How to stop the bleeding if you trim your dog's toenails too short

Written by jennifer vanbaren
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How to stop the bleeding if you trim your dog's toenails too short
Use appropriate scissors when cutting a dog's toenails. (Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

If you own a dog and have ever clipped its toenails, you may have encountered one or more bleeding caused by cutting them too short. This is typical of dog's toenails if the quick of the nail is cut. The quick is a blood vessel in the toenail that is often hard to see, especially with dogs that have dark-coloured nails.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Clean the nails. As soon as you notice bleeding, clean the wound with mild soap. Cut a small sliver of soap off of the bar and hold it against the bleeding nail until the bleeding stops. This stops the bleeding, cleans the wound and helps prevent bacteria build up. Use a mild soap such as Ivory because other soaps may cause stinging.

  2. 2

    Place the foot under water. If you do not have soap, hold the dog's foot under running warm water for several minutes. Remove the foot from water and hold a warm cloth on the foot using slight pressure.

  3. 3

    Use a styptic pencil. A styptic pencil is designed to stop small wounds from bleeding and can be purchased at pharmacies and many discount stores. Dip the pencil in water and rub it across the wound to help the blood coagulate.

  4. 4

    Make a paste. Mix flour and water together to form a thick paste and apply it to the wound using a small cotton swab. Let the paste remain on the foot for a few minutes before rinsing it off. You can also use corn starch and baking soda instead of flour. If the bleeding persists, place several layers of paste on the dog's nails and leave it on for several minutes.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the dog off its feet, if possible, for around 30 minutes to allow the wound to heal and the coagulation to hold up.

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