Broken nails on dogs are fairly common and can be caused by a wide variety of things. One of the most common causes is pet parents cutting their pet’s nails too short or getting distracted or bumped while doing it, cutting shorter than planned. Thankfully, the injury is usually not a serious one, but there are times when it’s advised to seek medical attention.

Let’s dive right in and find out more.

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  1. Signs of Dog Toenail Injury
  2. Types of Dog Nail Injuries
  3. How to Avoid Dog Nail Injuries
  4. How to Stop a Dogs Nail Bleeding
  5. FAQs
  6. Conclusion

Signs of Dog Toenail Injury

Limping, whining or crying, and disinterest in food and drink are common symptoms when dogs are in pain, along with unusual patterns of behavior, aggressiveness, and more vocal noises than usual.

Cuts often come with blood, so you might notice that either on or around the nail or elsewhere on your pet’s fur. If your dog has snagged the nail, you’ll probably see a chunk of the nail loose or a noticeably missing section.

Your Pet Camera will come in very handy for moments like this, allowing you to record and then playback footage. This will show you what kind of injury your pet has, which in turn can be given to a vet for a quicker diagnosis and treatment.

Types of Dog Nail Injuries

Besides snagging or too-high trims, dog nail injuries can arise in a variety of ways and an array of places, causing a plethora of negative side effects.

Fractured, Chipped, or Torn

Bleeding and pain usually go hand-in-hand with chipped, torn, or fractured nails. These can happen as a result of your dog’s nails being too long, and then bashing on the hard ground when jumping and running around.


Sometimes, dog nails can curl or distort, causing them to grow in the wrong direction and into the skin. The result is painful, sore, tender, swollen, and occasionally bleeding wounds or sores. If left untreated, your dog can develop an infection.

Split Nails

Nails that split or crack can expose the quick (the sensitive inner part of the nail), leading to pain and bleeding. Sometimes, the nail can split or separate from the nail bed following injury or trauma.

How to Avoid Dog Nail Injuries

Some injuries, whether they're on your dog’s nail or otherwise, are unavoidable. Accidents happen, and they are often no one’s fault. Just like people sometimes get hurt, pets can too. If your pet has been injured on your watch, don’t berate yourself too much. These things happen.

You can help prevent snagged nails and other nail issues by:

Constantly breaking your dog’s nail could indicate a bigger problem. According to NCBI studies, nutritional deficiencies, repeated fungal infections, immune issues, or hereditary diseases.

How to Stop a Dogs Nail Bleeding

As with human bleeding, you should put pressure on your dog’s nail wound. This might not be easy with an upset and wounded pooch, but a bearhug works as both love, affection, and restraint.

A moist cloth can be used to clean the area, which is especially important to avoid infection. The quick, which is the part inside the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves, might be exposed and will need time to heal. The bleeding usually stops within a few minutes, but the exposed skin can be painful and sensitive.

If your dog's nail is bleeding excessively, causing significant pain, or appears to be severely injured, seeking veterinary attention is highly recommended. Veterinarians can assess the injury, offer appropriate treatment, and provide guidance on how to care for the broken nail.

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Is a broken dog nail an emergency?

There are times when a broken dog nail will be an emergency, but this isn’t always the case. If your pet is clearly in pain, bleeding heavily, has a high risk of infection, or has previous health conditions, it’s definitely worth getting them checked out by a vet, just to be on the safe side.

Why is my dog chewing his nails?

Dogs chew their nails and other parts of their bodies for various reasons. These include overgrown nails, allergies, infection, injury, behavioral issues, bad habits (just like humans), boredom, or a lack of mental stimulation.

Read more: What Causes Dogs to Bite Their Paws and Nails?

How long does a dog’s nail cut too short take to heal?

If your dog’s broken nail is minor, it will usually heal in a couple of days. For more serious injuries, it could take up to a week. Immediate care, how well your pet heals, and other factors will determine how long it will take.


It's crucial to observe the dog's behavior and check their nails for signs of injury, infection, or overgrowth. If the behavior persists or if you notice any signs of inflammation, bleeding, or pain, consulting a veterinarian is recommended. They can determine the underlying cause and suggest appropriate treatment, which might include addressing any medical issues, keeping nails trimmed, managing allergies, or providing behavioral interventions.

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