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Help for Dogs That Drag Their Nails

There may be a way you can help protect a dog that drags nails.

Does your dog have a condition—such as arthritis, intervertebral disc disease, or a nerve problem—that causes her to drag one or more of her feet when she walks? If so, you might notice that the tops of the claws become worn down and eventually bleed. This condition can cause the dog pain and make it even harder for her to get around.

How Soft Paws® Can Help Dragged Claws

Covering the claws on the paw(s) that a dog drags can help protect them. The vinyl that Soft Paws® claw caps are made out of become a barrier between the nail and the ground, so they become the structure that is worn down. This can help protect the claw itself from becoming damaged, worn down to the quick, and painful.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before trying this method to help a dog that drags her nails:

  • Be sure you've visited the veterinarian for a diagnosis of the condition which is causing your dog to drag the foot or feet so you can provide any recommended treatment.
  • Don't place Soft Paws® on claws that are already damaged, raw, or bleeding. The claws need to be whole and healthy for the adhesive to work correctly and not further damage the claw. If you need to get the claws healthy before applying Soft Paws®, you may use a dog bootie to protect them until they heal.
  • Soft Paws® may help protect the claws from being damaged when they are dragged, but they don't protect the tops of the toes or paw. For some dogs, it's only the claws that are affected, but if the toes or paw are involved, a bootie might provide better protection.
  • You will need to find the proper size Soft Paws® for your dog's claws for them to provide the best protection. You can take a look at this chart for some general guidelines, and you can also call us for help determining which size to try.
  • The more you can keep your dog on soft surfaces, the less damage will be done to the nails and paws from dragging. Concrete and other hard surfaces do the most damage.

If you do try Soft Paws® for your dog's dragged nails, take a picture or video and let us know how it goes here: Submit Review.

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Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.