Dog Nail Grinder vs Clipper – Which Is Better For Your Dog?

If your pooch is in desperate need of nail trimming, you might be struggling to decide on whether to use a dog nail grinder vs a clipper. Read through this article to know the pros and cons of a dog nail grinder, Dremel & clipper and learn how to use a dog nail grinder easily and effectively at home.

Pawdicuring Your Fur Baby: Choosing Between a Dog Nail Grinder & Clipper

No matter the breed of the dog, nail care should be one of the most important aspects of their overall grooming. Although many dogs’ nails naturally wear down, others are prone to overgrowth. If left untrimmed, such nails can split or crack and affect the way your canine friend walks making it very important to trim them regularly.

Moreover, long dog nails that touch the ground push the toes out of their natural position when your fur baby walks. As a result, the longer the nails, the more displacement the toes experience. And, of course, sharp dog claws can cause a lot of damage to people around them as well as your property.

Furthermore, elderly dogs that are prone to arthritis are more likely to suffer from painful joint problems as a result of overgrown nails. So, it is highly important to keep track of your doggo’s nail length and make trimming a regular part of their grooming routine.

And even if you don’t have time to measure their nail length every few days, just keep an eye on their gait. If your dog is limping, standing awkwardly, or raising their paws higher to walk, they may have overgrown nails and might be experiencing pressure on their toes.

Read further to know more about effectively trimming your pooch’s nails and selecting between a dog nail grinder or clipper – the endless debate! But before that…

What Does “Quicking” The Nail Mean?

While reading about dog nail trimming or buying a trimming kit, you must have come across the term “quick” and wondered what’s that. Well, the innermost core of the nail, known as the “quick,” is made up of a vein and nerve.

As the nail grows longer, the quick extends farther toward the tip and if you accidentally cut the “quick”, it will cause your pet to bleed and make the trimming session traumatic for them.

So, if your dog’s nails are excessively long, it will take several sessions of removing small segments of the nail – probably one millimeter at a time – to allow the “quick” to recede back into the nail’s base and gradually return it to a healthy length. Once your dog’s nails have achieved a proper length, only one or two brief grinding sessions each month should suffice to keep them in good shape.

What Does “Quicking” The Nail Mean?

Dog Nail Grinder Vs Clipper – Which is Better?

Anyone who has attempted and struggled to trim their dog’s nails using a pair of typical dog nail clippers will be relieved to know that there is an easy alternative to the same, without any obligation of visiting the vet or a professional groomer: a dog nail grinder. Both options, though, offer many advantages and disadvantages for you to choose from.

So, if you want to trim your dog’s nails with the right tool while making sure you don’t hurt your canine friend and the process is painless for him, here are our detailed insights on selecting between a dog nail grinder vs clipper.

What is a Nail Grinder?

Nail grinders are battery-operated devices that are designed very differently than nail clippers. They have a rough, sandpaper-like tip that can help your dog’s claws stay short and smooth. Handy enough like a nail clipper, a nail grinder features a round metal head that rotates to shorten and shape your pooch’s nails.

Hence, a nail grinder uses friction to shorten and shape your doggo’s nails without applying any pressure like a nail clipper. It’s also a lot easier to use and incrementally files down your pet’s nails at a rapid speed. All you have to do is turn it on, place it near the name, and it will begin grinding your dog’s nails.

Furthermore, many nail grinders include safety features such as safety shields that guide the dog’s nails thus preventing injury or the ability to grind one nail for no more than five seconds.

What is a Nail Grinder?

