Why Do Dogs Eat Their Nail Clippings?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Dogs are scavengers and will eat anything if given the chance, including nail clippings. Dogs are unlikely to suffer any serious health consequences from chewing nail clippings. The fact that dogs aren’t exposed to nail clippings does not mean that they are safe to use. Avoid letting your dog consume your nail clippings by throwing them away as soon as possible.

In this article, you will know the answer to the query “Why Do Dogs Eat Their Nail Clippings?“.

The reason dogs eat their shed fur was discussed in an article I wrote a while ago.

As a result of that post, many readers were eager to learn why some dogs are obsessed with nail clippings…

When your dog gets a chance, does he or she eat the nail clippings?

What are your concerns about them picking up a bad habit?

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The smell of nail clippings is intriguing to dogs, and they view it as a snack. 

It may seem disgusting to humans, but some dogs enjoy eating nail clippings.

Despite the fact that this is a fairly common behavior, it does not imply that dogs should eat toenail clips.

Why Do Dogs Eat Their Nail Clippings?

In this article, we’ll examine why dogs chew their nail clippings and what might happen as a result.

This article will teach you the following:

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  1. Why do dogs eat their nail trimmings?
  2. Is it normal for dogs to chew on their nails?
  3. What happens if a dog eats a nail?
  4. Do toenails digest in a dog’s stomach?
  5. Are nail clippings dangerous for dogs to eat?
  6. Can dogs get sick from eating long nail clippings with nail polish?
  7. Can I stop my dog from eating nail clippings
  8. How can I stop my dog from biting his toenails?
  9. Conclusion

Why do dogs eat their nail trimmings?

Due to the fact that dogs are individuals, it is difficult to understand why some will eat nail clippings while others will not.

Nevertheless, dogs have diverse preferences and likes, just like people.

It is not uncommon for dogs to pick up nail clippings on the floor when they enjoy tasting whatever is on the ground.

There is a strong smell associated with nail clippings, especially those that come from feet, which may incite these dogs to snack on them.

Additionally, dogs are prone to eating anything that smells good or interesting, including nails, because they do not know what they should or should not eat.

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Is it normal for dogs to chew on their nails?

The act of chewing one’s own nails is not unusual in dogs.

In some dog species, you will find them trimming their own nails with their teeth as a form of self-grooming. One of these reasons usually motivates dogs to chew on their nails.

Self-grooming: some dogs prefer to handle their own nail care. It is common for dogs to bite their nails when self-grooming, especially if they are quite long. However, some dogs simply eat their nails even when they don’t need to be trimmed.

Itchy paws: dogs can chew on their nails because they have itchy paws. Chewing either stops the itching or releases endorphins, which reduces irritation. In some cases, arthritis or allergies may cause dogs to have itchy or painful paws.

Boredom: like people, dogs can get bored if they aren’t properly stimulated. Bored dogs may lick or chew their nails to entertain themselves, especially if they are alone and idling.

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What happens if a dog eats a nail?

The nail clippings that dogs eat travel through the esophagus and settle in the stomach. 

In all likelihood, they will rest there, unharmed by the acidity of the dog’s stomach.

In the digestive tract, organic materials are normally broken down by enzymes, but nail clippings are resistant to this process.

As the dog’s body draws nutrients and minerals from the next meal, the nail clippings will bind to the food as it is processed by its natural mechanisms.

After binding with food and passing through the intestinal tract, the dog eventually excretes the nail clippings from its body as part of its feces.

Dogs’ digestive systems can be disturbed by a toenail, but it is highly unlikely that a nail will cause an intestinal blockage.

If the toenail is particularly large, it might irritate the intestinal tract. 

The nail clippings may take a few days to pass through the GI tract, but they won’t degrade before they’re expelled.

For general digestive upset, feed your dog cooked white rice and shredded boiled chicken breast for a few days if she experiences any digestive distress.

There isn’t much damage that your dog will suffer in general.

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Do toenails digest in a dog’s stomach?

It is impossible for dogs to digest nails.

Dogs are not able to digest fingernails in their stomachs or anywhere else in their digestive tracts because they lack the necessary nutrients and proteins to digest keratin.

Are nail clippings dangerous for dogs to eat?

A dog’s health is unlikely to be significantly damaged by eating nail clippings.

However, this does not mean that nail clipping is safe for dogs.

