My Dog Ate a Nail File

Dogs are oddly attracted to nail files. Whenever you are filing your nails, your dog may become playful and grab the nail file. You may have to file your nails away from your dog for you to do it successfully in some cases.  Unfortunately, no matter how much you try to keep your nail file away from your dog, he may eventually find it and eat it. Realizing that your dog ate a nail file is one of the most stressful moments you can have as a dog owner. Read below for comprehensive information on why dogs love nail files and what to do if your dog ate a nail file.

Why Is Your Dog Attracted to Nail Files?

Nail files are among the weird things that dogs may be attracted to. Several experts have suggested some of the reasons why dogs love nail files. Some of the reasons given are such as mineral deficiency. Since nail files are made of metal, they contain minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, among others. In case your dog has a deficiency of any of these minerals, it is normal that they crave them. Therefore, any chance they get near a nail file, they will snatch it, lick and possibly eat it.

Additionally, dogs are attracted by the smell of nail files. Once you file your nails, your bone powder will be all over the nail file. Therefore, your dog may be attracted to the file as they savor the smell of bones.

How Do I Tell That My Dog Has Eaten a Nail File?

Your dog may eat a nail file, and you fail to realize it. It is often problematic for the dog to swallow the nail file, and he will instead chock. However, at times, you may realize that your dog swallowed the nail file without your knowledge. This is especially if he managed to chew the file into smaller pieces. Some of the signs that will tell you all is not well are such as vomiting and regurgitation. You may also realize gagging, drooling, and pain. Inability to defecate and loss of appetite are also indicators of a problem. In case you realize any of these signs, inform a veterinarian as soon as possible. 

What to Do When Your Dog Eats a Nail File

First, it is essential to be calm as nail files are non-toxic, especially if the dog chewed them before swallowing. Your first instinct as a pet owner may be to induce vomiting. However, ensure you do not do this. Inducing vomiting may cause more harm than good as the file may end up tearing his intestines as the contractions occur to push the file out. Secondly, you may be in luck if the dog chewed a bit before swallowing, making the passage less strenuous. Nevertheless, swallowing a nail file is a serious accident that may lead to future regrets. Therefore, inform a vet about it to confirm that all is well. 

What to Do When Your Dog Swallows a Nail File

Before visiting a vet, there are ways through which you can help your dog. For instance, feed him a Vaseline sandwich whereby you take half a slice of wheat bread and spread Vaseline the same way you do for peanut butter. Cover the slice with a second one. Feed the dog chunks of the slice to avoid making a mess with the Vaseline. This way, you help repair any possibly injured parts of the dog’s gut.

Additionally, feed him with a high-fiber diet, especially if you are waiting for him to pass the nail file pieces through the stool. Be consistent in checking his stool for the next couple of days to confirm whether the nail file is successfully passed out. 


As mentioned above, there are several reasons why your dog loves nail files. For instance, it may be due to a deficiency of essential minerals such as zinc and calcium. Therefore, it is essential to carefully evaluate your dog’s meal to ensure you are feeding him the right minerals in the right quantity. Most importantly, watch out where you store the nail files to prevent such incidents from reoccurring in the future. If your dog eats a nail file, inform a vet as this could lead to serious complications if ignored.

1 thought on “My Dog Ate a Nail File

  1. Kristina Greenwell

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