Top 3 Reasons Why Dogs Bite and Chew Their Nails
Chewing and biting nails isn’t necessarily a bad trait unless the dog does it excessively or to a point when it becomes a health concern. The following reasons may explain why your dog is biting or chewing his nails.
1. Biting nails when dogs are bored or anxious
It’s not too different to when people bite their fingernails due to boredom or anxiety. Dogs may bite their nails when they get bored, anxious, or stressed. You may notice the behavior after a certain trigger such as when your dog is alone for a long period of time or when your dog encounters something that he is fearful of.
Make sure your dog gets plenty of physical and mental stimulation. Your dog shouldn’t be relieving his boredom through unwanted acts such as chewing or biting nails. Is it anxiety or stress causing your dog to bite his nails? In such cases, find out the trigger and either find a way to avoid these triggers or use positive reinforcement to get your dog to acclimatize if the stress trigger isn’t something bad.
2. Your Dog has allergies
Is your dog really biting the nails or is he biting his parts of his paw? The nail-biting behavior may occur due to allergies. Itching is a common symptom of allergies. If the paws are affected by the allergic reaction, your dog will respond to it by biting his paw and nails. Think of it like when we scratch the area of a mosquito bite.
You may also want to check the state of the dog’s nails. Do they look healthy or are they cracked and fragile? Dogs may also bite their nails for health reasons. Fungal infections, for example, can happen on dog nails. The irritations caused by these infections can cause a dog to chew his nails excessively.
3. Your Dog is Grooming
Dogs may bite and pull their nails for grooming reasons. The nail might have just gotten a bit too long. This can impede a dog’s ability to move efficiently and cause discomfort. Make sure the dog nails are getting trimmed on a regular basis. You will know when dog toenails require trimming when the nail is about to touch the ground as the dog walks.
You may want to go with a professional dog groomer if this is the first time getting your dog’s nails trimmed. Improper technique may result in bleeding nails.
How to stop a dog from biting his nails
The solution will be entirely dependent on the cause of the biting behavior. Most of this can be resolved by making sure the dog is leading a healthy and stimulating lifestyle. Make sure the dog’s nails are getting groomed regularly. Make sure the dog is getting physical and mental exercise.
Last but not least, make sure to check with the vet if you notice anything wrong with the dog’s nails. The state of a dog’s nail can give decent clues to a dog’s health. A lot more than many pet owners realize.
Book an online vet appointment if your dog has an emergency but your local vet isn't available. Vetster is available 24/7 for video chat appointments.