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Published: Feb 23, 2024 4 min read

Clipping a dog's nails can be daunting, especially with the risk of cutting into the quick, causing pain and potential bleeding. Proper preparation, using styptic powder, and applying direct pressure are crucial steps to stop bleeding and ensure a safe and calm experience for both the pet and the owner.

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Clipping a dog’s nails can be a chore for pet parents, especially if your dog is particularly adverse to it or is simply not used to it. However, the worst part is not the tedious nature of cutting a dog’s nails but the fear of cutting into ‘the quick’ — the body tissue that runs into every nail bed and is full of blood vessels. It can hurt your dog and make a bloody mess that can quickly get out of control.

Mistakes happen and even the most experienced groomers with professional grade nail clippers have accidentally cut too much of a pet nail. The nail quick grows with a dog’s nail and is not so easy to distinguish in dogs with dark nails. Let’s learn how to properly stop nail bleeding so you can minimize damage to your home without hurting your dog.

Steps to stop dog nail from bleeding

Be prepared

It’s best to get all your emergency supplies ready before starting the process of dog nail trimming. Having to scurry to the first aid kit while your dog is bleeding is a surefire way to create a mess. Be sure to have styptic powder or a styptic pencil available, as well as compresses to stop the bleeding.

If you don’t have styptic powder, you can use a mixture of cornstarch and baking soda as DIY home remedies for lesser nail injuries. In any case, keep them close to your nail trimmers before beginning the process.

Apply direct pressure and styptic powder

Use compresses or a paper towel to apply direct pressure to the affected nail. Then dip your dog’s paw into the styptic powder or cornstarch, repeating the process until the bleeding stops.

Keep in mind that styptic powder might sting a little bit, so it might cause yelps and you might have to stop your dog from squirming. Don’t wipe away the blood before dipping your dog’s foot as the styptic powder will help stop the blood flow and create a blood clot.

Wash your dog’s nail with a clean cloth

After the bleeding has stopped, swab any excess blood away and wash the wound with warm water and a bar of soap. Bandage the dog toenail and make sure your dog stays off its feet until the wound properly clots. If the wound hasn’t properly clotted in half an hour, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

Overall, dog parents should keep a calm demeanor and give positive reinforcement to their dogs throughout the process. A broken nail can be a stressful experience for dogs and dog owners alike and should be handled with care to assure the safety of all parties involved.

How to stop dog nail bleeding FAQs

How can I tell my dog’s quick apart from my dog’s black nails?

It’s easier for a dog with black nails to bleed after a nail cut, as the quick is harder to spot than one on a dog with white nails. However, you can easily identify the quick by looking down at a dog’s semi-transparent nails and finding the pink region center inside of each nail. Be sure to continually check the quick between cuts.

How long does it take for a dog’s nail to stop bleeding?

It usually takes a good two to four minutes for a dog’s nail to stop bleeding after a cut. Be sure to hold the pressure on the wound for at least this long before checking to see if the blood has clotted.

Can vaseline help a dog’s nail bleeding?

Vaseline is usually only used to protect a dog’s feet during outside walks and should not be used to stop a bleeding. Use styptic powder or a mixture of cornstarch and baking soda.

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