Cutting Dog Nails Too Short (stop bleeding in 3 easy steps)

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Nail trimming is an essential part of your dog’s regular grooming routine. Cutting dog nails too short is not an uncommon thing. It causes dogs to bleed and frightens them during the next trimming time. But don’t worry! You only need to follow the 3 easy steps below to stop the bleeding. 

Let’s dive right in!

Cutting dog nails too short. What happens?

No other grooming task can frighten owners and pets more than cutting a dog’s nails. This task seems easy, but a misplaced snip might hurt your dog and cause them to hate grooming.

Many dogs have solid black nails that make it hard to see the quick, which contain live blood vessels. As a result, cutting dog nails too short accidentally is more common in dogs with black or dark nails.

When you cut their nails, it’s critical to only cut off the tip because cutting past the quick can cause bleeding and pain for your furry friend. 

Even though this bleeding is usually not life-threatening, we certainly don’t want our best friends to suffer any pain, especially from our mistakes!

Furthermore, blood might spill onto furniture, clothing, and carpet if you don’t stop bleeding quickly.

How to stop dog nail bleeding at home?

cutting dog nails too short

Cutting dog nails too short is a common problem when trimming their nails, and it can cause bleeding. But luckily, the 3 easy steps below can help!

Step 1: Don’t panic! It will be alright.

Dogs can feel your emotions. If you panic, they’re likely to be as well. Generally, cut quicks don’t bleed much, and with the correct clotting agent and pressure, bleeding will stop pretty fast.

Step 2: Use a clotting agent

The best clotting agent that professional groomers and veterinarians use is styptic powder. This powder is the quickest and most efficient method.

The styptic powder acts as a topical anesthetic and antihemorrhagic agent to help ease pain and stop bleeding. It can stop minor bleeding in 30 seconds or less.  

You can find these clotting powders at almost any pet store. And it’s a good idea to keep some in your pet’s first aid box.

How to stop dog nail bleeding with styptic powder?   

How to stop dog nail bleeding with styptic powder

There are two ways to do this. The first way:

  • Apply the styptic powder directly to the bleeding nail with a wet cotton ball.
  • Keep moderate pressure on the wound for at least 30 seconds.
  • Reapply the powder if bleeding continues.

Second way: You can directly dip your dog’s nail into the powder if he is calm. The bleeding will stop almost immediately.

Notice that your dog may feel a little sting, so keep an eye on them in case they jerk away. If your dog moves too quickly and causes the wound to re-open, you may need to reapply to stop the bleeding.

How to stop dog nail bleeding without styptic powder?

How to stop dog nail bleeding without styptic powder

Don’t worry if you don’t have styptic powder at home. We still have a few popular household things that you can use as a substitute. However, these methods work, but they don’t stop bleeding as quickly as styptic powder.

The following can be used instead of styptic powder:

  • Cornstarch: Scoop plain cornstarch into your hand and use it to cover your dog’s nail. Keep moderate pressure on the wound until the blood starts to clot. Isn’t there any cornstarch? Try flour or baking soda instead.
  • Bar of soap: Make sure the soap has a mild formula. To soften the soap, you can lightly wet it and firmly push your dog’s bleeding nail into it. Keep it there for about 5 minutes. If the soap is too slippery and falls off their nail, be patient and try again.
  • Ice cubes: Apply an ice cube to the tip of the nail (or cover it in a paper towel) to constrict blood vessels and slow bleeding. The low temperature will numb the wound area to ease the pain.

Remember that the most common reason causes coagulant failure is a fear of pressing the stuff into the blood. You have to hold and press it. You can’t just sprinkle it on like fairy dust. 

Step 3: Follow-up 

How to stop dog nail bleeding without styptic powder

Once the dog nail bleeding has stopped, wash the wounded nail with lukewarm water and bandage it to avoid licking and infection.

It’s crucial to keep your dog off his feet for at least 30 minutes after the bleeding has stopped to prevent him from re-injuring the nail. You can also wrap his paw in bandages to avoid further injury.

If the bleeding continues after 20 – 30 minutes, take your dog to the vet immediately. Also, consult your veterinarian if the toe becomes red, swollen, or does not improve after a few days.

How to cut dog’s nails properly?

When you hear your dog’s nails clicking on the ground as he walks across the floor or hard surface, it’s time to trim their nails.

Trimming their nails little by little is the best way. You can cut a small length of nails (about 1/16 inch) and continue making little cuts and checking the bottom of their nails after each one.

How often should you clip your dog’s nails

Keep in mind that the longer you let their nails grow, the longer the quick will grow. To find the quick, you need to trim slowly and check at the bottom of your dog’s nail after each cut. 

Check the bottoms of your dog’s nails regularly to see whether you’re getting close to the quick, which signals you should stop.

Our furry companions have a very long memory, so hurting their quick will almost certainly have a negative impact on the next nail trimming time. It might take a while to get them comfortable with this grooming again, but they will if you do the right things.

Use the right tools and trim slowly. Make sure to give them lots of treats and praise to make the experience more positive.


cutting dog nails too short

Cutting dog nails too short accidentally is more common in dogs with black or dark nails. Just cut off the tip because cutting past the quick can cause bleeding and pain for your furry friend. Follow 3 easy steps above to stop bleeding!

However, it’s okay if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself. You can always take your dog to the vet’s office or a groomer instead.

Whatever your dog’s breed is, training is a must if you want to eliminate bad behavior and create the obedient, well-behaved dog of your dreams. You can choose suitable online classes from these 20 reputable SpiritDog Training courses to learn how to “successfully” train your canine using science-based positive methods, or grab the free guide below.

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