The Best Guide on What to do with A Dog Broken Nail

dog broken nail

Dog broken nail is a problem that happens to many dog parents. This problem can be irritating, painful, and cause discomfort to your dog.

What is a dog broken nail?

A dog broken nail happens when your dog’s nails crack or split causing breakage in the long run. Usually, the areas that are affected are the dewclaws and front paws.

Dog split nail or dog cracked nail will lead to breaking and result in tearing of the nail. This tearing will cause extreme pain and discomfort in dogs.

Symptoms of dog nail injury

  • Holding up their paw up in the air
  • Constant licking of paws
  • Swelling in and around the paw or toes
  • Nails being at a different and not usual angle
  • Blood where your dog sleeps, carpets, and floors
  • Nails hanging out where dogs constantly chew them
  • Dogs don’t like it when you examine their paws
  • Infection
  • Trauma
  • Flesh that is exposed

A dog broken toenail will make them in constant pain and agony. Bleeding happens because your dog’s nails blood vessels become injured so it is not life threatening. However if left untreated, it can form blood clots.

So what to do if dog broken nail bleeding happens? it is best to go to a vet to administer first aid. Doing this on your own may trigger your dog to bite you because of the pain.

Causes of dog broken toenail

dog broken nail

Clipping of nails

Clipping your dog’s nails may cause a dog split nail or dog broken nail. This happens while trimming the nails where your dog may move causing dog nail injury or complete nail removal.

1- When nails are too long

Not clipping your dog’s nails will lead to breakage and cracking of dog toenails. Because when nails are too long, they can break easily.

The dog nail may snag up in objects, carpets, and floors. They may also break from exercise activities such as running.

It is best to have a nail clipping routine to prevent nails from breaking.

2- Rough play or trauma

Oftentimes, when you dog plays roughly and their nails are overgrown, they can easily lead to a broken nails.

The key is to cut your dog’s nails as short without injuring the quick.

3- Medical conditions

Some of the medical conditions include inflammation in vessels leading to reduced blood flow in the affected area, autoimmune diseases that cause the immune system to attack your dog’s body, allergies, ringworm, parasites, and viruses.

Another condition is tumor in the nail bed. The nail bed is where the nail originates and grow from. They cause nails to become weak and brittle.

As the condition progresses, it can cause your dog nail bleeding, limping, and ulceration.

A fungal infection can also cause broken dog nails making you dog lick the affected area, creating lumps on paws, and making nails weak and brittle.

4- Poor nutrition

A balanced diet affects dog’s overall health all over their body.

If dogs aren’t fed a healthy and balanced diet, it will lead to problems affecting and making their nails making them weak and easily broken, coat looking dull, and skin becoming too dry or oily.

If your dog has food intolerance, they may not be able to absorb nutrients in food.

Types of dog nail injury

Types of dog nail injury
  • Complete breakage and bleeding of nail
  • Nail is broken but loosely attached
  • Broken dog nail but still attached

Steps on how to treat a broken nail

Treating a dog broken nail when the quick isn’t injured

1.) Restrain your dog

You can restrain your dog by yourself by putting one arm over and around their neck and the other holding the paw like a hug.

If it is hard to restrain your dog by yourself, you can get assistance from someone to hold them while you check the nail.

You can also use a muzzle , at that time, to prevent injury.

2.) Slowly and carefully remove the remaining part of the nail

By carefully removing the remaining part of the dangled dog broken nail, you ensure and prevent further injury and healing and regrowth of nail.

To do so, use a nail clipper and cut just a bit above the part of the broken nail. Be careful to not cut the quick as it will cause bleeding.

Sometimes, it may be hard to restrain and cut your dog’s nail so you will need your dog to become sedated in order to clip the nail effectively.

3.) Stop the bleeding immediately

What If you cut the part of the quick by accident? how to get a dog’s nail to stop bleeding? you should have a way to stop the bleeding.

Use styptic pencil or powder and apply it on the injury; it will stop the bleeding immediately because of its healing properties.

An alternative to styptic pencil or powder is cornstarch and flour. Apply it on the wound and surround the affected area with a towel for a few minutes until the bleeding stops.

4.) Clean to disinfect the wound

Clean the wound with water and then apply a dog antiseptic to the affected area. If the wound opens again, apply pressure or styptic powder or pencil.

5.) Bandage the paw

dog broken nail

Using a first aid tape, put a bandage on the wound and around the paw.

Another substitute for the bandage is socks. Place the sock on the paw. The sock provides less restriction of dog’s movement making them less likely to pull the socks out.

However, you have to use a a first aid tape so it doesn’t move out of place. Also secure the healing process by putting a plastic cone around your dog’s neck so your dog doesn’t injure themselves again.

6.) Change the bandage

You got to change the bandage or sock once a day. When you remove the bandage or sock, rinse with warm water the affected area.

7.) Monitor and check for infections

Always check if an infection is forming in the wound. Some signs of an infection are swelling, bleeding mixed with pus, and discharge.

If your dog has an infection, go to the vet immediately so they prescribe an antibiotic for your dog.

How to stop a dog’s toenail from bleeding when quick is injured badly

Dog broken nail bleeding is a serious problem. When your dog is bleeding, immediately apply pressure on the affected area for 10 minutes. Do not lift your hand.

After the bleeding stops, put styptic powder to reduce the blood flow from moving outward.

Then, immediately go to vet so they can remove the nail. The procedure is painful and so your dog will be more likely put under sedation.

Do dogs nails grow back?

When nails are removed, they will regrow within several weeks. You should always monitor the nails for signs of growth irregularities or other symptoms that cause pain. If they do happen, go to the vet to minimize and heal the dog broken nail.

The process takes time for the nail to grow back.


In conclusion, a dog broken nail is a painful experience for your dog. There are many different causes and steps to take when your dog nail injury.

Another way is to keep your dog’s nails clipped regularly. To know more about clipping dog’s nails, check Top 9 Tips on How to Clip Dogs nails .

Share with us your experience. Did your dog break their nail? and how did you deal with the situation?

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Welcome to my bio everyone, my name is Nada. Ever since I was little, I have loved animals because they are so loving and kind. All they need is you attention, love, and care but I didn't understand them very well because I didn't get the chance to raise them. Well, That changed when my family and I got our first dog Rocky, a German Shepherd. Rocky was fun and loving with funny quirks. Being loyal and protective of us, he made me see the nature of a German Shepherd. Now, we have another German Shepherd named Mia. She is a wonderful dog and a rescue who just needed a second chance in life. Mia has long grown from being a terrified dog to the brave and caring German Shepherd that she is today. P.S: Here is a picture of our beautiful German Shepherd, Mia.

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