A dog should not be allowed to eat nail clippings because of potential health risks. 

First, nail clippings can get lodged in the dog’s mouth or teeth. And once cut, nails can be incredibly sharp.

Thus, your dog’s mouth could be cut by the nail, resulting in a painful sore that can become infected.

It is possible for nail clippings to travel through the digestive tract without causing any problems, or they may even cause health problems if they get lodged in your dog’s throat.

A nail in the stomach could also puncture or damage your dog’s interior digestive tract.

Quite often, this does not happen.

The majority of the time, dogs will eat nail clippings that they find on the ground without any problems.

When you mindlessly chew on your nail, how often have you accidentally swallowed a piece?

The dog would experience the same thing, except that it can’t tell if a piece of the nail clipping got stuck in its throat.

Can dogs get sick from eating long nail clippings with nail polish?

Nail clippings, especially those with nail polish on them, should not be eaten by dogs.

Human nail polish contains chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, and camphor, which are particularly harmful to dogs.

After drying, the polish may still pose a danger. 

Formaldehyde has been identified as a potentially cancer-causing ingredient by the National Cancer Institute.

Among the compounds that cause allergic contact dermatitis, it is the most common.

Formaldehyde resin, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate can also cause allergic contact dermatitis.

Even though camphor oil is frequently used as a topical treatment for a number of ailments, it’s deadly if ingested

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Can I stop my dog from eating nail clippings?

There are steps you can take to stop your dog from eating nail clippings, even though you may not know the reason.

Making sure they don’t have access to nail clippings is much easier than trying to prevent them from eating them.

Toss the clippings in the trash after trimming your nails if you do it in your dog’s presence.

To trim your dog’s nails, clip off any pieces that are clipped off over a trash can or immediately discard them.

In this particular situation, it is probably not worth it to try to train your dog to stop eating nail clippings.

Make sure you don’t have any nails around when you clip your nails and make sure you dispose of the clippings afterward if you don’t want your dog to eat them.

You should also check if your dog suffers from a mineral deficiency or has a medical condition as another reason for eating nail clippings.

There’s a possibility that your dog has Pica and eats more than just nails.

It is common for dogs with pica to crave and eat non-food objects. It is possible for some dogs to crave and eat only a specific object, while others may consume several different kinds of objects.

As a result, your dog is at risk of a major health crisis since what your dog ingests may be toxic, get stuck in its intestinal tract, or interfere with its digestion.

If you suspect your dog’s behavior may be indicative of something more serious, like an illness or nutritional deficiency, I always recommend visiting the vet.

Veterinarians are the best people to ask if there is something seriously wrong with your pet.

How can I stop my dog from biting his toenails?

You can stop your dog from eating nail clippings, but you might have a tougher time stopping it from chewing its own toenails.

It’s generally not a problem if your dog chews on its nails from time to time, but you should only intervene if the behavior becomes chronic or unhealthy.

It’s important to figure out what’s wrong with your dog if they’re biting its paws regularly. You can discuss how to stop and treat your dog’s discomfort with your veterinarian once you’ve determined the underlying causes.

In the meantime, you can try out a few things yourself before going to the vet:

  • Your dog’s nails should be trimmed frequently to prevent bacterial infections, fungal infections, and itching if they grow too long. Make sure their nails are kept neat, their paws are washed after a walk, and they receive regular grooming.
  • You should avoid exposing your dog to substances that can trigger allergic reactions. Pesticides should never come in contact with your dog’s paws or skin if you frequently use them. If this happens by accident, you should wash your dog’s paws or give them a bath right away. 
  • Keep your dog entertained and prevent boredom and anxiety by providing it with toys, attention, and daily exercise like walks. To eliminate allergens that may be caught in their nails, wash their paws after every walk.

If you see any injuries to your pet’s paws, such as a broken nail, an anomaly, a possible allergic reaction, or a skin infection, call your veterinarian immediately.

Conclusion

Dogs are scavengers and will eat anything if given the chance, including nail clippings. Dogs are unlikely to suffer any serious health consequences from chewing nail clippings.

The fact that dogs aren’t exposed to nail clippings does not mean that they are safe to use.

Avoid letting your dog consume your nail clippings by throwing them away as soon as possible.

When you clip your nail, make sure your dog isn’t nearby, and discard the clippings after you’re done.

If you want to read more about dog health tips, read here: Dog Health Tips and Tricks.

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