Dog Nails Clicking on the Floor

If your dog nails are clicking on the floor, it means they are too long. Trim them to ease your dog. In this article, we will discuss dog nails clicking on the floor and what to do to treat and prevent it?

dog nails clicking on the floor

Should dog nails click on the floor?

No. Dog nails must be trimmed to a point where they are no more long enough to irritate dogs.

When dog nails keep growing, they start becoming curved. If neglected for a long time, they will make a clicking sound while the dog walks on the floor. These long nails can get stuck in places and will cause only harm to your dog.

You need to cut your dog’s nails carefully. Cutting the quick part can cause bleeding and pain in dogs. (Read why does my dog scratch carpet in the middle of the night).

Why Dog nails are clicking on the floor? 

When you hear the sound while your dog walks,  pay attention. The dog has been neglected enough already. (Read long dog nail neglect)

Nails that were supposed to be trimmed in the first place have gotten so long that they are touching the ground. Long nails are dangerous for dogs in so many ways. They cause

  • Limping (read puppy front leg shaking)
  • Awkward gait
  • Pain in paws
  • Injuries as nails can easily break down even while walking.
  • permanently deformed posture
  • Bone deformities

What do clicking nails do to a dog?

Nails hurt more than we think. Long nails themselves are not painful but when they constantly touch the ground, continuous pressure of hitting back on the ground make them hurt from roots. Dog’s nails have alive tissue and nerves.  You might have experienced this feeling yourself if you have ever worn one size-less shoe. So this is an ongoing discomfort and pain.

When nails click on the ground,  your dog must be showing other symptoms too. For example, he might be restless and make howling sounds while walking. (Read diabetic dog restless at night). In some cases, your dog might even resist walking at all.

Clicking nails can cause injury to your dog’s paws. On hard grounds,  your dog’s paws can get scarred,  wounded and nails can break. Long clicking nails also cause peeled nails. (Read dog nails peeling).

Are clicking nails unhealthy?

Yes!  Totally!

Long nails are not only painful but also unhygienic. Your dog moves in dirt and places where bacterias grow. Dogs have habits of using their paws to rub on their face and eyes and use them while eating food.

The underside of long clicking nails will carry germs that can cause many infections to your dog. For example, a dog can injure his eye when he rubs it with his long paw. Germs can easily cause infection. (Also read diabetic dog eye discharge)

Moreover, when a dog scratches its skin,  bacteria can transfer from nails to skin. This can cause rash and inflammation in your dog.

When a dog eats food, the germs can pass inside the body and cause an upset stomach. This may lead to diarrhea and vomiting. (Also read dog diarrhea at night only).

Long nails can also pass worms and parasites in your dog’s body. (Read parvo or worms).

How do clicking nails affect a dog’s movement? 

Dogs use paws to hold and grip things. Perfect nail length will help a dog to use its paw effectively. Long nails disturb the balance of your dog’s body and make it hard to move around.

The improper balance will trigger bad posture which could permanently reshape how your dog stands, walk, and sit. They can permanently cause deformed feet too. If nails are too long,  your dog can slip and injure himself.

What is the correct dog nail length?

Dog’s nails should be at paw length. Don’t cut them short enough that you damage the quick part. If you will not cut them at all, they will get long and start clicking on the floor.

How to stop dog nails from clicking on the floor?

When dog nails are clicking,  they simply need to be cut. To cut long clicking nails

  • Observe the paw. See if any brittle or broken nails are still attached. (Read Dog nails peeling). If yes, carefully detach them using nail clippers.
  • If nails are bleeding or injured, sanitize the infected area and you may need to apply a bandage too. (Also read dog nails too long surgery)
  • Sit in a comfortable position and cut dog nails.
  • Give your dog a regular nail treatment session. Use sandpaper and nail cutters to keep their nails filed and short. Make sure your dog’s nails don’t grow long.

Can you use sandpaper to trim clicking nails?

No, sandpaper can’t trim this much longer nails. You have to cut them first.  Then sandpaper can be used to make the edges smooth.

Using sandpaper to trim nails should be a  routine that your dog should follow. If your dog already uses sandpaper,  his nails will not grow this long and start clicking on the ground. (Also read what grit sandpaper for dog nail?)

Different factors that contribute to long clicking nails?

There are a few aspects to this.

Dog breed

  • It’s not like some breeds have nails that grow faster than others. Simply some dogs need more nail trimming than others. For example poms, Shih Tzu, and chihuahua who are active indoor toy dogs can bump their long nails into carpets or furniture. (Also read flat coat Pomeranian).
  • Some dogs wear off their nails faster than others. Outdoor dogs that walk on hard surfaces and rough grounds, will need less trimming.
  • Dogs paw shape can also make nails appear longer or shorter. For example, Doberman’s nails will appear more prominent than st. Bernard’s.


A dog slows down with growing age. Dogs who are not active anymore,  will not tear away from their nails while walking. They will need frequent trimming sessions to prevent their nails from getting long. If not trimmed down they may start clicking while walking on the ground.

Conclusion :

Clicking dog nails means they are long and need to be trimmed. However, cut them carefully to prevent damage to the quick part. Clicking nails can cause irreversible damage to a dog’s posture and health in many ways.

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