Dog Biting And Pulling Nails (Causes & Prevention)

Dog Biting And Pulling Nails? (Why And How To Stop It)

It is a true fact and no longer news that most Dogs bite on their nails occasionally. So don’t be surprised if your pet begins to chew nails, it is normally part of their natural grooming process, except it goes beyond normal.

When the nail-biting or chewing becomes persistent or chronic, then, there is a problem with your dog. At this point, it is advisable to immediately act fast, by thoroughly checking on your pup’s nails or have a vet examine the nails, find the problem and then get it solved.

Dog toenail chewing can also be considered as an itching response that could result from infections or allergies. However, Some pet chews nails for behavioral purposes such as habits that indicate they are nervous or something else happening to them.

Excessive nail-biting may also be a medical-related issue. If a dog keeps biting nails can lead to injuries, bleeding, and secondary infections. So it is the duty of the owner to keep a close watch on their dog nails to be able to notice any changes or form of nail disorders.

Why Dogs Chew Their Paws?

Reasons: Allergies, Pain, Infection, Depression, Anxiety, Dry Skin and Parasites, nail bed-related disorders.

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Note that moderate chewing of paws is normal in dogs but if your pup is a chronic paw chewer, it is possible that the cause could be related to the following cause listed above.

You need to check or get your dog examined by a vet to help resolve the issue.

Top 10 Reasons Why Dogs Bit Their Nails

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Overgrown Dog Nails.

Your pet may feel uncomfortable if his nails are too long and may decide to trim them by bitting them off.

It is expected that you always checkmate your pet nails, know when they need trimming. The overgrown nails should make a clicking sound on a hard surface and also by sight it should be touching the floor.

When Should I Trim My Dog’s Nails?
Overgrown Dog Nails Due For Clipping

Now it’s time to cut the claws. Don’t wait until your dog starts biting and pulling his nails, it is unhealthy.

Canine nail trimming isn’t a big deal, it’s a procedure you can perform on your own using clippers, filers, grinders and scratchboard or learn how to cut dog nails. If for any reason you find it hard to trim your dog’s nails, you can take your pet to a vet or groomer who would get the job done for you.

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Broken Toenail Causes Claw Bitting In Dogs

Nails Splitting is another reason why your dog might be chewing his claws. Most split nails may occur centrally or at the middle, and sometimes nails may break at the base causing injuries and if care is not taken might lead to bleeding and other secondary infection.

Dog Broken Claws Cause Of Nail Biting
Dog Broken Claws can lead to Nail Chewing Or Biting

Whenever nail breaks, it disturbs your pet and the next thing he will start biting and licking the affected part. If you suspect your pet has broken toenail, you should salvage the situation without wasting time to avoid infection.

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Dog Biting And Pulling Nails Can Be Caused By Allergies

Allergies are some kind of reactions caused by the dog’s immune system as it responds to environmental substances or a range of different materials such as chemicals, food, dust mites, insect stings, etc.

Allergies in dogs can result in Nail chewing or biting, stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, itching and watery eyes.

Food or inhalant allergies (Atopy) are a common cause of chronic paw licking and nail-biting. It also causes itching of the skin, down to the feet and toes.

Allergies lead to severe itching, many dogs react by licking and biting their nails or paws because of the irritation. Continues licking of the toe (moisturizing the feet by the saliva) gives room secondary fungal or bacterial infection, the reason why nail-biting should be prevented.

Pain Can Cause Paw Chewing In Dogs

Your dog might be in pain or its hurt that’s why his chewing his paws, you should check the area he is licking to see.

Dogs In Pain Chewing Nails
Dogs In Severe Pain May Chew Their Nails

Dog paws always touch the ground which leaves them at the risk of getting hurt if they match upon sharp objects and of course dogs can move from place to place if not restricted. So injuries within the feet can lead to chewing of paws to relieve the pain or bite off the foreign body.

Your Dog Might Have a Nailbed Infection

If your dog’s nail bed is affected by Fungal Infection then that could be one reason why he is chewing his nails. Majority of nail bed issue could most times be caused by secondary Fungal infection contracted through untreated or exposed nail injury.

