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Why Does My Dog Bite His Nails: 8 Possible Reasons

You must have noticed your dog biting his nails. The dog doesn’t stop biting the nails even after forbidding him. After watching dense biting marks on the paws you become alert.

Why does my dog bite his nails?

Biting nails for extended periods is a sign of bigger problems. Firstly your dog can have skin allergies and infections. Fleas, ticks, and manges also make the nails itchy. Moreover, the dog can try to get relief from paw injuries by biting his nails. Sometimes the dog also bites his nails to relax.

These are the main factors behind nail bitings. To cure this habit you have to get into the details. Below we will share the reasons and solutions for nail-biting in depth.

Why Does My Dog Bite His Nails? 

A dog stretching his body and biting nails is a very common sight. But sometimes your dog can start to bite his nails more than usual. There can be serious reasons behind it. 

Below we will present to you some of the causes for which your dog bites his nails.

Reason 1: Too Long Nails

Many dog owners think that there is no need to groom the nails of the dog. This is a wrong conception. If you own a dog you have to take care of it and groom it according to needs.

When dogs stay in the wild their nails do not need grooming because of hunting and other work. But this does not happen when they stay in a house. The nails grow bigger and become uncomfortable. Then the dog starts biting the nails.

Reason 2: Infections 

Skin infection is pretty normal in damp and dirty places. The place between the dog’s toes and paws is a perfect place for infection because of this. 

Dogs are often victims of skin infections at that place. They try to get some relief by biting and chewing the place. 

But by doing this the infection only increases. The situation becomes worse and you see the dog biting his nails for longer times. Skin infection comes with redness and swelling along with the biting problem.

Reason 3: Skin Allergy 

Allergies are very uncomfortable for dogs. Dogs can neither express their problem nor can they cure it. To get some comfort they start to bite that place. Dogs can get allergies from foods and their surroundings. 

Even dogs eating dairy products can get allergies. Lots of dogs are even allergic to grass. They are also affected by seasonal allergies just like humans. 

In such time their full-body itches including the skin below nails. And they start biting nails for ease.

Reason 4: Skin Mange 

Dogs can get mange from mites. Mites make their residence under the skin of dogs. Then they start feeding on the dogs’ blood. As a result of their presence dogs suffer from mange.

Manges are very contagious. The skin becomes dry and itchy. Manges are often noticed below the nail region of the dog. They try to bite out of the place to get rid of the problem. But biting worsens the condition and itchiness increases.

Reason 5: Fleas & Ticks 

The fleas and ticks can stay all over the body. Still, they love the space between paws and nails. This space is moist and damp, an excellent environment for the ticks. For that ticks make their habitats there and disturb the dog.

Ticks start to suck blood from the dog’s body. The affected place starts itching and your dog becomes uncomfortable. That’s why the dog starts biting his nails. It’s important to keep the dog neat and clean to avoid ticks.

We have some suggestions for dog bathing soaps that maintain good hygiene. Try them out:


These products are very useful in preventing ticks and fleas!

Reason 6: Injury 

Dogs are highly dependent on their nails. They use nails to dig, attack, and eat foods. Because of the high function rate, the nails can get injured. To cure them, dogs lick and bite their nails.

The saliva from the dog’s mouth gives a temporary soothing to the injured area. But this attempt will not cure it. 

You can check for red marks, blood clotting, and swelling in the nails to find injury. Then you have to treat the injury in the correct system.

Reason 7: Irregular Growth 

This can be a serious problem for your dog. Dogs can have tumors and other irregular growths in their bodies. While many of the growths are not dangerous, some of them can be fatal.

Cists and other types of tumors grow on the paws from the previous injuries. Though this is a less common reason, you have to give importance to it. Take your dog to the vet if you find any irregular growth near the nails.

Reason 8: Anxiety  

Dogs click teeth and bite their nails under any sort of anxiety or pressure. Humans often bite their nails under pressure. Your dog also does that and keeps repeating it for a long period.

There are also other signs and symptoms of anxiety in dogs. They will lick floors, start whining, and panning if they feel pressure. Look for these signs if you think your dog is biting his nails due to anxiety and stress.

These are some of the main reasons for which your dog might be biting his nails. We have discussed some solutions to this problem below.

How to Prevent My Dog from Biting His Nails?

Dogs always biting their nails is not a pleasant sight and is also harmful to the dog. To stop this phenomenon you have to take proper steps. Look at our advice on this matter to get some help.

Tip 1: Find the Main Problem 

The first thing you have to do is to find the main problem. Inspect what is wrong with nails. Look for the signs and symptoms we have discussed above. Only then you can take steps to stop your dog from biting his nails.

Tip 2: Cut His Nails 

Make sure that the dog does not have long nails. They don’t like it. Just like farmers shear sheep’s wool for their comfort, we have to groom dog nails

You might not have any experience with dog grooming. In such a situation take help from a professional.

Tip 3: Make a Physical Barrier 

If the dog still does not stop biting his nails, you have to make physical barriers. The barrier will resist him from taking his nails into the mouth. The cones that vets give to the pets after an operation works amazingly in this task.

Tip 4: Take Your Dog to The Vet

If you think that the situation is getting out of control, visit a vet. The vet will detect the problems systematically and then take necessary actions. This will also save the dog from any potential dangerous disease. 

You can take these steps to stop your dog from biting his nails. We think that our advice will be enough to take care of the situation. 


Question: Is it bad if a dog bites its nails?

Answer: Yes, it is bad if a dog bites its nails too much. Occasional chewing and biting of nails are normal for dogs. But too much of this is a sign of problems in the dog.

Question: Can dogs trim their nails?

Answer: Dogs can trim their nails if they get the proper training. In natural habitats, dogs lose their long nails through work. But in houses, they have to be taught to use boards for scratching.

Question: Why does my dog hate having his nails clipped?

Answer: Your dog hates having his nails clipped because of any bad experience from the past. If you have hurt your dog while clipping, the dog will not forget it. Later he will hate getting clipped.


This is all you have to know on the topic: why does my dog bite his nails? We did our best to provide the important information to you.

Train your dog to use scratching boards. This will keep their nails groomed and stop your dog from biting nails. 

Have a warm day!