How to Stop Dog Nail Bleeding: Pooch Pedicure Guide

Image showing a woman clipping her dogs nails
Anna Smith
Written by Anna Smith

The moment you hear a click-clacking sound with each step your dog makes, you know that it’s time to trim those talons. Cutting your pup’s nails means to make him sit still. This alone is tough enough, but when you take into account the fact that any minor error on your part may lead to injury or bleeding, you might be tempted to just leave it to the professionals altogether.

But the fact is, even professionals are often incapable of completely preventing bleeding nails in dogs. Thus, if you have prior knowledge about how to stop dog nail bleeding, the trimming process is nothing to fear.

Image showing a woman holding her dog leg

It’s simpler than you might have imagined. All you need is to have some backup plan or knowledge of some easy hacks and tricks to stop the accidental bleeding. The process often simply involves the items available at hand, so you won’t have to spend extra cash on some specialized tools and whatnot. Once you know how to do it, you’ll be able to clip your dog’s nail confidently and efficiently just like a professional.

We have researched and rounded up the most effective and handy remedies to stop dog nail bleeding instantly. In this article, we will also share some additional info to educate pet owners about stuff like the importance of clipping dog’s nail, the best nail clippers, as well as about the safest way to use them. Keep on scrolling to know it all.

Why Do We Need to Clip Dog’s Nails?

Clipping your dog’s nails is considered such an important activity because it does not only improve the aesthetics, but it is also directly related to the well-being of your pup. If your dog’s nails are so long that they start touching the floor, it’s not just painful but will also affect your dog’s ability to grip the ground while walking and running, thus it may cause them to slip and hurt themselves.

Though there is no set rule for how many times you need to trim every week or every month, the moment you find your pup exhibiting signs of discomfort (preferably before that), know that it is time to clip their nails. The more often you trim down the nails the slower they grow. This is another good reason to do it.

Image showing a man trimming his dogs the nails

Now you know the reason why you shouldn’t avoid clipping your dog’s nail even if there is a risk of causing them to bleed. In unavoidable situations like this one, it’s best to be prepared beforehand so you can rectify the situation if the bleeding does happen. Let’s take a look at the proper way to stop the bleeding.

Best Ways to Stop Dog Nail Bleeding

First things first, don’t panic. Even if there’s quite a lot of blood, dog nail bleeding is not usually life-threatening, and it’s usually not as bad as it looks. Now, to relieve your pet from this painful condition, you must opt for some immediate and easy-to-do hacks. Some of the best are given below:

No. 1. Wash the Wound with Warm Water

This is the simplest technique because you only need water to do it. Run some mildly warm water over the bleeding nail. Raise the dog’s foot to a higher level to reduce the bleeding by lessening the pressure on it.

Image showing a bowl full of warm water

After it seems like the bleeding has stopped, cover the wound with a wet washcloth. Apply no pressure on the wounded foot for about 20 minutes. If this method does not work, however, you’ll need to opt for another one, such as the one below.

No. 2. Styptic Pencil/Powder

Pouring styptic powder or applying styptic pencil directly to the wound is one of the most recommended tricks. Both products contain silver nitrate, which is effective to stop bleeding. Besides that, the antihemorrhagic agents found in it can help contract the blood vessels. Read below to know the right way to use them:

Styptic powder comes with Benzocaine (anesthetic for external use) and ferric subsulfate (good for bleeding wounds). All you have to do is dip your dog’s foot in the powder and apply pressure on it gently (till the bleeding stops). Styptic powder agents stop the blood by clotting it. It also ensures no entry of harmful bacteria into the wound.

Image showing a Styptic-Powder

Styptic Pen is easily obtainable as people use them for minor cuts especially while shaving. Make sure that the particular product contains silver nitrate, as it is the most important ingredient for sealing the wound. Simply dip the stick in some water then apply it to the wound. Keep the stick rolling on the wound for about two to five minutes (till the bleeding stops).

Both of these products should be able to stop the bleeding almost immediately. But due to their silver nitrate content, the application of these products causes a stinging sensation that might irritate your furry friend. So get ready for a reaction.

No. 3. Scent-Free Bar of Soap

This is a remedy that is widely available, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find. Perhaps you even have one at home already. Simply take a moistened and soft (preferably one that has been used) bar of soap. Grab the bleeding paw and push it into the bar. Hold on for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Image showing an Apple Cider Vinegar + Yogurt Soap

As the wound gets covered with soap, leave it for some time. The soap coating will coagulate the blood. Leave it for some time and the coat will get dislodged on its own.

No. 4. Powdery Household Ingredients

You can cure nail bleeding with a number of household items stocked on your kitchen shelf. Powdery ingredients like corn starch, baking soda, and flour, can all be used (separately) to make a thick paste by adding water in them.

Image presenting Corn-Flour-vs-Corn-Starch

Simply apply the paste with the help of a Q-tip on the bleeding area to make the blood coagulate. Or you can sprinkle these powdered items directly onto the affected area and gently push it with your finger. Pressing the powder will set it easily. You can repeat the procedure if necessary.

No. 5. Potassium Permanganate

This is a natural disinfectant that is commonly used by vets. If your dog is especially prone to hurting himself, potassium permanganate would definitely come in handy, so you might want to keep some stored in your pup’s first aid box.

