How to prevent your dog’s nails from bleeding

canine nail blood
(Last Updated On: December 27, 2019)

It’s common to hear owners speak about how nail trimming and grooming are stressful. The best way to avoid this anxiety altogether is to ask a professional groomer or veterinarian to do it for you.

However, if you’re set on the idea of learning, be sure to pick up proper techniques needed for nail trimming. It’s best to start when your dog is relatively young. Read more here about the best nail clippers for dogs and cats

This article will help you learn the first few steps needed to overcome this stressful process.

An Anxiety-Free Way of Trimming your Dog’s Nails

Although trimming your dog’s nails can sound simple,  things can still take a wrong turn. You might be worried about mistakenly cutting into the quick and then losing the confidence of your dog.  Start by giving yourself a chance.

Even experienced and cautious home groomers can make mistakes. If you’re wondering when it’s a good time to cut your dog’s nails, here are some examples:

  • when you hear your pup’s nail click-clacking as he walks across the floor
  • when you see that his nails look as a defined curves pointing towards the floor

Now that we’ve covered this point, I would like to introduce a trimming technique which is simple to implement.

Use your fingers to separate the toes and hold the paw gently. If needed, remove any excess toe hair which may hinder your visibility.

Start with one nail, than reward your pup.

Unless experienced, always hold the handle of the nail trimmers flat against the toe pad and cut straight across the nail.

Another thing which will help is clipping after bathing. This is especially helpful for older dogs, as their nails are usually tougher.

How to Effectively Stop Dog Nail Bleeding

Failing to plan is planning to fail. And that’s why you should always get good tools to help you.

If your fear has become a reality, the first thing to do is ensure that you can stop the bleeding. If you have cut into the quick, act fast by applying a compress to the wound, for at least a couple of minutes.

Remember to always use a clean cloth, avoiding paper towels as they can stick to the wound, resulting in another separate problem.

Once the bleeding has stopped, wash the affected nail and disinfect the area. You can use lukewarm water, avoiding extreme temperatures, and bandage the nail tightly.

This is done to make sure that your dog won’t reflexively lick the wound. Similar to if a person would accidentally cut themselves, you can try applying ice (which is known for slowing down the bleeding), and in this way you will lessen the blood flow.

The whole process should take around 5 to 10 minutes. However this doesn’t mean that your job is done. You will need to ensure that your dog is calm, and that’s why I would suggest sticking around for at least 30 minutes, evaluating his mental state.

Additionally, you don’t want your pup to walk around. This is because the activity will ultimately put pressure on the wound, which could result in the bleeding starting all over again. It’s time for your dog to relax for a while, and if your four-legged friend is known for being overly active, bring out the big guns: his favorite treats.

In some extreme cases people aren’t able to control the bleeding after 20 or 30 minutes. If this is the situation you are currently in, it means that the blood is not clotting and you should immediately contact your veterinarian.

Similarly, consult a vet if your dog’s toe becomes in any way red and swollen. Or if it doesn’t appear to improve after a couple of days. Ultimately, a professional is in the best position to use their medical expertise in order to stop the bleeding or comprise a follow-up treatment for your dog.

Supplies You Should Have Around

If the bleeding is minimal, there are certain products which, in addition to ice, can help with the bleeding.

One of the first things you should have around is styptic powder. This product is commonly used by professional groomers who require stopping a dog’s nail bleeding. And there are many different brands available, and more than often they are all good quality. If you’re wondering why the product is effective, the answer is that it contains a clotting agent which contracts blood vessel.

In addition to stopping the bleeding, you will need to make sure that infections and bacteria won’t make their way into your pup’s bloodstream.

Styptic powder is a easily-available product which can be found for under $9.

If you’re a naturalist, and prefer using only products which you know and love, I have a solution. Apply corn starch or baking soda. The two work incredibly well, and serve the same purpose- clotting the blood. These methods are chemical free and don’t sting, unlike the mentioned powder.

Dogs are known for having a brilliant memory. That’s why it’s important to make the whole experience rewarding, both for you and your four-legged friend. I won’t lie, mistakes do happen. However, take your time if you can’t clearly see the quick beneath the nail, and have supplies like a dog nail grinder ready. This includes both blood-coagulating products and treats!

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