If your dog is like most dogs, he or she would do anything to avoid getting their nails trimmed. It can be quite challenging to shorten those long nails when your dog is running away as soon as they see a clipper.
For that reason, I have switched from clippers to grinders which are enormously less scary for most dogs.
Table of Contents
- Why you need to grind your dog’s nails
- Avoid the quick in the nail
- How to use the nail grinder
- What if your dog absolutely hates nail grinding?
- Best dog nail grinders
Why you need to grind your dog’s nails
If you’ve never shortened your dog’s nails, here is why it needs to be done:
- If your dog’s nails are too long they can break, twist and cause your dog a lot of pain.
- On a long run, they can also cause skeletal problems.
- Long nails could be very painful for your dog when walking and it can affect your dog’s behavior.
When properly trimmed your dog’s nails shouldn’t touch the ground when they’re standing or walking. If you can hear your dog’s nails touching the ground when walking through the house, you should trim those long nails.
Avoid the quick in the nail
Part of the nail where the blood vessels and nerves are located is called the quick. You’ll want to avoid that part. But don’t worry if you accidentally get to the quick, it won’t cause any serious injury and it will heal fast.
If the nails are naturally light colored you can spot the quick easily as a pinkish area. It’s a little bit tricky if your dog has dark nails so the best way is to go slow and slowly progress so you don’t hurt your dog.
If you trim your dog’s nails consistently and a little bit at the time, the quick will start to recede which is a good thing. How to use nail grinder
How to use the nail grinder
If the nail grinder comes with the choice of many extensions and different bands, use lighter option for start. Experience will help you determine which grinding option works best for your dog.
Find a comfortable place
Before you start grinding, find a spot that will make your dog feel comfortable… a comfy large dog bed, a couch or somewhere else. Make sure you can easily access all 4 paws. If the grinder doesn’t have nail guard I would suggest trimming the hair between the pads before the grinding. When using a nail grinder with a guard, the guard keeps the hair away from the grinding wheel.
If your grinder has different speeds, it is best to start slow until you and your dog get comfortable with the process. If you never used nail grinder before make sure your dog first gets used to it. You can turn it on and hold it close to your nails so the dog can see it is not a big deal.
- When you are ready, gently squeeze the toe pad to help extend the nail. Put the nail in the appropriately sized hole in the nail guard. Apply enough pressure to remove the excess nail at an even rate.
- Work the grinder around the edge of the nail to round the surface. If the nails are extra long you could move to other nails to avoid building up excess heat from the grinding.
- Continue to grind the nails until they are short enough, without getting too close to the quick.
When finished, reward your dog with delicious dog treats!
What if your dog absolutely hates nail grinding?
Many dogs are absolutely terrified of nail trimming so they need to be slowly thought that it is nothing to be scared about. While doing their nails, stay calm and patient and take the following steps to show your dog that there is nothing to be scared of.
1. Show your dog the nail grinder, then reward them with their favorite treat.
Repeat the process several times in a few days. This way, you are presenting a nail grinder to your dog. Remember to first show them the grinder and then reward them, not the other way around. This way your dog will associate nail grinder with something positive – delicious treats!
2. Lean the nail grinder on the dog’s nails for a couple of seconds.
The grinder needs to be turned off during this phase. Reward them with a treat, and repeat for a few times. Don’t go to the next step until your dog is completely comfortable with this.
3. Put the turned off grinder around each nail.
This step is similar to the previous one, only this time you will take the dog’s paw and put the turned off grinder around each nail.
Don’t rush it, randomize the time and make sure your dog associates reward with the presence of grinder. Repeat several times and when your dog is comfortable with this, continue to the next step
4. Now it’s time for the real thing.
Start slow and trim very small portion of the nail while being careful to avoid the quick. After each paw is trimmed, follow up with a treat or kibble. Your dog should be relaxed and not freak out.
You could work on this for several days. How the dog will react is very individual and depends on their past experiences. If your dog had scary and traumatic experiences in the past, make sure to do the above steps first and go slowly on nail grinding. Your dog will slowly start to think of nail trimming as a good and rewarding action that results in some delicious treats.
Best dog nail grinders
There are many grinders on the market and many of them are designed not to scare your dog.
Some of the things you should look at when searching for the best dog nail grinder are:
- the grinder should be very quiet so the noise doesn’t scare the dog
- it is best if it also has low vibrations that won’t scare your dog
- size of the grinder – some of them are only good for small dog nails while many of them have an option to use on small and big dog nails, so if you have a big dog you should take that into account.
Let’s review the following 8 nail grinders that, I believe, will work excellent for you and your pooch.
