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5 Ways & Tips to Solve Dog Nail Bleeding

Dogs sometimes bleed from their nails when they play. How am I going to help my dog avoid bleeding nails? This article will help you find the answers to all of them;

Dog Nail

What are the causes of Nail bleeding?

  1. Dog nails cut too short can bleed; the
  2. Dog nails may also grow inward, causing bleeding;
  3. Fractured nails can lead to bleeding nails;

Why do nails break?

Dogs can break their nails in various ways,such as:

  1. snagging them on surfaces like carpet or grass.
  2. Older dogs may have dry and brittle nails that are prone to breaking.
  3. Awkward landings during jumps or runs can also lead to nail injuries.
  4. Additionally, certain nail disorders can make nails more susceptible to breaking: bacterial and fungal infections, ingrown nails, and a rare inflammatory disease called lupoid onychodystrophy.
  5. Chronic fungal infections, immune-mediated or hereditary diseases, and nutritional deficiencies can make nails brittle.

Regardless of the cause, a broken nail is painful and requires immediate attention. If broken toenails are a recurring issue, consulting a veterinarian can help identify any underlying issues and start appropriate therapy to improve nail health.

How to Cure Dog Nail Bleeding

How can I help my dog avoid broken nails?

1. To prevent broken nails, it is important to keep your dog’s nails trimmed. Short nails are less likely to snag, so ask your veterinarian or veterinary technician for guidance on proper nail trimming. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, schedule regular appointments for nail trims at the veterinary hospital. Sharp nail trimmers designed for dogs are a great choice.

When trimming the nails, the goal is to cut them as short as possible without hitting the quick. This is easier with white nails, as the pinkish quick is more visible. Dark nails can be more challenging, but using sharp nail trimmers designed for dogs can help prevent shredding and reduce the risk of breakage.

2. A high-quality diet is essential for maintaining a healthy coat and nails. Consult with your veterinarian to find the right product for your dog’s specific nutritional needs. If your dog has a dry and scruffy coat, it may be a sign that a diet change is necessary.

3. Allowing your dog to play on concrete or other hard surfaces can naturally wear down their nails. This can be beneficial, especially if their nails are longer. It helps to reduce the inconvenience and discomfort for your dog caused by overly long nails.

Remember, our nails are not just for show. They’re a vital part of our body that need proper care and attention too. So, let’s treat them right!

What is cutting the Quick?

The “quick” in a dog’s nail is essentially a part of a blood vessel. It is Positioned above the nail curve and contains the blood vessel and nerves running through your dog’s nails. this structure nourishes your dog’s nails, allowing for growth and sensation.

It’s located within a dog’s nail structure, which consists of a tough outer covering.

Cutting into the quick can cause pain and bleeding because of these contained blood vessels. In dogs with white or clear nails, the quick is easily visible as a pink or red spot. However, for dogs with black nails, the quick isn’t visible through the nail.

dog quick

When we trim the nails, we need to do it carefully, you see the pulp turn grey. You’ll usually spot a small grey circle, indicating where to stop trimming.

Accidental nicks to the quick while trimming can cause your dog pain and usually result in bleeding.

In case of bleeding, halt trimming immediately.

