Dogs are known for being curious creatures. They will eat just about anything, no matter how strange it may seem. One of the most bizarre things that dogs like to eat is human toenails. But why do they do this?
What is in toenails that make them so appealing to dogs? In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why dogs eat human toenails and what you can do to prevent it from happening!
What are some of the reasons why dogs eat human toenails?
Dogs are scavengers, and if your dog is anything like Scooby (our dachshund), he will eat just about anything he can get his mouth on. This includes human toenails!
But why are these so appealing to dogs? Well, have you ever noticed your dog chewing your clothing, hairbrush, or even your underwear? This is partly because dogs love to chew but also largely to do with the smell. They all contain your scent, which is reassuring and comforting to your dog.
Toenails contain your scent as well, making them irresistible to dogs. Pretty disgusting when you think about it, but this is a common behavior for dogs.
What can you do to stop your dog from eating your toenails?
Well, you can first make sure you throw them away as soon as you clip them. Dogs have a keen sense of smell, so they will be able to sniff them out even if they are in the trash, so keep that in mind.
Another way is to simply flush them, trim your nails in the bathroom, and then flush them down the toilet. This way, your dog will never even know they exist!
How can you control your dog’s curiosity when it comes to strange objects or foods?
Now, as I said before, Scooby is a dachshund, and he loves to chew on anything he can get his mouth on. This includes shoes, clothes, furniture; you name it. So we have had to find ways to keep his curiosity under control.
The first thing we do is provide him with plenty of chew toys, so he has something else to focus his attention on. We also make sure to praise him when he is chewing on his toys and not our belongings. This way, he knows that he is doing something good!
Another thing you can do is keep a close eye on your dog when they are around strange objects or foods. If they start to show interest, redirect their attention and reward them with a treat when they look at you instead.
Teach your dog the “leave it” command
This has been a bit of a lifesaver for us. The “leave it” command is a great way to get your dog to stop what they are doing and walk away from something they are interested in.
This is also a very easy command to teach your dog.
Start by putting the treat in your hand and showing it to your dog. When they start to sniff or lick at it, say “leave it” in a calm but firm voice and then close your hand.
When they stop trying to get the treat and look at you, give them the treat from your other hand and praise them!
Repeat as many times as you can. Once you’re happy they understand the command, you can then start putting a treat on the floor in front of them and saying, “leave it.”
If they try to go for the treat, cover it with your hand and say “leave it” again. When they stop trying to get the treat and look at you, give them the treat from your other hand and praise them!
Eventually, they will leave that treat altogether and just look at you for their reward.
With a little bit of patience and training, you can easily stop your dog from eating little bits they might find.
Are toenails bad for dogs?
Although it might seem gross to us, eating toenails won’t cause your dog any harm, but it’s not really worth the risk either. Just make sure they’re well out of reach, and your dog should be fine!
Wrapping Things Up
So there you have it, the gross but true reason why dogs love to eat human toenails!
Hopefully, this has given you some insight into why your dog might be doing this and how you can stop them.