Do Dogs Toenails Grow Back

Do Dogs Toenails Grow Back? Care + Recovery

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Injuries to the dog’s nails are more common than you might think. When the toenails grow too long, they might get stuck in a hole or break during a game of chase. While this might leave smaller or bigger fractures, serious injuries can lead to a torn nail that has been ripped out by the root.

Dog nails usually do grow back but it depends on various factors and a lost nail might never be replaced again.

Symptoms of a Broken Nail

If your dog’s nail is seriously injured, the first sign will be a trail of blood leading your dog’s way. You might find splinters or even the whole nail laying on the ground.

Your dog will start licking the spot excessively or bite at the injury. The broken nerves will cause the dog severe pain leading to limping and lameness off the injured paw. The toe might swell and become warm in the process.

Examine the paw and see if there might be another reason for the bleeding like a foreign object that got stuck between the toes. A broken nail will require medical attention because of the risk of infection.

Dog Toenail Broken at Base

This is the worst-case scenario that could be happening after an accident. The nail might be dangly and only firmly attached to the root or even completely fallen off.

The first thing you will need to do is stopping the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean cloth. You will need to apply a styptic powder which you should be definitely adding to your first aid kit in case of an emergency.

The power quickly seals the wound but you can also use flour or cornstarch as an alternative. Properly clean the wound and take your pet to a veterinarian for further examination.

Dog Broken Nail Vet Cost

Your veterinarian will remove any small pieces and completely sanitize the wound. Sedation will be needed if a part of the nail needs to be torn out or cut by the quick. The cost will depend on what type of treatment your vet will recommend.

Nail injuries will usually cost about $300 including sedation and medication. Antibiotics will be prescribed to prevent infection and bandages will be applied. At home, you will need to regularly change the bandages and your dog will probably need to wear a cone.

Dog Toenail Removal Cost

A canine toenail removal will need to be performed by a veterinarian surgeon with a local anesthetic injection. Your vet will advise if a partial or a complete nail removal will need to be done. Depending on where you make the surgery, the cost can range from $200-$500.

Dog Toenail Removal Recovery

Your dog won’t feel any pain for hours after the surgery. Make sure that he is resting well and goes easy for the first two days. Restrict too much movement if he is feeling better until the healing is complete. Give your dog his medications as prescribed and take him to follow up treatments.

Ask your vet how you should take care of your dog’s wound and bandaging in between the appointments. Monitor your dog’s paw for any redness or swelling that could indicate an infection.

Depending on your dog’s age, breed and well being, the recovery may take a few days or a few weeks.

Broken Nail Regrowth

The regrowth time depends on various factors like your dog’s breed, age, and well-being. It also depends on how you care for the wound and if you keep your dog from hurting himself.

It may take up to 8 weeks for a young and healthy dog to regrow a broken toenail. If the nail bed and the surrounding tissue have been severely damaged in the accident, a second nail might never grow at all.

Monitor your dog’s nail in the regrowth phase and see how the replacement nail is growing. Call your vet, if the nail grows at a weird angle or has an irregular shape.

How to Prevent a Broken Nail

Broken nails mostly occur in working dogs that are trained in agility sport or need to hike in a certain terrain on a daily basis. To protect your dog’s nail from breaking, I would highly recommend you buying the QUMY waterproof dog boots.

Think about any occasion that would require your dog to step on uncomfortable surfaces. Even if you are just planning a holiday and the nearby ocean is full of sharp stones. The boots also help to prevent sunburnt paws and protect the sensitive skin.

A long nail is more prone to breaking than a short nail. Dog nails should be cut regularly to prevent them from getting stuck while running. You can take your dog to the groomer if you do not want to cut his nails yourself.

How to Trim Dog Nails

I cut my dog’s nails myself and it’s not as hard as it sounds. Before you even start with the cutting, you will need to introduce the nail clipper in a positive manner. For my dog, I use the traditional nail clipper from Boshel and I will also explain the cutting process with it.

If you are too scared or find it inconvenient to cut the nails then you can also go for the Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder which I believe is the best nail grinder out there.

When introducing the nail trimmer to your dog, simply lay it on the ground and let your dog sniff on it. Use high value treats to create a positive association with the clipper. The right introduction is extremely important as it will shape your dog’s future interaction with the trimmer.

Dogs that are scared of nail clipping will growl or even snatch at you when you come around the corner with this thing. You will want to make the experience as stress-free and positive as possible.

Trimming dog nails in 3 easy steps:

  • Let your dog sit or lay on the ground. Hold his paw gentle but steady in an angle that is comfortable for you and the dog.
  • Only cut off small amounts at a time in a 45° angle. Watch out for the quick (blood vessel) in the nail which is explained in the image below:
  • The beginning of the quick looks like a small black dot. If you see it, stop immediately otherwise you will cause bleeding. If it does happen, use the styptic powder I have mentioned above to stop it.

Watch the video below for clear instructions. They not only use a clipper but also a grinder like the one I have mentioned above.


A broken or torn nail is extremely painful for your dog and can be prevented with regular trimming and boot protection. If your dog hurts one of his nails, clean the wound and stop the bleeding.

Bring your dog to a near-by vet for an examination. Surgery needs to be done if small pieces of the nail are stuck in the paw. If only a portion of the nail broke off, it will be cut down a bit and treated with bandages and medication.

You will need to let your dog rest at home and discourage him from licking or biting on the paw. Bandages will need to be changed daily and the dog will need to be taken to follow up appointments.

Depending on the severity of the injury, the nail might grow back in a couple of weeks or will never be replaced. Let me know in the comments if your dog ever had an injured or even torn nail and what experiences you have with nail trimming.

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  1. Thanks for all of your tips. My dog lost a nail last week and we were so concerned about it but the vet said that it will probably grow back after the healing process.

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