Published: March 16, 2021  

Last updated: March 16, 2021  

You just cut your dog’s nail too short, it started bleeding, now what?

Can I tell you a secret? I hate cutting my dog’s nails. The fear of hitting the quick of their nail is constant. I’ve cut them too short more than once.

You know the feeling, right? Panic, blood, panic more. I know I’m not alone.

So what is the best way to stop your dog’s nail from bleeding? Your first and best option is to use Miracle Care Kwik-Stop Styptic Powder. Your second best option is to use all-natural Yarrow styptic powder.

If you don’t have either of those handy, then reach for one of these:

  • Cornstarch
  • Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Bar of soap
  • Towel and pressure

Let’s get into the details:

Don’t panic if you hit the quick

All the experts will tell you the first thing to do is not stress out. And they’re right, but it’s hard not to panic when you hear your dog yelp and see her bleeding.

So take a deep breath, give your dog a couple of treats and reach for one of these solutions to stop the bleeding fast:

1 . Miracle Care Kwik-Stop styptic powder for dogs

Kwik-Stop is the easiest, fastest way to stop your dog’s nails from bleeding. I have this jar sitting next to me every time I cut my dog’s nails…. Just in case. 

Kwik stop is usually what groomers and vets use when cutting dogs’ nails because it does work fast. 

And it’s cheap. You can find it online or at most pet stores. Check the price of Kwik-Stop on Chewy.

How to stop your dog’s nail bleeding with styptic powder:

 Apply the styptic powder with a moistened cotton ball to the nail using moderate pressure for at least 10 seconds. Repeat if necessary. If the bleeding doesn’t stop in 20 minutes or so, call your vet for assistance.

2. All-natural Yarrow styptic powder 

It’s fascinating to me that Mother Earth has supplied us with so many natural remedies. A wildflower commonly called the Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) has many medicinal benefits, including a natural way to stop bleeding. Plus, it’s safe for dogs and humans!


Making your own Yarrow Styptic Powder is simple: 

  1. Harvest the Yarrow leaves
  2. Dry them in a dehydrator or hang them to dry for about a week
  3. Grind the leaves to a fine powder texture
  4. Store in a sealed glass jar and label

Don’t have a yarrow plant in your yard? You’re in luck because Amazon carries the dried herb ready for you to use.  

And maybe you can plant some Yarrow for next time with these seeds

How to stop your dog’s nail bleeding with Yarrow styptic powder:

Apply the Yarrow styptic powder with a moistened cotton ball to the nail using moderate pressure for at least 10 seconds. Repeat if necessary. If the bleeding doesn’t stop in 20 minutes or so, call your vet for assistance.

3-7. Simple one-ingredient DIY styptic powder 

If you’re in a panic and you don’t have Miracle Care Kwik-Stop Styptic Powder, then here are a few at-home ingredients you can use to make a quick DIY Styptic Powder or paste:

  1. Cornstarch
  2. Flour
  3. Baking soda
  4. Cayenne pepper
  5. Bar of soap

How to use cornstarch, flour, baking soda, or cayenne pepper to stop the bleeding

Any one of these simple solutions will help stop the nail from bleeding. You can try them individually dry or make a paste out of it to make it easier to apply. Simply add a few drops of water and you have a homemade styptic paste.

Put a small amount of the powder/paste on a moist cotton ball or paper towel. Wrap your dog’s nail and apply pressure for a few minutes until the bleeding stops. Reapply as needed. If the bleeding doesn’t stop in 20 minutes or so, call your vet for assistance.

In my experience, these DIY ingredients don’t work as fast at the store-bought Styptic Powder, but they do help. 

If you are trying the bar of soap method, you’ll need to get the soap soft enough for the nail to dig into the bar. This solution is not practical in my opinion… for a bar of soap to get that soft will take a few minutes, and by then your dog’s nail should have stopped bleeding. 

Woman Is Cutting Nails Of Dog

8. Apply pressure 

When in doubt, and you have nothing else, simply apply pressure to the nail. 

Grab a towel, your t-shirt, whatever you have on hand… although it’s best to make sure it’s clean… wrap it around the nail and hold it for a few minutes until the bleeding stops. 

If the bleeding doesn’t stop in 20 minutes or so, call your vet for assistance. 

9. Use a Dremel to cut your dog’s nails

Next time don’t hit the quick of your dog’s nails by using a Dremel to trim your dog’s nails.

It’s not going to help your right now at the moment your dog’s nail is bleeding. But if you can train your dog to allow you to use a Dremel… you will never cut your dog’s quick ever again. You won’t have to worry about his nail bleeding ever again! Does that sound like a dream? It’s not.

I started using a Dremel instead of the traditional dog nail cutters a couple of years ago. It’s a game-changer. It’s one of the best investments we made.

I have the Dremel 8050, which is no longer available. So I recommend the Dremel 8100 or the Dremel PawControl Dog Nail Grinder.

It takes some time and patients to train your dog to like the Dremel, but it is possible. Slow and easy… and a ton of treats. Our dog, Bear, now comes running when I say, “do you want to cut your nails?”

In conclusion

Cutting my dog’s nails is still not my favorite thing to do, but it’s helpful knowing that if I do hit the quick, I am prepared to stop the bleeding right away.

Accidentally cutting your dogs nail too short and hitting the quick is not the end of the world. They will recover. But it is possible you and the dog will be a little more hesitant next time.

Staying calm when trimming nails is key. Being prepared is imperative. I recommend having your styptic powder of choice within arms reach anytime you are trimming your dog’s nails. Pick your choice of these options:

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About the Author

Debi McKee

Debi McKee is the expert behind Rescue Dogs 101 where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She is a mom of 3 human kids and 4 dogs and volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society. Click here for more about Debi and her passion for helping you and your dog.

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