How to Stop a Dog's Nail From Bleeding

Cutting your dog's nails is the number one cause of bleeding nails on dogs, although other circumstances can lead to bleeding from your dog's nails. Your dog could have a broken or split nail from running around outside that caused some bleeding. This kind of bleeding can be very extensive, so as a dog owner is it important that you are aware of different ways to stop the bleeding quickly. 

Remain Calm

The first, and most important thing you need to do if you accidentally cut your dog's nail too short is to stay calm. Cutting the quick, or the sensitive area at the base of your dog’s nail, isn’t life-threatening but it is incredibly painful for them. This area is also highly vascular and can bleed a lot of cut into.

By remaining calm and doing what you need to do to handle the situation quickly, you will prevent a lot of unnecessary stress for both you and your pup. Our dogs can read our emotions very well, and if you become stressed and frantic about cutting their nails too short, they will also become frantic. 

Not only will this damage their trust in you to even so much as touch their paws, but they will also become panicked. A frantic dog with a bleeding toenail does not spell good news for the carpet or upholstery in whatever room you were attempting to trim their nails in. 

Styptic Powder

Sometimes your dog's nail will stop bleeding on its own rather quickly, depending on how deeply the quick was cut into. If you find that your dog's nail is bleeding excessively or hasn’t stopped in a short period of time it might be time for you to take action about the matter. Styptic powder is the best thing you can use on your dog to stop bleeding immediately. 

Styptic powder is a combination of both a topical analgesic to soothe their pain, as well as an antihemorrhagic agent to help stop the bleeding. The mechanism of action that this powder uses to stop bleeding is that it causes blood vessels to constrict, allowing clots to form.

You can purchase this amazing tool at most pet stores to keep handy if a time ever comes that you need to stop some bleeding on your dog's nail.

Super Glue

If it's good enough for humans, why should it be good enough to help dogs? Cyanoacrylate is an ingredient in super glue that is often used in the operating room to hold surgical wounds closed. In a pinch, super glue is a great alternative to styptic powder if you don’t have any handy at the time of a bleed. 

Common Household Items

There are some common household items that can be used in a pinch to help stop your dog's nail from bleeding if you don’t have any styptic powder on hand at the time. These items may come as a surprise to you, as far as them being useful to help stop your dog's nail from bleeding. 

You may be surprised to find out that cornstarch, baking soda, flour, or soap can be used to stop your dog's nail from bleeding if it's been cut too short by accident. With any of these items, you’ll want to keep in mind that they are not instantaneously effective like styptic powder. While applying either one to your dog's nail, you will need to be holding pressure to stop the bleeding in the meantime. 

With cornstarch, baking soda, or flour, you will need to do a little bit of preparation before applying it to the nail. Start by pouring a bit of one of the powders into your hand and dip your dog's nail into it. If this doesn’t stop the bleeding, you should wipe their nail off and dip it again and hold a damp washcloth or towel to their nail until the bleeding ceases. 

A Bar of Soap

This is another simple way to stop your dog's nail from bleeding with a common household item. What you will need to do to use a bar of soap to stop the bleeding, is hold the bar under some water until it becomes soft and malleable on one side at least. From there, you will stick the bleeding nail into the bar of soap and simply hold it there for a few minutes until the bleeding has stopped. Using soap is a simple way to help stop your dog's nail from bleeding while also helping to prevent any infections from starting up at the site of the injury.


Keeping your dogs nail trimmed and in good shape is an important part of the care that they will need from you as their owner. Mistakes happen, and sometimes it can be hard to tell how far to trim the darker nails that some dogs have. When their nails begin to bleed for whatever reason that provoked it, it's important that you know exactly what needs to be done to stop it. Thankfully, there are numerous household items that can be used to help your dog if this were to happen to them.

How to cut dog nails?

You can cut your dog's nails safely in three easy to follow steps: first, carefully hold their foot steady with your non-dominant hand. Then, begin by cutting off just a tiny piece of the tip of one nail, stopping immediately if it feels spongy. Lastly, immediately stop any bleeding that may occur, as this means you may have cut the quick.

How to trim dog nails?

You will want to proceed cautiously when trimming your dog's toenails, as to not trim too far and cause pain and bleeding. Before beginning be sure that you are prepared with any necessary supplies needed to stop bleeding.

How long should dog nails be?

Being that it is difficult to measure your dog's nails to give an exact number, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that if their nails are touching the ground when they’re standing up it’s probably time for a trim.

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Written by Leo Roux

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