Trimming your beloved dog’s nails doesn’t have to be a tedious and stressful chore, neither for you nor for your dog. However, many dog owners dread this task, which is unfortunate because it is essential for the well-being of their pets. Fortunately, there are tools to make your life easier: nail clippers. But is it really worth buying a pair specifically for your dog? What makes them different from the nail clippers you have in your bathroom?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll show you the best options we’ve found and reviewed, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 7 Best Dog Nail Clippers
1. Safari Professional Nail Trimmer – Best Overall
|Breed size:||Small, medium, large|
|Dimensions:||4.7 x 2.6 inches|
|Material:||Stainless steel, plastic|
Do you have several furry companions at home that aren’t all the same size? Thankfully, there are versatile models that can adapt to different breeds of dogs. Among them, the Safari Professional Nail Trimmer is, by far, our best overall pick. The first good point to emphasize is that, unlike others, this product has been designed to adapt to as many four-legged companions as possible: you can use it with small, medium, and large dogs. Of course, you will need to adapt the way you cut the nails of your pooch depending on his size.
But you shouldn’t have too much trouble, especially because the grip is particularly comfortable. This dog nail clipper has two handles, each equipped with a non-slip surface. In addition, a safety device prevents you from cutting your pet’s nails too short. However, a few users indicated that they would have appreciated even sharper cutting edges. But overall, this very affordable option should be a hit with apprentice dog groomers—and their pooch!
2. Millers Forge Nail Clipper with Safety Stop – Best Value
|Breed size:||Small and medium|
|Dimensions:||5 x 2 x 0.25 inches|
Don’t let its low price make you skeptical: Millers Forge Nail Clipper is an effective, easy-to-use, and safe product! The blade is sharp and made of stainless steel, which ensures long years of use. In addition, the plastic handle is comfortable, which prevents cramping for the user.
This economical nail clipper comes in small to large sizes and will cover most breeds, although they might not be the best choice for very large dogs. Indeed, we mainly recommend the purchase of the model for small or medium dogs. The nails of large dogs are sometimes too thick to be cut well with this accessory, even when using the version for large dogs.
3. ConairPRO Professional Dog Nail Grinder – Premium Choice
|Breed size:||All sizes|
|Dimensions:||12.13 x 12 x 7.88 inches|
Here we go from a simple nail clipper to a different kind of product with the ConairPRO Professional, which is a dog nail grinder. This option is a safe alternative to the nail clipper, as it allows the dog’s nails to be filed without cutting too short and touching the sensitive nerve. This premium product is, therefore, particularly appreciated by owners of anxious dogs. However, since it is an electric nail grinder, you must plug it in to use it. Although the cord is eight feet long, it can be annoying for some users, who will prefer to look to battery-powered options. Nevertheless, the motor is quiet enough to avoid further terrorizing the already stressed dog, which is a nice bonus. But keep in mind that this product is not very effective for large dogs with very thick nails, as you may spend a lot filing each nail.
4. JW Pet Company Deluxe Nail Trimmer for Dogs – Best for Large Dogs
|Breed size:||Large, extra-large|
|Dimensions:||4.75 x 7 x 1 inches|
The JW Pet Company Deluxe Jumbo is a guillotine-type nail trimmer. It is small enough that you can grip it securely, while still being suitable for trimming the nails of large and very large dogs. The blade is indeed reinforced to make cutting very thick nails easier and safer. However, although this product is very effective the first few times, the material does not seem strong enough to withstand many uses. So, while inexpensive, you may need to replace this nail trimmer after a while.
5. Bissell Dog Nail Clippers – Best for Small Dogs
|Dimensions:||8 x 3.5 x 1 inches|
The Bissell Dog Nail Clippers are an affordable option for small dog breeds. Its ergonomic handle allows for a solid grip, while the built-in angled safety guard lets you trim your dog’s nails safely. It even includes a file to finish nail trimming in style! It is very easy to use and is suitable even for large cats. However, it will not be useful for trimming your little kitten’s claws, despite what the product claims suggest. In addition, it is not suitable for left-handed people.
6. Dremel 7300-PT Dog & Cat Nail Grinder Kit
|Breed size:||All sizes|
|Dimensions:||8 x 4.5 x 2.58 inches|
The Dremel 7300-PT Dog & Cat Nail allows you to transform into a professional groomer in just a few minutes! In fact, this cordless rotary file offers two speeds to gently file your dog’s nails, regardless of their size. No more sharp claws from a shoddy blade! Plus, this option is relatively quiet, which is a good thing for more anxious doggies. The battery is rechargeable and has a battery life that will allow you to care for two to three dogs before recharging. Nonetheless, this tool can be a bit overwhelming and difficult for novice users to use. Its high cost is also not for everyone, especially if you have little experience trimming your dog’s nails with such a tool.
