Do you find it nerve-racking to trim your dog’s nails? Many pet owners share the same sentiment. A lot of dog parents would rather pay for a professional groomer to do the job than do it themselves.
A dog’s nails actually have a sensitive part, which is referred to as the “quick.” It is extra challenging to avoid trimming this sensitive area when your dog does not sit still as you clip his nails.
In case you hit the quick or trimmed Fido’s nails a little too short, it is highly likely that your dog’s nails will start to bleed. But don’t worry. You just mistakenly cut the quick and that does not mean you cut the tip of his finger. There’s no need to rush to the veterinary hospital.
This minor injury happens even to experienced groomers. The best thing you can do is to be prepared for it. It only takes a little knowledge and to have a first aid kit always ready. Below are the tried and tested ways of stopping a dog’s nails from bleeding at home:
Keep yourself and your dog calm
We understand how alarming it could be to see blood everywhere, but your buddy will not really lose a large amount of blood. No dog ever dies from this kind of mishap. You should not show that you are panicking because doing so will not make the situation better.
Remain calm before you proceed in treating the dog’s bleeding nails. If you express your nervousness, it is possible that your pet will also be alarmed about it. He will make an attempt to run away or show aggression.
Show your dog that everything is under control and you can definitely do something to help him out. For this, you can apply different strategies to calm your dog down. The easiest way to do is by offering your pet his favorite snack.
Aside from giving your dog some treats, it will also help if you get him to relax. Let him lay down so you can treat the bleeding nail and prevent it from bleeding further.
Dip the bleeding nail in a small container of styptic powder
For minor cuts and scratches, vets usually recommend Benzocaine because it helps relieve pain. This topical anesthetic is also available in the form of creams and gels to treat canine skin infections.
You can also find it in the form of a pencil, which contains silver nitrate that helps in coagulating and sealing your dog’s blood vessels. If you are using a styptic pencil, moisten it first by dipping its tip in clean water.
You have to press it on the bleeding nail for a few minutes. Sprinkling the powder will not work. Just be careful in using the pencil, as it can create a sting and will make your pet uncomfortable.
To treat the bleeding nail using styptic powder, gently press it into the small amount of powder poured into the cap. Hold it for roughly 60 seconds. When you treat your dog’s bleeding nail with styptic powder, there should be a bit of pressure.
Use a clean cloth to compress the bleeding nail.
After dipping the nails in styptic powder, use a clean cloth to compress the wound. You can also use a gauze for this.
It helps to apply pressure on the bleeding area to stop it. Wrapping the nail with a towel can also be a way to calm your dog down and make him feel warm.
Alternatives to Styptic Powder
You can easily buy styptic powder from online stores and pharmacies. But if you can’t wait to buy one, you can use some of the supplies you already have at home. Here are the natural remedies to bleeding dog nails:
- Cornstarch mixture – You can also use a mixture of cornstarch to staunch the bleeding. This is the most popular natural alternative to styptic powder. Simply combine it with a small amount of baking soda and flour and then dip the dog’s nail into the mixture. You can repeat the process if the bleeding will not stop after the initial attempt.
- Potassium permanganate – it helps to have this purple crystal on hand because of its many uses. Aside from being an effective disinfectant for wounds, potassium permanganate can also stop bleeding. In order to use it, simply moisten a cotton swab with a small amount of water. Apply the potassium permanganate onto the moistened swab and hold it on the dog’s nail for half a minute.
- Soap bar – moisten any soap before using it on the bleeding nail. It should be pressed on the nail or you can simply drag Fido’s nails across it. Any regular soap will do, but, as much as possible, it should not have a strong scent.
Tips and Tricks for Safe Nail Trimming
Trimming your dog’s nails should be done by cutting perpendicular to the nail. By doing this, it is easier to avoid the extreme angles and avoid cutting the quick.
Aside from this, there are a few more things you can do to clip your dog’s nails the right way. The next time you will trim Fido’s nails, keep these things in mind to avoid cutting the quick:
Do it outdoors
As much as possible, do it outside during daytime so you could see it better. It can be extra challenging to trim the nails of a dark-colored dog since he also has a dark quick.
Locating the quick on black nails can be extra challenging. You will need to cut small slices first for you to be able to see the quick. Once you can see the small round smooth area, it is already a sign that you should stop trimming.