Dog nail trimming steps

  1. Acclimating Your Dog to Paw Handling. Select the perfect moment. Since many dogs dislike nail trims, aim for a time when your dog is at ease. If they’re playful, hold off until they’re relaxed before starting paw-handling training.
  2. Gradually introduce paw handling. Begin by softly touching your dog’s paws. If they don’t resist, start massaging the paw and lightly pressing their nails. Depending on your dog’s age and temperament, it might take several sessions to get them accustomed to paw handling. Repeat this exercise daily until your dog is comfortable with paw handling.
  3. Train your dog to lie on their side during trims, if necessary. If your dog has had a negative experience with nail trims, they might resist them. For example, cutting the “quick” can cause pain and bleeding. Older dogs may find nail trimming uncomfortable due to arthritis. For such dogs, it can be beneficial to have them lie down while you handle their nails. Another option, for those experienced in nail trimming, is trimming the nails while the dog is standing without lifting the paw.
  4. Check the paws for irregularities. While massaging the paws and nails, inspect their health. Any pain, sore spots, nail breakage, swelling, redness, or unusual nail color should be reported to your vet before attempting to trim the nails. Common nail disorders in dogs include trauma, infections, tumors, and immune diseases.
  5. Use dog-specific clippers. Human clippers aren’t suitable for dog nails, which are cupped, as they can cause pain or injury. Dog nail trimmers are typically either guillotine (U-shaped) or scissor types. Your choice depends on personal preference.
  6. Identify the quick. The quick, a part of the nail rich in blood supply and nerves, can cause pain and bleeding if cut. Ideally, trim the nail back to within 2-4 millimeters of the quick. If your dog has dark nails, trim carefully to avoid cutting the quick. Regular trimming can help the quick recede to a normal length.
  7. Secure your dog. If your dog is relaxed and used to having their paws handled, have them lie down for trimming. If they get restless, gently restrain them in a lying position. If your dog is very active, ask for help to hold the dog while you focus on trimming.
  8. Start with the back paws. They’re usually shorter and easier to trim, and dogs are often calmer about their back paws being handled. Trim 2-3 millimeters in front of the quick. Don’t forget to trim the dewclaws if your dog has them.
  9. Treat any bleeding if you cut into the quick. If you accidentally cause bleeding, apply tissue, cornstarch, or a commercial stop-bleeding powder to the nail. Call your vet if bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes.
  10. Regularly praise your dog. Praise and treats can motivate your dog to remain still. Praise them throughout the process and treat them after each paw.
  11. File the nails, if necessary. Freshly cut dog nails can be rough and may damage floors or furniture. If this concerns you, file the nails immediately to round them off.
trimming dog nails step

Tips for cutting your dog’s nails

Wade suggests that we should learn a few tricks to keep getting to know our dogs, trim them in a gentle way, and get them used to cutting their nails. Here are some tips:

  1. Begin Early: It’s recommended to start body-handling exercises when your dog is still a puppy. Gently introducing your dog to every aspect of nail trims, including the equipment and foot handling, can help them understand that it’s not a scary or painful process.
  2. Understand Dog Psychology: Seeing the nail care process from your dog’s viewpoint can help you reassess how you approach trimming your dog’s nails, which can mitigate their reactions.
  3. DIY Nail Trimming: Opting to trim your dog’s nails at home rather than relying on a vet or groomer can make the process more relaxing for your dog. Pet professionals, due to their busy schedules, may handle the task more quickly but less comfortably for your dog.
  4. Evaluate Your Tools: If your dog has had a negative experience with a specific trimming tool, consider switching to a different one. It’s often easier to create a new positive association with a tool, rather than trying to undo a negative one.
  5. Trim With Caution: One of the most daunting aspects of trimming a dog’s nails is the risk of cutting the blood vessel inside the nail, which can be painful and lead to considerable bleeding. If you accidentally cut the quick of the nail, it’s crucial to have a plan to stop the bleeding. You can use styptic powder and apply pressure, or in a pinch, even baking flour can work. Remember, these nails can bleed heavily, so maintain pressure for a full two minutes before applying the styptic powder.

How to prevent your dog’s nails from bleeding

  1. Trim your dog’s nails as soon as they grow.
  2. Do not cut into the quick area during the trimming process.
How to Cure Dog Nail Bleeding

What to do if your dog’s nail is bleeding?

When we encounter a dog’s nail bleeding, the first thing should be to keep calm, not to panic, to avoid their emotions affecting the dog. The second step is to stop the bleeding of the dog’s nail, which can be stopped by using super glue, styptic powder, styptic pencils, cornstarch, flour, baking soda, and soap block.

Stop bleeding with super glue

The method of using super glue may seem unusual, but it’s actually quite effective. The main component in super glue, cyanoacrylate, is commonly used to seal surgical wounds. Hence, it can be a practical solution to stop bleeding from a dog’s nail. It’s even utilized for oral incisions, making it safe for dogs. However, ensure your dog doesn’t ingest any of the glue before it dries.

Learning to seal the wound is a crucial step in halting a dog’s nail from bleeding and preventing further injuries.

