When you arrive home from a long day of work to say hello to your four-legged friend it’s all too common to hear the sound of scraping paws on the floor as their excitement gets the better of them. However, this isn’t a sound you should be hearing – because it’s a sign that your dog’s nails need clipping.
If you don’t keep your dog’s nails clipped down to an appropriate length it can cause health issues for your little pooch that are not exactly fun for them to deal with. It can start off as a mild pain that they’re unable to tell you about, and it can turn into a splayed deformed foot in some extreme cases. As we’re sure you’ll agree – both of these things are best avoided.
Today we are going to share with you a few tips you can use when you’re clipping your dog’s nails. We’re going to tell you what to do (and what not to do), and we’re going to give you a few product recommendations of what we feel are the best dog nail clippers on the market in 2018.
Let’s get started.
3 Tips On How To cut your Dogs Nails
Avoiding The Quick – Using dog nail clippers is super simple. You trim the very tip of each nail with whatever clipper you have, and then you move on to the next one.
However, you need to make sure you only trim the very tip of the nail, as there is a section of the nail called “the quick” that will bleed profusely if it is cut. You’ll have an unhappy doggy running around your house bleeding quite heavily if you do this incorrectly. They will remember the experience, and it will hurt them too – so be careful.
If the section of nail you’re trimming feels soft you need to stop, immediately, as it’s probably the quick. You may be able to see the quick if your dog has light colored nails, it’s a thin pinkish line running almost the entire length of the nail.
Remember: it’s far better to trim too little than to cut the quick.
If you’re unsure, you can ask your vet to clip your dog’s nails the first time (while you watch what is being done). This will give you a good idea of how much to take off when you do it yourself.
Trim The Hair – If you’ve got a long-haired dog, then it’s often advisable to give their paws a little trim before you get down to clipping. This will stop hair from obstructing your vision, and it will also remove any risk of hair getting caught in the moving parts of your clippers.
Get Them Comfy – Perhaps the most important part of trimming your dog’s nails is to get them super comfortable and happy before you start the process. Lie them down on their blanket, provide them with their favorite chew treat and get them used to the idea of you touching their feet before you start clipping. Once they are relaxed you can then begin the process.
Different Types of Dog Nail Clippers
You may be surprised to learn that there is actually a reasonably wide variety of different kinds of dog nail clippers on the market. Some are better than others, we’ll list the most common types below.
These clippers are one of the most popular kinds of clippers on the market. As the name suggests, they are reasonably similar to a pair of scissors (or perhaps pliers), except they are designed for your dog’s nails. They are big, thick, and sturdy, and they will clip and trim nails with a single cut. They can be used on dogs of all sizes, but they are generally the clippers of choice for larger dogs (better options exist for smaller dogs).
You’re not going to get any prizes for guessing how guillotine clippers work. They are little devices that have a hole in the middle of them that’s big enough for a dog’s nail to fit through. Once you’ve positioned the nail perfectly you can then push down on the handle and a clean single cut will be made – trimming the entire nail in one gentle movement. They are generally seen to be the best option for smaller and medium-sized dogs.
Grinder tools are a reasonably recent invention that has changed the way some people view canine nail clipping. You’ll meet some dog owners who think they are the best thing ever, and you’ll meet others who think they’re a complete waste of money.
They work very much like a multi-tool you may have in your garage. A spinning disk of abrasive sandpaper spins around at high speed. You then gently grind away at the nail until it reaches the desired length. There is no pain in this process and it’s surprisingly easy to do.
Proponents of the device say that it is one of the gentlest, and calmest ways to trim a dog’s nails and it allows you to make sure they are all the perfect size while being super smooth too. There is certainly truth to this, the end result is more like a manicure than a nail trimming.
However, on the other hand, it takes much longer to complete the nail trimming using a grinder than it does using a simple clipper. You’ve also got to get your dog used to the sensation of the vibrations that are caused by the grinding (which is easier said than done). This being said, they are a little safer to use if you’re inexperienced, as you’re much less likely to damage the quick.
We’ll leave it up to you to decide if you think clippers are right for your dog. But they are more expensive than normal clippers, which may be a deal breaker for some people.
Top 5 Overall Best Dog Nail Clippers
So now we know the different kinds of nail clippers on the market and we’ve got a rough idea of how to carry out the cutting procedure. Here are what we consider to be the 5 best dog nail clippers on the market in 2018 (listed in no particular order).
