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5 Easy Ways To Stop A Dog’s Bleeding Nail

Styptic pencils, Kwik Stop and home remedies such as cornstarch, flour and baking soda can help stop your dog’s bleeding nail fast.

If you’re trimming your dog’s nails at home and you find that you’ve cut the nail too far and it’s bleeding, don’t worry, most of us have been there. Dog nail trimming accidents are very common and can usually be easily managed in a few minutes at home.

First, if you cut your dog’s nail too much and now it’s bleeding, don’t panic. 

If you panic, your dog is likely going to panic which is going to elevate your dog’s heart rate which is going to elevate his blood pressure which is going to make it harder to get the nail to stop bleeding. 

stopping a dog's bleeding nail with cornstarch

Most likely your dog let out a loud yelp or cry when you accidentally trimmed the nail too far and hit the quick.

It’s ok.

They were just as surprised as you were and they’re are going to be fine.

When you see your dog’s nail bleeding here are a few easy steps you can take to stop the bleeding nail:

  1. Keep your dog calm
  2. Use a clean cloth or clean paper towel to apply gentle pressure to the bleeding nail.
  3. Use a styptic powder like Kwik Stop
  4. Don’t wipe the nail instead just dab the nail in the powder 
  5. Keep your dog from licking the nail and walking on it until the bleeding stops
  6. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, contact your veterinarian
  7. Take a deep breath.

vet applying pressure to a dog's bleeding nail

This is a common injury seen in dogs and most of the time you can get the bleeding nail to stop pretty fast. 

It’s a good idea to take some time to reassure your dog that everything is okay with a few pets on the head, a chin rub, or grab a few treats. 

If you have someone who can stay with the dog while you grab the supplies that you need to stop the nail from bleeding, that’s great.

If you don’t have anyone, your furry friend will be fine for a few seconds!

5 Easy & Fast Ways To Stop Your Dog’s Bleeding Nail



5 ways to stop your dog's bleeding nail

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Whether you’re trimming your dog’s white nails or black nails, the way you treat a bleeding nail is going to be the same.

Here are some of the easiest ways that dog owners can get their dog’s bleeding nail to stop quickly and safely. 

How To Stop a Dog’s Bleeding Nail With Styptic Powder 

Styptic powder or styptic pencils are one of the most common and effective ways to get a dog’s toenail to stop bleeding fast.

This type of clotting powder contains an active ingredient called ferric subsulfate that contracts the blood vessels and stops the bleeding.

It’s also considered an antiseptic.

The most common styptic powder used is Kwik Stop.  

Kwik Stop can be purchased at most local pet stores and it comes in a little canister.

To Use Kwik Stop

  1. To use the powder, either get some on your finger and gently press onto the bleeding nail or pour some into the lid of the container and gently press the tip of your dog’s nail into it. 
  2. Apply gentle but firm pressure to the affected nail for several seconds.
  3. If the nail keeps bleeding through the Kwik Stop you might need to apply a little bit more powder. 
  4. When the nail stops bleeding, you can stop applying pressure.
  5. Make sure to keep your dog quiet for several minutes and don’t let them lick their injured nail while the Kwik Stop is setting up.
  6. Wash the cap after use.

 Kwik Stop also contains Benzocaine which works as a topical anesthetic to help ease the pain.

Keep your dog still for several minutes to allow the clotting process to set in.

“Styptic powder, such as Kwik-Stop, will stop the bleeding instantly, but if you don’t have that on hand, some everyday household products can work just as well” – Tufts Cumming School of Veterinary Medicine

Also, styptic powders can be found in a pet first aid kit so keep yours handy!

dog nail trimming

How To Use Styptic Pencil To Stop A Bleeding Nail

Styptic pencils can be purchased at most pet stores and they work similarly to powders.  

You simply press the styptic pencil on the broken nail.

While styptic pencils may be one of the favorites they can sting because many of them contain silver nitrate so it’s not top on my list, especially if you have a dog that is already a little nervous about having his paws touched.

They can also be very messy.

Expect your dog to feel it once you do it.

We used to use silver nitrate sticks at the vet clinic when the Kwik Stop just wasn’t cutting it and we also use it on minor cuts.

Using a Styptic Pencil To Stop a Nail Bleeding 

  • wet the end of the pencil or stick
  • gently press the dog’s bleeding toenail to the edge of the stick
  • hold the pencil to the nail for several minutes

Keep your pet still for several minutes to allow the blood to clot.

You can use dog treats to help keep them in one place. 

These pencils normally come with directions so make sure to follow them. 

vet applying pressure to a dog's bleeding nail

4 Easy Home Remedies To Stop a Bleeding From a Dog’s Nail Fast

If you don’t have Kwik Stop on hand, don’t worry!

There are many natural remedies that you can use for minor nail cuts such as flour, baking soda, cornstarch, a bar of soap or even a black tea bag. 

You probably have some of these common household items that will help with your dog’s nail injury right in your kitchen pantry!