Wade suggests when utilizing any product not specifically designed for dogs, it’s essential to check the ingredients. This applies to food, medical products, and all else. If there are other ingredients besides cyanoacrylate, ensure they’re safe for use on a wound.

Stop bleeding with styptic powder

Styptic powder is a highly effective method to halt bleeding from a dog’s nail. It’s widely used by veterinarians and groomers to treat minor cuts and stop bleeding. It contains Benzocaine, a topical anesthetic that eases pain, and ferric subsulfate, which aids in stopping bleeding.

Styptic powders or pencils are agents that contract blood vessels to stop bleeding. They help the blood clot and prevent bacteria from entering the bloodstream.

Stop bleeding with styptic powder

How to use styptic powder

When trimming your pet’s nails, keep styptic powder at hand to use in case of bleeding. Applying styptic powder is straightforward:

  1. Clean any blood from your pet’s paws.
  2. Take some of the powder between your fingers.
  3. Apply it to the bleeding area using gentle pressure.
  4. You could dip your pet’s nail into a shallow dish filled with the powder and then apply light pressure. Using a powder stick is another option to halt bleeding.
How to Cure Dog Nail Bleeding

Once the powder is applied, the bleeding should cease, and no further steps are required. However, if the bleeding persists, consult your vet. In case of severe bleeding, bypass the styptic powder and head directly to an emergency pet health center.

Stop bleeding with styptic pencil

Be careful while using styptic pencils for your dog’s nail as they often contain silver nitrate, which can cause a stinging sensation. Your dog might feel uncomfortable when it’s first applied. Be aware that silver nitrate can be messy, staining your skin, carpets, and countertops.

Here’s a concise guide on using a styptic pencil to stop your dog’s nail from bleeding:

  1. Wet the tip of the styptic pencil with clean water.
  2. Gently roll the moistened pencil over the cut on your dog’s nail.
  3. The silver nitrate in the pencil will quickly trigger blood clotting and seal the wounded vessels.
How to Cure Dog Nail Bleeding

Stop bleeding with cornstarch, flour, baking soda

Maintaining steady pressure on your dog’s bleeding nail while applying a remedy is crucial, despite these methods not halting bleeding as immediately as styptic powder. For effectiveness, apply moderate pressure for a few minutes.

How to Stop Dog’s Nail Bleeding with Flour, Baking Soda, or Cornstarch

These common kitchen items can act as a home remedy to stop your dog’s nail from bleeding. Completely cover the nail with one of these ingredients and apply gentle pressure using a towel or cloth until the bleeding halts.


  1. Pour flour, baking soda, or cornstarch into your hand.
  2. Dip your dog’s bleeding nail into the powder.
  3. If bleeding persists, re-dip the nail without wiping it clean.
  4. Apply gentle pressure on the nail with a towel or cloth for several minutes.
  5. If your dog dislikes nail dipping, use a cotton applicator to apply the powder. In case bleeding continues, add more powder without wiping the nail. The existing powder aids in clotting. Apply gentle pressure with a cloth or paper towel until the bleeding stops.

Stop bleeding with the soap bar

Softening a bar of soap can help to halt your dog’s nail bleeding. Wet the soap to make it mushy, then press it directly onto your dog’s bleeding nail and apply firm pressure for a couple of minutes.

Stop bleeding with the soap bar

How to Use Soap to Stop Dog’s Nail From Bleeding:


  1. Dampen a bar of soap until it becomes mushy.
  2. Press your dog’s affected nail directly into the soap.
  3. Maintain the nail in the soap while applying firm pressure for 3-5 minutes.
    If you’re uncomfortable pushing your dog’s paw into the soap, break off a piece, wrap it in a towel, and apply. Maintain firm pressure for at least 3 minutes to stop bleeding. Ensure the bleeding has stopped by checking cautiously before removing the pressure.

Apply pressure to stop bleeding

Apply pressure directly to your dog’s bleeding fingernail. Apply pressure for 3-5 minutes to stop bleeding.

Dog nail bleeding is not a troublesome thing, we encounter dog nail bleeding, do not panic, step by step to solve it, if you have more questions about dog nail bleeding, feel free to leave a message to Wade below.

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