How Do You Stop a Dog's Toenail From Bleeding?
As a pet owner, you are perpetually terrified of accidentally hurting your furry friend when grooming them. There’s probably no other grooming activity that a dog owner dreads more than cutting their beloved pet’s nails. This is even though there is a wide range of nail clippers available these days that have made the job significantly more manageable than before.
However, this nail cutting process can go wrong even with one misplaced snip. Unfortunately, this leaves your beloved pet skittish and super-reluctant ever to let you come near its feet again.
While clipping nails, if you mistakenly cut into your dog’s vein or nerve that runs into every nail, you can undoubtedly expect a big bloody mess to occur. This mess can damage your carpet, furniture, etc., but most importantly, it will make your dog lose its trust in your grooming capabilities.
This is not something that you want to happen, as it will mean that you would have to take your dog to the groomer every single time for getting their nails cut.
If you’ve cut your dog’s quick – a soft cuticle full of blood vessels – by mistake, don’t fret. Even the most experienced groomers have made this mistake at some point. Cutting the quick results in a lot of bleeding, this can naturally cause you to start panicking.
It’s typically easier to mistakenly cut your dog’s nails too short, especially if it has black or very dark-colored nails. It’s much easier to groom dogs that have white or light-colored nails as their quick vessels are more visible, which makes it easier to avoid them while clipping.
How to Know Your Dog’s Nails Require Grooming?
You’ll know that your dog’s nails require grooming the moment you hear them clicking and clacking against the floor or any other hard surface. This is a clear indication that your pet is long overdue for a nail trim. Apart from the click-clacking, the best way to know if your dog’s nails are overgrown is to see where the nail makes a defined downward curve.
The rule is to typically clip off the part of the nail that makes a defined curve down towards the floor. If you go too far beyond that point, you will end up snipping the quick, which will result in a bloody mess. Also, bear in mind that the longer your dog’s nails grow, the longer the quick tends to grow as well.
Why Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails on Time?
Dogs that run about on hard surfaces such as concrete or blacktop are often able to wear down their nails naturally. However, if you are a dog owner, it is highly unlikely that you let your dog walk around on roadsides unsupervised for long hours. Your dog likely spends most of its time within your house premises and on grassy surfaces. This means that its nail tips don’t get worn down naturally. This is why indoor dogs often have overly long nails.
It’s crucial to know when your dog’s nails have grown beyond an appropriate point. The usual grooming time for their nails is two weeks. If you leave your dog’s nails uncut for too long, and they grow to be overly long, they are at a high risk of being torn off, which can be incredibly painful for your pup.
Their nails can quickly get stuck in a piece of carpeting or get forcefully cut by the sharp edge of some furniture. You should recognize at an early stage that your dog requires nail grooming to prevent your pup from suffering any harm.
Overly long nails can also cause your dog some discomfort and pain while it walks on hard surfaces. This is because when your dog’s nails hit the surface as it walks, it is continuously putting pressure on the nail beds. This is especially true for young pups that are most susceptible to pain.
If you don’t cut their nails in time, they can experience severe pain while trotting about. What’s more, is that this constant pressure on overly long nails can force your dog to distribute its weight unnaturally while it walks. This can negatively affect the way your dog’s paw joints and toes are aligned.
Also, long nails tend to break off more easily since the longer a nail gets, the weaker it becomes. This opens up your pet to a whole new world of infections followed by other complications, which means more and more stressful visits to the vet.
How to Do Dog’s Nail Clipping Step-By-Step?
While nail clipping might be a great challenge for many, there are a few necessary steps that you can follow to clip your dog’s nails without any detrimental consequences. Here are a few steps that you can follow to ensure your dog’s effective grooming and safety.
- Make sure that your dog is relaxed and calm before you initiate the nail-clipping process. Taking your furry little friend for a walk before the grooming session may help.
- Make your dog sit in a specific place and let it get comfortable. Spread its feet and start inspecting them for any dirt or debris. In case you see any dirt, wipe it off with a cloth before you get down to business.
- The third step is to hold your adorable pet in place by placing your arms and upper body over it. This will give you control over your pet and make it easier for you to clips its nails. While trimming your pet’s front nails, place your forearm over its neck to prevent it from lifting its head.
