Behavior & Training

Why is My Dog Biting His Nails or Paws? [6 Reasons]

Nail Biting in dogs is considered another Dog Behavior that means something more significant than just a bad habit. Dogs have many communication methods to tell their friends about what they feel and want.

Your dog may chew or bite his nail for different reasons, and you need to learn exactly the right reason. It may be due to simple and ordinary reasons or can be a serious matter that can affect your dog’s life.

As you know, dogs are very intelligent creatures and wild animals, they learn to groom themselves. Dogs normally bite their nails to perform self-grooming, they do that from time to time even before humans train dogs to live with them.

Why Do Dogs Chew Their Paws and Nails?

Continual nail-biting is deemed to be a bad sign. This may be an alarm that your dog is uncomfortable or experiencing a health issue and biting his nails is the only way to express his pain.

For your dog’s health, you should watch every single behavior and learn to understand him.

The first urgent action you need to do if you notice that your dog is biting or chewing his nails is to identify the reason for this action to take the right second step to prevent it from getting worse and stop this unwanted nail-biting behavior.

1. Your dog has Fungal and Bacterial Infections

Dogs can be infected with bacterial and bacterial infections from different sources, but what makes this matter very confusing is the symptoms.

Symptoms of the infection are similar to allergic reactions, you can find your dog’s paws may become red, swollen, and itchy.

Dogs tend to dig in soil that has a powerful smell, which is a common environment for fungus growth. The fungus can infect your dog’s skin from this infested soil or decaying wood and cause this fungal infection.

Fungal and Bacterial Infections

While bacterial infections are more common infecting your dog through bug bites, your dog will develop firstly allergic-like symptoms, and in severe cases, you may even notice discharge at the infection site.

Your dog’s paw is the main reason for the infection spread, as the paw contains skin folds, doesn’t get much sun exposure, and holds moisture.

Once the infection occurs, it can quickly spread but luckily, bacterial and fungal infections are relatively easy to treat.

You just need to ask your vet to describe the proper antibiotic. This is to identify the reason for this action to take the right second step to prevent it.

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2. Itchiness from Allergies

Dogs don’t have protective shoes to isolate their paws from different allergens. If you have a dog who is allergic to pollen or grass, once he steps outside these allergens immediately transfer to his paws.

Itchiness from Allergies

The allergy symptoms in dogs are similar to humans, when contact with the allergens occurs their paws may start to inflame and become itchy.

Your dog has only one way to overcome this itchy sensation and stop that pain is by continually biting or chewing his nails, he even doesn’t know the origin of that itchy pain and starts licking all his paws.

This itching sensation is very painful and can make your dog bite so much until he starts to bleed from the biting position.

This will happen if you leave the allergy untreated. you just need to take your pup to the vet for an allergy test and preventative plan.

3. Physical Damage or Broken Nail

Your dog may have a broken nail,  that makes him so uncomfortable. Dogs have a special method to deal with their broken nails, and this method is similar to what humans do in this situation. Your dog will try to clip the broken piece off by biting the broken nail.

Physical Damage or Broken Nail

In severe cases when the broken potion is much deeper, the pain will be unbearable and you must use a dog Clipper to remove the broken portion instead of letting your puppy bite it off.

It will take a longer time of pain and the bacteria in your dog’s mouth can lead to a potentially dangerous infection. You need to know the severity of the break so you can determine whether you let your dog deal with it or you should help him.

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4. Nervousness or Simple Boredom

Dogs are very complex creatures and have the same wide range of emotions as humans. When they feel nervous or anxious, they will start to bite their nails to get rid of these feelings and find comfort.

This behavior is similar to what humans do in the same situation, and this means dogs have developed nervous systems that can mimic the feeling of their owners. Some dogs bite their nails just because they’re bored and need to do something.

Nervousness or Simple Boredom

There is a common reason that leads typically to your dog’s nervousness and makes him bite his nails is loneliness. If you have left them alone for the day while you go to work, you will find your pooch starting to chew his nails.

