How to Stop a Dog’s Nails From Bleeding

Filed in Dog Health on May 10, 2022

How to Stop a Dogs Nails From Bleeding

If you’ve ever cut your dog’s nails, you’ve probably experienced a dreaded nail bleed. Trimming your dog’s nails too short is the most common cause of bleeding nails. However, bleeding can also occur if the nail is cracked or injured.

Luckily, nail bleeds are usually minor and can be easily treated at home. In this article, I’ll discuss what to do if your dog experiences a nail injury and how to stop a dog’s nails from bleeding.

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Why Your Dog’s Nails Bleed

The outer portion of your dog’s nails is made of a hard material known as keratin. The keratin acts as a tough outer shell to protect sensitive structures within the nail.

Similar to the other portions of your pet’s body, your dog’s nails contain a collection of blood vessels and nerves. This bundle is commonly referred to as the quick.

Nail bleeds occur when the nail is cut too short, and the quick is exposed. This can be very painful, and most dogs will yelp or jump.

The amount of bleeding your pet experiences can vary. However, it should stop within a few minutes.

How to Stop a Dog’s Nails From Bleeding

If your dog is experiencing a nail bleed, there are a few things you can do to help. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you stop the bleeding and get your dog the appropriate care.

1. Keep Your Dog Calm

A bleeding nail can be a painful and scary experience for your pup. Many pets will panic and try to get away from whatever caused their injury.

When this happens, it’s critical to remain calm and make sure you have a good hold on your dog.

Avoid making any sudden movements and use a reassuring tone to help soothe your pet. This will help keep your dog calm and allow you to treat the injury.

2. Apply Pressure

applying pressure to a bleeding dog

Once you have a good hold on your dog, use a clean towel to apply pressure to the bleeding nail. This should help stop the bleeding and allow a clot to form.

Continue to hold pressure for approximately two minutes. For minor bleeds, this may stop the bleeding entirely. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped, continue on to the next steps.

3. Treat with Styptic Powder

Styptic powder is one of the quickest and most effective ways how to stop a dog’s nail from bleeding. Styptic powder is often used in vet clinics and is essential to keep on hand if you frequently cut your dog’s nails at home.

To use the styptic powder, pour a small amount of powder into the container’s lid or onto your finger. You will then press the bleeding nail into the powder and apply pressure for several seconds.

Once the styptic powder has been applied, you should notice pretty immediate results. If your dog’s nail is still bleeding, you can use more powder and continue to apply pressure until the bleeding stops.

4. Keep the Nail Clean

Exposed quicks are susceptible to infection, and it’s critical to keep your dog’s nails clean. Once the bleeding has stopped, clean the nail with lukewarm water.

For more severe bleeds, you may want to consider bandaging the foot. This will add additional protection and prevent your dog from licking the wound.

5. Reduce Your Dog’s Activity

Another essential part of your dog’s aftercare is to reduce your dog’s activity and give the nail a chance to heal. Rough play can dislodge the blood clot and cause additional bleeding.

Likewise, direct contact with the exposed quick can be painful and should be avoided.

6. Provide Some Reassurance

Nail bleeds can be a traumatic experience for both you and your dog. However, it’s important to provide some reassurance and prevent your dog from forming negative associations with the nail clippers.

After you’ve stopped the bleeding, take a deep breath and finish cutting your dog’s nails. You can use your dog’s favorite treats to reward them during the process.

The important thing is to create a positive experience and prevent your dog from being fearful of nail clippers in the future.

Other Remedies For Nail Bleeds

If you don’t have styptic powder in your tool kit, there are some other ways how to stop a dog’s nail from bleeding and help your dog.

Cornstarch

cornstarch jar

Similar to styptic powder, cornstarch can help absorb the blood and aid with clot formation. You can use cornstarch on its own or mix it with a little bit of baking soda.

Once the powder is ready, apply a small amount to the bleeding nail and apple pressure for a few minutes or until the bleeding stops.

Bar of Soap

Another common household item that can help your dog is a bar of soap. Wet the bar of soap until it is slightly soft. You can then press the bar into your pet’s bleeding nail to help stop the bleeding.

Ice

When exposed to cold temperatures, blood vessels will contract. As a result, ice can be an effective tool for slowing bleeds and providing your pet some pain relief.

Keep in mind that bleeding nails are very sensitive, so consider wrapping the ice in a towel. This will provide a small buffer to the cold and help soak up the blood.

Preventing Dog Nail Bleeds

Knowing how to stop your dog’s nail bleed is essential. However, there are also some steps you can take to prevent nail bleeds from occurring.

One of the first things you can do is make sure you’re cutting your dog’s nails frequently. This prevents the quick from growing out and reduces the risk of it being cut.

When cutting your dog’s nails, it’s also important to locate the quick before making your cut. If your dog’s nails are white, you may be able to see the quick and avoid it.

For dogs with darker nails, visualizing the quick can be more challenging. Instead of looking for a color change, look for where the nail starts to curve and narrow.

Summary on How to Stop a Dog’s Nails From Bleeding

Nail bleeds are a common occurrence when cutting your dog’s nails. As a result, it’s important to know how to stop a dog’s nails from bleeding in case it happens.

If your dog experiences a nail bleed, remember to remain calm and apply pressure to the wound. Styptic powder is a great tool for stopping nail bleeds.

However, home remedies, such as cornstarch and ice, can also be quite helpful.

By the way, Dog Endorsed also has a blog post on the best nail grinder for dogs if you’re in the market.

While no owner wants to imagine their dog bleeding, I hope this information will serve as a helpful guide if the event occurs.

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