7. Resco Deluxe Dog Nail Clippers
|Breed size:||All sizes|
|Dimensions:||5 x 3.5 x 0.5 inches|
|Material:||Plastic, stainless steel|
Another guillotine nail clipper is Resco Deluxe Dog Nail Clipper, which is generally very popular with experienced users. It allows among other things to cut the nails of the dog using less pressure and with more precision. The rubber handle allows a firm and solid grip, even when the tool is wet. In addition, the blade is made of durable and sharp stainless steel. As an added bonus, you can replace the blade if it becomes dull, making it a durable product over the long haul. However, while this option is great for medium to large dogs, it is not appropriate for smaller dogs.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Know About Buying Dog Nail Clippers
Types of Dog Nail Clippers
Nail Clippers: Perfect for Large Dogs and for Beginners
Because large dogs have thicker nails, the way this tool is designed allows more force to be applied and a cleaner, safer cut. Some models also have additional protection that avoids cutting the nail too far.
Guillotine: Best for Small and Medium Dogs
As the name suggests, you use this tool by inserting your dog’s nail through a small opening. Then, by squeezing the handle, you slice the nail, just like a guillotine. It is arguably the most popular model among dog owners.
However, the guillotine is not suitable for large dogs as there is a risk of crushing the nail instead of cutting it if you do not use this product properly. Thus, this product is more suitable for experienced users.
Grinder: More Reassuring for Some Anxious Dogs
If your dog hates the nail clipper and shows signs of anxiety when you hold it, you may have better luck with a grinder. Its gentle action, similar to sandpaper, gradually shortens the nail and slightly reduces the chance of cutting the quick of the nail. It works for those big, thick nails that some large dogs have.
It does have a few drawbacks though: it is slower to use, produces dust, and can still scare some dogs.
How Do You Choose the Right Dog Nail Clippers?
In addition to the type of nail clipper, there are other criteria to help you choose the best nail clipper for your dog’s needs:
If you are a true animal lover, you may have several dogs in the house, which are not necessarily of the same breed, and therefore are not similar in terms of weight or size. Some models only fit one size, or two. Other options are suitable for all dogs and even other animals, especially cats. It’s up to you to see what works best for your pets.
Trimming the nails should be done with some caution and in a calm manner.
Stainless steel is essential for the blades to be sharp enough, in addition to being a robust material.
The Anatomy of the Dog’s Claw: A Quick Overview
By familiarizing yourself with the basics of the anatomy of your dog’s nails, you will be less afraid of accidentally touching a more sensitive part and injuring your dog.
When a nail grows, it is mostly the horny part. However, when the nail is several months long, the living part also eventually grows and spreads into the dead part: thus, a large part of the nail can become sensitive over time. Hence the importance of regularly trimming your dog’s nails!
How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails?
It is best to start trimming and trimming your dog’s nails at a young age when he is easier to handle. However, with patience and positive reinforcement, the majority of dog owners should eventually be able to trim their pet’s nails without too much difficulty:
- When you are ready to begin trimming, gently grasp your dog’s paw and press lightly so that the nail becomes more prominent. If your companion’s nails are white, look for the pink line where the nail meets the paw: this is the living part, or the quick. Therefore, it is important to cut above this area to avoid bleeding.
- Dogs’ black claws can be more difficult to cut because you can’t see where the quick starts. So, you should proceed very slowly, cutting only one small piece of nail at a time. If your dog is very cooperative, you may be able to cut while looking under the nail at the same time to make it easier to see the quick. However, it is probably best to leave this task to your veterinarian, especially if you have little experience.
- Hold your dog’s paw firmly and cut off the end of the nail. It’s always best to start slowly, trimming the nail only a little at a time so you don’t cut too far.
- If your dog stays still and cooperates, be sure to praise him profusely. For dogs who hate the trimming process, it is better to trim only one nail per day to make sessions more manageable.
Related Read: 10 Best Dog Nail Grinders: Reviews & Top Picks!
Just like you take care of your nails regularly, your dog’s nails need the same treatment. Too long, they can cause health problems and discomfort to your companion. Besides, it is normal if you feel nervous when learning to cut your dog’s nails for the first time. But with the right tools, like the Safari Professional Nail Trimmer (our top pick!) or a more economical option like the Millers Forge Nail Clipper, you’ll feel more confident.
However, if you feel that your dog is really not enjoying the sessions or is showing signs of aggression, seek further advice from a dog trainer or veterinarian.
Featured Image Credit: Amazon
Genevieve is a biologist and science writer. Her deep love for capuchin monkeys, pumas, and kangaroos has taken her worldwide to work and volunteer for several wildlife rehabilitation centers in Bolivia, Guatemala, Canada, and Australia. As a Canadian expat, Genevieve now lives in Argentina, where she wakes up every morning to horses and cows saying hello from the vast plain next to her home office window. She is the proud mom of three rescued dogs, Lemmy, Nala, and Pochi, and a frisky kitten, Furiosa. Having the privilege of sharing her knowledge and passion for animals of all kinds is what makes her fulfilled and happy.