Pros of Using a Nail Grinder Cons of Using a Nail Grinder
A nail grinder perfectly smoothes out the end of your dog’s nails rather than leaving sharp edges that can still scratch your skin when your fur baby moves across your lap. Nail grinders produce a steady humming noise and a vibration that some dogs find bothersome, but it’s still a lot better than the sharp, quick snap of nail clippers.
Unlike nail clippers that can cut your dog’s nails too low, a nail grinder goes slowly and gradually without any pain. Nail grinders need batteries to operate, thus they are not a one-time investment. You’ll need to change them from time to time and sometimes, even when your pup is ready, you won’t be able to grind their nails just in case you didn’t realise the batteries were dead.
If you’ve ever used dog nail clippers on your dog and they’ve freaked out, grinders can make the experience much smoother for them. The cost of a dog nail grinder is far higher than that of a nail clipper.
Grinders are ideal for dogs with thick, black nails, as clippers make it difficult to see how short they are. Grinding down nails also produces nail dust that gives off an odour that you may not like. However, you can wear a mask to avoid inhaling the dust or sniffing it.

Nail Grinding Tips – What to Consider When Grinding a Dog’s Nails?

If you want your pooch to find their nail grinding experience easy and smooth, here are some important pointers to remember:

  • Long hair might get tangled in the grinder, causing pain. To avoid catching hair in the grinder, trim hairy feet, cut the fur around the nails, or hold the hair back away from the nail with your fingers.
  • Make sure you don’t grind your pooch’s nails too short.
  • Buy a nail grinder that fits comfortably in your hand, as the discomfort can lead to your dog’s quick being cut.

What is a Nail Clipper?

Nail clippers don’t need an introduction – they have been around for a really long time. They can quickly cut your dog’s nails and are especially great with impatient dogs that cannot sit still to get their nails trimmed using a nail grinder. However, most dogs are afraid of nail clippers.

What is a Nail Clipper?

Pros of Using a Nail Clipper Cons of Using a Nail Clipper
Clipping your dog’s nails takes only a second, you will benefit from its speed as the entire procedure may be completed in the snap of a finger. It’s very easy to cut into the quick of your dog’s nail with a nail clipper if you’re not careful, causing discomfort and blood. Once you’ve chopped into your dog’s nail quick, they won’t want you to cut their nails ever again!
Dog nail clippers are usually inexpensive, and owning a pair is not difficult. However, don’t skimp on the clippers; otherwise, they won’t do the job, won’t be sharp, and are more likely to injure your pet. Another big downside of dog nail clippers is that they can pinch and squeeze your dog’s quick, causing pain and suffering even if you don’t cut into the quick.
Since a nail clipper is a manual trimming tool, it doesn’t require batteries to operate. Although uncommon, nail clippers can also cause your dog’s nails to split or crack sometimes – especially if they are not too sharp.
When compared to the humming sound and vibration of nail grinders that some dogs find unsettling, nail clippers are quiet. Unlike grinding, nail clipping can also leave sharp edges, which might be problematic if your dog likes to paw people or objects.

Nail Clipping Tips – What to Consider When Clipping a Dog’s Nails?

If you want to make your dog’s nail clipping experience easy and quick, here are some important pointers that are sure to come in handy for you:

  • If you’re a beginner, look for a clipper that has a safety feature or a nail guard to prevent you from clipping your dog’s nails too short.
  • Look for a nail clipper that is comfortable for you so that you can cut your dog’s nails safely and effectively.
  • Use your fingers to separate your pup’s toes as you cut the nail.
  • Initially, dogs resist nail clipping a lot. So, exercise him before the nail clipping session so that he is tired and cannot resist a lot.
  • Trim your pooch’s nails every two weeks to make him get used to it.
  • After each nail clipping session, reward and praise your dog.

What is a Nail Dremel?

A nail Dremel is a rotary nail trimming tool that works by grinding your dog’s nails down. It is actually the “technical term” for a nail grinder!

Filing Dog Nails Instead Of Clipping: What’s Best For Your Dog?

After going through the pros and cons of nail grinding and clipping, are you still confused about which is the better choice for trimming your pup’s claws? Well, the ideal choice depends on your dog’s personality, as well as your dog grooming abilities.

