How to Prevent Dog Nails from Splitting

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

Does your dog seem to have split nails all the time? Do they split all the way to the toe, causing pain and bleeding? Does this happen no matter how good you are at making sure you are keeping his nails trimmed back? To a small extent, cracked, split, and broken nails are common among dogs simply as part of their active lives. But at the same time, problems like split nails can be an indication of deeper problems within his nails or nail beds that require careful attention if you want the problem to stop. 

Dog's Perspective

While it might not seem that your pup worries about whether or not he has perfect nails, he probably thinks more about them than you realize. Split nails can get caught in the carpet, leading to them being ripped out. They can also bleed, become infected, and you can bet they are painful. He may not like the treatments used to get rid of them, but he is sure to enjoy the pain-free results.

Caution & Considerations

  • First and foremost, if your dog seems to be suffering from more than the occasional split nail, be sure to take him to his vet to make sure he doesn't have lupoid onychodystrophy.
  • Walking on split nails or nails that are too long can be very painful for your pup, keep them trimmed.
  • Nails that are splitting can be a sign of poor nutrition, talk your vet about your pup's diet to make sure he is getting enough nutrition.
  • Keeping his paws clean can help reduce any risk of infection that can lead to nail damage.
  • Overgrown nails and rough play are a bad mix that can lead to broken and split nails. Keeping them trimmed will prevent this from happening. 

Conclusion

No matter what the cause of your pup's split nails, keep in mind that this can be very painful and make it very hard for him to walk or play. By trimming his nails once each month, you have the chance to look over his paws and find any signs that he may have a condition, such as lupoid onychodystrophy, that needs to be treated by his vet.  If in doubt, have your pup's vet examine his paws to make sure the cause is not medical in nature. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

Question
Greg
American Akita/Golden Retriever
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Greg
American Akita/Golden Retriever
3 Years

I just cut his nails on Thursday, I've been trying to cut them weekly, he eats Sport Mix pro 20/24 fat/protein content and walks at least 20 minutes 2 times a day on hard surfaces, yet his nails continue to split, wanted to ask here before I took him into his vet to see if there were any recommendations

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hello, thank you for the photo of Greg's nails. I do think it is a question for the vet. Here is an excellent article on nail disorders from the Wag! site. On the article page, there is an opportunity to ask a vet a question. You could pose the same question there, along with the info and photo you sent me. https://wagwalking.com/condition/claw-and-nail-disorders. Good luck!

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