Your dog’s nails play a huge role in his daily life. Dog nails are specifically designed to aid in digging, walking, swimming, and playing, which is why it is essential to keep them strong and healthy. Fortunately, there are many ways to strengthen dog nails at home and prevent damaging health issues that can affect his quality of life. In this article, we will talk about the seven ways to strengthen dog nails:
Before talking about them in detailed, let’s take a quick look at the 7 ways to strengthen your dog’s nails in a quick glance:
- Trim Nails Regularly
- Give a Healthy Diet
- Give Fish Oil Supplements
- Consider Biotin
- Take Lots of Walks
- Look for Signs of Damage
- Talk to Your Vet
#1. Trim Nails Regularly
Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is the best way to prevent nail health issues, such as splitting and breaking. Short, maintained nails are less likely to snag or pull during your dog’s daily adventures, allowing him to walk more comfortably. While the trimming process itself doesn’t strengthen the nails, many veterinarians agree it is a vital component in promoting dog nail health.
If you’re new to trimming your dog’s nails, it may seem like an intimidating task. Luckily, there are many products on the market to help make the process a little easier, such as nail grinders and specialized trimmers. You can learn how to trim your dog’s nails by watching trusted tutorial videos online or asking your veterinarian for a demonstration.
Some dogs and owners are not comfortable with trimming nails at home – and that’s okay. Many groomers and veterinary facilities can take care of this task and help you book regular appointments.
#2. Give a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is the foundation of your dog’s overall health. The vitamins and nutritional components in balanced dog food have wide-ranging benefits, including strengthening nails. Look for a dog food that features an AAFCO statement on the bag, which means the food delivers “complete and balanced nutrition” to your dog’s diet.
While a healthy diet typically contains all the necessary nutrition to help promote strong nails, some dogs may still suffer from brittle, fragile nails. If this is the case with your dog, you may want to consider incorporating supplements to his diet to help provide an additional strengthening boost.
#3. Give Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil has a popular reputation as a natural remedy for dogs and humans alike. It contains essential fatty acids that can support your dog’s skin, coat, and nail health. Fish oil is an excellent option for those looking for an easy, safe solution for remedying weak dog nails at home.
Most fish oil products for strengthening dog nails are taken orally, so it is essential to give your dog the correct dosage for your dog’s size. Make sure you carefully read the label, including ingredients, dosing, and directions, before giving fish oil to your dog. For continuous strengthening of your dog’s nails, give fish oil daily as part of his regular diet.
#4. Consider Biotin
Biotin is another product that can help strengthen your dog’s nails. Biotin is commonly associated with supporting healthy hair and nails in humans, and it can offer the same benefits to your furry companion. It’s a complex B vitamin naturally found in many dog-safe foods, including pork, turkey, liver, bananas, and blueberries. Try to incorporate these ingredients into your dog’s daily meals to help him achieve stronger nails.
Biotin is also available in a supplement form for dogs, which you can find many pet shops and online stores. Biotin supplements for dogs are often in powdered form, so you can easily sprinkle it over is daily kibble. If you’re considering a biotin supplement, check with your veterinarian to make sure it’s entirely safe for your dog’s specific health needs.
#5. Take Lots of Walks
Your dog’s nails are exposed to every surface he walks on, and many outdoor terrains can help keep his nails trim and strong. Many hard outdoor surfaces can help gently file your dog’s nails safely and naturally. Take your dogs on more walks and let him explore. He will enjoy the time outdoors, and you’ll likely notice a positive change in his nail health. When you walk your dog more, he may even need regular nail trims less frequently.
While hard surfaces, like pavement and hiking trails, can help file your dog’s nails, it’s important to avoid extreme temperatures and potential outdoor hazards to your dog’s sensitive paw pads.
#6. Look for Signs of Damage
Your dog’s nails are critical in his ability to walk, dig, and play, which is why it’s important to make sure his nails are strong and healthy. Monitoring nail health regularly can give you an ongoing assessment of his nails’ strength and potential damage. If you notice any of the following signs in your dog, check his nails, as there is likely issue that needs to be addressed:
- Broken nails
- Brittle appearance
- Blood or pus on the nails
- Biting at nails
- Nails digging into skin
- Difficulty walking or painful appearance when walking
- Split nails
- Redness around nails or paw pads
If you notice any of these issues, it is crucial to identify the cause. Damaged nails can come as a result of an accidental injury, chronic weakened nails, or combination of the two. Nail damage can cause serious harm to your dog’s overall health, and it may increase the risk of infection. If you notice any nail complications, you should seek veterinary help quickly.
#7. Talk to Your Vet
Just like humans, some dogs may naturally have stronger or weaker nails than others. However, brittle or damaged nails can also indicate an underlying issue affecting his paws or overall health. If you have frequent concerns about the strength of your dog’s nails, talk to your family veterinarian.
Your vet will likely examine your dog’s paws for signs of damage, and even run a few tests if he or she notices potential signs of disease. Whether your dog has a more severe health issue, a trained veterinarian will be able to make recommendations on how you can best improve his nail health at home. In some cases, prescription-strength medications may be the best option for building nail strength.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s nails and home care isn’t delivering the results you were hoping for, professional medical care is the next best step in determining how to strengthen your dog’s nails for a long, happy life of adventures.
Conclusion: Seven Ways to Strengthen Your Dog's Nails
Dogs’ nails are designed by evolution to help them in many ways such as digging, walking, swimming, and playing. Therefore, it is ways a good idea to keep your dog’s nails healthy.
In this article, we talked about the different ways that can help you to strengthen your dog’s nails. We hope that this article was helpful to you!