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Pet Nail Trimming – How to Avoid Clipping a Dog’s Nail Too Short

January 10, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Injuries, Dog Nail Clipping, Dog Nail Injuries and Broken Nails, General Dog Health, Home Remedies for Dogs, PediPaws Pet Nail Trimmer, Pet Nail Clippers and Nail Trimmers, Pet Products, Peticure Dog Nail Trimmer, Stop a Dog's Nail Bleeding, Styptic Powder for Bleeding Nails

Click to Learn More – PediPaws Nail Trimmer


Accidentally cut a dog’s nail too short and it’s not an experience that the dog or pet owner is likely to forget. It can be frightening for the owner because a dog’s broken nail will bleed profusely and it’s difficult to get the bleeding to stop.

It’s important to avoid clipping a dog’s nails too short, as this can be very painful for the dog. If the dog associates pain with nail clipping, it’s very likely that the dog will struggle next time the nail clippers come out!

What’s worse, a dog who struggles and tries to run away during nail trimming is more likely to suffer an over-clipped nail due to sudden movement!

Tip to Avoid Cutting a Dog’s Nails too Short

It’s really easy to clip a dog’s nails too short because the quick is longer than it looks. If you hold a dog’s paw up to the light, you can see the nail quick. But the very tip of the quick narrows and it’s located at the very core of the nail; this makes it difficult to (visually) determine where the quick ends.


Click to Learn More – Dremel Pet Nail Grooming Kit

In short, the quick is longer than it looks. So to avoid clipping a dog’s nails too short try this: Look at the dog’s nail in bright light; determine the point where it looks like the nail ends; the quick extends about 1/8 – 1/6 of an inch beyond where it looks like the quick ends, so it will need to be clipped beyond that point.

If a dog has dark or black nails, it’s best to avoid clipping since you can’t tell where the quick ends. Instead of using nail clippers, opt for a dremel-style pet nail trimmer like PediPaws (pictured above, available for $19.99 at PetSmart) or Dremel’s Pet Nail Grooming Kit (pictured at left, available for $49.99 at PetSmart).

PediPaws and dremel-style nail trimmers for pets are also ideal for dogs who are scared of nail clipping – you know, the dogs who run and hide at the very sight of the nail clippers! To get more tips on how to help a dog who’s scared of nail trimming, read Tips to Avoid a Struggle During Dog Nail Clipping.

Another tip: trim a dog’s nails frequently! At least twice a month; more often if the dog does not walk on pavement (pavement naturally files the dog’s nails a bit). The dog’s nail quick actually grows longer if you don’t trim a dog’s nails on a regular basis. This leaves the dog more prone to painful and bloody broken nails, which can require a trip to the veterinary clinic and anesthesia to fix!

Read this related article on The Sick Dog Blog to learn about products and home remedies to get a dog’s nail to stop bleeding.

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How to Stop a Dog’s Nail from Bleeding – Tips if You Clip a Dog’s Nails too Short

January 09, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Injuries, Dog Nail Clipping, Dog Nail Injuries and Broken Nails, General Dog Health, Home Remedies for Dogs, Pet Products, Stop a Dog's Nail Bleeding, Styptic Powder for Bleeding Nails

Click to Learn More – Kwik Stop Styptic Powder

When clipping a dog’s nails, it’s easy to accidentally cut the dog’s nail too short. Sometimes, the dog will move at an inopportune moment, leading to a bleeding nail. In other cases, dog owners accidentally cut the nail too short, cutting into the quick – the “live” part of the dog’s nail.

When a dog’s nail is clipped too short, it will bleed profusely and it’s difficult to control the bleeding with the normal methods (i.e. applying pressure.) So before clipping a dog’s nails at home, you’ll need to have something on-hand to help stop the nail from bleeding because accidents can and do occur.

How to Stop Bleeding if a Dog’s Nail is Clipped too Short

There are three substances that can be used to stop a dog’s nail from bleeding:

Styptic powder is something every dog or cat owner should have on-hand. This will quickly stop bleeding in a dog’s broken nail or an over-clipped nail. Some styptic powders also have anti-bacterial properties to prevent the dog’s nail from getting infected.

Styptic powder is the first choice – it’s, by far, the most effective method to stop bleeding in a pet’s nail. But there are a couple household items that can be used in a pinch.

Corn starch is the second choice; flour is the third choice.

Dog Nail Injuries – How to Stop the Bleeding

To stop the bleeding, pour a little bit of the styptic powder/corn starch/flour in the palm of your hand. Cup your hand slightly and dip the dog’s bleeding nail into the powder.

If using styptic powder, one or two dips is usually all that’s required; flour and corn starch are a bit less effective and multiple dips are usually required.



Styptic Powder Uses and the Best Brands of Styptic Powder

Notably, styptic powder can also be used on birds in the event of bleeding during beak trimming or in the event of a broken blood feather. Owners can also use styptic powder to stop bleeding that occurs due to minor cuts.

In my experience, the most effective styptic powder brand is Kwik-Stop Styptic Powder (pictured above), available at PetSmart for $26.99. It’s a bit more expensive than other brands, but it’s more effective than the other brands I’ve tried and unlike most other styptic powders, it contains benzocaine for pain relief.

A dog’s broken nail (or clipped-too-short nail) is very painful and limping often results due to the pain (and this makes dog owners like myself feel even more guilty if the pain is due to a nail that was clipped too short!) The benzocaine in Kwik-Stop Styptic Powder reduces the dog’s pain to the point where most don’t even limp.

Click to Learn More – 21st Century Styptic Powder

Remember, you can’t give ASPIRIN® to a dog who is bleeding – ASPIRIN® thins the blood, worsening bleeding! So the pain medication in Kwik-Stop Styptic Powder makes it a valuable tool in this regard.

If you’re looking for another good styptic powder, 21st Century Styptic Powder is a good product (available for $8.99 at PetSmart).

21st Century Styptic Powder is also really effective in stopping the bleeding from a broken or over-clipped nail, along with minor cuts. It’s less expensive than Kwik-Stop because it does not have a pain relieving component. But it’s definitely effective and like Kwik-Stop, it does not have a tendency to clump (many of the cheaper styptic powder brands clump due to moisture in the air, so one day, you’ll open the jar to find that the powder has transformed into a rock! That’s the last thing you need while you’re dog is bleeding!)

Related Articles on Nail Injuries in Dogs and Cats

To learn more about how to prevent infection in a dog’s broken nail, read this related article. The second portion of this article discusses how to clean and treat a dog’s nail injury at home.

Pet owners may also want to learn more about the different types of nail injuries in dogs and cats.

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