If you’re confident of your skills in cutting your canine friend’s nails, you can use a nail clipper. It is convenient, inexpensive, and relatively fast in trimming a dog’s nails. However, if you’re nervous that you may cut into your pooch’s quick, you might want to invest in a nail grinder. It allows you to shorten and smoothen your dog’s nails without worrying too much about cutting the quick.

So, it’s really up to you!

Moreover, you need to consider your dog’s preferences and reactions to his nail trimming sessions. If your dog is afraid of loud noises, you may want to avoid using a grinder and use a nail clipper instead. However, in that case, make sure to go very slow and only cut a tiny bit of nail each week because clipping a large amount at once can risk cutting into your dog’s quick.

Moreover, in some cases, you may want to consider both – a clipper to quickly cut the nails and later a grinder to smooth off the rough edges. So, rather than seeking advice from others or contemplating their choices, keep in mind that some dogs do better with clippers, while others are happier with grinders.

How Long Can Your Dog’s Nails Be?

Ideally, a dog’s nails should be long enough to be seen, but not so long that they extend past the paw. This further means when a dog is standing square on a level surface, its nails should not touch the ground. If your dog has long hair, you may find it difficult to notice their nail growth. So, if their nails extend past the bottom of the paw pad, you know they’re too long.

  • Excessively long dog nails can affect the way your dog walks or runs.
  • With long nails, dogs create an unnatural angle for their feet.
  • This places unequal pressure on the toes, causing soreness and tenderness in the nail beds.
  • Dogs with long nails are more likely to split and splinter.
  • Hence, keeping their nails at the right length also protects you and your property.

Very long dog nails

How Often Can You Grind Dog Nails?

A consistent nail-trimming schedule can eventually get your dog’s nails to the appropriate length, but if it’s the first time you’ve cut your dog’s nails in a while or if their nails are overgrown, don’t try to get that short. Overgrown nails can be painful for both you and your dog as the quick can extend at a fast pace if your dog’s nails aren’t trimmed on a regular basis.

You’ll need to be patient and regular in your nail trimming regimen to bring your dog’s nails to a healthy length. Once their quick has receded back and the nail growth is back to normal, you can trim their nails every week or two weeks depending on the nail growth.

How To Use a Dog Nail Grinder At Home?

When it comes to getting your dog’s nails trimmed, you want an expert professional groomer who won’t harm your fur baby at all. But, that, dear friend, is pricey. The more experience a groomer has, the more expensive he or she will be.  So, to save yourself the hassle of booking an appointment with a groomer or saving an extravagant amount of money, trimming your pooch’s nails yourself is an excellent idea.

Hence, if you want to learn how to grind a dog’s nails at home, here is all you need to know:

1. Get Your Dog Used to the Sight & Sound of the Dremel

  • To start building a positive association, get your dog used to the sound of the grinder by turning it on multiple times (over days or weeks) while sitting alongside them.
  • As he becomes more comfortable, desensitize your doggo to the grinder by gently rubbing his paws with the grinder while it is turned off.
  • Once your dog becomes more tolerant of this, start switching on the grinder for a few seconds at a time so he grows acclimated to the humming noise.
  • Keep the grinder on for extended amounts of time over time, and always provide your pooch positive reinforcement (treats, verbal praise).

2. Start Accustoming Him to the Sensation

  • Once your dog is comfortable with how the Dremel looks and sounds, begin by acclimating him to the sensation by having your pooch give you his paw and then gently touching one of his nails with the Dremel. Don’t forget to feed them a treat if they agree.
  • When using the grinder for the first time, trim only one or two nails at a time until he gets used to it.
  • If you continue to do this, your dog will eventually learn to accept the Dremel for longer amounts of time.
  • During nail trims, never stop feeding treats to always make sure the experience is a good one!

3. The Actual Nail Grinding Technique

  • In one hand, hold the nail grinder and make sure you find it comfortable.
  • Hold your dog’s paw in the other hand and squeeze it carefully to extend the nails from their resting retracted position.
  • Isolate each nail one at a time, keeping the toe between your thumb and index finger.
  • If your dog has long hair, make sure to move it out of the way and secure it with your thumb and index finger against the toe.

