How to stop a dog's nail from bleeding (2023)

Close-up of the dog's legs

How to stop a dog's nail from bleeding (1)

Sahil Mehta/EyeEm/Getty

| Credit: Sahil Mehta/EyeEm/Getty

On this page

  • Why do dog nails bleed?
  • stay calm
  • Use of styptic powder
  • home remedies
  • When the bleeding stops
  • Prepare for next time

You did everything right when you prepared to trim your dog's nails. You locate the spot where your dog's nail begins to curl and narrow, hold his foot with your hand, and cut at a slight angle. But your dog tore her leg at the last second and now her nail is bleeding. Don't worry, this happens to everyone. Here's how to stop this bleeding fast.

Why do dog nails bleed?

Like every other part of your dog's body, his toenails are supported by living tissue that makes up the hard material of the nails. Therefore, their nails continue to grow throughout their lives. This living tissue includes blood vessels and a nerve, and this duo is often referred to as the swift. Damage to the quick release fastener, whether by catching and ripping out a nail in the fence or by cutting the nail too short, will cause pain and bleeding. If you've ever pulled a nail or severely sprained your big toe, you know how it feels.

In general, you can easily tell where to trim your dog's nails by noting where the nail begins to curl and taper. With white nails, even pink can be spotted quickly and easily avoided. However, some dogs develop very thick nails that do not taper at the tips, making nail identification difficult. If nails are not trimmed regularly, the nail will start to grow, which means the next time you trim your dog's nails, it's easier to accidentally knock the nail off.

Keep calm and comfort your dog

If you bite into it quickly and your dog's nail starts bleeding, don't panic—even if your dog is yelping. Keeping calm keeps your dog calm, allowing you to treat the bleeding nail much faster and more effectively. If necessary, calm your dog down and hold his leg to keep blood from dripping around the house.

Ideally, you should already have tools to treat a bleeding nail. If not, consider having your gear ready next time. (I understandHow to trim your dog's clawsHere's a list of the tools we think you should have on hand for nail trimming.)

Use Styptic Powder to stop bleeding

Styptic powder is the best and quickest way to stop bleeding toenails from a dog's toenail. It is available at any pet store or online. Kwik-Stop is one of the most well-known brands, but there are others available.

  1. To use the powder, either place some on your finger and press against the bleeding nail, or pour some on the lid of the container and dip your dog's nail into it.
  2. Apply pressure for several seconds. If the nail is bleeding profusely, you may need to add more astringent powder.
  3. When the nail stops bleeding after removing the pressure, you can relax.

Another option is sticks with an astringent powder on the end or silver nitrate sticks. All of this burns to some degree (including dust), so your dog may flinch if you come into contact with the sensitive nerve. This discomfort will pass quickly.

home remedies for bleeding

No astringent powder on hand? There are many common household items that can help with a stitch. Here are some and how to use them:

bar of soap

Take a plain bar of soap and soften it until slightly mushy. Press your dog's nail into the soap and hold it in place for 3-5 minutes or until the bleeding stops.


Plain cornstarch or cornflour mixed with baking soda will also work. Put some cornmeal in your hand and dip your dog's nail into it. Apply pressure for a few seconds - up to 2 minutes - and then check if the bleeding has stopped.


Ice packs can also help slow bleeding because the low temperature causes blood vessels to constrict, resulting in less bleeding. Also, icing on your dog's toe will relieve the pain. If your dog objects to ice, wrap the cube in a paper towel or thin cloth to act as a barrier. This also helps soak up melting blood or water.

After the bleeding has stopped

Once the bleeding has stopped, it's time to inspect the damage to make sure this experience won't affect future nail trimming. Release your dog's leg, then pick it up again and tell him how perfect it is. Do this a few times, gently massaging her toes and holding her foot for varying lengths of time with lots of praise. This is to remind them that it's good to take care of their feet.

If you haven't cut all her nails yet, go ahead, but increase your regular praise and reward schedule. For example, if you normally give her a treat after each paw, reward her for every other toe or so. If she's really upset, you can even reward her after each nail. Your goal is to replace the bad experience of clipping a nail too close with the positive experience of regular nail clippers.

IfOfIf you're worried about further nail care, take a deep breath, but hang in there. You can do it! Even if you remove even the smallest amount from the tip of each nail, you're still doing your part to remind your dog that nail clipping is okay. You can always come back and do a more thorough job another day when you feel more relaxed.

Limit your dog's activity for the next two hours. Running can break up the fragile blood clot and cause the bleeding to come back. There is also a risk of infection if the bacteria spread quickly. If possible, prevent your pet from going outside during this time. If you keep your feet clean and dry, you're on your way to success.

RELATED:Are you afraid to clip your dog's claws? These clippers can help

Prepare for the next time your dog's nail bleeds

Although accidents can happen with regular nail trimming, there are a few ways to prepare for your next nail trimming to avoid another painful bite:

  • Buy some astringent powder and keep it handy when you trim your nails. When nail trimming day is over and you forget to do it, one of the home remedies is at your disposal.
  • Use treats liberally to make nail trimming a positive experience for your dog.
  • Play with your dog's feet regularly and treat individual toes as well so your dog will be less fussy in the future.
  • Make a nail trimming schedule and stick to it. To keep nails looking their best, trim them once a week or every two weeks.
  • If your dog's nails are overgrown and you're not sure how long the nails are, consider clipping a little off the tip every four days or so. This will help to gradually trim the claws and ensure that the claws disappear quickly without reducing the risk of bleeding in your dog.
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