Health & Diet

Why do dogs bite their nails?

Is your dog biting its nails randomly throughout the days and nights, and its incessant biting of nails annoys you every moment? This frequent biting of nails can be harmful for the dog and worrisome for the pet owners. So, it’s of utmost importance to figure out the reason and seek treatment to comfort your four-legged friend.

Let’s dig into the reasons, preventions, and treatment of dogs biting their nails.

Dog biting nail

9-reasons that urge dogs to bite their nails:


The reason behind biting nails in dogs can be a part of simple self-grooming to rip off the large nails, as long nails can hurt them while walking or running.

Discomfort, anxiety, and depression:

Excessive nibbling on the nails in dogs may root back to depression, phobia, anxiety, and discomfort due to the separation from other dogs, etc. So, dogs can bite their nails as a kind of internal soothing process.


The fungal infection due to yeast paronychia results in a sandpaper nail, while Bacterial infections can lead to oozing and swollen claws. Parasitic infections like demodicosis caused by Demodex mite can cause inflammations, and hookworm can lead to the abnormal fast growth of nails. All of these conditions urge dogs to bite their nails in apprehension.

Skin allergy:

Dogs’ feet are major areas susceptible to allergies because they touch the filthy ground every time. The dust and pollen allergens can easily fit into the crevices of nails whenever dogs pass over land contaminated with allergens or dust, persuading the dogs to bite their nails.

Foot conformation:

Over-sized nails can often curl into the paws of the nails, making the paws out of shape and changing their easy-to-walk foot conformation. To get rid of this situation, dogs use nail-biting as the only option.

Boredom and compulsive disorder:

Compulsive disorders are frantic activities that occur excessively in dogs. Boredom, frustration, isolation, illness, and lack of socialization turn into compulsive disorders in the form of biting nails.

Arthritis or injury:

Dogs often bite their nails at the puncture site and wound due to any injury and arthritis.

Fleas and ticks:

Dark crevices under the nails are one of the most favorable sites for the ticks to hide in the dog’s paws. Flea dermatitis makes the skin itchy and red and the most sensitive parts are toes and nails, and dogs unintentionally nibble their nails to ward it off.

Abnormal growths on paws:

Interdigital cysts may cause the development of abnormal masses and growths in the paws and toe areas, and dogs bite their paws if they experience any lump or bump on their toes and under nails.

Tips to prevent your dogs from biting their nails:

  • Clip nails after every two weeks
  • Clean the paws when dogs come from outside
  • Wash their paws to get rid of allergens, or filthy entities
  • Alter their diet if you suspect allergic reaction
  • Play with dogs to keep them remain busy and tension free
  • Ensure adequate exercise


Consult the veterinarian if you can’t control your dog from biting its nail by trying all the above mentioned tips. Your veterinarian may suggest a paw balm or cream, and he can suggest a treatment for the secondary cause of nail-biting in dogs.