Millers Forge Nail Clipper With Safety Stop
Millers Forge nail clippers are so well known that their brand name is often used to describe dog nail scissors of all makes and models. They are the undisputed leaders of the industry, with an impeccable reputation for reliability and usability. They’ve got two very firm and strong ergonomic handles coated in a durable non-slip rubber. This allows you to apply pressure to them with each and every clip without your hands starting to hurt.
They are spring loaded clippers which allows you to apply a quick, and consistent cut that will clip the nail all the way through in a single action. They additionally have a safety stop mechanism that helps ensure that you don’t slip and cut your dog. They’re made of high-grade stainless steel with super sharp blades, and they’re going to stand the test of time well.
Bissell Cat & Dog Nail Clippers
These nail clippers from Bissell are a great alternative to the Millers Forge product above. They’re a very similar design and contain many of the same features. They’ve got a super thick and comfortable ergonomic handle that is designed to give you a strong secure grip while cutting.
The angled safety feature again helps avoid accidental cuts and the spring loaded design allows for a clean concise cut each and every time. Bissell is the kind of brand that thinks of everything, and this product is no exception. They include a free nail file with these clippers that allows you to round off any smooth and sharp edges that may be left over from trimming.
Hertzko Professional Dog & Cat Nail Clipper & Nail File
This product from Hertzko is a 2 in 1 nail clipper and file combo pack, and its got a bunch of great features that make it more than worthy of your consideration. The blades are made from ultra sharp, ultra-durable stainless steel that will cut through even the thickest nails like a hot knife through butter.
Its got a contoured rubberized easy grip handle that’s going to allow you to do all your dogs nails without making your hand hurt, and its got a super safe locking mechanism to prevent injury while they’re not in use. The included nail file also has a durable handle and it is of a higher quality compared to the bonus nail file that is included in the Bissell product above.
Hartz Groomer’s Best Nail Clipper for Dogs and Cats By Hartz
We’ve got more of the same in these great nail clippers from Hartz. Again they’ve got stainless steel blades, they’ve got rubberized handles, and they are spring loaded. They’re a little cheaper than some of the other products on this page, but they’re of an exceptionally high quality. Like the other products we’ve mentioned, they’ve also got a clever little safety guard that’s going to help you avoid cutting the quick. It’s not a foolproof system, but it certainly helps.
Andis Premium Dog Nail Clipper, Large
The final product in our top 5 overall best recommendations is from Andis. It’s a professional grade product that is aimed at pro groomers who are going to be cutting nails all day long. As such, the handle is one of the softest on this list and you’ll be able to apply pressure to them without your hand hurting or slipping.
The super sharp stainless steel blades are as good as any other on this list and they have a similar safety guard system to help avoid cutting the quick too. It’s suitable for use on dogs of all sizes, but like all scissor nail clippers, they are generally better suited to medium and large dogs.
Best For Large Dogs: Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs By Safari
To be totally honest, all the nail clippers we have mentioned above are suitable for large dogs. If you own a large dog, any of them would be a great choice. However, we do particularly like this product from Safari. The blades are some of the sharpest we have ever come across and they are made of durable stainless steel.
We especially like the handles on this product. They are super thick, and heavily ridged which will allow you to apply the additional force required to trim thicker nails of larger dogs without any issues whatsoever.
Best For Small Dogs: Safari Nail Trimmer for Small Dogs
Despite looking almost identical to a pair of scissors, these nail clippers are actually guillotine clippers. They are lightweight and are designed to be used one-handed. The blades are sharp and allow for the gentle precision required on smaller dogs.
If you do own a small dog, then you should ignore all the other products on this page (perhaps with the exception of the grinder below) and get these – they are much better for pint-sized pooches.
Best Grinder: Dremel 7300-PT Dog & Cat Nail Grinder Kit
It’s no surprise that Dremel makes the world’s best dog nail grinder. The entire concept of dog nail grinders came from inventive owners breaking out their Dremel multi-tools and using the grinder attachment to trim their dog’s nails. Dremel learned of this trend and modified some of their existing products to be more suitable for nail grinding.
It’s a wireless product that allows you to get at the nails from any angle you want, and the 60 grit sandpaper ensures that you’ll be able to get the job done in record time. It’s got two operating speeds and the large rechargeable batteries will provide you with enough power to get all 4 paws done on a single charge.
So there you have it, an insight into the world of trimming your dog’s nails.
Any of the products we have mentioned here today are more than worthy of your consideration. And remember, if you’re not sure about how to clip your dog’s nails safely – then watch a professional groomer (or a vet) do it first to give you an idea of how it’s done.