Can I Walk My Dog After Cutting The Quick? “Quick Call The Medic!”

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Author: Jacob Kay

Everything was going well. You were calmly clipping your dog’s nails and then go for a nice walk. Then, “Welp!” Your dog whimpered in pain. Panic ensues and you inspect the nails and notice you’ve cut the sacred quick.

Can I Walk My Dog After Cutting The Quick?

You press on the wound and reassure your pet. You think to yourself: “Can I Walk My Dog After Cutting The Quick?”

Key Takeaways

  • In case you cut the quick, use a damp cotton cloth to press on the wound for 2-4 minutes. This should help clot the wound.
  • Use styptic powder with a drop of water and dab it on the cut. It can sting for a second but is effective in treating the wound.
  • You can try home remedies like cornstarch, or rubbing a bar of non-fragrant soap. A wet tea bag can help too. But, it is not as effective as styptic powder.
  • If the wound is minor and they seem unaffected, you can take them for a stroll with proper precautions. Dog boots are effective. Avoid wet swampy areas.
  • If they show signs of limping, you can do indoor activities. Teach your pet a new trick, play fetch with a soft toy, or give them a food puzzle to solve.

Did I Hurt My Dog?

The dog’s nails are cylindrical, the outer cover protects the quick[1]. Quick is a bundle of blood vessels and nerves. This nourishes the dog’s nails and helps them sense their surrounding. Dogs are pretty sensitive around that area. It does cause them pain, especially breeds like Pugs and Shepherds are extra sensitive.

Accidents happen! You can treat the wound and provide treats and toys to distract them from the pain.

dog distraction

There is always a next time and you can take precautions. It is fairly easy to spot the quick in white nails. It is the pinkish spot, that’s your sign to stop cutting. However, with darker nails, it’s harder to spot the quick. You have to look for a greyish area.

Let’s move on to treating the wound.

Examine The Wound

Press the wound for 2-4 minutes with a damp cotton cloth. This should help clot the wound. Dip your finger in water, take a pinch of styptic powder, and dab it on the wound. The styptic powder can sting a bit, so hold your dog steady.

In case you don’t have styptic powder, you can swap it for cornstarch. Rubbing a bar of unscented soap can also prove beneficial. A wet tea bag can also provide relief. Although, home remedies are not as quick healing as styptic powder.

If the wound is minor, a small cut, it will heal in 48 hours. Major wounds take up to 2-8 weeks to heal. You can take your dog for walks but with certain precautions.

Can I Walk My Dog After Cutting The Quick?

If the wound is minor and they seem unfazed by it, you can take them for walks but with certain precautions to avoid infecting the wound. Dog boots or socks can help cover the wound and prevent pathogens from infecting the wound. Keep the walk short and avoid swampy, wet areas.

dog in booties

It is advised to first observe your dog’s behavior indoors. Are they limping? Do they keep licking the wound? This suggests they are still in pain and it’s better to give them time to heal. There are indoor activities you can still indulge in.

Alternatives To Taking A Walk

Teaching your dog a cool trick[2] is always an option. Whether it be playing dead or army crawl, there are so many options. Tricks keep your dog mentally sharp.

dog doing trick

Are you blessed with a long hallway? You can utilize it for playing fetch. A chew toy would be better and ensure that nothing’s damaged. And you can have a pleasant time!

Food puzzles are a great investment. It keeps your dog mentally stimulated and helps them eat slower.

From an animal welfare perspective food puzzle toys are great because they give dogs positive experiences in the acquisition of food,” says Zazie Todd from AVSAB. “Sometimes people are concerned that dogs might find food toys frustrating, but the challenge is fun for dogs.”

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

(A Few Tips)

Accidents are okay when they happen once. Learn from your mistakes and avoid doing the same again.

  • Try swapping to a nail grinder instead of a nail clipper. You can set the speed to slow and it gives you more control.
  • Have styptic powder near in case anything goes wrong.
  • If it’s your first time cutting your pet’s nails, make sure you have seen enough tutorials and posts.
  • Last resort, let a professional groomer take care of it.


How close can you cut to the quick?

Avoid cutting within two millimeters of the quick. It is easier to tell with lighter, white nails when you’re getting close to the quick. But, it’s much harder in darker, black nails.

What happens if a dogs quick is too long? 

If you have postponed trimming your dog’s nails for a while. They will overgrow and the quick will grow with it. We advise you to cut nails in multiple sessions. Trim only bits at a time.

How long does it take for a dog’s quick to stop bleeding?

Blood clots within 2-4 minutes. But, you still have to treat the wound so it doesn’t get infected or start bleeding again.

Can a cut quick get infected? 

The nerves in the quick are attached to the bone so it can cause bone infection in extreme conditions.

Does a dog wound heal faster covered or uncovered? 

Open wounds are susceptible to infection, it is better to cover the wound and let it heal.


In summary, the answer depends on the situation. If the wound is minor, it will heal faster and you can take your dog for a stroll. On the other hand, if it’s a major cut, it’s better to rest and stimulate your dog mentally through puzzles.

We hope this answered: “Can I Walk My Dog After Cutting The Quick?”. Your furry friend should heal soon and you can resume your walks.


  1. Dog Nail Quick: What it looks like and how to avoid cutting it | Veterinary Healthcare Associates.
  2. Teach your dog tricks to keep them healthy | Canine Arthritis Resources and Education.
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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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