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- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
You’re not the only one who could use a mani-pedi! Your dog’s grooming routine is an important part of their overall health. Keeping your dog’s nails in check is a necessary part of their well-being—and yours too. (Long, stabby nails are not compatible with skin, clothes, or floors!) That’s why dog nail grinders are a handy tool to include in your at-home grooming kit.
But what are the advantages of grinders over your standard clippers (and vice versa)? And when is it time to call in the professionals? We have the scoop below.
Dog Nail Grinders Vs. Clippers
Grooming at home has a few advantages. For one, it’s easier on the wallet than regular pro grooming sessions; for another, it’s a good option for dogs who feel anxious about grooming. It’s also a good bonding time for you and your pet. But should you use clippers or an electric nail grinder to get the job done?
For many pet owners, clippers are the nail trimming tool of choice. Clippers are generally cheap and they get the task done quickly. Plus, other than a few quick slicing noises, clippers are quiet, making them ideal for noise-averse canines.
The downside, though, is that clippers make it easier to cut the quick of your dog’s nails. Unlike a grinder, which files nails down gradually, clippers require swift accuracy. Also, clipper blades will wear out over time and need replacing.
Nail grinders are a great alternative to clippers if you’re feeling iffy about using clippers safely. Grinders give your greater control, and they can help you achieve smoother edges than clippers. They’re a good option for thick nails and black nails that make it harder to see the quick.
Although accidental nicks are less likely to occur with a grinder, they’re still possible. To avoid hitting the quick, always pay close attention during your grooming sessions. Grinders can also be noisy, which may be upsetting to nervous dogs. And they can become hot to the touch, so be sure to monitor yours.
A final word about professional groomers: If you’ve had a bad experience with trimming in the past, or if you’re not confident in your ability, it’s a-okay to schedule your pup with a pro. Yes, dog groomers can be expensive. But in some cases, they’re the best option for keeping your furry pal’s paws neat and tidy. There’s no shame in turning the job over to an expert.
How To Use a Nail Grinder
If you decide to go the grinder route, here are a few best practices.
- Desensitize your dog. Nervous pups may need time to warm up to this new grooming tool. Before you get down to work, turn the grinder on and let your pet become familiar with its noise and vibration. You may want to do this a few times before you attempt an actual trim. Treats are definitely welcome at this point.
- Pull back long hair. If your dog has long hair, secure any loose locks while you work. And if they have long hair around their paws, a quick trim will keep it from getting caught in the spinning grinder bit. We’ve even been known to use a sock with a hole in it to keep hair back and nail forward.
- Grind across the bottom of the nail. With a secure hold on your dog, gently apply the grinder to the bottom of his nail tips. Start with a slower speed, and work your way up if necessary. Only grind a small portion at a time, trimming until you reach your desired length, being careful not to cut the quick of your dog’s nails.
- Finish with a reward. After you’re finished, reward your dog for his bravery with praise and plenty of treats!
Ready to get going? Here are our top five picks.
Top 5 Dog Nail Grinders
Dremel 7350-PT Dog and Cat Nail Grinder Kit (Verified Review)
Here’s a winner from familiar hardware brand Dremel. This newer 3750-PT model features a 30% longer runtime than earlier versions, and it’s suitable for dogs of all sizes and ages.
This is a good one for nervous dogs: cordless and rechargeable, you can use this convenient grinder wherever you and Fido are most comfortable. And the quiet design shouldn’t grate on your poor dog’s nerves.
The Dremel has two speeds for efficient nail care sessions. It comes with a 60-grit sanding drum but works with other Dremel drums as well.
One of our writers tried the Dremel 3700 on her Labrador and was impressed with the results.
Looking sharp! With an adjustable covering that prevents nail dust from getting everywhere, the ConairPro is a good choice if you’re concerned about making a mess. This corded nail grinder comes with sander and stone attachments for getting the right length and finish (you can buy replacement tips too). There’s only one speed, however, which might not cut it for large dogs with super thick nails.
This grinder gives you options: it runs at variable speeds and comes with 3 grinding ports, making it ideal for homes with multiple dogs of different sizes. The kit also includes a set of clippers, so you’ll have all of your grooming needs covered. And an LED light ensures a safer grooming experience.Shop on Amazon
This model uses a diamond bit grinder, which makes it a safe choice for your pooch. This grinder is also good for multi-pet households: a detachable cover has two openings to accommodate different sized nails, and it can be removed completely to expose the bit for the largest pets.
If you’re searching for a grinder with a seriously quiet motor, the Casifor may be for you. As one of the quietest grinders out there, it makes a smart choice for more skittish dogs. It’s also equipped with two LED lights, so you can file safely.
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