Dog nail splits vertically
Swollen/redness of the toe due to fungal Nail bed infection.
This Could Lead To Licking Of the Affected Area

Bacteria infection of the nailbed is capable of making your pup start chewing paws. Bacteria nailbed infection can be suspected if your dog has oozing, swollen, and injured claws with discharges, and could affect one or more claws. Urgent steps should be taken to treat the condition before it transforms into another severe disorder.

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Anxiety Can Lead To Nail Chewing In Dogs

If your pet feels anxious about his new environment, maybe he has been separated from his regular surroundings, such dog may end up relieving himself by chewing on his nails, an action that helps him reduce nervousness.

If your dog is anxious, here are common signs you should notice: Nail biting or chewing, pottying or defecating inside the house, very aggressive, he keeps panting, depression, destructive behavior and barking excessively.

Your dog may use his sharp teeth to destroy his nails if he is scared and anxious. A dog who has been separated or having separation anxiety can chew nails while he is alone.

The dog prefers to bite his nails instead of sleeping because he feels alone, bored and misses the owner. You can leave a bone, toys and his favorite treats to help him while you are away.

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Can Parasites Cause Nail Chewing In Dogs? Yes, They Can!

Parasites are another reason why your dog may be chewing his nails. Some parasites such as fleas, ticks, and mites can make your pet start biting his paws.

Dog Chewing and Pulling Nails caused by Parasites
Parasites Can Make your Dog bite his nails

Mites are not visualized by sites except you use a microscope, ticks can be seen and the fleas can sometimes be seen in bunches. So your dog might be attacked by any of the parasites, so when you notice he is licking his paws, you should take him to a vet for a check to confirm the cause.

change your dog’s diet, use a product to eliminate parasites, address anxiety issues, give your dog medication, or help you come up with another solution.

Boredom Give Your Dog Room To Chew His Nails

Yes, dogs get significantly bored at times, especially when they are alone and not having fun, this gets worse if they don’t have their favorite treats, toys, and bone, they might try to entertain themselves with nail-biting. This means their physical and mental health might have been affected somehow because they lack exercise and stimulations At this point they need routine walks, training, and games are fun-filled.

Medical Health Challenges Can Lead To Nail Chewing In Dogs

Some medical conditions have been known to cause your dog to develop the habit of nail chewing and biting. If your dog is sick or affected by any of these health conditions, there is likely hood of him biting his claws and toes.

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Medical issues such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, interdigital cysts hypoadrenocorticism and vasculitis.

Foreign Object Trapped In Between Toes Can Cause Nail Biting In Dogs

It is common for things (objects) to get stuck in between your dog nails if your pet has been roaming around your environment.

When this happens, the dog has issues pulling foreign bodies out, so he keeps biting the affected nails and trying to help himself. You should find the foreign object in between your dog’s nails and remove it.

Note that a foreign body might cause pain to your dog, so you should be very careful and soft when pulling it out. In fact, pull it gently because dogs paws are sensitive.

Dog Biting And Pulling Nails Prevention

Avoiding the many causes of nail-biting and pulling is the best ways to prevent your dog from chewing his paws.

Just as there are many reasons why your pet chews his nails as discussed above, so there are many means you can assist your pup to prevent the habit.

Make sure your dog nails are trimmed regularly, don’t let the nails overgrow it could lead to many claw issues including biting.

Do not expose your pet to toxic chemicals, avoid things that cause allergic reactions to your dog. Do you spray pesticides? If yes, then don’t allow your dog to walk on the grass you sprayed until the chemical is dry.

Ensure your dog have some toys, gets attention and daily exercise to help him stay active and prevent boredom and anxiety.

In all, you should check up your pet regularly, keep a close watch on his nails and if there is any injury, infection or abnormality, contact your vet for urgent help.

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Dog Nail Biting And Pulling Treatment (Remedies)

It is important to Stop nail chewing in dogs, as to help in preventing secondary infections from occurring.

The proper treatment for dog nail chewing depends on the cause. You know your dog very, so the cause of your dog’s chronic claw biting can be uncovered by the owner or a vet, and then treatment can be given.

It is advisable to take your dog to a professional vet as soon as possible for urgent treatment. Don’t try to provide home remedies unless you know the cause. But, if you can’t ascertain the cause or you did but your ongoing dog nail chewing home treatment has failed to work, please kindly see a vet.

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