Top Healthy Treats for your Pup

Like many humans, some dogs have a bad habit of biting their nails. We aren’t veterinarians, so we can’t offer a concise diagnosis as to why your dog might be biting their nails, but we can offer some advice to help them stop. If you think the nail-biting points to a more serious issue, you should schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.

Why Do Dogs Bite Their Nails?

Dogs bite their nails for numerous reasons, and many bite at their paws as a part of their grooming routine if their nails are too long or uncomfortable. In more severe cases, dogs might bite their nails because:

  • Allergies – if your pup comes into contact with an environmental substance they’re allergic to, they may experience atopic dermatitis and want to itch
  • Infection – if your dog has an issue that’s gone untreated, they might develop a bacterial or fungal infection. You’ll likely be able to tell if the problem is an infection because your pup’s paw might be swollen or red, have a foul odor, or have pus. Your dog may also start limping or not want you to touch their paw if it’s an infection. If you think it might be an infection, you should take them to the vet right away.
  • Broken Nails – if your dog’s nails get too long, they can splinter and break easily. If they chip a nail, they may try to bite at it to file it down. 
  • Anxiety – just like humans, dogs might bite their nails because they’re feeling nervous. If your dog has had a recent change in routine or you have to leave them for extended periods, anxiety can cause nail-biting.
  • Boredom – sometimes, if your pup gets bored, they may gnaw at their paws to entertain themselves. If you suspect boredom, make sure your dog has enough toys to keep themselves occupied throughout the day.

Like we said, if you think the reason your dog is biting their nails might be more serious, it’s crucial you schedule an appointment with your vet. They can help diagnose the problem and develop a comprehensive treatment plan. 

However, if you think their nail-biting is likely just a bad habit, you can try one of these three tactics.

Tip One: Give Them Something Else to Chew On

Instead of letting your pup chew on their nails, you can give them a chew toy or a bone to shift their attention away from their paws. You can also try a puzzle toy or a lick pad. Be sure that they have this toy to play with when you’re out of the house. While this may not solve the problem in the long term, it can offer a quick way to positively discourage the habit without forcing them into a cone of shame.

Tip Two: Rinse Their Feet Before They Come Inside

If you suspect allergies are the culprit for your dog’s nail-biting, then you can rinse off their feet before they come inside after a walk. This will help wash away any potential environmental allergens. Their clean paws won’t feel as irritated, and they won’t feel the need to bite.

Tip Three: Make Sure Your Pup Is Getting Enough Exercise

If your dog isn’t getting the physical activity they need, it can impact their health and the length of their nails. If they aren’t out running around outside, then their nails likely aren’t getting filed down enough. Or, if they aren’t active, they may get bored and chew on their paws. Increasing the amount of exercise your dog gets (indoor and outdoor) is a great way to prevent future nail-biting.

If you don’t always have the time to ensure your dog gets all of the exercise they need, you can always bring them to doggie daycare at one of our three Ruffgers campuses. Or, if you’d like to try training your dog to stop biting your nails, you can enroll them in one of our obedience courses or speak with a trainer today. 

We’ve helped many pups like yours break their nasty habits, and we’d love to help your precious fur baby as well. Contact us today so we can discuss your needs.