Pet Nail Grinder File by FurryFido
This nail grinder is, I believe, the best thing there is to shorten your dog’s nails. It is really quiet so it will not upset your dog. It is powerful and effective and works great in trimming those long nails! I have never seen a product with so many good reviews on Amazon, so it seems many people agree with me.
The only thing that you might not like about this product is that it is not USB rechargeable like many other grinders from this list but it works on batteries (alkaline or rechargeable ones), so you’ll have to deal with batteries from time to time. But to me, this isn’t a big deal breaker, and I love this product anyway.
- 2 forward and 2 reverse speeds
- suitable for small and large dogs
- a really quiet grinder that won’t scare your dog
- sanding bands included
- Works with AA Batteries (that are not included)Might not be the best choice for very large dogs
Rosmax Dog Nail Grinder
Rosmax dog nail grinder is very economical and what’s most important, it gets the job done. After grinding, it leaves the dog nails nice and smooth. It is also very quiet and portable which makes it very practical. I can’t really find any downsides to this product.
- 3 ports for different size nails
- very safe because the grinding head is covered with stationary bushing
- ergonomic and stylish black and white design
- rechargeable and long-lasting batteries, charge through USB, lasts for 4 hours
- 6-month warranty
- very quiet
Electric Dog Nail Grinder by Hertzko
This is another very good grinding product and a no. 1 bestseller on Amazon. What I like about this product is that the ‘grinding head’ is very strong and durable. According to the seller, the grinder is manufactured with Diamond Bit Grinder, whatever that is, but I find it quite effective in grinding the nails.
One thing that some people whose dogs have very thick nails commented on Amazon, is that it can take some time to grind those thick nails. But for dogs whose nails are not very thick, this is a great product.
- 3 size openings suitable for small, medium and large dogs (but not to large, see the cons)
- Very quiet motor with low vibration that doesn’t scare your dog
- USB rechargeable
- No replacements needed because of a durable Diamond Bit Grinder
- Might not be the best product for dogs with very thick nails
Dremel Dog Nail Grinder
The newest version of Dremel’s Pet Nail grinder is worth the money. It has changed nail grinding into something quick and easy. The package comes with a small wrench to put new sanding bands on and with a rechargeable battery and charger. When sanding the dog nails even on high speed, it is fairly quiet and vibrations are minimal.
The LED light on the charger lights up to indicate a connection between the battery and the charger but doesn’t change color or go off to indicate when charging is complete.
- Two rotation speeds (6,500 rpm and 13,000 rpm)
- rechargeable batteries with charging unit
- Compatible with many Dremel sanding drums and bands
- some people report that the batteries stopped charging after a few months of using
URPOWER Rechargeable Pet Nail Grinder
This quiet dog nail grinder should not scare your dog. This grinder has an interesting feature where you push the power button to the on position and you see a green light, then press the button to activate the grinder motor. Since the motor is activated by pressure, you don’t have to push the button up and down to stop the motor.
The grinder has a small and large opening for different nail sizes.
- rechargeable by USB with indicator light
- Constructed with diamond bit grinder which is safer and more effective than nail clipper
- quiet and safe
- using super mute motor
- good for small sized and medium sized pets
- buyer guarantee
- short battery life
- not the best choice for thick large dog nails
miPets Rechargeable Pet Nail Grinder
This is pretty and lightweight dog nail grinder, unlike the ones that require 2D size battery. The batteries are also USB rechargeable. It is easy to use and it’s recommended for smaller dogs.
- USB rechargeable batteries
- works for small dogs but if you have a bigger dog with thick nails, it is best to skip this product
Rechargeable Electric Dog Nail Grinder
Just like the grinder from Hertzko, this one is also constructed with a diamond bit grinder which makes it more effective. It is a great nail grinder for large dogs too.
- 3 different ports: suitable for small, medium and large dogs
- No replacements needed because of a durable Diamond Bit Grinder
- Strong grinder that grinds fast
- Very quiet
- USB rechargeable
- a little bit more expensive than the other grinders from the list
Cute Paws Nail Grinder
This is another very quiet grinder that will not scare even the most anxious of dogs. Choose from the light speed for small nails and high speed for thick nails which will grind the nails in no time. Depending on the size of your dog, you can choose from 3 ports. I can’t think of any possible cons of this nail grinder, it works great.
- 2 speeds
- Strong Diamond Bit Grinder that doesn’t need replacements
- 3 ports for small, medium and large dogs
- Extremely quiet
- USB rechargeable
Well, that was my list of the best dog nail grinders, in my humble opinion. Hope you’ve found something useful here and that your mani-pedi sessions with your dog will be more successful with some of these products!
What product do you use for trimming your dog’s nails and is it any good?
Let me know in the comments!