This is for DS, one of his rescues- Howie, Granddoggie#1, only the order, I'm not playing favorites He chews his nails- not the paw, and not all the time, but he chews them really short, and DS is wondering how to get him to stop and probable causes. My thoughts would be boredom, anxiety or allergy's. They get a lot of exercise - get to go out fishing with DS everyday he is off, lots of fetch and running on the beach. DS plays Frisbee with Howie and he loves it, man can he jump! When they are in they usually just chilling. As far as allergies go, he has no scratching or chewing anywhere else, and its just his nails he chews on. DS is worried that he could injure himself, they are chewed down really short
I suggested putting bitter apple on them, or getting him a " collar of shame" to wear for a week or so it see if they could get them to grow out a little bit and keep him from nawing on them. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Some dogs nibble their nails as a grooming exercise :0) I know that sounds mad but my Fell terrier actually chews them and uses them to dig out her ears.
It's probable that he might just get some pleasure from it when he's a little bored - it sounds like his owner does plenty with him, but no owner can provide 100% stimulation 100% of the time.
Bitter Apple Spray is a good idea as it will prevent him from biting his nails (or, as some dogs do, over-licking the paws). The good thing about the Bitter Apple Spray is that it will teach him that biting his nails no longer gives him pleasure and he should stop doing it after a few unpleasant experiences. The Collar of Shame will enable his nails to grow back but I wouldn't recommend it unless the nails get terminal and the Apple Spray doesn't work, simply because it has to be taken off so many times a day (for meals, walks, baths etc) and because it limits what the dog can do.
If he gets really bored at home, try a cube with holes in it (you know the kind of toy) filled with treats. He can spend hours pushing it along the floor with his nose to get them out. Short of that, stuff a Kong or other long toy with a hole in the middle with meat paste or peanut butter and he'll spend ages licking every last morsel out. This might help him to stop chewing his nails, because other than these steps, he sounds like he's ticking all the right boxes.
If everything else fails, I'd recommend a vet's appointment. There may be a medical reason for it.
Apart from that, good luck!
i'd wonder if it's an allergy and what he's allergic too.
and i wish my jake would trim his own nails.
Oh, it makes a horrible champing noise :P Still, I suppose it means we spend less time getting out the vernier calipers we call nail clippers
I think it has been known for dogs to lick their paws if they're allergic to something. It could be anything - road salt (often picked up after snow has been cleared from the roads: try to wash your dog's paws if you suspect he has some on them), a kind of food, or irritation from flea or tick bites - Millie has flea allergy dermatitis and she's treated for fleas but it doesn't stop them biting her.
I just wonder why he bites his nails if it is an allergy. Maybe it's just to calm him down.
P.S It may be a corn allergy. Lots of dogs are allergic to corn. Again, a vet's diagnosis is the only way to tell. I think I've written that as an answer on about fourteen forums today :P