What To Do If You Trim Your Pet's Nails Too Short

cut pet nails too short

Nail trimming is an important part of a regular grooming routine for dogs, cats, and rabbits. If your pet’s nails get too long, they can break, which is painful and sometimes results in infection.

The easiness of this task depends entirely on the animal. Some pets don't even seem to notice it happening, while others cry and struggle to get away. (For some tips on how to get your dog accustomed to nail trimming, read our blog post here)

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

If you cut the nail too short (and you might have already done this before), you'll notice that blood starts gushing out rather quickly (hence the name "quick").  To prevent frantic Google or Bing searches, we have compiled some "quick"  home remedies here.

Corn Starch + Water Mix

This one 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.


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.

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.

For tips on cutting your cat's nails, click here!

Source: Bark Post


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