Many pet parents engage in trimming their dogs' nails themselves, but it carries some risks. If you cut too close to the paw, you could potentially nick the nail's quick, which can cause bleeding. If you've made this mistake and your dog's nail is bleeding or you just want to know what to do if it ever happens to you, read on.

Stop Cutting

The very first thing you should do is to not be tempted to cut the nail any further. Even if you haven't clipped through the nail completely and part of it is hanging off, do not cut it further. Doing so can cut through more capillaries or veins, which can increase the bleeding and hurt your dog further.

If your dog's nail was only partially cut when it began to bleed, try to keep your dog from walking around and putting pressure on his foot. Standing on the nail could cause it to break off, which could also have the same effect as cutting it again.

Styptic Powder or Pressure

You have two options if your dog's nail is bleeding: styptic powder, or applied pressure.

Styptic powder is a substance that can help to slow blood flow from minor cuts and injuries like nails cut beneath the quick. It's sold at many veterinary offices and pet stores, so it's a good item to have in your pet's first aid kit. Simply sprinkling a little styptic powder on the nail will help to control the bleeding.

If you don't have styptic powder, you should apply pressure instead. Using a piece of gauze or a clean cloth, gently wrap the fabric around the cut nail and apply gentle pressure. If your dog reacts badly, lighten your pressure until he can withstand it comfortably. This will help the blood to clot and stop the bleeding.

Visit Veterinarian

Whether you're able to fully stop the bleeding or not, you should visit a veterinarian after this has happened. Any kind of injury that induces bleeding can potentially become infected, and that includes cut claws. Without veterinary help, the debris and bacteria on your dog's feet could find their way into your dog's cut claw. From there, it may migrate up into the foot, or even travel through the open vein or capillary to other parts of the body, where it will then wreak havoc and cause infections.

Trimming your dog's claws yourself can be done, but you must be careful. If you have difficulty determining where the quick begins, talk to a veterinarian at clinics like theAnimal Emergency Clinic for advice.