The Best Nail Clippers For Your Dog

Clipping claws is something we tend to outsource to the groomer, but with the right tools, and a little know-how – this is something you can do at home

Before you buy there are a few important differences you need to know..

Don’t Buy Cheap Clippers! Nice clippers don’t cost that much more than the cheap ones do. The cheap ones are more apt to hurt your pet, cut crookedly, leave hang nails … and break mid-session.

The nail trimmers that I review below were selected based on their strength and durability, ease of use, and user feedback.

  1. Guillotine Style
    Popular for smaller dogs, aand simple to use.  With this trimmer the nail is inserted into the small metal hole, and the handle is squeezed.  The blade slides across the hole, trimming off the excess nail.
    Cons: The blade needs replacing eventually.  It does not have the force to trim a large dog’s toenails.
  2. Miller’s Forge Trimmers
    Favored for small and medium-sized dogs.  They look a lot like scissors, except that the blades have semicircular indentations.  When you open the blades, the indentations creates a small hole for inserting the nail.
    Blades do not need replacing
  3. Large Dog Trimmers
    Similar to  Miller’s Forge Trimmers but are  thicker and stronger to cleanly clip large dogs stronger nails.  This makes them clumsy for use on smaller dogs.
  4. Rotary / Powered Trimmers
    These systems use a small, rotating bit of sandpaper that can be used to file down your pet’s nails.  No jagged edges as you move slowly and incrementally, to make sure you don’t accidentally cut the quick.

Best Nail Clippers For All Dogs

Boshel

The Boshel is the best.

With a specially designed guard – you can avoid cutting too far (the number one fear when trimming nails). The quality of the blade is backed by > 4,000 positive reviews.

Make sure you use the clippers properly, placing the claw against the guard (rather than across the blade – see below).

(Available at Amazon)

PetiCare Illuminated Pet Nail Clipper

This novel clipper has an LED light to help brighten the nail area. It’s also surrounded by a magnifying area.

When you buy them, be sure to order the extra blades as they do wear.

Note that the light will help you see the ‘quick’ (the blood vessel) on lighter nails, but is not as helpful on dark claws.

(Available at Amazon)

Alternatives to Clippers

Some dogs will run a mile when you get the clippers out. Many owners have found using a powered trimmer can be a comfortable alternative for the dog.

Dremel 4.8V Pet Nail Grooming Tool

The Dremel is the most popular choice for a rotary trimmer.

It has two speeds and is cordless – battery powered. Also comes with a number of different grit sizes.

When introducing it to your dog be sure to use lots of treats. Although the unit is very quiet, some dogs run from anything new.

(Available at Amazon)

How to Trim a Dog’s Nails

From Wahl:

  1. Spread the dog’s paw.
  2. Secure your dog in place by putting your arms and upper body over him while you clip nails. You can trim front paws with the dog standing up.
  3. Use plenty of treats to make is a fun experience.
  4. Cut off the tip of each nail at a slight angle, just before the point where it begins to curl.
  5. Take care to avoid the quick, which is the vein that runs into the nail. If you accidentally cut into the quick, causing bleeding, apply some styptic powder to stop bleeding.

 

Here’s a great guide to trimming nails with clippers (plenty of treats involved).