How to stop your dog nail bleeding is easier than you think, but it’s a stressful situation for both the dog and pet owner.
Often, cutting a pet’s nails can be nerve wracking for most dog owners, especially with smaller breeds. It can be even more difficult for dogs that have had past issues with getting their nails done, dogs with anxiety, or hyperactive dogs. Another issue pet owners have is not knowing how short to cut the nails. Cutting the nails too short is a rookie mistake and one that every dog owner has done at some point. It can be a very alarming situation because the quick tends to bleed a lot as your dog is yelping in pain. Just one mistake like this is enough to cause the owner to throw in the nail clippers for good, but if you know how to stop dog nail bleeding, you’ll find that it’s not as big of a deal as you once thought.
In fact, despite the amount of blood, clipping the quick isn’t terribly painful. Many vets equate the pain to the level of pain you’ll feel with a shot.
Our guide on what you can do to stop your dog’s nail from bleeding will give you the confidence you need to get back in the saddle and keep up on your pet’s nails twice a month.
Cutting with Confidence
After you accidentally cut your dog’s quick it can take a while for your dog to learn to trust in your ability to cut their nails again. There are many methods you can use to stop your dog’s nails from bleeding, ranging from cornstarch and soap, to styptic powder.
Other Causes of Damage to the Quick
Is your dog young, hyper, and destructive? Aside from the owner accidentally cutting the quick, another common cause of injury to the nails is digging. Certain breeds are notorious diggers, especially if they’re bored. Many dogs will dig under their fence in an attempt to escape and explore, which can be problematic to the pet owner for a number of reasons.
While the digging can work to file down the nails and prevent you from even having to trim them, it can also cause damage if your hyper dog fails to notice the associated pain that comes with digging when the nails are already very short.
One solution is an invisible fence. Combined with invisible fence training, this can eliminate the unwanted digging behavior. To learn more about the different types of invisible fence containment systems available, click here.
Another solution is walking your dog twice a day to burn off that energy and to keep the nails naturally filed.
Keeping Your Cool
After you have cut your dog’s nails too short, the first thing you should do is remain calm. You’ll know right away when you’ve cut the nails too short because your dog will probably pull away from you and yelp. If you end up panicking, you’ll cause a spike in your dog’s fear. So, whatever you do, try to remain calm. As we have mentioned, the quick tends to bleed a lot. The bleeding will look much worse than the wound actually is.
The quick contains live blood vessels, so it will bleed if you cut it. The bleeding can be long-lasting. During this time, speak to your pet in a soothing voice and feed them a few treats.
Typically, these nail trimming accidents are minor and can easily be treated at home. Nail trimming accidents are the most common among dogs with dark nails, where the quick isn’t visible.
The situation can be made more stressful if you’re cutting your emotional support dog’s nails and you accidentally hit the quick. Often, these dogs are the owner’s constant companion and help to keep the owner calm, but in situations such as these, the roles will instantly be reversed. It can also cause the owner’s anxiety level to instantly increase. To learn more, you can read our article about ESAs and how to register your dog as an emotional support animal.
This can be a totally chaotic situation, based on how you respond. Your dog will follow your lead, so as long as you focus on remaining calm, your dog will quickly relax and allow you to focus on stopping the blood flow.
How to Stop the Quick Bleeding Fast
Using styptic powder is the most common method to stop a dog’s nails from bleeding, and it’s actually a very efficient one. Most groomers and vets use styptic powder to stop bleeding and treat cuts. Styptic powder contains benzocaine, which is a type of topical anesthetic that works to quickly ease pain. It also contains ferric subsulfate, which helps to stop the bleeding. To apply the powder, use an applicator, or you can dip your dog’s nail directly into the powder. If you decide to use an applicator make sure you apply an adequate amount of pressure to the nail for one to two minutes, or until the quick ceases bleeding.
This type of powder is classified as an antihemorrhagic agent which works by contracting the blood vessels, helping the blood to clot and preventing bacteria from entering the bloodstream at the same time.
Home Remedies that Will Stop the Quick from Bleeding
If you don’t have any styptic powder, there are some home remedies you can try:
- Baking soda
- Bar of soap
When you use any of these options, keep in mind that you’ll need to keep a moderate amount of pressure on the nail. While these methods do work, they don’t stop the bleeding quite as fast as styptic powder can.
However, in many cases, coagulant failure is usually caused by being too gentle with the amount of pressure applied to the nail. You can’t just sprinkle a light dusting of flour on your dog’s nail and hope for the best. You need to hold the nail and press down on it firmly, so that the flour absorbs the blood at the end of the quick, in order to help it clot.
To use cornstarch or baking soda to stop the quick from bleeding, mix the baking soda or cornstarch with water until it has formed a thick paste. Next, use a cotton ball and dip it into the mixture, applying the paste directly to the nail. The paste should be left on for a few minutes or until the bleeding has stopped. If the first application of the paste fails to stop the quick from bleeding, then go ahead and apply more.
Bar of Soap
In order to get the quick to stop bleeding using a bar of soap, you’ll need to soften the soap first by running it under warm water. Once the soap feels a little soft, place the dog’s nail firmly into the bar of soap and apply pressure until the bleeding stops.