How To Keep Dogs Nails From Splitting

Does your dog appear to constantly have split nails? Are they

split right down to the toe, resulting in discomfort and bleeding? Does this always happen?

be a sign of deeper issues with his nails or nail beds that need urgent attention.

The Medical Approach Method

The extremely prevalent cause of split, dry nails is lupoid onychodystrophy. You must take your dog to the vet for a checkup to see if he has this ailment.

The illness lupoid onychodystrophy makes your dog’s immune system begin attacking his nails and nail beds. This eventually leads to split nails that might never fully mend.

The veterinarian should do an examination and biopsy before recommending a successful course of treatment. This entails the veterinarian sending a tiny piece of the diseased toe’s tip to a pathologist.

Your dog has lupoid onychodystrophy, which the pathologist will be able to confirm, and your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the best course of action. In addition to a variety of prescription drugs, he can also take a mix of vitamins including vitamin E and fish oil.

Your dog’s entire recovery from lupoid onychodystrophy may take up to six months. You must make sure you adhere to your veterinarian’s recommended dosage of drugs and vitamins throughout this period. You’ll also need to continue to keep his nails trimmed. You can always have your veterinarian or a professional groomer take care of them if you don’t feel comfortable clipping them, especially the impacted ones.

The Grooming Method

Make sure to maintain your pup’s nails correctly clipped at all times as this is one of the best ways to prevent split or brittle nails in your dog.

Take your dog for extensive walks on concrete surfaces like sidewalks to help prevent nail cracking. His nails will continue to organically grind down thanks to the concrete. However, this only has a minimal impact.

Trimming your dog’s nails regularly is the greatest method to maintain them healthy. He needs to have his nails cut once a month. Cut off the quick, then round them off using a file to complete the task. If they have grown too long, you might need to gradually trim them until they are the right length.

Another major contributor to broken nails is poor nutrition. The health of your dog’s organs may be impacted if the proper minerals are not being consumed in appropriate quantities. The condition of his teeth and nails will be significantly impacted over time by this. Make sure you are feeding him high-quality dog food and that his diet contains important fatty acids and oils. By doing this, split nails can be greatly reduced.

The greatest thing you can do to prevent your dog’s nails from splitting is to maintain good grooming and schedule routine checkups with your veterinarian.

Caution & Considerations

  • First and foremost, take your dog to the doctor to rule out lupoid onychodystrophy if he appears to be experiencing more than the occasional damaged nail.
  • Keep your dog’s nails trimmed so they don’t suffer from walking on split or overly long nails.
  • Talk to your vet about your pup’s food to ensure he is getting enough nourishment. Splitting nails can be an indication of malnutrition.
  • The danger of infection that could result in nail damage can be decreased by keeping his paws clean.
  • A dangerous combination of overgrown nails and hard play might result in split and broken nails. This can be avoided by keeping them clipped.


Whatever the reason for your dog’s split nails, bear in mind that it may be extremely unpleasant and difficult for him to play or move. Once a month, trim his nails so you may examine his paws for any indications of a disorder like lupoid onychodystrophy that has to be treated by his veterinarian. If you’re unsure, ask your dog’s veterinarian to check his paws to make sure a medical condition isn’t to blame.

Grooming Questions & Answers

Only his front paws have experienced this problem with my dog. He won’t let anyone touch his paws, including myself, so I can’t try to trim them, but they don’t grow long. He’s had problems with one nail splitting and breaking quickly ever since he was a puppy, and that condition still persists now. The procedure will then repeat itself when the nail grows back. What can I do to help him get his nails to stop doing this since I can’t let them grow because I can’t have them trimmed if they do?

Add a comment to Binx’s experience

I just clipped his nails on Thursday after trying to do so weekly. He eats Sport Mix pro 20/24 fat/protein content and walks for at least 20 minutes twice daily on hard surfaces, but his nails still split. I was wondering if anyone had any advice before I took him to the vet.

What causes dog nails to split?

Ouch! How can such a minor harm result in such a significant hurt? On a single toe, a microscopic rip in a little nail can be agonizingly painful. Even the biggest, fiercest dog can fall to its knees from the pain of a broken nail. Any breed, no matter how hardy or delicate, will hold up a foot, walk with a limp, and whimper in pain. Additionally, the bleeding that results from a damaged nail makes things more difficult.

Why do nails break?

Dogs catch their nails on carpet, furniture fibers, grass roots, etc., which causes them to break. They might even fall from a porch or a chair and land on a toe, bending the nail back and breaking it. Older animals’ nails can occasionally get so dry that become brittle and break extremely easily. Longer nails are more likely to catch on objects than shorter ones. Whatever the cause, a broken nail hurts and bleeds, therefore it needs to be fixed right away.

Why are broken nails such a problem?

Dogs’ nails are made up of the quick, which is a cluster of blood vessels and nerves in the center. These delicate structures are encircled by a thick coating of keratin, which protects the quick’s surface. While keratin is not living tissue, the quick is. Because of this, cutting the nail’s tip does not hurt your pet; however, exposing the quick does. Since the quick is also connected to the bone, any damage to the quick could result in a significant infection of the bone.

