Dog Nails Peeling

Healthy and shiny nails are tokens of good health. However, if you see your dog’s nails peeling,  wearing off, or getting brittle,  that could be a warning sign. There could be underlying health reasons causing bad nails. In this article, we will discuss all your dog nails peeling and their connection to variant aspects.

dog nails peeling

Why my puppy’s nails are peeling?

Some reasons that dogs nails peel are:

Problems Dog nails peeling

Just as a lustrous coat,  shiny and healthy nails are also a reflection of a dog’s good health. When nails are weak, peeling off, or are discolored,  it means dogs are malnutrition and that too for a long time. You need to make serious changes in your dog’s lifestyle.

When nails are in bad condition, they cause many problems to your dog.

  • While walking they can get stuck on carpet or ground. (Read why my dog is scratching carpet in the middle of the night ).
  • If the dog accidentally bumps into something, these nails can break and cause pain and injuries in the dog’s paw.
  • Broken and peeled nails are often sign of continuous deteriorating health due to illness.
  • Nails help a dog in gripping. Brittle and weak nails can also cause improper posture and permanent change in gait. ( read dog nail neglect)
  • Infection can easily manifest in peeled nails causing pus or swelling. (Also read swollen sacks after neuter).

Are peeled nails unhealthy?

Yes!. If dog nails are brittle and peeling, it means they are unhealthy. The following table shows the difference between healthy and unhealthy nails. Healthy dog nails vs unhealthy dog nails

Healthy vs unhealthy nails

Healthy nailsUnhealthy nails
Shiny and lustrousDull
Strong nailsBroken and peeled nails
Black or white nails with a pinkish quickDiscolored nails or patches on the nail
Proper shapeBrittle nails
Proper growth and formationWeak and disoriented nails

How to prevent dog peeled nails?

There are two aspects to this. To improve your dog’s nail health you have to make things better from the inside out. Focus on both external grooming and the internal health of your dog. To improve his health, make lifestyle changes.

  • Feed your dog a good and healthy diet. Buy Dog food after looking at its ingredients and nutritional value on the pack.
  • Add homemade recipes to the dog’s diet. (Read is Freshpet food good for diabetic dogs?).
  • If your dog has any illness, treat it accordingly.
  • Take your dog for a daily walk. Obesity-related problems cause dull coats and bad nails in dogs.
  • Feed your dog supplements too. (Nutra thrive for dog reviews)

Do dogs shed their peeled nails?

Hell no! Dogs don’t shed their nails. Their nails are either broken because they were too long or they have bumped somewhere causing the nail to fall.

Mostly, it’s the dog’s dewclaw that falls of and that is why many dog owners go for dewclaw removal surgery.

Their nails will keep growing and if not cut or trimmed,  they can cause many problems. Long nails will cause bone deformities and movement problems. (Read long dog nails neglect to know more).

Peeled nails cause irritation and pain to your pup.

What to do if dog nails are brittle and peeling?

If your dog nails are peeling,  try to find out the reason. Malnutrition mostly comes from diabetes where the dog doesn’t get full nutrition even when they eat a lot.  (Read why my diabetic dog is always hungry). Diabetes also causes neuropathy in dogs which mostly affects the dog’s paw first. (read diabetic dog neuropathy).

If diabetes is a reason,  take your dog to a vet. As healing is a slow journey for diabetic dogs, only a professional is better suited to handle a diabetic dog’s nails peeling. If your dog nails are peeled because of neglect,  give your dog a little spa session. Trim or cut his nails regularly because long nails are more prone to wear and tear.

When Dog nails are peeled off due to a bad diet, improving food quality helps a lot.

Why is my dog’s paw peeling?

Remember there is a difference between peeled nails and peeled paws. Peeled paws could be due to neuropathy or if your dog is rubbing his nails on sandpaper at the wrong angle. Sometimes hard carpet or rough ground could also be a reason why dog toenails and paws are peeling.

Does peeled nails and paws cause pain? 

Yes.  Other than underlying health issues,  peeled nails and paws cause an inflammatory burning sensation. So when a dog walks, you will notice a difference in the dog’s gait.

If your dog is limping or is unable to maintain proper posture,  check if his nails are broken. Trust us broken nails hurt your dog more than your expectations.

Peeled nails and infection

Peeled nails are more prone to getting injured,  infected, and swollen. If peeled nails are left untreated, scars can develop. It can cause pus in the paws. Sometimes, when the nail is broken from the “quick” part, it can bleed. Germs are most likely to enter in such wounds causing infection. Peeled paws could be due to rashes in the skin.

You can see infected dog nail pictures to have a better insight.

Conclusion :

Dog nail peeling means that the dog is malnutrition or has an underlying health condition. Treat the condition for better shiny nails.

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