Health Symptoms & Solutions How to Stop a Dog's Nail from Bleeding Fast and Easy

How to Stop a Dog’s Nail from Bleeding Fast and Easy

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Trimming your dog’s nails is a touchy and demanding job, especially if your dog is not used to it or won’t remain calm while you trim his nails.

With this in mind, it is not a surprise that many pet parents accidentally cut the nail too deep and hit the quick. If you cut the quick while you are clipping your dog’s nails or your dog fractures his nail in some other way, it may start to bleed.

If your dog’s nail bleeds, there is no reason to panic. There are more than a few ways you can stop the bleeding and we will cover them in this article.

How to Stop a Dog’s from Nail Bleeding

The best thing you can do to stop your dog’s nail from bleeding is to be prepared in advance and keep emergency supplies in your home. One of them is styptic powder, although styptic pencils can be equally effective. Additionally, making sure that you use the best grooming equipment can prevent injuries in the first place.

Whether you end up using styptic powder, pencils or common household items, the first thing to do if you cut your dog’s quick is to compress the cut with a paper towel or a clean cloth. You can also use a bath towel. Keep the wound compressed for a few minutes before you go to the next phase.

How to Stop the Bleeding with Styptic Powder

The most effective thing to use to stop the bleeding if you cut the quick while trimming your dog’s nails is styptic powder. Styptic powder and pencils are often used by vets and groomers to stop bleeding and treat minor cuts. Vets also often use Kwik Stop or styptic sticks. You can find most of these products in your local pharmacy or buy them online.

Styptic powder, as well as styptic pencils, are antihemorrhagic agents. This means that they can contract the dog’s blood vessels to clot the blood and reduce blood flow in order to stop the bleeding.

Styptic powder can stop minor bleeding in less than a minute. You can either apply the powder directly to the bleeding nail or use an applicator like a q-tip or a swab.

If you use an applicator, you should apply moderate pressure on the nail for at least 30 seconds or until the bleeding stops. The applied pressure will soon stop the bleeding but if it doesn’t, you can reapply the styptic powder.

Alternatively, you can dip your dog’s nail directly into the styptic powder if he is calm enough. This way, the bleeding should stop almost instantaneously.

How to Stop the Bleeding with a Styptic Pencil

Like styptic powder, styptic pencils are also very effective in treating minor cuts and in stopping bleeding. They can be easily purchased at the pet store or your vets. To use them, put a bit of water on the tip or dip the tip in clean water to make it moist. After that, rotate the pencil across your dog’s nail to stop the bleeding.

These pencils contain silver nitrate, which can quickly seal the cut. However, this can also make them sting on contact, so your dog may show signs of discomfort when you first apply them. Also, silver nitrate can leave stains on your carpets, counter tops and even your skin, so be careful.

How to Stop the Bleeding with Common Household Items

If you happen to cut the nail and hit the quick and you don’t have styptic powder or pencils at hand, you can also some common household items to stop the bleeding. However, they may not be as effective and it may take you a bit more time to stop the bleeding.

For example, you can use a regular bar of soap. First, get the soap wet to make it softer and mushy. After that, apply firm pressure with the soap on the dog’s nail for a few minutes. You can also put a piece of the soap in a towel before applying it to the wound.

Alternatively, you can use baking soda, flour or cornstarch. Start by putting some of it in your palm and then dipping your dog’s nail into it. Once your dog’s nail is completely covered in baking soda, flour or cornstarch, gently compress it with a towel or a cloth until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, repeat the process a few more times.

What If the Bleeding Doesn’t Stop?

If you have tried to stop the bleeding with styptic powder or pencil, or with the household items we suggested, you may want to try to wrap the wound in some bandages. This can help the blood clot by keeping the pressure on the nail and preventing your dog from licking the wound or walking.

Start the wrapping right above the dog’s ankle to prevent the bandages from loosening or falling off. If your pooch likes to nip or lick at the healing wounds it is best to tap the wrap for added support. You can also use a tube sock as a wrap. Just slip it over the paw until it gets tightly against the bleeding toenail and tape the upper part of the sock to the dog’s ankle to keep it in place. A dog boot can also do the trick.

If it continues to bleed for more than 30 minutes, you may want to call your vet. You should also contact the vet if the dog’s toe becomes swollen, red or it still seems injured after a few days.

White short coated dog on brown wooden table. Part of the "How to Stop a Dog's Nail from Bleeding Fast and Easy" article.
Photo by Marii Siia on Unsplash

How to Prevent Trimming Accidents

Now that you know how to stop a dog’s nail from bleeding, we want to give you a few tips on proper nail trimming. After all, trimming or clipping your dog’s nails is rarely a smooth process and knowing how to do it properly can prevent accidents.

Before you start trimming, make sure that your dog is calm and relaxed. You might want to take him for a walk beforehand since it can make him more comfortable and a bit tired but remember to inspect his feet for any dirt or debris.

It is important to hold your dog in place while you clip his nails so he doesn’t move. The best way to achieve this is to put your upper body and arms over him and to hold your forearm over his neck so he can’t lift his head. Use sharp nail clippers to cut off the tip of the nail at a slight angle, right at the point where it starts to curl.

The most important thing is to avoid cutting the quick. The quick is a cuticle with nerves and blood vessels that runs into the nail. Once you cut it, your dog will feel the pain and the nail will start to bleed. Unfortunately, the quick is not always visible. Dogs with clear or white nails have a visible quick but it can be hard to spot the quick in dogs with black nails, even for professional groomers.


A dog’s nails may bleed if he injures the nail but in most cases the bleeding happens when owners accidentally cut a nail’s quick while trimming the nails.

If this happens, don’t panic. Calmly apply styptic powder or pencil to the wound to stop the bleeding. You can also use some household items like cornstarch, flour or baking soda.

If you would like to read more articles about dog grooming, please click the link here.


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