Use the right tools
There are two main types of tools used for trimming a dog’s nails. There is a scissor type and a guillotine type. Below are the things you need to look for when buying a nail clipper for your pet:
Look for the quick stop feature. Also called the safety stop, this feature is intended to prevent injuries. This is the first feature you need to consider before anything else.
Aside from the quick-stop, you should also consider the ease of using the trimmer. It matters that the trimmer will be comfortable to hold. When you are buying this accessory online, first read some reviews to see how it worked for others.
Some of the recent models of nail trimmers already have an accompanying nail file. This can mean value for money since it is also necessary to smooth the rough edges once you are done trimming.
- Quality of the blade
Invest in a sharp tool so you can quickly trim your pet’s nails. You can also use a tool with a grinder design since it does not cut the quick in case you get too deep. The sharper the blade, the better. A powerful trimmer usually has a blade that is 5-millimeter thick.
For many pet owners, especially for newbies, a grinder-style trimmer is easier to use. It has safety features and will not cause too much stress on them. Grinders are obviously more costly than a standard trimmer but if you don’t mind paying a little more for a safer tool, you cannot go wrong with them.
There are also really cheap grinders that come with impressive features. You can find brands that have a modern design and are equipped with a diamond bit in the grinding mechanism. This makes it more effective in trimming the nails.
- Nail trimmer size and ease of use
Choose the right size for your buddy. You will not need a large clipper unless you got a giant dog. Make sure that the size of your trimmer is just right for the size of your pet. This way, you could have a better control while trimming his nails.
If you have a large dog, invest in a trimmer specifically designed for his weight. It will help if you use a tool made of stainless steel because it is more durable and it can also improve your cutting skills.
Like the stainless steel trimmers, diamond grinders are also durable and are suitable for larger dogs. Some trimmers also come with a 3-port claw system so you could change it depending on the size of a dog’s claws.
A nail trimmer that is comfortable to use should have non-slip handles. This way, you can easily control the tool while you are trimming your dog’s nails. When you are always on the go, it helps if you invest in a highly portable tool.
Just as there is a nail trimmer intended for large dogs, there are also trimmers made specifically for puppies. For small pets, it is advisable that you only use the scissor type. If you wish to use a guillotine type, make sure that the size is appropriate for your dog’s size.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a decent trimmer. There are good ones out there that are made of high-quality stainless steel blades without a high price tag. If you have the money for it, then go for the trimmer with the best clipping performance.
All in all, you should consider if the features are all worth the price. It will not hurt to check the reviews first because you can find ultra-modern trimmers that are not as costly as high-end brands.
Learn about proper pet restraining
Not holding your pet safely will cause him to move around. This makes him more prone to injuries. Ask for help to do this because it will be easier to restrain your pet if you have someone to help you out.
In case you really have to do this alone, you can do it by placing buddy on a table. You can do this while you are standing on the side of the table opposite to the claws.
Another way to trim your dog’s nails is by draping your upper body and arms over your pet. Your left forearm should be over Fido’s neck so you can prevent him from lifting his head. This way, you can hold his paw using your one hand while the other can be used in holding the trimmer.
Other Possible Reasons Why Dog’s Nails Bleed
Do note that trimming the quick too short is not just the only reason why dogs suffer from bleeding nails. It can also happen if you don’t trim his nails often enough. The overgrowth of the toenails can also cause its breakage.
Besides, not trimming your dog’s nails regularly can cause more problems. If his nails are not too long, there will be a lower possibility for him to have an arthritic foot.
It is important to trim a dog’s nails regularly, especially when your pet is not active enough. Dogs that often move and run around wear their nails down and they might not need to be trimmed often.
As you can see, there are several ways to stop a dog’s nail from bleeding. If none of these things seem to work, don’t hesitate to call your vet for assistance. It may be necessary to visit your vet if the bleeding continues after 20 minutes even if you already applied styptic powder. Your pet might be suffering from a bleeding disorder if he is bleeding so much even after you put a clotting agent.
There is no reason to panic when your dog’s nails are bleeding. There are remedies you can find at home and some of them are within reach. Trimming the nails with the right tool and mastering pet restraining are the keys to prevent broken nails.