Treating a Broken Dog Nail

Treating a broken dog nail can be easy when ordered into a step-by-step process. If the nail is not broken, simply trim off the ragged edges with a nail file or a dog nail trimmer, depending on how far away the break is from the quick. If the nail is broken or split or cracked to the quick and bleeding, follow this guide:

How to Treat a Broken Nail

  1. Apply a coagulant such as styptic powder, flour, or cornstarch to stop the bleeding.
  2. Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream or gel, such as Neosporin to prevent infection and soothe the wound.
  3. Bandage the area, securing it with surgical tape to prevent your dog from licking off the ointment and to prevent dirt from getting into the wound.
  4. Monitor your dog for the next couple of days and don't let him walk on the cement for the next two or three days (or the scab will scrape off).

How to Treat a Split Nail

Like a broken nail, a split toenail can easily be treated without going to the vet.

  1. Trim off any rough edges with a nail file. Make sure not to use a dog nail trimmer, because this could make the crack worse.
  2. If it's bleeding, pack on some coagulant, such as styptic powder, flour, or cornstarch and apply an over-the-counter antibiotic.
  3. Watch it and keep it trimmed until the split grows out.
  4. Applying a hardening clear nail polish can keep the split nail together until it grows out. Take care not to let your dog lick the nail polish while it is still drying.

Some Nail Care Tips

  • If the paw gets red and sore, soak it in Epsom salted water, careful not to let your pet drink the water.
  • If the nail isn't healing, or your dog begins to limp, you should make an appointment with your vet.
  • If your dog picks at the tape on a broken nail and tries to tear it off, cover the paw with a sock and secure it to the leg with surgical tape.
  • 1/2 tsp of olive oil mixed into your dog's food everyday will strengthen his nails and prevent future breaks and splits.