at hand and not to discourage it until the underlying issue has been addressed and resolved. There are many various ways for dogs to soothe themselves, ranging from chewing on furniture to nail biting and toy licking. In the absence of addressing the underlying issue, discouraging such behavior will just serve to confuse your dog and increase his anxiety levels even further.

Don’t be hesitant to seek advice and help from a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist for assistance and direction.

When the behavior is not too repetitive or obnoxious, and your dog’s veterinarian is aware of it, there is nothing wrong with sometimes indulgently engaging in it.

You should try to divert your dog’s attention away from the activity if you find it bothersome or worrying. Instead of gnawing on his nails, you might take him out for a walk or play tag with him – both of these are excellent alternatives.

Other Solutions and Considerations

Finally, many dogs bite their nails as a result of itching brought on by allergies. When a dog is out walking about the neighborhood on a regular basis, his paws are exposed to a variety of various elements and chemicals. Some dogs are allergic to pollen, certain plants, or other environmental materials that they may come into contact with, walk on, or get caught between their toes or between their toes and toes. As a result, when they return home, many of them attempt to get rid of the items they brought with them.

Non-nail-biting activity should be reduced as a result of this, as well as the possibility of consuming anything hazardous to him, such as antifreeze or salt, which can be found on most highways throughout the winter months.


As is the case with the majority of canine behavior, there is no way to inquire as to why our four-legged family members behave in a particular manner or do what they do. We may, however, try to figure out what is wrong with our dogs based on their history, the current situation, and other behavior or symptoms. It is the responsibility of dog owners to keep their canine friends healthy and happy, regardless of whether the nail-biting is caused by boredom, allergies, or a lack of basic grooming.

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Maria Pawluczuk’s full name is Maria Pawluczuk.

Why Do Dogs Bite or Chew Their Nails?

Dogs that bite their nails are more likely than people to be suffering from a simple poor habit. However, the same behavior in humans might indicate a more serious problem. The fact that dogs are clever creatures means that they will occasionally take care of themselves. However, your dog’s constant biting may be an indicator that he or she is in discomfort or is suffering from a medical condition. It’s possible that biting their nails is the only method to alleviate the situation. If you observe your dog gnawing or licking at their nails, you must take immediate action to avoid the problem from becoming worse and becoming more serious.

Reason1 – Simple Grooming

It’s quite simple to forget to have your dog’s nails clipped on a frequent basis. Many owners recognize when they begin to receive inadvertent scratches that they have reached the end of their rope. It is critical, however, that you adhere to a tight grooming schedule in order to prevent your dog’s nails from becoming out of control. Their nails develop at a rapid pace and might begin to curl inward towards their paw if they are not careful. Walking and running will become a painful endeavor as a result of this.

You may also see a lot of pawing on the ground, as if they’re trying to crush them down even more.

This will help to guarantee that your dog’s nails are straight, smooth, and in good condition.

Regular clippings will make the process less difficult in the long term since your dog will become accustomed to the sensation of being clipped. It will also aid in keeping the quick down so that you do not experience any unnecessary bleeding.

2Physical Damage

Those who have broken a nail are familiar with how inconvenient it may be to cope with the situation. Most of the time, folks will just clip the broken piece off and move on with their lives. When their nails become damaged, dogs will do the same thing as humans. Depending on the degree of the break, they may be experiencing substantial discomfort as a result of the problem. If this is the case, it is critical that you use clippers to remove the damaged section rather than allowing them to bite it off themselves.

  • It is possible that your dog is suffering from a disorder known as Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy, often known as SLO, if they are experiencing frequent breaks.
  • SLO is an autoimmune disorder in which the person’s body attacks his or her own nails.
  • As a result, they will begin to split apart or rise completely off the ground.
  • If this happens, you must take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

3Itchiness from Allergies

Dogs can suffer from allergies in the same way that humans do. The most significant distinction is that they do not have the same level of protection that humans enjoy. If your dog is sensitive to something that is found outside, the allergy will be transferred to their paws as soon as they take a step outside. This might comprise everything from pollen to grass and anything in between. As soon as they come into contact with you, the skin on their paws may become inflamed and uncomfortable. In order to alleviate the ache, your dog will begin to chew on their feet in a frenzy.

