You've decided to finally cut your dog's nails, but – oops! – you've cut too far and cut into a quick, and now the dog's nail is bleeding. This happens to many inexperienced dog owners cutting their pet's nails first few times. I will explain how to stop dog nail bleeding quickly, so do not panic.
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Your Dog's Nail Quick
Many dog owners are nervous about trimming a dog's nails. It is an intimidating task, but you shouldn't stress about it. This nervousness could be part of the reason why you cut into the dog's quick. Just know that as long as you are careful and do a bit of studying beforehand, and follow grooming safety guidelines, you should be fine.
Once you understand what needs to be done, it's just a matter of relaxing yourself and your pooch, and getting to work. Remember, if you're nervous and stressed then your dog will sense that and his own anxiety will grow because dogs sense these things. Staying calm when cutting dog's nails is very important.
Before you begin, try to guesstimate where the dog's nail quick is. Here's a diagram:
Also, consider your dog's nail type. For example, if your dog has white nails, it will be easy to see the pink quick through the nail. But if your dog has black or brown nails, it will be impossible to tell exactly where the quick is.
Focus on only clipping off the pointed end of the nail.
Even then, the worst thing that can happen is that you clip a little too much dog nail and accidentally cut into the quick anyway. Don't worry because even the most experienced pet groomers do this once in a while. If you know how to stop dog nail bleeding, you'll be able to rectify the problem in just a few seconds.
How to Stop Dog Nail Bleeding
1. Supplies You'll Need
You will need styptic powder (or styptic pen, gel), which is a clotting agent that works by contracting the blood vessels. These products are used by most professional groomers to stop a dog's nail bleeding, and there are several brands to choose from.
Not only will styptic powder stop the bleeding, but it will also prevent bacteria from getting into the bloodstream. It's available at virtually every pet store, and is fairly affordable. Cardinal Laboratories makes the most popular brand of styptic powder for dogs and you can pick up a 1.5-ounce container for under $9. Styptic powders are convenient and easy to use, but other options are also available.
Styptic pencils or styptic gels can be used instead. They are very similar to styptic powders, as in they do the exact same job, but they come in a much easier to use form but might be a little more expensive for added convenience. Miracle Care is the most popular brand. All you have to do is press the tip of the pencil or gel bottle on your pet's nail instead of pressing a pinch of powder onto his nail.
Personally, I prefer powder, because considering that you only use a pinch of styptic powder to stop nail bleeding, it's more affordable. You'll probably use a single container for many years.
However, there are a few things you can use that you'll find in your kitchen cupboard. For example, as you see in my video above, I use corn starch to clot the blood. You can also use baking soda, flour or scent free soap. These things will help to stop a dog's nail bleeding, but they do not prevent any bacteria entering the bloodstream.
Among home remedies, my favorite is corn starch because it seems to work the best, but flour works fairly well too if you don't have corn starch on hand. Some pet owners may prefer these instead of styptic powders/gels/pens because they are chemical free; plus, styptic powders are also said to sting a little bit (though it never bothered my dogs).
2. How to Stop Dog Nail Bleeding
You'll know that you've gone too far and as soon as you clip the quick, because your dog will probably whine, flinch or both. Here is how to deal with this and how to stop a dog's bleeding nail.
(1) Check the nail. First, check to see if the nail is actually bleeding, because sometimes your pooch may simply be very sensitive already if you get extremely close to the quick.
(2) Apply some pressure. If the dog's nail is in fact bleeding, apply slight pressure with a clean cloth or paper towel for about 2 minutes. This will help to control the bleeding. You will notice that the nail bleeds a lot and quickly at first. Do not worry, because this is completely normal.
(3) Add styptic powder. As I demonstrate in my video, after you've compressed the nail for 2 minutes, now you will need to dab styptic powder (or whatever clotting agent you're using) on the end of the dog's nail. Simply remove the cloth, take a small pinch of the powder and place it gently on the tip of the nail.
(4) Let the clotting begin. Styptic powder will stick to the blood and begin to help the clotting process. If you notice a bit of blood coming through, just apply another layer of powder so it sticks and starts clotting the blood.
In most cases, this process is extremely effective. So when you're still learning how to stop dog nail bleeding, this should take approx. 5-10 minutes.
Note: If you followed the above steps, and even added another layer of styptic powder but the blood doesn't completely clot after 20 minutes, you may have a more serious problem here and need to take your dog to the vet.
Remember that clotting the blood itself isn't the only goal here; you will also going to need to keep your dog calm and still for about 30 minutes more. You don't want your pet walking around putting pressure on the paw or the bleeding could start up again. Keep the dog off his feet and prevent him from licking the wound for at least half an hour.