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How To Stop Dog Nail Bleeding: Step-By-Step Guide

Have you ever cut your dog’s nails so short that they start bleeding? There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing our furry friends in pain, especially if we’re the ones at fault.

Nails help dogs grip the ground when they walk and play, they also protect your dog's feet from injuries. So, it is vital to take care of dogs' nails or else you can have a handful of nail problems to deal with.

As dog parents, it is our responsibility to maintain and condition our pup’s nails. In this article, we will cover the causes, prevention methods and products that help deal with bleeding nails.

Reasons why dog nails bleed

If you notice your dog's nails bleeding, there could be a few reasons behind it.

Nails trimmed too short

One of the most common reasons is that the nails have been clipped too short. While trimming your dog’s nails, you may clip the nail too close to the quick - vein and nerve that runs through the nail. To avoid such mishaps, become familiar with how to trim dog nails, and choose the right tool for the process. A dog nail grinder is a great option for inexperienced groomers as it trims the nails gradually rather than snapping them in one go, allowing you to get a better feel for the sensitive part of the nail.

Ingrown nails

Ingrown nails are a common ailment in dogs. They happen when the nails grow to a point where they curl and dig into the skin causing major discomfort for your pup. In more severe cases, it can result in inflammation and even lead to infection. Bleeding caused by ingrown nails is usually not significant and may not even be noticeable without a closer look. However, even the smallest of wounds can be the cause of an infection, so it’s important to tend to it asap. Aside from establishing a nail trimming routine, be on the lookout for excessive licking of the paws. If you notice bleeding, clean the wound and take your dog to the vet for further check.

Cracked or broken nails

Other common causes of bleeding dog nails are cracks and fractures. When they occur, the quick becomes exposed to environmental factors and foreign particles, which can cause pain and bleeding. With how much pressure our canines apply to their nails by going about their day-to-day lives, cracks and breaks are quite frequent. However, if the issue remains persistent over an extended period, there is a good chance the source of the problem could lie within their diet. Just like humans, dogs need certain nutrients to grow and maintain healthy nails, and if they're not sure what those nutrients are or how to portion them, it’s best to consult a veterinary nutritionist.

Nail infection

The last reason dog nails bleed is that they have become infected. If your dog's nails become chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged, they may be more susceptible to infection. Foreign particles enter the nail through these breaks in the tissue and cause an infection. Symptoms of an infected nail may include redness, swelling, discharge, and pain.

There are several different types of nail infections that can affect dogs. The most common nail infections include bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections. Each type of infection can cause different symptoms and may require different treatment options.

How To Stop Dog Nail Bleeding?

If you notice blood coming from or around your pup’s nails follow the steps below:

1. Don't panic and relax your dog

If the bleeding is severe and you notice your dog becoming stressed, do your best to calm him. You can help your pup relax by providing it with a comfy place to rest, like a bed or crate. You can also try giving them some toys or chewing bones to keep them occupied. Also, calming chews and stroking their back or head gently can help soothe them. It will help your dog feel more comfortable and reduce your dog’s blood pressure, which will also help slow down the bleeding.

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2. Apply pressure to the toenail

Get a piece of gauze or tissue and place it over the end of the bleeding toenail. Apply pressure to the gauze or tissue using your fingers, and hold it for about 5 minutes. Release the pressure and check to see if the bleeding has lessened. Observe your dog’s behavior. If they become agitated by the pressure, do not force it and take them to the vet immediately. If the dog is compliant with the pressure, repeat the steps until the bleeding stops and move on to the next step.

3. Clean the wound and apply styptic powder

Once bleeding stops or becomes insignificant, clean the area with a wet cloth and apply the styptic powder to the wound. Styptic powder will constrict the blood vessels in the toenail, thus preventing any further bleeding. It is applied directly to the wound using a cotton ball or Q-tip. A styptic pencil is an easy-to-use alternative to the powder, you can get these antiseptic agents from most pet stores.

Home remedies

In case you do not possess styptic powder on hand, there are a few home remedies that you can use as an alternatives to stopping your dog's nails from bleeding:


  1. Soak a soap bar in cold water and then hold it against the nail until the bleeding stops.
  2. Put some cornstarch on a bandage and attach it to the nail.
  3. Put some ice in a bag and hold it against the bleeding nail.

Final Thoughts

Dogs use their nails for everything, so it’s only natural for them to get damaged and occasionally bleed. A lot of the time, if the bleeding isn’t severe, dogs will heal their wounds over time by licking them continuously. However, if the injury is more severe, it’s our duty as dog parents to tend to it without procrastination. Being aware of the step-by-step first aid methods will help ensure that the injury does not escalate any further.

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