Perhaps they’re attempting to get at the skin between their toes or on their paw.

If left untreated, your dog’s teeth might get so worn down that they begin to bleed.

We propose that you take your pooch to the veterinarian for an allergy test and to develop a prevention strategy.

4Fungal and Bacterial Infections

Many of the symptoms of an infection are the same as those of an allergic response. Your dog’s paws may become red, bloated, and itching as a result of this condition. In severe situations, you may even observe discharge coming from the infection site itself. Dogs can get illnesses from a variety of different sources. They can become infected with fungal illnesses if they come into contact with decaying wood or diseased soil. It’s a pretty regular occurrence because of their proclivity for digging in foul-smelling dirt.

When an infection begins, it has the potential to spread swiftly.

The paw of your dog is an ideal place for growth and development. Skin folds can be found in this area, and it receives little sun exposure and retains moisture. Fortunately, infections are extremely simple to treat when the appropriate medications are used.

5Nervousness or Simple Boredom

Fortunately, many of the reasons why people bite their nails are also simply relevant to canine nail-biting. Dogs are complicated creatures who feel the same wide range of emotions as humans do. Dogs have a wide variety of emotions that we do. When dogs are anxious or apprehensive, they may begin to bite their nails to relieve the stress. It’s a coping mechanism that allows individuals to deal with the difficulty and find comfort. Alternatively, individuals may be engaging in this activity simply because they are bored.

The majority of the time, nail-biting is accompanied by other undesirable behaviors.

Typically, nail-biting occurs after your dog has been confined to a crate or after you have left him alone for the day while you go to work.

There are many wonderful toys available that are meant to occupy their thoughts and keep them from being bored or anxious.

How to Stop Nail Biting

Most of the time, if your dog has a habit of biting their nails every now and then, there is no reason to be concerned. It is only when the situation becomes a long-term problem that you must intervene. If they are beginning to bite their nails on a regular basis, you must determine what is causing the problem and take appropriate action to address it. Your veterinarian will be able to assist you in identifying the underlying causes of the problem and will provide advice on how to resolve it effectively.

  1. In the interim, you might want to consider putting up a physical barrier to prevent your dog from chewing on their paws.
  2. It will be hard for your canine buddy to reach their paws as a result of this.
  3. You can give some relief by cutting their nails and cleaning the affected region.
  4. It is critical to thoroughly dry the paw in order to avoid future problems.

Over to You

Dogs’ habitual nail-biting is not considered to be typical behavior. This behavior should be seen as a cry for assistance, and you should offer your dog with the attention and care that he or she requires. Your dog should have no desire to bite again after the underlying cause of their biting has been addressed and corrected.

Why Does My Dog Keep Chewing His Nails?

Dogs groom themselves by licking their own faces and bodies. On rare occasions, they may even gnaw the cuticles of their nails. Dogs who chew their nails on a regular basis, on the other hand, may be trying to notify you something is wrong.

A chronic nail-biting problem indicates that your dog has to be examined by a veterinarian in order to identify whether a fungal infection or allergy is causing irritation, followed by a groomer to have his nails clipped.

Time for a Grooming

Grooming is something that some dog owners take for granted. It is critical to keep your dog’s nails cut in a nice manner. When you let your dog’s nails to develop excessively long, it might become difficult for them to walk on. The nails might curl inward, making it harder to move around and causing skin irritation. It’s possible that your dog is chewing his nails on a regular basis in an attempt to groom himself. You should take him to a groomer to verify that his nails are properly clipped.


Allergic reactions to food, grass, pollen, and other outdoor allergens can make your dog itchy, with chewing on paws being one of the symptoms. He may chew to deal with the situation or to reduce irritation in his paw. Itching can be relieved by chewing on one’s fingernails. In order to establish what is causing your dog’s allergic response, you should consult with your veterinarian.


It’s possible that your dog is eating his nails because the nail bed has developed a fungal infection. It might also be the result of a nail being injured. A wound that is left exposed and untreated may become infected, causing itching in your dog. Check his nails to check whether they are red, swollen, or painful to the touch. You will need to take your dog to the veterinarian so that he may be treated with an antibacterial medication.