In most cases, nail-biting is accompanied by other unwanted behavior. This may include chewing on items throughout the house, incessant barking, and accidents.

No one has the time to stay with his dog all day, but to avoid this you just need to supply them with things that can take up their time and keep them entertained.

You can find many dog toys in the market that are specially designed to stimulate their mind and prevent boredom or anxiety from occurring.

You should know that nail-biting is a response to what they’re feeling, so you need to learn more about dog body language to understand your dog much more easily.

5. Simple Grooming

Many dog owners only remember to groom their canine companion nails when they get accidental scratches. You should not forget to get your dog’s nails trimmed to ensure that your dog’s nails don’t get out of control.

You can stick to a grooming plan to make it easy to remember, this will protect you and your dog from the further harness.

As you know dog nails grow relatively fast, at a certain length they will start to Curve Inward toward their paw when this happens walking and running will be a very painful process for your dog.

Simple Grooming

This discomfort makes your dog bite his nails to get rid of these extra nails and find his comfort.

Dogs can take care of this problem by different techniques, they attempt to grind them down and you can notice significant pawing on the ground or they will start to chew these nails.

You can trim your dog’s nails or take him to a professional groomer to make his nails even, smooth, and healthy. Trimming your dog’s nails on a regular basis will protect him from overgrowth and chewing.

Some dog owners find the trimming process difficult, but regular clippings will make the process easier in the long run as your dog will get used to the sensation.

It’ll also help to keep the quick down so that you can avoid unwanted bleeding during the grooming process.

6. Autoimmune Condition

Finally, some dogs are suffering from a condition known as Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy, or SLO. Dogs with SLO conditions always suffer from breaks on a regular basis and this is a significant symptom to start seeking medical help.

This illness can drive your dog crazy and requires special management to get under control.

Autoimmune condition

SLO is an autoimmune disease that makes your dog’s immune system attack his nails. The immune system will treat the nails as a foreign invader, this leads to cutting the blood circulation and essential nutrients of your dog’s nails.

As a result, they will start to break or lift off completely. Your poor canine companion doesn’t know what’s going on, so they’ll start to intensely bite at their nails.

A professional veterinarian will be able to diagnose the problem and set you up with an effective medication to control it. This is a serious condition and causes many health problems, you need to visit your vet as soon as possible.

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How to Stop Dog Nail Biting

Like we mentioned before nail-biting can be just normal dog behavior and not a cause for concern. If your dog starts to continually bite their nails on a regular basis, this case requires your intervention to deal with it. For your dog’s health, you need to identify the cause of the issue and act accordingly.

In some cases, you will need to visit your veterinarian to be able to help you find the underlying reasons and provide you with recommendations on how to make it stop.

How to Stop Dog Nail Biting

The majority of cases are simple conditions and identifying the main cause will put an end to the behavior. Some dogs need to Create a physical barrier around their paws to ensure that they can’t chew on their nails.

  1. Using inflatable collars or you can use collars that are used post-surgery to prevent your dog from reaching his paw and chewing his nails.
    • Your canine companion will still be uncomfortable, but this will give you the time to address the real reason for the problem.
  1. Start to trim your dog nails and clean the area to provide some relief.
  2. Use antiseptic soap and some warm water to clean your dog’s paws frequently at the end of the day to prevent bacterial infections.
  3. Keep your dog’s paws as dry as possible you can. You can use a drying power to get all the excess moisture out. Moisture stimulates fungus growth that causes fungal infections.

Conclusion

You shouldn’t ignore your puppy’s continual nail-biting, it is not normal behavior for dogs. This behavior is a silent message from your dog, you need to help and provide your dog with the care that they need. there are many reasons for every single action from your dog, you just need to translate these actions to start to deal with the problem.

Why Do Dogs Chew Their Paws and Nails

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