- During this process, if your dog starts to get anxious or becomes extremely jumpy, try to put it on its side and gently hold it down.
- Make sure that you use a sharp pair of clippers. You can attempt to cut off the tip of each nail at a certain angle. Ensure that you snip it off before its main curling point.
- You will have to be wary of the quick. Unluckily, if you cut into the quick mistakenly, it will start bleeding, which you will need to stop right away. You can stop the bleeding by using styptic powder.
- After you’ve cut your fluffy friend’s nails, you can either use an emery board or a nail filer to smoothen out the edges.
Watch the video below on trimming dog’s nail correctly.
Things to Remember:
- If it’s your first time trimming your dog’s nails, you need to make sure that it is comfortable with the task at hand. To ensure that your dog is not stressed out, start slowly. First, introduce the clippers to your dog and let it sniff and touch them. Then, make sure that your dog is comfortable with getting her paws handled. Create positive associations with nail clipping and grooming in your dog’s mind. You can do this by offering your dog treats and showering it with praises. This will allow your dog to get used to the grooming process and stay relaxed while getting its nails trimmed.
- When you trim your dog’s nails, make sure to hold the clippers at a 45-degree angle. Carefully clip each nail to ensure that you don’t accidentally cut the live part of the nail. To ensure that you don’t cut your dog’s quick, stop clipping the nail once you reach the pink part. This will be easy to spot if your dog has white nails. However, if your dog’s nails are discolored or black, only trim the nails till the point where you can see a white interior.
How to Stop a Dog’s Toenail from Bleeding?
Despite operating very carefully and slowly, did you still end up cutting your dog’s nails too short? Now, how do you stop a dog’s toenail from bleeding? You don’t need to fret as this is a prevalent issue that many people face but, fortunately, there are many solutions that you can follow to bring the bleeding to a halt.
While it may take quite a while to regain your little friend’s trust when it comes to grooming, you can quickly treat and heal the wound in the comfort of your own home. From applying styptic powder to adopting DIY’s, here are a few convenient ways to stop your pet’s nails from bleeding.
Remain Calm Even After You Cut Your Dogs Nail Too Short
The key to getting through this ordeal is to remain calm. If you’ve cut your dog’s nail too short, you’ll be aware of that immediately. Your pet is very likely to pull away from you and let out a loud yelp. If you panic during this situation, it will make your dog’s fear a lot worse.
So, the more composed you remain, the calmer your dog will be too. We get that it can be a bit hard to stay calm when your dog is yelping in pain, but if you show signs of panic, it will only cause your dog to stress out. It might lead them to injure themselves further, which is not something that you want.
If you cut the quick, it will start bleeding profusely. At that point, it’s good to calm your dog in a soothing tone and instantly offer it some uber-tasty dog treats to distract it from the pain. Nail clipping accidents are typically minor and can be treated at home easily. However, it’s a lot better to have another person to assist you as the process will be much easier. It will also allow you to keep your dog calm.
Stop the Bleeding by Using Styptic Powder
So, how do you stop a dog’s toenail from bleeding? Well, you can apply styptic powder on the bleed. Styptic powder is perhaps the most common yet efficient way to stop a dog’s nail from bleeding. This is the most popular technique used by vets and pet groomers for the treatment of minor cuts to keep them from bleeding. Styptic powder typically contains Benzocaine that serves as a topical anesthetic, which aids in relieving pain. It also contains ferric sub sulfate that aids in putting a stop to bleeding.
You can use the styptic powder by dipping your dog’s nails directly into it, or you can use it as an applicator and apply it on your pet’s wound yourself. You can apply the styptic powder using a swab or a q-tip. Make sure that you apply some moderate pressure to your pet’s nails for a little while, or at least until the bleeding completely stops.
Apart from styptic powders, you also have the option of using styptic pencils. However, it’s essential to know that both of them contain anti-hemorrhagic agents that work towards contracting blood vessels. Styptic aids in clotting the blood that works effectively towards preventing bacteria from entering into the bloodstream.
If you don’t have any styptic powder or pencils at your home, it might be a good idea to purchase some from any pet supply store. You can also find styptic powders at any pharmacy as it’s used to treat shaving or cutting injuries.
