6 Reasons Why Your Dog is Chewing His Nails
28 March, 2016

Dogs chew on their nails as part of their grooming process and is expected and natural.  However, when the chewing becomes chronic, it usually means something is wrong with your pup or is bothering him.  It could be a simple answer or something more complicated like a new behavioral pattern.

Below are 6 reasons why your dog is chewing his nails:

 1. Your dog is chewing his nails because they are too long!

Your dog may be biting his nails because they are too long and he is biting them off. Take your dog to a groomer to make sure his nails are trimmed correctly.  Some dogs’ nails naturally break on their own while walking, but if your dog is chewing them, this clearly isn’t the case.

 2. Your dog is chewing on a nail because it’s broken

Broken nails aren’t always obvious. Sometimes they break at the very base of the nail, where the nail is still attached to your pup’s skin.  And this type of break will bother your dog causing him to chew on it. Your little guy may start biting at and licking the out-of-order nail. Broken nails do sometimes come off on their own, but don’t let the situation resolve itself and become infected.

 3. Your dog could chew his nails because he is allergic to outdoor allergens

Allergies to food or to grass, pollen and other outdoor allergens can make your dog itchy; and chewing on paws is a symptom. Your dog may chew his nail to cope or to relieve itching directly in the paw. Chewing on nails may help to relieve itchiness.

 4. Your dog might have an infection in his nails

Your dog may be chewing his nails because the nail bed has a fungal infection. It might also be a result of injuring a nail.   If a nail is injured, and the wound is exposed, infection may result. An exposed and untreated wound may lead to infection and make your dog itch. You will have to take your pooch to the veterinarian for treatment with an antibiotic.

5. Your dog could be chewing on his nails because he is anxious

Some dogs are neurotic or just anxious. Sometimes a case of separation anxiety or stress about his surroundings will have your dog chewing on his nails to relieve his nervousness.  Chewing nails, defecating in the house and destructive behavior are common signs of anxiety.

 6. Your dog is chewing on his nails because he is bored

Stimulating a dog’s senses is essential. Exercise, playtime, talking and training are all essential. A bored dog will become destructive to himself and his surroundings. Nail biting is a common sign of boredom. Make sure to have interactive play toys when another dog or human interaction isn’t possible.

If your dog continues to chew on his or her nails and they have been groomed, take your dog to the vet for a check-up.  If your vet determines that it is not a medical condition, then it most likely is a behavioral condition and needs to be addressed differently.

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