How to Stop Dog Toenail Bleeding

Dog toenails are prone to bleeding profusely if cut at the quick, which is the soft tissue in your dog's toenail. Though this is painful, bleeding will often stop on its own if left for a few minutes. However, there are also many things you can do to ensure the bleeding stops as quickly as possible.

Clean the Wound

Since the bleeding will often stop on its own, the best method can be just holding a small piece of soap against the wound. This can reduce the bleeding as well as clean any bacteria that might be trying to get into the wound.

You can also hold the foot under slow running warm water to wash the blood off for a few seconds. Then, wrap the dog's toenail in a wash cloth wet down with warm water and place it firmly against the toe. Hold your dog still with this compress for at least 20 minutes, applying gentle pressure the entire time.

Styptic Pencil

Styptic pencils can be purchased almost anywhere, including your local pharmacy, and are designed to stop bleeding of small wounds, such as razor cuts on humans. These are perfect for reducing bleeding of your dog's cut toenails. For dog nails, be sure to purchase the pencils with silver nitrate, a specific astringent most effective in sealing tissue in dog toenails.

To use, dip in water and rotate across the wound. This causes coagulation that seals injured blood vessels. However, it does cause a significant sting and could irritate your dog even more than the bleeding.

You can also purchase styptic powder, which has the same result but is simply in a powder form. Instead of rotating the pencil across it, dip the dog's toe in the powder and press a paper towel against it to add pressure. If the bleeding continues, repeat.

Making a Paste

If you don't have styptic powder handy, you can make a paste out of household cooking ingredients, such as flour and water. Since almost everyone has flour, this is a common method to reduce bleeding. Make a thick paste out of flour and water and use a Q-tip to apply to the toenail.

Leave the paste on the toenail for a few minutes until the bleeding has stopped. Don't wipe blood away before adding the paste. This gives the body a chance to coagulate and heal the blood vessel on its own while preventing bacteria and infections from entering.

Corn starch and baking soda are also effective in making a paste. If bleeding doesn't stop, add another layer of paste. You may need to repeat this a couple of times before you see success.

No matter which method you choose, remember to keep your dog off his feet for 30 minutes to an hour after the injury to prevent him from reinjuring the nail or getting an infection. If the bleeding continues for longer than 20 minutes, contact your veterinarian.