Did you cut your dogs nail too short? Do you need a way to stop your dog’s nail from bleeding? It’s a common hazard when trimming your dogs nails, but luckily there’s a few easy solutions to make the bleeding stop.
While it might take awhile to regain your dogs trust in your ability to trim his nails the wound itself can be easily treated at home. From using styptic powder to a bar of soap, here are 5 easy ways to stop your dogs nail from bleeding.
First Step: Stay Calm After You Cut Your Dogs Nail Too Short
The first thing you need to remember after you cut your dogs nail too short is to remain calm. You’ll know you’ve cut too far immediately, your dog will likely pull away from you and let out a yelp. If you panic you’ll make your dogs fear worse. Try to remain calm. The bleeding is going to look much worse than it actually is. The calmer you remain the calmer you can keep your dog.
If you do trim your dog’s nail too short and cut the quick, which contains live blood vessels, the nail will bleed and your dog will likely yelp and pull away. The bleeding can be profuse and long lasting. Stay calm, talk in a soothing voice and immediately feed your dog a bunch of tasty treats. – ASPCA
Most nail trimming accidents are minor and can be treated at home. If you have another person available enlist their help; another set of hands will make the process much easier.
The Quickest Way to Stop Bleeding is by Using Styptic Powder
Styptic powder is the most common way to stop a dog’s nail from bleeding, and it’s the most efficient method. They’re what veterinarians and groomers use to treat cuts and stop bleeding. They contain Benzocaine which works as a topical anesthetic to help ease pain, and ferric subsulfate which helps to stop bleeding.
To use styptic powder you can either dip your dogs nail directly into the powder or use an applicator. When using an applicator such as a swab or q-tip be sure to apply moderate pressure to your dogs nail for a few minutes, or until the bleeding has stopped.
Styptic powders or styptic pencils are antihemorrhagic agents that work by contracting blood vessels. Styptic powder helps to clot the blood and can help prevent bacteria from entering the bloodstream.
If you don’t have any styptic powder on hand it’s not a bad idea to pick some up next time you’re at the pharmacy or pet store. Styptic pencils are commonly available near the shaving section in pharmacies since they’re also used to treat shaving injuries and minor cuts.
Your veterinarian will use a product like styptic sticks or Kwik Stop to stop the bleeding quickly. You can find these at most pet supply stores, and it might be a good idea to stock some in your pet’s first aid kit if this happens often in your house. – Princeton Veterinary Hospital
How to Stop a Dogs Nail From Bleeding With Styptic Powder
If you want to stop your dogs nail from bleeding quickly styptic powder is your best bet. Styptic powder works as both a topical anesthetic and antihemorrhagic agent. It helps ease pain and stop bleeding. It’s what professional groomers & veterinarians use, and it stops minor bleeding in 30 seconds or less.
How to stop your dogs nail from bleeding with styptic powder:
- Apply the styptic powder directly to your dogs bleeding nail with a moistened cotton applicator
- Keep moderate pressure on the cut for at least 30 seconds
- If the bleeding continues reapply the powder
If your dog is calm you can dip your dogs nail directly into the powder. That will cause the bleeding to stop almost immediately. If your dog won’t let you handle his nails after a trimming accident you can use the application method mentioned above. Just be sure to keep moderate pressure applied to the nail for at least 30 seconds when using an applicator.
How to Use a Styptic Pencil to Stop a Bleeding Nail
Styptic pencils are available at most pharmacies, and they’re usually located in the shaving aisle. They’re nice to have on hand for treating minor cuts and stopping your dog’s nail from bleeding.
How to stop your dogs bleeding nail with a styptic pencil:
- Dip the tip of the styptic pencil in clean water or put a drop of water on the tip to get it moistened
- Take the styptic pencil and rotate it across your the cut on your dogs nail
- The silver nitrate in these pencils causes coagulation very quickly which will seal the injured blood vessels
A word of caution when using styptic pencils: many contain silver nitrate which will sting on contact. Expect your dog to show discomfort when it’s first applied to their nail. And remember that silver nitrate is messy stuff. It will stain your skin, carpet, and counter tops so use with caution.
4 Homemade Remedies to Stop Your Dogs Nail From Bleeding
If you don’t have any styptic powder at home don’t worry, there’s a few common household you can use as a substitute. Any of the following can be used to stop your dogs nail from bleeding:
- Baking Soda
- Bar of Soap
With any of these methods the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to keep solid pressure on your dogs nail while applying the solution. These methods work, but they don’t stop bleeding instantly like styptic powder. For them to be effective you’ll need to apply moderate pressure for a few minutes.
Most coagulant failures are caused by being too shy about pressing the stuff into the blood. You can’t just sprinkle the stuff on like fairy dust; you need to hold and press it on so it absorbs the blood at the end of the quick and helps it clot. – St. James Animal Hospital
How to Use Flour, Baking Soda, or Cornstarch to Stop the Bleeding
One common home remedy to stop your dogs nail from bleeding is to use flour, baking soda, or cornstarch. You’ll need to thoroughly cover your dog’s nail with it, and then gently compress their nail with a towel or cloth until the bleeding stops.
