How To Stop Dog Nail Bleeding: A Quick And Safe Guide

Are you a first-time dog parent? Is this the first time you are trying to clip your dog’s nails at home? If the answer is yes for either of these questions, then I’m sure you’re afraid of the consequences that come with the slip of a hand with the clippers. We’re here today with a wealth of information to stop exactly that. What do you do if you clip your dog’s nails too short? Read on to find out!

Everything You Need To Know About Stopping Dog Nail Bleeding

What Does It Mean to Cut the Nails Too Short?

A dog’s nails consist of two parts: the nail itself, and the quick. The quick is the nerve that runs through the nail and is what will pain your dog if you cut into it. If that is what has been done, bleeding may occur.

Remember to keep calm if you do mess up and hurt your puppy. We understand you might feel an insurmountable amount of guilt, but keeping calm will keep the situation under control and manageable. The nail is a very sensitive area for your dog and keeping yourself and his calm is extremely important. Once that has been established, you can treat the nail more effectively.


As we have suggested in a previous article, keeping styptic powder handy before a dog nail trimming session is a smart idea. This handy tool comes in powder form or in the form of a styptic pencil. They can be purchased at most pharmacies or major pet stores. It works by constricting the blood vessels so clotting occurs more quickly. Just put a small amount in the palm of your hand and place the injured nail into it. If you have a pencil form, just dab the powder on the end of the hurt nail. Similar to antiseptic and alcohol, it might give your dog an unpleasant initial sting when applied. To lessen the damage, give your dog a treat while you apply it and remember to hold him firmly. 

There are a few home remedies suggested by local vets that work just as well if you don’t have styptic powder at the ready. Cornstarch works surprisingly well. If you have baking soda in your cupboards as well, add it into the mix for added support. Flour also works if you have neither one of the above at home.

Keeping tissue, towels and paper towels nearby also helps you stop the bleeding without getting blood everywhere. Compression is necessary to eventually stop the bleeding, but make sure you don’t use too much force. We don’t need to aggravate the situation by hurting your dog even more.

It takes anywhere from 2-5 minutes for your dog to stop bleeding and for the blood to clot. Be patient, and if you notice the blood continuing to come, keep compressing it for another few minutes.

While we don’t typically condone using products that aren’t specially designed for canines, there are a few nifty household items that also apparently do the trick. A word of caution though, use at your own risk.

Super glue is another trending solution to bleeding nails. It sounds harmful, but just hear us out. Cyanoacrylate is an active ingredient found in glue that surgeons use to close up wounds. Those who are active viewers of hospital dramas may have seen something of the sort. Definitely make sure your dog ingests none of this. Since most dogs like to lick their wounds so to speak, it could be hard to avoid this so use at your own risk.

Another less controversial way to stop your dog from bleeding is to use a bar of soap. A mild and non-scented option is preferred. Just rub the softened bar across the tip of the nail while keeping pressure to stop the bleeding in a couple of minutes. It’s important not to use anything that may aggravate the open wound.

If you end up not just nicking the quick but actually cutting deeper or the base of your dog’s nails, you might need to make a trip to the vet. 

Sometimes your dog may sustain minor injuries on walks or during playtime. It’s usually recommended to take your dog on walks on the sidewalk and asphalt to help grind down his or her nails. However, some dogs may have brittle nails that may chip and crack due to this. If this is your dog, you can use the same remedies we have suggested above to treat the problem. From then on, we would urge you to try to restrict the walks to softer grounds such as grass.

Sometimes the cause of brittle nails could be solved with supplements, but make sure you consult your vet in case the issue is an underlying health issue. 


After the bleeding has stopped, make sure you keep an eye on the injury and rest your dog for a while afterward. It’s also wise not to continue with the nail trimming as chances are your dog might be extremely fearful of the clippers at this time. 

Keep your dog off his feet for a while and reward him with treats.

Extra Tips

To prevent your dog’s nails from bleeding in the first place during nail trimming, you need to identify the quick. It’s easy if your dog has clear nails, but if he doesn’t try clipping little by little, just a bit off the end. If you want a more thorough trim, keep at it until you see a little grey circle at the center of the untrimmed nails. This means you are getting close to the quick. Using any of these greatest nail grinders for dogs can help you with the task.

After you have had one unpleasant experience, your dog may be extra cautious around nail clippers now. It might take a while before you can try again, but just make sure you have lots of treats ready and be patient. Taking out the trimmers and treats without giving your dog a clip might help. This is to help him associate the treats to the nail clippers. Eventually, after his fear has subsided, you can try again. You can also utilize a guard for your dog’s nail clipper to keep the process safer.


If you want to avoid this trouble, it’s easy to send your dog to the professional groomer’s. Nail trimming is an important part of your dog’s grooming routine and shouldn’t be avoided. These are great tips to remember to save your dog from any sort of nail-related injury. Some dog parents may have a tougher time with more stubborn dogs, but patience is key to this process. If done well, it can even become a bonding experience to strengthen your relationship! These remedies are for minor bleeding, take your dog to the vet if bleeding persists for more than 20 minutes.

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