Dog Nails Falling Off

When dog nails are falling off, look out for the reason. Remember that dog nails don’t shed. So when they are falling off continuously, mostly there is a health concern. Read our article to know what could be the possible reasons for dog nails falling off and how you can solve any health threat related to it.

dog nails falling off

Why do dog nails fall off?

Nail growth is a continuous process. They grow, either falls off or are trimmed and grow back. However,  this falling off is not a natural phenomenon, and usually, dog nails fall off either because of some health issue or due to breakage. (Also read do dog nails grow back?).

The reason behind what does it means when dog nails fall off are

Long nails

When dog nails are not cut timely, they can grow very long. Long nails are problematic for dogs and they can easily break off when a dog bumps into something. Even a normal accident can cause severe breakage.

Also, dog long nails become curvy and touch the ground. Persistent tapping on the floor can also cause nails to fall off or break. (Read dog nails clicking on the floor).


Dog long nails are more prone to getting stuck in fabrics or carpets. As a result,  nails can break and fall off. Usually, this is not very concerning unless there is bleeding in the nail.

To avoid this don’t delay nail care and give your dog a proper nail session now and then. (Also read long dog nail neglect).

Dog nails peeling

When due to any health issue dog nails start peeling, they become weak, brittle, and can fall off easily. This also happens when a dog is not having sufficient nutrients in his diet. It’s important to feed your dog healthy and nutritious food for better nail and fur health. (Also read is Freshpet food good for diabetic dogs).


Nail Injuries can also cause dog nails to fall off. Dog paws are vulnerable body parts. When they touch the ground, there are a lot of things that can cause injuries. From rough ground and bumpy ways to furniture and carpets at home, everything can cause injuries to dogs’ paws causing the nails to fall off.

Diseases and infections

As dog feet, come into contact with mud, dirt, animal feces, and places where germs reside. Infections like yeast and fungal growth can prevail and cause a dog’s nails to fall off.

Yeast and fungal infections can grow and affect the whole body if not treated on time. Also, diseases like tumors, cancer, and skin diseases can cause dog nails to fall off.


Neuropathy in dog feet can cause nerves to slow down. As dog nails have tissue and nerves so weak connection can cause nails to become brittle and fall off. Neuropathy in dogs is usually triggered by some other disease like diabetes. ( also read diabetic dog neuropathy)


Genetics plays an important role in birth defects. Some dog breeds like German Shepherd or rottweilers are more prone to such autoimmune diseases that target nails and cause them to fall off. Some autoimmune diseases that cause dog nails to fall off are

  • Symmetric lupoid onychodystrophy
  • Pemphigus
  • Systemic Lupus

Symmetric lupoid onychodystrophy symptoms include

  • nail falling off from their bed
  • Bleeding from nails
  • Dog constantly licking his paw

Old age

When dogs get older,  they develop different illnesses. Also, the body and the immune system get weaker. Above mentioned autoimmune diseases or diseases like diabetes are more dangerous for older dogs and can trigger situations like falling nails.

How to know a dog nail has fallen off?

Many times dog nails will fall off without you even knowing. This is a normal process. However, if there is an injury in the nails, your dog will show the symptoms. If your dog

There is a possibility that his nail is fallen off and he is in pain.

What to do if the dog nail has fallen off?

  • If your dog’s nails keep falling off then you should talk to your vet. This needs professional diagnosis and treatment. If there is no such symptom that indicates seriousness, there is nothing to worry about. However, if you notice there is blood on the paw or the dog is limping, treat your dog immediately.
  • Carefully examine the paw and webbing between fingers. Look if bleeding, swelling, or limping is due to injury or nail breakage. (Also read do huskies have webbed feet). If a dog nail is bleeding,  it means the nail is broken from the quick part. This needs treatment.
  • If any part of the nail is still attached, cut it with a nail cutter and cleanse the area to protect it from infections. You may need to cauter the wound if the bleeding doesn’t stop. This happens in rare cases but if it is needed,  only a professional can do it better. Don’t try to attempt cauterization at home. (Also read cauterize dog nails and dog long nail surgery).
  • Also, don’t let your dog lick the wound again and again. You can dress the wound with a bandage and use a muzzle if a dog doesn’t stop licking the wound.

Steps to deal with dog nails fallen off

You can’t stop the dog nails from falling. However, with a few steps, you can ensure that they don’t fall more often or cause pain to your pup in any way.

  • Keep your dog nails short. Trim and cut them regularly so that they are less likely to bump and get damaged. (Also read what grit sandpaper for dog).
  • Train your dog not to scratch on wooden floors, carpets, or ground. This is one of the main reasons why dog’s nails fall off.  (Also read do dog nails scratch wood floors).
  • If your dog is having illness or disease, maintain their nail care routine and communicate with the vet regularly.
  • Be cautious and don’t take anything lightly if your dog is showing symptoms.

Is it normal for a dog’s nails to fall off?

A dog nail can fall off on its own. But it is normal only when there is no weird symptom along with it. However, if you notice blood and your dog is in discomfort then this is a matter of concern.


Dog’s nails can fall off because of injury or diseases. If your dog is acting fine,  then ignore it. It happens!. However, if the dog is uneasy and there is blood on the dog’s nails and paw,  carefully examine and treat the condition. Nails can also fall off due to diseases like cancer, diabetes, or Symmetric lupoid onychodystrophy.

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