Anxiety or Boredom

Some people chew their nails when they are anxious, and some dogs do the same thing when they are stressed. It’s possible that your dog will chew on his nails to ease his anxiousness as a result of separation anxiety, worry about specific events or his environment, or a combination of these factors. It’s possible that your dog will start biting his nails out of boredom as well. Either of these behaviors can become obsessive. Consider placing a nontoxic, cone-shaped rubber toy filled with unsalted, organic peanut butter and bits of dog biscuit for him to play with so he has something to do while you are away.

Dog Biting Nails: What It Means & How To Stop It

If your dog has a nasty tendency of chewing his nails, it may be quite inconvenient. However, it might also be a symptom of a more serious problem. When a dog’s nail-biting behavior becomes a problem, it’s critical to determine the source of the problem so that it may be treated effectively. Here are some of the more prevalent causes, as well as some of the things you may do to put an end to this aggravating pattern of behavior.


It is possible that your dog is chewing their nails because they are suffering from an infection. It’s possible that your beloved pet has experienced a paw injury, or that they are suffering from another form of medical condition. Your dog’s itch may be relieved solely by biting his nails, which is the only way he may get comfort. 1 There is also a possibility that your dog has been afflicted by a parasitic infection. Demodex mites, for example, may create irritation in a dog’s nails, which can be quite uncomfortable for the animal.

Demodicosis is the medical term for this ailment. 2 Check your pet’s paws for any indications of infection, such as swelling, bleeding, or seeping, and treat them as necessary. If you see one of these symptoms, you should take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as you can.


Because of an illness, it’s possible that your dog’s nails are being bit by another dog. Depending on the situation, your beloved pet may have suffered from a paw injury or they may be suffering from another form of medical condition altogether. Nail-biting is the only way your dog can get relief from the itching in this situation. 1 A parasite may have also infected your dog, which would explain the symptoms. In some cases, Demodex mites, for example, can cause inflammation in a dog’s nails, which can be quite painful.

2 Swelling, bleeding, or leaking from your pet’s paws are all indicators of an infection and should be looked for.


There are situations when an allergy is the root cause of a dog chewing its nails. It’s possible that your dog’s nails have been infected with an allergy from the outside environment. This produces irritation, which may lead to the gnawing of the nails. The paws are frequently affected by a condition known as atopy, which is a sort of allergy. Most of the time, dogs suffering from atopy (also known as an allergic reaction to an allergen) will continue to chew on themselves and their paws. 4


Boredom can lead to a variety of undesirable behaviors in dogs, which can be difficult to manage. Dogs who are bored may, for example, chew on furniture or shoes. They may make an attempt to escape from the yard. Additionally, boredom might cause a dog to gnaw on his nails. 5 In the event that you must be away from home during the day, make certain that your dog has lots of toys to keep him entertained. Additionally, you may consider taking your pet for an outside walk or jog around the yard before you go for work each day.

It’s Time for Your Pup to Be Groomed

It’s possible that your dog’s nails are just excessively long, which would cause him to bite his nails. Having your dog’s nails clipped is essential if you can hear them clicking against the floor. Nail trimmers are readily available at virtually every pet store. However, if you are not 100 percent confident in your ability to trim your dog’s nails safely and successfully, you should get a professional groomer to do the task.

Keeping a Dog from Biting Nails

If you have any cause to suspect your dog is chewing his or her nails as a result of a medical condition, it’s time to take him or her to the veterinarian. If the problem is serious, your dog may need to be fitted with an Elizabethan collar until the source of the problem is identified and eliminated. If the problem is behavioral in nature, ask your veterinarian for a referral to a specialist who can assess the best course of action to take to resolve it.

Wrapping it Up

Seeing your veterinarian is a must if you have any cause to assume your dog is chewing his or her nails as a result of a medical issue.

It is possible that your dog will be fitted with an Elizabethan collar until the problem is resolved, depending on how bad the situation is. Find out whether your veterinarian can refer you to an animal behaviorist who can decide the best course of action for your pet if the problem is behavioral.

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