Why Is My Dog’s Nails Splitting?

Why Is My Dog's Nails Splitting

There are many reasons why a dog’s nails might split. In most cases, the nails are simply growing too fast and becoming brittle. If your dog is scratching or biting at his nails excessively, you may also be contributing to the problem by encouraging him to do this. Other causes of nail splitting can be dietary problems like inadequate protein or calcium, virus infections that affect the nails, or systemic diseases like arthritis. In any case, if you notice your dog’s nails splitting, it’s important to take him to the vet for a checkup and treatment as needed.

Causes of Nail Splitting in Dogs

There can be many reasons why your dog’s nails may be splitting. Some of the most common causes are:

  • Overuse – If your dog is constantly stimulating their paws with activities such as running and playing, their nails will wear down faster than they can grow back. This can lead to splitting nails.
  • Excessive grooming – Grooming can cause your dog’s claws to get too long and thin, which increases the likelihood of them splitting their nails.
  • Health concerns – If your dog has any underlying health problems, such as a nail fungus or a genetic condition that affects their nails, these may also cause them to split.
  • Diet – If your dog is eating a diet that is high in protein or calcium, this may also contribute to nail splitting.

Treatment Options for Nail Splitting in Dogs

There are a few different types of nail splitting in dogs and each requires a specific treatment plan.

Split nails can be caused by various factors, including genetics, trauma, dietary issues, and allergies. In most cases, the cause can be determined and treated.

Treatment options for split nails vary depending on the cause. If the nail is splitting due to trauma or inflammation, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications. If a dietary issue is causing the split nails, you may need to switch your dog’s food to one that doesn’t contain harmful ingredients. In some cases, allergy testing may be necessary to determine which allergens are triggering the splitting.

If the nail is splitting because of genetics or another underlying problem, surgery might be necessary to fix it. This is typically done through a process called “nail clipping.” During this procedure, the entire length of the offending nail is cut off below the skin surface. This prevents it from splitting and healing incorrectly. After surgery, your veterinarian will usually prescribe painkillers to help your dog recover from the procedure.

Prevention Strategies for Nail Splitting in Dogs

Nails splitting in dogs is a problem that can be prevented by following a few simple tips. Here are some of the most common causes of nails splitting and some prevention strategies:

  • Overworking your dog: Make sure your pup is working hard enough to keep them occupied and avoid nail splitting – offer plenty of toys, playtime, and daily walks to keep them active.
  • Feeding your dog rawhide treats:Rawhide treats can be a major cause of nails splitting as they contain high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin which can strengthen the nail. Try to feed your dog smaller treats instead or make their own out of bully sticks, cheese, and chicken skin.
  • Not trimming your dog’s nails regularly: If your dog’s nails aren’t trimmed regularly, they can grow into thick files that are much more likely to split. Trim their nails every two weeks using a basic clipper – avoid cutting too closely to the quick as this could cause bleeding or infection.


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