Having a pet is a wonderful experience. You get to share so many moments with your furry companion. It is also a huge responsibility to get a pet because you need to take care of them. Grooming them regularly is one such responsibility. Nail trimming is the most important grooming activity for the sake of your dog’s health. Overgrown nails can cause trouble in walking for your dogs. Moreover, the nails can grow into the pads or break off when overgrown and cause bleeding and discomfort.
Things to Remember while Trimming Your Dog’s Nails
Cutting a dog’s nails is one of the riskiest grooming activities. If you cut its nails too much, it can cause your furry friend to bleed.
It is important to trim your dog’s toenails regularly, especially, if the nails start touching the floor or curving inwards. But proceed with caution.
Before you even take out the nail clippers help your dog to relax and be calm. Take it out for a walk and give plenty of favorite treats.
Once your dog is calm and relaxed, look for dirt and debris on the paws and under the nails and clean them with q-tip before starting. Also, make sure to hold your dog in a steady position. If you can, ask someone to hold your dog while you cut and trim the nails. Make sure that your dog is not jumpy or anxious. Hold your dog’s neck in your arm so that he would not abruptly lift his head. You can also lay your dog on its side.
Use sharp nail clippers such as electronic dog nail clippers, trimmers and filers to trim your dog’s nails.
Start at the very end and cut in small increments and at an angle. Keep cutting and checking the bits. Once you reach the gray part of the nail, you have reached the quick. It’s the vein that runs into the nail and can bleed if cut. Do not cut any further and simply file the pointy edges gently.
What Should You Do if There Is Blood?
Say you had exercised caution but still you accidentally cut deeper than you intended. So what can you do now?
Your dog is in pain and panicking at the moment. Your panicking would not help your dog, instead, it would make your dog more anxious and scared. Stay calm and try to soothe your dog too. In such a situation, your dog may want to get away from you.
- Do not feel disheartened;
- Give him his favorite toys and some of his favorite treats;
- Once that you have conveyed to him that you still love him and it was an honest mistake, it’s time to try to stop the bleeding.
Stop the Blood!
It may seem that there is a lot of blood all over the paws, your clothes and on the floor. However, it is generally a minor cut. But since it is the nerve, it can bleed a lot. So stopping the bleeding is a priority.
What to do if your dog’s toenail bleed?
Here are some of the tips that you can follow to stop bleeding from your dog’s toenail:
The quickest way to stop the bleeding is by dipping the paw into styptic powder or applying styptic pencil over the area that is bleeding. It is the easiest and most effective method of stopping any light bleeding. The styptic powder is easily available in pharmacies, pet stores, and even convenience stores near the shaving kits.
It is better to dip the paw directly into the powder and hold it there for a couple of minutes. You can, however, use a q-tip to apply the powder on the paw directly. Be generous with the amount that you use. Use a tissue to cover the paw and apply a little pressure on it. The bleeding should stop within 30 to 45 seconds. However, keep applying gentle pressure on it for a few minutes. Once you have confirmed that the nail isn’t bleeding anymore, apply a bandage over the paw.
Remember: Styptic contains silver nitrate which would cause a little burning sensation initially. Your dog may start squirming and trying to get away again.
Alternatives for styptic powder
In case you do not have styptic powder at your home, you cannot go out to get some. You need to stop the bleeding immediately!
Baking Soda, Cornstarch or any Flour: Some home remedies work nearly as well. You can use cornstarch, baking soda or flour to stop the bleeding as an alternative to styptic powder. Dip your dog’s wounded nail into the alternative that you are using or use q-tips to apply a generous amount on the nail and hold it there for a few minutes.
If it continues to bleed even after 1-2 minutes re-apply the cornstarch or baking soda without wiping off the first code.
A Clean Bar of Soap: In the extreme case that you have none of these items, you can also use a bar of soap. Wet it and let it soften it. The mushier the better. Then place the mushy soap directly on the injured nail with firm pressure for 3-5 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Using clean, unscented soap would be better.
Normally, the bleeding should stop within 20 to 30 minutes. If it is not controlled within that time it may be because the blood is not properly clotting. Wrap the paw in a bandage and consult a veterinarian.
Once you have the bleeding under control, make sure that your dog rests for at least an hour. He should not put weight on the injured paw as it can start the bleeding again. He needs lots of TLC – tender love and care!
You should also consult the veterinarian if the toe becomes swollen and red and does not look like it is improving within the next couple of days.
Finally, it may be a scarring experience for your dog and your dog may refuse to get his nails trimmed the next time. Be patient and encourage him with treats and toys.
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