What To Do If You Trim Your Pup’s Nails A Little Too Short

What To Do If You Trim Your Pup’s Nails A Little Too Short

The ASPCA notes that nail trimming is an important part of a regular grooming routine. If your dog’s nails get too long, they can break, which is painful and sometimes results in infection.

If you’re anything like me, you won’t trust anyone else with your dog, including a groomer. I have two dogs, Henry & Penny, and they are total opposites when it comes to a nail trim. Henry will be on my lap sitting straight up while I clip clip clip. Penny, on the other hand, will scream like a demon if you go near her with nail clippers…until I discovered the power of peanut butter on a spoon!


For a good reference, when you cut your dog’s nail too short, you will hit the “quick” aka where the blood supply is. Here is what it looks like:

Dog's Nail - Quick

The other night, I cut Henry’s nail too short and it started bleeding…a lot. It was 8:30pm on a Sunday night and he was ready for bed. Luckily, he didn’t cry or even wince (I wish I could say the same thing about me). His nail would not stop bleeding. I had to frantically Google about 15 pages until I finally found a solution to stop the bleeding. I compiled them together for you to make it convenient.

Corn Starch + Water Mix

I have used this before (ok, maybe a few times) and it works like a charm. Websites like VetInfo instruct you to make the paste (mix the corn starch and water together) and use a Q-tip in order to apply to the nail. Don’t wipe the blood away, the paste will help it coagulate and heal the blood vessel. Leave the paste on the nail for a few minutes and add another layer if you need to. (*Hint: if you don’t have corn starch, flour and baking soda are also effective in making a paste)


Styptic Powder/Pen

Styptic powders and pencils are specially formulated for pets. eHow mentions they contain silver nitrate, which is the most effective product for dog toenail bleeds. Apply styptic powder to the area by inserting the toenail into the powder, and pressing a paper towel on the nail to apply pressure. Use a styptic pencil by wetting the tip and rolling it against the bleeding nail. Each of these methods causes a sting to your pet, so you may want to try a more natural remedy first. You may need to reapply to stop the bleeding.


Bar of Soap

Make sure it’s a mild formula as it will also help disinfect. You may want to lightly wet the soap and push your dog’s bleeding nail firmly into the bar and hold it there for about 5 minutes. If the soap is thinner, you can try and push it all the way through at the end so the soap will stick to the nail and help coagulate the blood. If the soap falls off the nail, try it again and it should work.


Potassium Permanganate

According to WikiHow, potassium permanganate is a powder made up of bright purple crystals and is the preferred method of veterinarians to stop bleeding nails. It also serves as a disinfectant and can be found in online retail stores. You will need the potassium permanganate crystals, water and a Q-tip or cotton swab. Moisten the tip of the cotton in water so the crystals will stick to it. Press the swab onto the quick and hold for 30 seconds. When you remove the cotton, the quick should stop bleeding.


Most coagulant failures are caused by being too shy about pressing the stuff into the blood. You can’t just sprinkle the stuff on like fairy dust; you need to hold and press it on so it absorbs the blood at the end of the quick and helps it clot. – St. James Animal Hospital

It is important to always remember to stay calm. Dogs can read your emotions, so if you’re freaking out, there’s a good chance they will too. Sometimes it can look like a real mess, but they don’t lose too much blood.

Make sure that your pup doesn’t put any pressure on their paw for at least 30 minutes after and bandage it up to keep it clean and prevent further injury or infection.

Henry Nail Trim

If after 30 minutes, you can’t get your dog’s nail to stop bleeding, you will want to consult your vet or take them in for a visit. It might take a bit for your dog to forgive you, as he may be a bit scared of the nail trimmers. Give them treats and praise them for being good. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can also take them to your vet’s office to have it done professionally.

Featured Image via She Knows