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What to do when your dog breaks its nails?

Breaking or bleeding toenails in dogs is a severe and widespread problem. We all know how much pain we feel when our nail is chipped, torn out, and broken. The same is the case with dogs. The tearing out of just one nail can bring the bravest dog to its knees. Dogs may tear their complete nail, or only a tiny part of it is removed from the nail while the remaining portion is not removed. It can even start bleeding or swelling. No matter what’s the case, this slight injury can cause much pain.

Structure of the nail:

According to Dog Walker SF “The upper portion of the nail is stiff, and it is not painful while trimming or cutting the nails, but the lower portion of the nail is soft, called “Quick.” And if their nail tearing harms the “quick,” that is something painful.”

Which dog nails are more susceptible to tearing?

The “dew claws” are the upper nails in the front of the foot that is more prone to tearing and wearing because these are loosely attached to the claw. 

Large nails are more susceptible to breakage during running on hard surfaces like concrete, rocks, and asphalt. Instead, nails can easily get stuck in different things at home and while walking on the grass.

How can the dog break its nails?

One of the main reasons for the breakage of nails in dogs is nail clipping. Only a tiny jerk by your dog while trimming its nails can cause its nail to break and tear. So, you should handle your dog very closely while clipping its nails. If your dog yanks suddenly during nail clipping, that might signify that your dog’s nail is chipped or ripped out entirely or partially.

Instead, long nails can quickly get stuck in carpets, grass, and upholstery fibers, thus causing injury to nails.

Symptoms of broken nails

  • Upholding a paw in the air
  • Limping
  • Licking a paw again and again
  • Swollen paw or toe
  • Resistant to examining paw

How can you help your dog if it breaks its nail?

Removing the remaining piece of nail

Carefully remove the remaining portion of the nail by using the sterile nail clipper. It will resist further injury and reinforce the healing process and regrowth of the nail. Some pet owners clip the remaining portion wrong, which can harm the dog instead of soothing it. So, the best advice is to contact the veterinarian in this case.

Stop bleeding

The tearing nail mostly causes toe bleeding if it occurs at quick. So, you can stop bleeding by

Styptic pencil and applying powder at the injury site, and hopefully, it will stop bleeding very soon. 

A quick and easy home remedy to stop bleeding is applying flour or corn starch to the infected area. Press the toe carefully with a towel.

Wound cleaning

Clean the wound and disinfect the injury with a pet antiseptic to relieve the pain.


It’s quite a tricky task; you should consult your veterinarian for this job.

  • The doctor will wrap the paw with a bandage. You can also pack a sock(clean sock) to its paw and tape it. In fact, the dogs will feel more comfortable in a sock than the bandage.
  • You must contact the veterinarian if the area is swollen and bleeding and try to keep the wound and bandage clean.


Nail breakage is a very painful experience for the dogs that dogs mostly face in their life. It’s better to keep their nails short and let them play on a rough surface. It will automatically wear its nail, thus decreasing the chance of long nails and nail tearing.



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