Close-up image of potassium permanganate crystals

Potassium permanganate is usually available online, in the form of purple-hued crystals or powder. Other than the potassium permanganate itself, to stop the bleeding you need some water and cotton swabs.

Dampen the cotton swab mildly and add the crystal powder on it. Apply it to the wound directly. Wait for about 30 seconds before removing the swab. The same process can be repeated if the bleeding continuous. This time hold the cotton for 5 minutes at least. If the problem persists, contact your veterinarian immediately.

No. 6. Wrap the Wound with an Icepack

If other (the easier ones) hacks don’t work, opt for wrapping the wounded area with an ice pack. Before covering it, slip a clean sock over the injured part. Now wrap the wound with compressed cloth and ice.

Image presenting an Icepack

This should stop the bleeding as long as you make certain you are not pressurizing the wound excessively (too much pressure will be counterproductive). Any one of the aforementioned tricks should be enough to stop the bleeding if you handle it carefully and follow the instructions accurately. To prevent any unwanted infections, you can wrap a bandage around the wound, although this isn’t strictly necessary except for dogs who are prone to licking their wounds.

Preventive Tips

As they say, prevention is better than cure. There are many things that can be done to lower the chance of you hurting your dog while you’re clipping his nails:

Understand a Dog’s Nail Anatomy

If you can spare some time to learn about the anatomy and natural structure of your pooch’s nail, you’ll know which parts to cut and which parts to avoid. A dog’s nail consists of two main parts:

The Outer/Hard Shell of the Nail: It is the translucent part that keeps on growing with time and you need to cut it every few days. As it grows, it curves down towards the floor.

Image showing the The Outer/Hard Shell of a dog nail

Quick: The quick is the most sensitive area in a dog’s nail. It contains a number of nerves and blood vessels in it. Damaging it while snipping the nails, is usually the main cause for nail bleeding. The quick grows with the nail, so you have to be extra-cautious if it’s been a long while since you last cut your dog’s nail.

Learn the Proper Way to Clip a Dog’s Nails

You’ll have to pay an especially close attention to the quick. As we have mentioned above, it is naturally adjoined to the nail and grows with it. Make sure you are not cutting too close to the quick while using a nail trimmer.

Things can be harder for those who own a dog with dark or blackish nails (as compared to the pets with lighter/white colored nails). When the nails are dark, it becomes difficult to determine where the over-grown nail begins and where the quick does. It often leads to cases of misplaced snipping.

Image showing a person Clipping a dog's nails.

For pups with white/light colored nails, you are advised to look for a pinkish spot inside the nails. As for those with darker nails, it will be a small greyish spot. To sum up, the best way to avoid the quick is to snip the nails where they start to curve down towards the ground.

Pick the Right Nail Clipper

Picking the right tool for nail clipping is equally important. Exploring the pet stores. You will find a number of dog nail clippers.

Image showing a Dog Nail Clippers

There is no one size fits all solution. Make sure you are picking the one that is best for your pet.

The three available types of dog nail clippers are:

  • Scissor clippers (also known as Miller’s Forge Trimmers). These are best for larger dogs that usually have thicker nails.
  • Guillotine clippers are recommended for small to medium sized dogs.
  • Grinding Tools are not the conventional clippers. These work like grinders and grind down the nails instead of snipping them. This one is recommended for dogs who really hate the feeling of having their nails clipped. This is a time-consuming device and your dog might dislike the vibrating sensation it causes.

Points to Remember!

We are pretty sure that you’ll be able to stop the bleeding on your dog’s nail after following the aforementioned tips. To get the best results, it is essential to keep some important things in mind.

  • Stay cool and calm. Dogs are said to have the ability to read their master’s mind. Finding you panicked would automatically make them feel scared too.
  • Never wipe the blood before dipping the nail in powder or soap. The running blood, when mixed with paste or powder, helps in instant coagulation.
  • Whatever aiding procedure you opt for, make certain that your dog remains off his feet for 30 minutes at least. Find interesting ways to keep him occupied. A chew toy, a soothing massage, or a puzzle toy might be great options.
  • Many times, pet owners complain about swollen or red toe even after several days of the incident. Consult your vet if anything like that happens.
  • In case of continuous bleeding (of about 30 to 60 minutes), you are also suggested to contact your vet.

Wrap Up

Concluding the article, we hope that after you’ve gone through the info we have shared above, trimming your beloved pet’s nail would no longer be a nerve-wracking experience. In spite of all the care, if you ever cause your dog’s nail to bleed, opt for any one of the aforementioned hacks to stop the bleeding.

What you really need to understand is that keeping your own calm is the key to facing such situations successfully, without causing any further harm. Even experienced and expert dog owners or even professional groomers can commit mistakes like this, so don’t feel like you have done your dog an unforgivable wrong.

An example of beautifully short nails.

Have you ever over-trimmed your dog’s nail? If yes, we would like to hear how you dealt with nail bleeding and how it differed from our methods. Or you can also suggest the safest nail trimmers for dogs. Just post any comment you might have in the section below!

About the author
Anna Smith
Anna Smith

Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Anna's passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed.