Most dogs are very sensitive when it comes to touching their nails thus no dogs love clipping nails. But maintaining your dog’s nails is essential for their posture and joint health. Hence, grooming should be done regularly to keep their nails short.
- TOP PICK: Dremel Nail Grinder | popular brand, cordless with 2 rotation speeds
- BUDGET FRIENDLY : Oster Gentle Paws | perfect for small pets, battery operated, 2 coarse bands and powerful 2 speed design
- PRO OPTION: Oster Professional Corded Grinder | lightweight design, variable speed motor with auto-stop safety feature
The Importance of Clipping Dogs’ Nails
Over time, unkempt, overgrown nails can do serious damage to your dogs (not forgetting your beddings, floors, and furniture).With the increasing number of urban dogs being confined indoors (while their owners are at work), dogs have less time spending outdoors.
But if your dogs spend a good amount of time playing outdoors while running on various hard surfaces like concrete. These activities can welcome friction hence, making their nails naturally worn down and less of a need for nail-grooming.
With long nails always touching the ground, they exert a force back into the nail bed that triggers an unpleasant pain and pressure on the toes and paws for your dogs.
Imagine the pain we experienced, when wearing a too-tight shoe while walking in the street.
Without proper or regular nail grooming, this can impact the alignment of joints of the foreleg, resulting in a splayed or flattened foot.
Trimming nails are equally essential in older dogs to improve good posture.Those neglected nails can actually generate a vicious cycle considering your dog’s paws are sensitive or painful with any contact. Therefore, your dog refrains from having them touched, resulting in a displeasing or uncomfortable trimming session.
Correct Length for a Dog’s Nail
Dog’s nails are made of tough protein called keratin and like human nails, dog claws grow constantly. Their nails have an outer, thick covering called “unguis” in which the keratin fibers run perpendicular to the direction that nails grow.
Unlike humans, underneath their “unguis”, dogs have this so-called softer, flaky “subunguis”, with a grain that is parallel to the direction of growth. The faster growth of the unguis is what gives the dog’s nail its characteristic curl.
What’s the Ideal Nail Length
So, what is the Ideal Nail Length you asked? How often a dog’s nails need to be trimmed depends on the breed and lifestyle, which can change with age.
The general rule of thumb is quite simple. The claws or nails should not stick out over the pad and shouldn’t make contact with the ground when standing.
If they grow past that point, then that’s when they need trimming or clipping.
Thus, if you hear clack sounds when your dog walks on wooden floors or hard surfaces, it means her nails are too long.
The Canine Toenail Quick
Cutting or trimming your dog’s nails at home can give you some nightmares. Especially if you haven’t tried it before due to lack of confidence.
However, clipping your dog’s nails at home isn’t that hard particularly if your dog has a clear or light colored nails. Which means, the “quick” is visible from the side.
The “quick” is a vein that runs through the top of your dog’s nail. If it’s being trimmed, it will ooze blood because this part is filled with blood vessels. It looks like a sort of pink-colored shadow within the light colored nail.
Being aware where the “quick” is will help you trim to just before that point.
It is recommended to cut approximately 2mm away from the quick and as soon as the center of the nail starts to appear pink, you should STOP.
Dog Nail Grinder Tips and Tricks
- Take a small flashlight and hold it behind the nail to be able to see where the quick ends. This trick is helpful if your dog has dark or black claws as the “quick” isn’t that visible when cutting/grinding the nails.
- Do the nail trimming/cutting/grinding session after a bath. This makes the nails much softer, which creates less pressure on the nail when you clip it, and it doesn’t bother the dog as much.
- If your dog’s nail are too thick or your dog doesn’t like the sharp cutting action of the clippers, you can use a nail grinder.
- If you opt to use a nail grinder, NEVER put the sanding attachment right up to the tip of the nail and hold it there while it grinds away. Set it to low setting mode and use it no more than three strokes on each nail then progress to the next nail. For example, hold it to the nail briefly as you go- like bzzz the top, bzzz the bottom, and bzzz the sides.
Giving the nails a quick grind will ensure that the friction caused by grinding won’t create heat and give your dog pain or discomfort.
- Distracting your dog with peanut butter smeared on a bone or a small cutting board or container for him to lick can make the trimming nails a breeze. I use this trick all the time.
- Or you can freeze a jar of baby food (make sure to check the food that are safe for dogs) to distract your dog that hates having their nails clipped. The dog will lick away at the jar and you can keep a few in your freezer for easy access.
Cutting Thick or Dark Claws
My dogs’ nails are thick and tough, and I felt it would be cruel to use a clipper. I found an alternative way to trim their nails.
So, I carefully and gradually trained my dogs to a (Dog Nail Grinder) starting when they were puppies but it can be done at any age.
When teaching this process to your dogs, take it slow and do it in many sessions. Be sure to proceed SLOWLY and determine how your dog can handle before moving on to the next step.
Train / Desensitize your Dog Before Using a Grinder
The first session should be just sniffing and touching the “off” Dog Nail grinder.
The next session will be the grinder is “on” but NOT near them. Get him use with the sound.
The third session – once your dog gets a bit comfortable, slowly work on getting the grinder close enough to touch. Start by just barely touching one nail at a time. Shower him with treats and praise constantly.
I admit, at first it was a bit of a struggle to get the trimming session done. With lots of perseverance of course (and lots of praising and treats to distract them), we were able to trim their paws.
Listen to your dog. If he snatches his foot away, let him. Do not make it a tug of war. It is his foot, respect him. Go slowly, praise and pet.
Precaution When Using a Nail Grinder:
If you opt to use a nail grinder, NEVER put the sanding head right up to the tip of the nail and hold it there while grinding the nails away.
- Use it no more than 3-5 seconds on each nail then progress to the next nail. Set it to low setting, hold it to the nail briefly as you go- like bzzz the top, bzzz the bottom, and bzzz the sides.
- As you grind, pay attention to the end of the nail. By getting familiar with your dog’s nail conformation, you will learn when you are getting close to the quick.
- Giving the nails a quick grind will ensure that the friction caused by grinding won’t create heat and give your dog pain or discomfort.
- Don’t be super rigid, but don’t let them pull away, if they get away, they will continue to pull each time.
- Once you have the length you want, round and smooth the edges. This helps prevent scratches from sharp edges.
Dogs with Longer Fur or Coat
Take precaution when your dog’s coat is long around his feet as the nail grinder tends to get caught in the fur. Hold the fur away tightly from each nail or trim the fur short and take it slow.
Tip: The “quick” is not that visible if your dog has dark or black claws. Simply use a flashlight and hold it behind the nail to check where the “quick” ends when cutting/grinding the nails.
Nicking or clipping this sensitive part of the tissue too closely is excruciating for your dog as blood can ooze from the cut nail. ( If this happens, having a Kwik Stop styptic powder handy can aid to stop bleeding and shorten the misery).
Video on How to Grind your Dog’s Nail
If you’re a visual person, you can check this video below on how to grind your dog’s nails.
Useful Tools for Dog Nail Grinder
Until now, many dog owners are not familiar with the nail grinder, it’s a handy tool which is far more effective than clipper, that is only if your dog can tolerate the sound and vibration.
As much as dog hates clipping, lot of dogs cannot tolerate the vibration and the motor noise. Getting the dog trained to tolerate the nail grinder should be far safer and easier to use rather than traditional dog nail clipper.
Here are some of the top selling Nail grinder with honest reviews.
Dremel 7300-PT Dog Nail Grinder
Dremel nail grinder is an easy way to grind dog’s nail without having to make mistake. It’s easy to handle with even with small hand and very precise in grinding nails for big or small dogs.
Dremel is a very reputable brand and makers of a variety of commercial tools who also specialize pet grooming product.
This is one of the best sellers with so many reviews. Lots of satisfied customers with over 4,000 reviews thus, 80% of the customers were satisfied with the product purchased. Whether it is for the small or big dogs, Dremel did the job. Customer finds that the machine is powerful and will only take about 5 to 10 second on each nail on high power.
The manual is overwhelming but the grinder itself is very easy to use and effective. When sanding, even at high speed, it is fairly quiet and vibration is minimal.
After 15 min use, the body produced less heat and the battery was still going strong. Yes, the price is little higher compare to other brands but most people find this product to be well worth it. Having a great customer service by Dremel, any defects were fixed and sent back to customers.
Having said all positive about Dremel nail grinder, some people find this product to be a hit or miss. When a product fails after a couple of use or not having enough power is a defective product. Many complaints the product failed after a year. Most of the problems were the battery failure after a year or after of couple uses. As for the rechargeable batteries, this is very typical issues and not able to finish the job in one charge.
Video on How to Dremel your Dog’s Nails
- Two rotation speeds powered by Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) that can easily grind toenails with any harms to your pet.
- Easy to operate, with given tool to unscrew the top, place the grinder size, tight the screw to use.
- Two speeds 6,500 and 13,000 RPM which are back by 2-year warranty. 3-Hour Battery charger (755-01 4.8V battery) included
- Cordless and alternative way to clipping nails.
- Compatible with many selection of sanding drums and bands
- 8” (L) x2.58” (H) x 4.5” (W)
- Outer material high density plastic
|Most of owners who used Dremel pet nail grooming kit thought dogs have less anxiety and wished bought sooner.||Issue with battery life and noise. Most complaints were mechanical defect on early use or later.|
|Cordless and rechargeable battery is a plus than using conventional AA batteries.||Rechargeable battery simply would not hold charge after year considering how many times you use throughout the year.|
|It is very easy to use and customers thought it was powerful enough for big dogs as well as small dogs.|
Hertzko Electronic Pet Nail Grinder
Hertzko pet nail grinder is a cordless small compact size that gives minimal noise and vibration for gentle painless trimming. Hertzko is a popular brand that makes a variety of pet grooming tools that comes in bright color.
Their specialty is using a grinder with Diamond Bit Grinder, which reduces of risking clipping too much that can hurt your pet.
Depending on the nail size, this product comes with adjustable Ports (openings in the grinder). It is very simple to use and portable.With over 80% satisfied customer reviews, most customers thought this is a miracle product for grinding nails for their dog.
It is so quiet that even some first-time use on dogs doesn’t seem to mind. The battery hold charges most of the time until finished job according to many customers. Several customers stating that even after 20 minutes of use, the battery was still going strong. With the safety cap, only nails can be inserted and very safe to use on any size pets.
Any dogs that have fear of nail clipping, when properly used, it is a life saver for many dog owners.
Less than 10% of the customers were not satisfied with the purchase. Due to portable and cordless, there isn’t enough power to grind thicker nails. Using it on small, less than 10 lb dog is great but if you have a large dogs, you need a stronger grinder. Most complaints were simply taking too long to grind and not for the medium or large dogs.
- Super quiet motor design to calm painless use on for dogs, cats, rabbits and birds.
- Portable, safe and easy to use.
- Built in rechargeable battery that uses universal micro usb charger.
- Three size ports, opening to different size pet nails safe grinding.
- Removable Port cap for larger pets.
- Easy cleaning and easy install.
|Most customers love the compact size and how quiet the tool is.||Some customers feel that the tool lack of power for bigger nails and taking too long to grind.|
|Very simple to use and easy cleanup. Using the tool while being charged is a plus.||Not able to change the drill bit is a downside.|
|The three size port opening makes easier to handle for smaller pet nails.|