How to Stop Your Dogs Nail From Bleeding with Flour, Baking Soda or Plain Cornstarch

  • Baking soda, flour or corn starch can be mixed with a small amount of water to make a paste.
  • Grab a pinch of the paste and use a cotton swab to apply pressure to the end of the nail. You can use a clean towel to help keep gentle pressure on the nail. 

How To Use Soap To Stop a Bleeding Dog Nail

When using a bar of soap to stop a dog’s bleeding nail, it’s best to use an antibacterial soap that is fragrance free.

  • Bar of soap-A slightly moistened bar of soap can work in a pinch for a minor bleed.
  • Simply gently press the dog’s nail into the bar of soap or gently drag the nail across the bar. 
  • Keep your pet still for several minutes to allow the blood to clot.


flour or cornstarch can be used to help stop a dog's nail from bleeding

What Not To Do When Your Dog’s Nail Is Bleeding

    • Don’t wipe the blood away from the nail. 
    • The blood will help the Quik Stop or flour coagulate. 
    • Don’t let your dog lick the nail that is bleeding.
    • Don’t use glue!
    • Don’t squeeze the nail. If you squeeze the bleeding nail it’s not going to stop bleeding. 

If all else fails a bandage wrap may be needed to keep moderate pressure on the nail or to keep the nail covered so that the dog doesn’t lick it or walk on it creating the bleed to start all over again.

How Long Do Dog Nails Bleed?

Don’t worry, most dog nails will stop bleeding on their own but it could take some time.

If the bleeding is minor it can take a few minutes for the nail to stop bleeding.

If you’ve cut way below the quick to the base of the nail, it can take up to 15 minutes for the bleeding to stop.

Keep pressure applied to the tip of the nail.

The most important thing to do once you get the bleeding stopped is to keep the dog still and from walking on hard surfaces for at least 20-30 minutes. 

how long does a dog's nail bleed for?

You have to keep in mind that they are walking on that nail when they move so if it’s not clotted it will keep bleeding.

Give your dog a positive experience and give them a massage, a puzzle toy, a chew toy or just sweet talk them to keep them calm and relaxed.

If Your Dog’s Nail Won’t Stop Bleeding After 20-30 Minutes

In rare cases, or for dogs with certain health problems, some nails might not stop bleeding.

 If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 20-30 minutes, you should contact your veterinarian. 

Some nails that won’t stop bleeding will require a visit to your vet to make sure that it’s not infected. 

A torn or broken nail is an open wound that is constantly coming in direct contact with the dirty ground and the nail can take a few weeks to heal fully and may require pain medication.

Any oozing from the nail or nail bed, swollen toes or limping should be seen by a veterinarian.

Things To Keep In Mind When Your Dog’s Nail Is Bleeding

Stay calm.

You’ve hit a small blood vessel.

It’s going to bleed but remember it will eventually stop unless you have a dog with a clotting disorder. 

black dog nail bleeding after nail trim

Your dog’s paw will be all good.

They will forgive you and the healing process will be quick!

It may take a year or so but they will forgive you. (kidding. they’ll forgive you as soon as you give them a treat and put the nail clippers away)

So what about you? Do have any tips on trimming dog nails? What’s your choice of dog nail trimmers?

 If a dog’s nail won’t stop bleeding after 30-60 minutes you should contact your veterinarian.

This information is not meant to substitute for veterinary care.

how to stop your dog's bleeding nail

Other posts you may find interesting:

The Secret Grey Dot Inside A Dog’s Black Nail

Homemade Paw Balm

Disclosure-I am not a veterinarian and the information in this post does not substitute for veterinarian advice. You should always speak to your vet regarding any questions about your dog’s health. 


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Tamatha Christian

Friday 29th of May 2020

thank you for tip on baking soda


Saturday 28th of October 2017

10.5 years in and I've just hit the quick on our new puppy. Volunteering for the animal shelter, I've cut so many nails, many of which were cats. I've never hit the quick before. I'm ashamed.... Puppy is resting on my lap, but I had to use a small corner of one of those blood stop bandages. I take blood thinners, so I always have them on hand. He just wouldn't stop moving, so it kept bleeding. Argh. Styptic pencil didn't work because he kept squirming and hitting the nail on my shirt.

Daniel F

Monday 15th of May 2017

I've just hit a quick for the first time in my life and my dogs were always black nailed.

I almost cried (yes, I, the dog was ok).

Thanks for the post. I've applied baking soda and everything is fine now.

Jackie Thompson

Saturday 11th of March 2017

I've used super glue to stop a minor bleed. Worked just fine. Stop the bleeding in seconds.


Sunday 14th of August 2016

Have a glass of wine (not 5.. lol) before trimming if you're nervous and/or shaking. Your dog will sense it and it'll make him or her even more nervous. Also, the noise and length of time using a Dremel terrifies my Chihuahua & I hate clippers because I'm always so scared I'll hurt him. I'm thinking a combination of both this time so I can get the part I know for sure won't bleed, then grind the rest just a bit. I wish there was a better way!

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