How to Stop a Dog’s Nail from Bleeding

If you have ever trimmed your dog’s nails, it’s possible that you may have cut them too short, resulting in dog nail bleeding. While it is a small amount of blood to deal with, the drama exhibited by your dog leaves little doubt that this is a traumatic experience for them. They will no doubt cry, shake, and try to pull away.

How to stop dog nail bleeding

What to Do if Your Dog’s Nail is Bleeding

An important thing to keep in mind in this situation is that everything will be. Dog nail bleeding can happen, especially if you’re not used to trimming their nails yourself. While this is usually not a situation that needs emergency care, it’s still important to address the problem as soon as possible so your pet can heal.

Below are tips on what you can do to help with dog nail bleeding:

Stay Calm, Your Dog Will be Ok

First and foremost, it is essential to stay calm. Any anxiety you feel will manifest itself within your dog, and we do not want that. Your dog likely freaked out a little, or maybe a lot, but it is essential to let them calm down before proceeding.

You have some time here, there is minimal blood supplied to the nail, but it may make a mess if allowed to get on carpet or furnishings.

Help Your Dog Calm Down

Take a moment for you and your dog to calm down, making sure to keep them in a safe place and avoiding a dog bite. You will need to observe the amount of blood flow to determine a course of action. The bleeding may be categorized as minor if it merely wells up at the end of the nail with a persistent drip or major if it is actively dripping.

Use a Styptic Pen or Powder on the Bleeding Nail

The easiest and most effective way to stop either type of dog nail bleeding from trimming them too closely is with a styptic pen or styptic powder. Either of these is readily available at pharmacies, pet stores, and farm supply stores. In fact, if you are reading this in preparation to trim your dog’s nails, you can likely find styptic options near the dog nail clippers.

Styptic powder is made from alum, a derivative of sulfate salts of potassium aluminum or ammonium salts. It should be noted that applying styptic Ipowder to the fresh open wound at the end of the nail will sting at first. It is advisable to be prepared for your dog’s reaction and hold them steady.

Use Other Household Items That Can Help Stop the Bleeding

Some everyday household items will help stop the bleeding as well. Minor bleeding may be controlled by rubbing the affected area with a clean bar of mild scent-free soap. Another option includes applying pressure with a wet tea bag.

The best home remedy is likely pressing the end of the nail into a mixture of cornstarch and baking soda (plain cornstarch works also) in the palm of your hand.

First Aid Steps for a Dog Nail Bleeding

Once the nail is clipped too short, do not panic! As previously mentioned, this is something that happens and your dog will be okay. That being said, it’s best to take care of the problem right away so your dog can begin to heal as soon as possible.

Below are some first aid steps that can help if your dog’s nail is bleeding:

Wrap the Bleeding Nail and Apply Pressure

Immediately wrap the affected nail in a clean cloth or paper towel to apply pressure to the nail end. While soothing and reassuring your dog, hold this pressure for at least two minutes without peaking.

Apply Pressure to Bleeding Nail with Crushed Ice

If there is no dripping blood, move to step 3. If it is still dripping, put some crushed ice in a clean rag and hold pressure on the nail end with the ice pack for at least two minutes more.

Use Preferred Remedy to Help Stop the Bleeding

Blood flow should be minimal at this point but may still be seeping. Do not wipe away any blood between compression and applying any of these remedies. This will disturb the coagulation process.

Now you can use the following depending on availability and preference:

  • Styptic pen or powder
  • Cornstarch/baking soda mixture
  • Cornstarch alone
  • Wet tea bag
  • Clean bar of scent-free soap

Alternate Between Ice Compression and Remedies

If the wound is severe, it may be necessary to alternate between compression with ice and one of the treatments in step 3. Generally, the bleeding should be stopped by this step.

Try to keep your dog calm and off their feet for at least 30 minutes. If the bleeding was persistent or if your dog will not leave it alone, it is beneficial to keep the paw wrapped during this time.

Why Do I Need to Trim My Dog’s Nails if it Could Make Them Bleed?

Even though there’s the potential that your dog’s nail may bleed from having them trimmed too short, it’s still something important that needs to be done for your pet.

Having your dog’s nails trimmed on a regular basis comes with a variety of benefits and can help prevent potential injuries and health problems.

Prevents Chronic Joint Problems

Dogs with overgrown nails can suffer from chronic joint problems in their toes and feet. Also, waiting long periods between trimming can lead to soft tissue and blood vessels extending farther into the nail than usual. This makes it more challenging to trim appropriately without causing pain or bleeding.

Prevents the Nail from Becoming Damaged or Ripped Away

Nails that are left long can become damaged and, in some cases, may rip away from the nail bed or breaking a toe. A situation like this could necessitate a trip to your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian hospital if it occurs outside of regular business hours.

Helps Keep Your Dog’s Nail Clean

Another concern is cleanliness. Much like human nails, long dog nails tend to gather dirt and grass, or whatever else your dog may step or dig in, underneath to be carried into your home.

Can I Trim My Dog’s Nails and Prevent Dog Nail Bleeding?

You should not be afraid to trim your dog’s nails on your own. Preparation is key in this case. A little research will reveal numerous methods to get the job done. Options range from standard nail clippers to electric grinders with gentle sanding action to trim and smooth at the same time.

The best style will mostly depend on the temperament of your dog. It may be advisable to have a professional do them first and watch or ask what method they recommend.

When you are ready to do it yourself, be prepared with a clean rag, crushed ice, and styptic powder just in case. Your dog will thank you for the frequent “mani-pedi,” and it will help prevent your pet from experiencing any health problem or injury that can arise from having overgrown nails.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of three animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.