Our dogs are always running around outside, digging, and playing with their toys. It is not surprising that broken nails happen from time to time and that an injury could occur. Pet parents should watch out for routine care grooming appointments to avoid a small accident turning into a much bigger one. A broken nail might happen if our dog's nail gets caught on something or grows out too long. But sometimes our dogs' nails breaking too often might be signaling a more serious health condition.

In this blog we are going to dive into what a broken nail means, and the dangers with a broken nail, and how a dog wellness plan and pet insurance plan can help prevent serious issues.

Why Do Dog Nails Break?

Our dogs have a nail on each of their toes, 5 in the front, 4 in the back, and sometimes a dew claw (if it was not removed as a puppy). Since dogs' nails grow just as ours do, they need constant maintenance and trims. Our dogs can naturally file their nails down by walking outside on rugged terrains and hard surfaces. If their nails become too long, they are at the risk of getting their nails caught on any soft surfaces, different things in the yard, and all sorts of other materials.

In worst case scenarios if you allow your dogs nails to grow too long, to the point where they begin to curl this will cause nerve damage, be extremely painful for your dog and will require surgery as opposed to a grooming appointment to get them cut in the safest way possible.

If your dog snags its nails and breaks it by stepping on something hard outside, it should be taken more seriously than you might think. Nail breaks can cause a dog much pain and trauma that could lead to health complications. There are a few serious health conditions that can begin to affect our dog’s nail health and strength, such as:

  • Auto-immune disease
  • Neoplasia
  • Fungal infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Food allergy
  • Congenital disorders

Every nail has something called a quick, which is a collection of nerves and blood vessels. If your dog has clear nails, you can usually spot the quick as it looks reddish or pinkish on the inside of the dog's nail.

Image By DogDorable

When we trim our dog's nails too short or they break a nail, this can expose the extremely sensitive quick. This is painful for our dogs, and often you will hear them yelp in pain. They might begin limping, licking the area, and avoiding putting pressure on their paws.

There is a high possibility that an exposed quick can become irritated and infected, especially when your dog spends a lot of time outdoors. If your dog begins to bite at their nails, or just one specific nail, they might be itchy or experiencing pain in the area. Make sure to take you dog to the vet right away as it could be a sign they have developed an infection or allergy.

With a dog wellness plan, you can come in for a routine nail and paw exam with your vet or head to a professional groomer. If your pet has injured their nail you might opt to use your pet insurance plan and get your dog to the emergency vet. You should call your vet first for advice and a plan, depending on the severity and the amount of pain your dog is in.

How To Treat A Broken Dog Nail

When your dog breaks a nail and exposes a quick, it is best to bring them to a professional for treatment. Before you get to the vet, though, you can do a couple of things yourself.

It would be best if you tried to restrain your dog first to get a good look at the injury. If your dog lets you get close enough to examine the paw, you will usually be able to tell if they've injured a nail. However, if your dog doesn't let you get close to the paw, it could be all sorts of things and further proves the demand to get to the vet ASAP.

Your dog's nail might begin bleeding right away. If your dog allows you to get close, you should start applying pressure to the nail like you would any wound. You might even try using cornstarch to plug the bleed. If the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes, you need to rush to the vet. The longer a quick is exposed, the higher the risk becomes for an infection to form.

Try to remove debris such as a dangling nail or anything else caught in the dog's nails. Sometimes a broken nail is not broken off rather split and still partially attached. This can be dangerous as your dog might be doing more damage to the area with every step.

Dog Wellness Plans & Grooming Coverage

Sometimes, when our dogs break a nail, it can be an emergency with tons of bleeding and pain. In this scenario, you would want to have a pet insurance plan that will cover all emergency scenarios, including a pet ambulance, diagnostics, surgeries, and prescription medications.

In more minor situations, you can bring your dog in for their routine exam covered by a dog wellness plan and let your vet take a look and treat the wound for infection. With Wagmo, you also can add routine professional grooming to your dog wellness plan. Professional grooming services can ensure the health of your dog's nails with regular cleanings and trims. Groomers are also great at spotting potential dog nails issues that might require a vet's attention before it causes too much damage.

With Wagmo, you can mix and match pet insurance plans, and dog wellness plans to create the perfect plan for you and your pet. We offer affordable plans so that every pet parent can afford coverage.

Take Wagmo’s coverage quiz today to discover your perfect plan and rate. Worry less, Wagmo.