For those of us who do our pet’s mani/pedis at home, you’ve seen what happens when we accidentally “quick” (AKA “kwik”) their nails, or cut just too much where we hit the nerve ending (ouch!) and causes the nail to bleed. Usually a lot. But commercial coagulant agents (like Kwik-Stop) are full of nasty chemicals I do not want anywhere near my dog’s blood steam.

Kwik-Stop Ingredients (Source):
Ferric Subsulfate, Aluminum Chloride, Diatomite, Bentonite, Copper Sulfate, Ammonium Chloride, Benzocaine.

Locating the Quick/Kwik:

The first thing I do is take a step back and assess why I quicked their nail to begin with. Were they being too squirmy and the person holding them wasn’t paying attention or confident? Did I cut too far back? Are their nails black, so the quick isn’t visible, and I’m cutting “blind?”

Well, if the problem is the all-black nail, make sure you are only trimming off tiny pieces of the nail at a time (assuming you don’t use a Dremel). This ensures a better gage at where the quick is, and if you do happen to hit it, luckily you only took off a tiny piece of the nail.

However, if the problem is squirminess or your human-holder, address those issues first. Wait until you have a more confident person, or train them on how to hold your pet properly. If your pet is too wiggly, try a quieter time or use extra yummy treats as a distraction/reward.

But if you do happen to quick the nail, don’t panic! Know that even professional groomers quick a pet’s nail from time to time. They most likely carry Kwik-stop on hand as well. But you’re going to make something even better… and safer!

Substitutions for Kwik-Stop:

  • Corn starch/Corn Flour
  • Flour
  • or a combination of both.

**Please note, some websites recommend using baking soda, however I do not recommend this as can sometimes cause burns and irritation (read more).


Dip the affected nail into approximately 1/4 teaspoon (or as much as needed), gently pressing the powder onto the wound. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat as necessary.

Oh crap, I trimmed way too much:

Remember, not even Kwik-Stop can stop very aggressive bleeding. If you cut too deeply, bandage the nail and foot as best you can using gauze, clean cotton, etc. Try to compress the nail, but do not wrap the paw too tightly as this can stop circulation. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes, give your local veterinarian a call.

The most important thing to remember is that if you do quick your pets nail, make sure you apologize and give them lots of yummy treats.

Photo by Emre Kuzu on

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