Using a Styptic Pencil to Stop a Bleeding Nail
Styptic pencils are readily available at most pharmacies. They’re like a styptic powder but are in a more concrete form. Hence, they serve the same purpose as styptic powder – they stop bleeding and disinfect cuts and injuries. Here’s how you can use styptic pencils to stop your pet’s nail from bleeding.
- Dip the tip of your styptic pencil inside a bowl or glass of clean water. You can also put a drop of water on the tip of the pencil to help it get moistened.
- The second step is to take the styptic pencil and lightly rotate it across the cut or injury of your dog’s nail. While this might hurt your pet a little, it will be very effective.
- Styptic pencils contain silver nitrate, which promotes coagulation. This proves to be amazing for sealing injured blood vessels.
You should use styptic pencils very cautiously as the silver nitrate they contain tends to sting upon contact with a wound or cut. You can expect your furry friend to display signs of discomfort when it’s applied on the nail.
Also, remember that silver nitrate tends to create a lot of mess. It can stain your carpet, counter top, and even your skin. Therefore, you should opt for certain precautionary measures before using it.
Use Home Remedies to Help Your Dog’s Bleeding Nail
If you have run out of styptic powder at home or you don’t stock it in the first place, then how do you stop a dog’s toenail from bleeding in such an instance? Well, if you don’t have styptic powder at home, don’t fret! There are a few everyday items that are always there in every house which you can use to curtail the bleeding. A few of these household items include cornstarch, flour, soap, and baking soda.
You should bear in mind that regardless of the item you use to stop the bleeding, you will have to apply pressure on your dog’s nail while applying the solution. While these methods work effectively, they’re not as great a styptic powder. Hence, to make them more productive, you will have to maintain steady pressure on the wound for a little while.
Using Baking Soda, Cornstarch, or Flour to Stop Bleeding
A great home-based remedy to stop your dog’s nail from bleeding is to use any of these three items that are available in any household. You will have to cover your dog’s nail with any of these three powdery items and then adequately smoothly compress their nail using a towel or cloth to bring the bleeding to a halt.
Here’s how you can treat your dog’s nail with cornstarch, baking soda, or flour.
- Put some baking soda, cornstarch, or flour on your palm.
- Gently grab your dog’s paw and dip it into the powder on your palm.
- If your dog’s nail doesn’t stop bleeding in the first attempt, dip it once again.
- Don’t wipe off the material from your dog’s nail until the bleeding stops.
- Lastly, don’t forget to apply pressure on your dog’s nail by using a towel or a cloth to ensure that the bleeding stops completely.
If you feel like your dog isn’t a big fan of having its nail dipped on your palm, you can use an applicator such as a cotton swab or q-tip to apply the soda, flour, or cornstarch. In cases where the bleeding doesn’t stop that instant, you should apply some more of the substance on their nail. Keeping the substance on your dog’s nail for longer will aid in coagulation.
Use Soap to Keep Your Dog’s Nail from Bleeding
You can also use soap to stop your dog’s nail from bleeding. You will have to soften the bar of soap beforehand by getting it a little wet. Once the soap has gone a little mushy, you can place it right on your dog’s nail while maintaining firm pressure for a few minutes.
Watch the video below on how to stop a dog’s toenail from bleeding.
Now you know how to stop a dog’s toenail from bleeding. Most nail injuries tend to be minor and so the bleeding typically halts within twenty minutes. However, even though the blood loss might seem very terrible, it’s usually pretty minimal. The above techniques work if the wound is minor. In case the bleeding doesn’t stop within the given period (20 minutes), you might have to call a vet.
Paul Cook is an avid pet and animal enthusiast. He spent much of her childhood on a small farm in rural Iowa. When in high school, Paul nursed an entire box of newborn, and recently dumped, kittens back to health, and successfully found homes for all of them. He’s presently the dog-dad of nine beautiful dogs, Bruno, Lester, Sandy, Bailey, Dio, Pat, Max, Brutus, and Nora. In his career life, Paul has 20+ years of writing experience as a content writer and content collaborator across a host of verticals. When he is not writing, he is spending time with his dogs.