Why Do Dogs Like Nail Files? + Nail File Incident Prevention

Why Do Dogs Like Nail Files

If you have a dog, you have probably noticed they go crazy when you use a nail file or clip your nails.

You are not alone. Go online and you will see lots of confused humans just like yourself sharing stories on forums.

dogs love to smell, lick, bite, chew, slobber over and ‘disappear’ nail files (and some reports of nail clippings) for some unknown reason.

Unfortunately, there are almost no answers, scientific or otherwise, but we have a few ideas on why your dog seems to like/dislike your nails and anything that touches them.


Some Theories

nail file for dogs

Everyone knows about pregnant women and their cravings.

Usually, their cravings indicate a deficiency their body is looking to replenish.


The same is thought to be the case with your dogs; fingernails contain:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus

The theory is they can smell the minerals on your nail file and are attracted to it.

So, if you leave it lying around after use, chances are you may find it chewed up in a corner some hours later or even eaten completely.

This is not backed up by any research, but it sounds plausible if you think of the fact some dog do not react to nail files in the same way.

They could be well balanced in their nutrients and not have that craving.


Another part of this is an attraction to the smell of bone powder which is the nail file dust left behind.

The last theory is the sound of the nail file on the nails.

Dogs do have sensitive ears, so the sound might be nails on a chalkboard to them.


Also, A few humans have reported their dogs went insane when the nail file comes out when they have not even started filing.

This could be conditioning, and the dogs know what comes once they see the nail file.



Learn More:

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How To Avoid A Nail File Incident

If your dogs have shown interest in nail files, there are ways you can mitigate the craziness or destruction.

Below are some tips which you can apply:


1. There are stories of dogs eating nail files and this is dangerous.

First off, be careful if you do use metal nail files as this could be fatal once your dogs decides to play with it.


2. Never leave them lying around or go for softer Emory boards.


3. If your nail file disappears when you leave it in the open your dog may have eaten it.

Once you notice this along with any choking, discomfort, pain, vomiting, inability to eat, or poop, you would need to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Do not induce vomiting as this can cause more damage.


4. But going for Emory boards will not spare you from their wanting to consume it, keep them out of your dogs’ reach as much as possible.

So they do not get slobbered on or destroyed.


5. Doing your nail grooming in a separate room, while locking your dog away seems to be a good strategy.

And the best strategy is getting your nails done at a nail salon or spa instead, so your dogs are none the wiser or even tempted.


6. Another good strategy is making sure you are feeding your dogs right.

Give them nutritious meals with all the necessary minerals so they do not have any cravings that could drive them to your nail file.



These tips can help you hopefully identify why your dog is attracted to your nail file and how to avoid swallowing incidents.

To confirm any deficiencies or if a swallowing happens contact your veterinarian.


See Also


A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.