Each front foot typically has five toes and each back foot has four, but occasionally a dew claw—an additional nail—can be found higher up on the foot. When a dog walks on a hard surface, such as a pavement, all of its nails—aside from the dew claws—are worn down. However, regular wear may not keep your dog’s nails as short as you would like, necessitating nail trimming. Dew claws need to be trimmed more frequently and are more likely to break since they cannot support weight.

What should I do if my dog has a broken nail?

Check your dog’s foot for a broken nail and use the following therapy if he yells in agony and starts to limp or hold his paw up.

1. Securely confine your dog. While you take care of the nail, have someone else keep your pet. Keep in mind that even the friendliest animals can bite when they are hurt. A muzzle might prevent harm. Hug the dog as a sort of restraint to immobilize him and give him a sense of security.

2. Apply pressure to the damaged toe and wrap the foot in gauze or a towel to stop the bleeding. Apply a styptic pencil, silver nitrate stick, or cauterizing powder to the nail if the bleeding does not stop in 5–10 minutes. Both the pet store and the first aid department of your local drugstore for humans have these supplies. If you don’t have any of these items at home, try covering the nail with flour or baking powder. To assist stop the bleeding, you can also dip the tip of the nail into a bar of soap.

3. Cut out the broken portion of the nail. While occasionally a sliver of loosely attached nail can be removed with ease at home using nail clippers, this task is usually best left to your veterinarian. As you make your way to your veterinarian hospital, keep the foot covered in a towel.

Carefully removing the broken or damaged portion of the nail is necessary. Despite the fact that this treatment is frequently unpleasant, it may be completed quickly, and it frequently doesn’t require anesthesia; nevertheless, depending on the severity of the pain and the location of the break, sedation and/or nerve block therapy may be necessary. To totally remove the damaged area and create a solid foundation for the nail to re-grow, the nail should be clipped above the break.

4. Prevent infection at the nail bed. To prevent contamination and to stop future bleeding, your veterinarian may administer antibiotic ointment or powder to the exposed nail bed and bandage the foot. Additionally, an oral or injectable antibiotic might be suggested. Since the nail bed or quick is connected to bone, it is essential to avoid infection. Only specific antibiotics are useful in treating bone infections, which are major issues. The condition of your dog’s foot must be regularly checked, therefore your vet will arrange a follow-up appointment to check the afflicted nail and remove or replace the bandage.

5. Take pain medication. The unpleasant and fragile living tissue, including blood vessels and nerves, is exposed without the keratin portion of the nail to shield the quick. For a few days, your veterinarian may recommend painkillers to make your dog more comfortable.

How can I help my dog avoid broken nails?

Keep your dog’s nails trimmed to prevent the inconvenience of a broken nail. Longer nails are more likely to catch than shorter ones. So that you can cut your dog’s nails at home, ask your veterinarian or a veterinary technician to demonstrate correct nail trimming. Simply arrange routine appointments at the veterinarian clinic to get your dog’s nails clipped if you don’t feel comfortable doing this.

The objective of nail trimming, regardless of who does it, is to keep the nail as short as possible while avoiding the quick. With white nails, the reddish quick is more visible, making this easy. Having dark nails can be more difficult. Trimming success depends on having the correct equipment. Sharp nail clippers made specifically for dogs are a huge benefit. Sharp trimmers tear the nail, which increases the chance that it may break.

To help you and your dog prevent the problem of a broken nail, add maintaining your dog’s nails to your list of chores along with bathing and walking.

How is a split dog nail handled?

Five Ideas for Fixing a Broken Nail on Your Dog

First, speak with your veterinarian

  • Remove the last bit of nail with care.
  • The bleeding must stop.
  • To stop infection, cleanse the toe and clean the wound.
  • The paw is bandaged.
  • Every day, change the bandage and maintain the area tidy.

How can I make my dog’s fragile nails stronger?

Supplements with biotin The human vitamin biotin is known to encourage strong hair and nails, and it can also do the same for your dog. The following foods are acceptable for dogs and include biotin: turkey, liver, pork, blueberries, and bananas. Additionally, internet pet retailers and health food stores carry biotin supplements.

Can a split nail on a dog be superglued?

Our first dog to break a toe was Tazz. She now has a claw that has been split from tip to base near her toe, not broken off. The wick was revealed when the top of the claw peeled back like a banana peel. The “peel” is still divided from the rest of the claw even though I cut off the top of it, leaving a little stub near the base.

It is one of the middle claws on her front left foot, not one of her dew claws. It’s interesting that she broke the same toe last year; perhaps it caused the toe to split because it’s slightly out of alignment today.

When we hike in the bush, she leaps and boops all over the place; she probably broke it while rock climbing or jumping off a stump. The future? She’s still jumping and bopping and doesn’t seem to be in any pain. However, I worry that the remaining small snag will catch something and further damage the claw.

Do you think there is anything else that can be done besides chopping the claw off completely? I contemplated filling the tear with Crazy Glue and securing the peel to the claw. Does that make sense? Any further recommendations?

Images from our several RV adventures from Vancouver Island to the Yukon and Alaska. We now reside in Yukon!

Split paw pads, ripped claws, and other similar problems can be easily fixed in the field with Super Glue. I’ve had good luck using it in the past. You don’t have to worry about them licking it off because it dries quickly and hard.