How to Stop Your Dogs Nail from Bleeding with Flour, Baking Soda or Cornstarch:
- Pour some flour, baking soda or cornstarch into your palm
- Gently dip your dog’s nail into the flour, baking soda or cornstarch
- If the bleeding doesn’t stop dip their nail once again (don’t wipe off your dog’s nail before dipping again)
- Gently compress your dog’s nail with a cloth or towel until the bleeding stops
If your dog isn’t a fan of having their nail dipped you can use a cotton applicator to apply the flour, baking soda or cornstarch onto their nail. If the bleeding doesn’t stop right away put some more on their nail. Don’t wipe off your dog’s nail between applications; the flour, cornstarch or baking soda that is on there will help aid in coagulation. Gently compress your dog’s nail with a paper towel or cloth until the bleeding stops.
Using Soap to Stop a Dogs Nail From Bleeding
To get your dogs nail to stop bleeding with a bar of soap you’ll want to first soften it up by getting it wet. After it’s a little mushy you’re going to place your dogs bleeding nail directly into the soap and apply pressure for a few minutes.
How to Stop a Dogs Nail From Bleeding With a Bar of Soap:
- When using a bar of soap dampen it until it gets mushy
- Push your dogs affected nail directly into the bar of soap
- Keep the nail in the soap as you apply firm pressure for 3-5 minutes
If you don’t want to push your dogs paw directly into the soap you can break off a piece and wrap it in a towel before applying. Be sure to keep firm pressure for at least 3 minutes to make the bleeding stop. When you suspect that the bleeding has stopped take a quick peak first to ensure that it’s worked.
If the bleeding is minor, try rubbing a bar of clean, scent-free soap over it. If the bleeding is steady, wrapping ice within the compressed cloth or paper towel will help lessen the blood flow. – Wahl
Keep Your Dog Rested After Applying Treatment
After the initial bleeding has stopped it’s important to keep your dog off his feet for at least 30 minutes. Try giving him a stuffed Kong to keep him occupied. Keeping him off his feet will keep him from re-injuring the nail. If you have bandages it’s a good idea to wrap your dogs paw to help prevent further injury.
If Your Dogs Nail Doesn’t Stop Bleeding After 20 Minutes
Most nail injuries are minor and will stop bleeding within 20 minutes with these home remedies. The blood loss, although it looks terrible, is usually minimal and there’s little risk of your dog losing too much blood.
The above solutions work for minor nail cuts. If your dogs nail continues to bleed for more than 20 minutes it’s time to call the vet.
How to Identify the Quick in Your Dogs Nails Before Trimming
Nail bleeding occurs when you cut your dog’s quick. If you want to avoid accidents when trimming your dog’s nails it’s important to know how to identify it.
The quick in your dogs nail is the cuticle-like part in the center that’s rich in nerves and blood vessels. Since it’s filled with blood vessels it’s going to bleed a lot if you cut into it, and your dog will likely let out a yelp.
Identifying the quick in a dogs that have white nails is usually easy because the pink is easy to see, but with the black ones it’s a real challenge. If you take a look at a white nail on a dog or cat you’ll see a dark smaller part on the inside – that’s the quick. That’s the part you want to avoid trimming. But if you have a dog with black nails you’re probably not going to see any of the quick until you actually start clipping.
To help avoid cutting your dogs quick start with small cuts and examine your dogs nails. Once you start to see a whitish or grey circle in the middle that means you’re getting close to the quick.
If you’re not comfortable with trimming your dogs nails you can try using a dremel rather than a guillotine style clipper. The dremel has different speeds and lets you trim nails without worrying about clipping off too much.
As you cut the nail deeper, you will see a homogeneous gray to pink oval (3) starting to appear at the top of the cut surface of the nail. Stop cutting the nail at this point as additional cutting will cut into the quick. – Clipping a Dog’s Claws College of Veterinarian Medicine, Washington State University
Your Dog Might be Nervous After You’ve Cut Their Quick
It might take awhile for your dog to get comfortable having his nails trimmed again if you’ve cut into their quick, but they will forgive you. Be sure to give him lots of treats and praise every time you get out the nail clippers; that will help make the experience more positive.
My dog was very nervous with nail trimmings when we first got her, so I made desensitizing her to the process a priority. Three times a week I’d get out a bunch of treats (carrots or apple slices) and slowly get her used to having her nails trimmed while handing out treats. Eventually she started to associate the nail clippers & dremel with yummy treats.
Here’s a video that demonstrates how useful clicker training & positive reinforcement are for getting your dog used to having their nails trimmed.
Nail Trimming Is An Important Part of Your Dogs Grooming Routine
Although trimming your dogs nails is never fun it is part of a healthy grooming routine. There’s no set rule for how often to trim your dogs nails. Trim them as often as it takes to prevent their nails from touching the floor when they’re standing. Long nails can be painful for your dog, and they can make it harder for your get a grip when walking.
Some dogs are more challenging than others when it comes to getting their nails clipped. If you’re uncomfortable trimming your dogs nails or it becomes too much of a challenge you can have it done at your veterinarian’s office or the groomer.
If you want to do your dogs nails on your own but hate using clippers try a dremel tool. They grind nails down rather than clipping, making it much easier to avoid any accidents.
I am not a veterinarian. This advice is for the treatment of the minor bleeding accompanying cutting your dogs nail too short. If you have any concerns or if your dogs nail bleeds for more than 20 minutes please consult your veterinarian.