Trying to figure out if you should use dog nail clippers or a dog nail grinder? Here we take a look at the pro’s and con’s of trimming your dog’s nails with traditional nail trimmers or using a dremel trimmer.
Properly trimming your dog’s nails can be difficult and scary. You may not have the right tools, or you may not know how to do it properly.
Not only is improperly trimmed nails dangerous for your dog, but it can also be expensive if you have to take them to a professional groomer.
When choosing which tools to trim your dog’s nails, should you pick clippers or a dremel-style tool?
Luckily, this guide provides easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions on trimming your dog’s nails both safely and effectively, and which are the best dog nail clippers for you.
Do Dogs Actually Need their Nails Clipped
Yes, dogs actually do need their nails clipped on a regular basis. Just like our own fingernails and toenails, a dog’s nails will continue to grow throughout their lifetime.
If left unclipped, the nails can become overgrown and start to curl under the paw pads.
This can be extremely painful for your dog and can even lead to mobility issues.
In addition, long nails can also cause your dog’s feet to slip out from under them, which can lead to falls and injuries.
Since we are constantly adventuring with our dogs, we always make sure to protect our dogs paws while hiking.
And keeping their nails trimmed, is essential for that.
Why Trim a Dogs Nails
When a dog’s nails become too long, it can cause a lot of problems for your dog including:
- Discomfort and painful paws
- Broken nails or nail beds
- Nail bed infections
- Trouble walking
- Chewing at paws
If that’s not enough, long nails can also cause problems for their owners. Untrimmed nails, especially when they become broken, can hurt their owners, especially older owners who have more delicate skin.
Trimming your dog’s nails is a very important task that not many people take the time to do. But, now that you know why it’s important to trim their nails, let’s answer the question of how to do it safely.
Tools that Make Trimming a Dogs Nails Easier
When you get ready to trim your dog’s nails, you’ll need to pick which tools you’ll want to use.
There are two common ways of trimming a dogs nails, using a clipping method and using a sanding method.
Take a look at both to figure out which method would be better for you and your dog.
Trimming a Dog’s Nails Using Nail Clippers
Nail clippers for dogs are readily available at most pet stores. Two basic nail clippers exist for dog owners: scissor-style and guillotine-style nail clippers.
Scissor-style nail clippers tend to make the job easier, especially with dog breeds that have large thick nails.
Generally, smaller dogs or those with small nails will need these scissor-style clippers.
But the guillotine-style nail clippers stay sharper, longer, meaning you won’t have to replace them as often.
The biggest downside to using pet nail clippers on your dog is that they dull quickly, causing them to crush the nails, instead of cutting them cleanly.
This can cause foot, nail, and quick pain, as well as infection and excessive bleeding.
Furthermore, dog owners may find it difficult to use nail clippers on smaller dogs with delicate nails. In this case, smooth the nails with a file before clipping them.
Choosing the Right Clippers
When choosing which nail clippers to use for your dog there are a few things you’ll want to take into account:
The size of your dog’s nails: You’ll want to make sure you get a size that can handle your dog’s nails.
Small dogs, have smaller nails and will need small nail clippers while large dogs will need larger clippers.
The thickness of your dog’s nails: This is important because if the clippers are too small they will crush the nails instead of cutting them.
Very large dogs have large dog nails. For these types of dogs make sure you are using very sharp stainless steel blades.
This video will show you how to cut your dog’s nails with regular nail clippers:
When attempting to clip the nails of a frightened and struggling dog, nail clippers might be difficult. If the pet owner makes even a small movement, the quick of the nail may be cut, resulting in bleeding.
One bad experience will leave you battling with your dog to get those nails trimmed.
Nail clippers can also leave the nails very sharp, which can cause the dog to scratch himself, scratch you or the floors and furniture.
So it’s also necessary to use a coarse nail file to smooth down any sharp edges after cutting your dogs nails.
Clipping your Dog’s Nails With a Dremel
The Dremel nail trimmer is a modern version of the traditional dog nail clipper and .
It’s a nail grinder that spins quickly to slowly grind the nails down to the desired length.
This is a much safer method as it’s difficult to hurt your dog with this type of trimmer.
There’s a much smaller risk of causing any kind of pain or bleeding.
Furthermore, it doesn’t require any experience or skill to use. All you need to do is hold the trimmer against your dog’s nail and let it do its job.
Here’s how to trim your dog nails with a grinder.
The biggest downside to this type of trimmer is that it’s more expensive than a set of nail clippers.
Another problem with it can be that some dogs don’t tolerate the vibrating sensation it causes.
Usually this can be overcome with some old-fashioned positive reinforcement, treats, and lots of patience.
These sanding-type nail files are especially good for dogs with dark nails or black nails, as the quick of their nails is harder to see.
It’s also much easier to cut through thicker nails and tough nails that using scissor-style clippers.
If you’re looking for a good dremel-type clipper, we suggest this one.
Dremel vs. Clippers
When choosing whether you want to use, really it comes down to personal preference.
Which ever tool use feel most safe and comfortable using, is the right too for you.
- Less likely of causing injury
- Works well for very thick nails
- Sands down sharp nails
- More expensive
- Requires batteries or a charger
- No batteries or charger
- Easier to injure your dog
- Requires frequent replacements
- Harder to cut thick nails
Again, the best nail clippers are the ones you’re most comfortable with.
Choosing between nail clippers or nail grinders is about what will get the job done, with the least amount of trauma for you and your dog.
Tricks for Trimming Dog Nails
Handy tricks for trimming a dog’s nails:
- If your dog is resistant to having his nails trimmed, try using a Dremel instead. The sound of the Dremel may be scary at first, but most dogs get used to it quickly and it makes the job much easier.
- Be sure to have everything you need within reach before starting the trimming process. This includes treats, a nail file, and styptic powder (just in case).
- Start by trimming just a little bit off of one nail, and then give your dog a treat. Gradually work up to trimming all of his nails.
- If your dog starts to get anxious, take a break and try again later.
Above all, be patient! Dogs can sense when their owners are tense or anxious, so take your time and stay calm.
Other Handy Nail Trimming Tips
When attempting to trim your dog’s nails at home, it’s important to also grab some styptic powder, or have corn starch readily available.
If you accidentally cut your dog’s nails too short, they’ll start to bleed.
If this happens make sure to wash and disinfect your dog’s injured nail, and keep an eye on his behavior.
If he’s limping a lot and and showing more pain in that paw, be sure to take him to a vet to prevent a bad infection.