Skip to Content

What to do When My Dog’s Nail is Curled into the Paw

Dog paw with dew claw curled into the skin

It is similar to an ingrown nail. Dogs and humans have many similarities. They have the same emotions, they enjoy similar foods, and they even get the same diseases, for the most part. Your best friend even gets ingrown nails as humans do.

Like humans, dogs will often need medical care to solve this problem. You can try to cut it out but, in most cases, your dog will need the assistance, care, and expertise only a vet can bring.

If you are not experienced in this type of care, then you should go to your vet or the nearest vet and have them remove it for you. Your dog will be grateful to you too that option

Need to know “How to Trim Severely Overgrown Dog Nails?” Check out our post to find out.

Take Your Dog to the Vet in this Situation

Yellow lab laying on a table

While there are instructions on the internet to help you deal with this situation, it is best that you go to your vet for relief. The reasons are fairly simple for doing this:

1. Your vet is trained in this procedure, and they have the skill to remove the nail carefully

2. Your vet has the right tools, and they are sterilized to make sure no germs enter the wound

3. Your vet has the right medication and the knowledge to dispense those medications.

These three reasons amplify the fact that you may not have that training, expertise, or medical knowledge. It is best to let the professionals handle this difficult problem as there may be more things wrong than meet the eye.

If the nail or wound is infected, your vet may have to remove it. This is often the case with the dew claw. When is infected, etc., your vet has to remove it to preserve your dog’s health.

Then there is one final very valid reason why you should go to your vet to take care of this problem. You are too emotional and may make mistakes. It is possible that when your beloved dog gets hurt, your emotions can cloud your thinking or blur your eyes so you cannot think or see straight.

It is best to have an objective 3rd party handle the procedure as their eyesight and thinking are very clear. Their steady hand can solve the problem and not make it worse. That is a possibility when you try to do this procedure on your own.

You may be too afraid that you make a mistake and your hands get shaky. That is when you make a mistake you were afraid you would make. To avoid mistakes, let a vet handle the job.

How to Cut a Dog’s Nail that is Curled into the Paw

Dog paw with overgrown, curled nails

These instructions are for those cases of curled nails that are not life-threatening and require immediate attention from a veterinarian. There are some cases of curled nails in which you can take care of the task of trimming the curled nail yourself and save some money on the fees charged by the veterinarian.

The first thing you need to do is check to see if the nail that is curled is in a dangerous position. When we say, “not too deep into the pad,” what we really mean is “not infected.” The procedure should not be too difficult for you to manage if the nail is only beginning to curl and has not yet reached the pad.

The next step would be to cut the dog’s nails with a scissor-style nail clipper rather than the other two types of clippers that are typically used for the task. 

The scissor-style clippers are less difficult to insert into the curl, and they are designed to be safe and stress-free for your pet.

Now comes the difficult part of the process. If the nail is embedded in the pad of your pet, you need to determine whether it will be simple or difficult to remove it. After you have made the cut, you will need to remove the nail from the pad by pulling it out. You are not allowed to leave it in that space.

When you get to this point, you are going to want to have someone assist you so that they can hold the dog and keep it calm while you work on the ingrown nail. In the third step of this process, you will clip the nail a short distance away from the very end or tip of the fingernail.

After that, proceed to cut off increasingly smaller portions of the nail until you reach the quick of the nail. This is one of the potential dangers associated with carrying out this procedure. If you cut into the quick, both you and your dog will experience pain, and you will also lose blood.

When you are working, you need to exercise caution and patience. After you have trimmed the nail back, grab it with some tweezers where it is embedded in the pad, and pull it out.

In order to complete the final step, you must keep from passing out when you see the blood. There is a good chance that the pad on your dog will bleed. You are going to want to use some soap and water to clean the wound. The next step is to protect the cut from infection and stop the bleeding by applying a canine antibacterial cream or ointment.

After that, you will have completed everything. Visit your local veterinarian for advice and assistance if you have any doubts about your ability to complete this task.

Need to know how to fix curled dog nails? Click here to learn more.

Dog Nail Stuck in Pad

Long haired dog paw with a curled dew claw

It’s possible that you’ve skipped cutting the nails of your dog on occasion. Because of this carelessness, one of their nails has grown into one of their pads. The procedure to handle this situation can be found in the section before this one.

If you don’t want to cause your pet any harm or have to seek help from the veterinarian, be sure to follow those instructions carefully. There are other circumstances in which you should take your dog to the veterinarian when a nail is embedded in the pad of his paw.

  • It is impossible to remove the nail
  • There is excess bleeding
  • There is an excessive amount of pus coming out of the wound.
  • There is an infection in the pad

The care and attention of a veterinarian are necessary for each of these four scenarios. When faced with this challenge, it is sensible to be aware of your capabilities and to refrain from attempting to solve the issue if you are aware that you will be unable to do so.

Does it Hurt a Dog When You Cut the Quick? Click here to find out.

Some Final Words

White dog paw on a wooden surface

Being in a state of wisdom in which you are aware of your own limitations in relation to your dog is essential. Even if your pet has an ingrown nail, this makes it easier for you to provide the best care possible for them. Because your dog does so much for you, you owe it to them to provide them with the best possible care. If you are unable to straighten your dog’s nails on your own, take them to the veterinarian.

Use your veterinarian to handle this task because they have the necessary knowledge, expertise, and tools, and because they are not clouded by emotion.

Please keep in mind that we may receive a small commission when you click our links and make purchases and as an Amazon Associate, this site earns from qualifying purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.