Nail grinding process

How to Introduce Nail Trimming To Your Dog?

When it comes to trimming dog nails, the idea is to use gentle but minimal restraint. Dogs despise being restrained and that’s one of the biggest reasons they hate getting their nails trimmed. So, before you start trimming your dog’s nails, you should first desensitise them to having their paws touched.

One of the biggest reasons why accidents happen is because the dog is not calm. When you clip, they drag the paw away from you, making it impossible to be precise. Hence, sit calmly with your dog and softly touch its paws, toes, and claws.

Pet your fur baby and offer some of their favorite treats. If you do it a few times a day for a week, the dog will eventually understand that nothing bad happens. They become accustomed to having their paws touched and their nails exposed this way. Once your doggo is comfortable and you’re confident in your ability to clip their nails, go ahead and start trimming the nails.

Where To Trim Your Dog’s Nails?

If your dog enjoys sitting in your lap, this is the perfect position for trimming its nails. Make yourself comfortable on the couch or in a chair. Before you start trimming your dog’s nails, make sure they’re calm and comfortable by petting them and giving them a treat.

If you can have two people around to help, that job is going to be a lot easier. One person can hold the dog while the other takes care of the feet.

However, if your dog doesn’t like being in your lap, try placing him on a table or counter. Distract them with some treats on the counter, then gently hold their paw to clip the nails. If you try this method, it can help to have another person around to pet the dog and provide them treats while you work.

Where To Trim Your Dog’s Nails?

Are Dog Nail Grinders Safe?

Nail grinders function by filing your dog’s nails to make them short and smooth without causing them any pain or discomfort. As a result, grinding your dog’s nails with a grinder is a pain-free way of grooming them.

The sound and vibration of the nail grinder will, however, take some getting used to. It’s best to begin when your dog is still young. Hence, it is completely safe to grind a dog’s nails at home provided they are used properly. Moreover, it is highly important to train your dog to accept having his nails trimmed in this manner.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using Dog Nail Grinder vs Clipper

If you still have any questions about selecting between a dog nail grinder vs clipper or how to use a nail grinder for dogs, here are our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the same.

Are dog clippers or grinders better?

Although it mainly depends on your dog grooming abilities and your dog’s personality, a dog nail grinder is a more convenient option according to us.

Are nail grinders safe for dogs?

If you have properly learnt how to use a nail grinder for dogs, it is completely safe for dogs.

How do groomers cut dog nails?

Although most professional groomers prefer using a nail grinder, some use the clipper grinder approach where they use both the tools as required.

Is it better to clip or Dremel dog nails?

Generally, it is better to use a Dremel for trimming dog nails as the process is gradual and pain-free for dogs. However, some dogs are uncomfortable with the feel, sound and vibration of a nail grinder. It is better to quickly snap their nails using a nail clipper.

The Bottom Line

Trimming your dog’s nails is an unavoidable part of dog ownership, but it’s not easy for everyone. The longer you wait to trim your dog’s nails, the more difficult it is for the groomer to return them to their normal shape, which causes greater agony for the dog.

The process can be distressing for both dogs and humans, prompting many owners to take their pets to the groomer on a regular basis to get it done for them. But it doesn’t have to be that way. So, by weighing the pros and cons listed above, we hope we helped you decide between a dog nail grinder vs clipper.

Finding the tool that works for both you and your pooch is critical to making this part of maintenance less stressful. Start slowly and figure out which way is best for trimming your dog’s nails to relieve the stress and avoid the drama of the situation.

Remember that filing dog nails instead of clipping is perfectly okay. A dog nail grinder works like a super-power file, allowing you to trim your dog’s nails without harming them. If you’ve never clipped your dog’s nails before, don’t be afraid to ask your veterinarian or groomer for instructions. Most veterinary care providers and groomers will gladly provide you with a quick lesson.

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