You should clip your dog’s nails every 4-6 weeks to keep them healthy. Vicki, our resident dog groomer, trims the nails of every dog that comes into our salon.
It’s also something you can (and should) do at home on a regular basis.
Leaving your dogs nails to grow too long can make it painful for them to put all their weight through their feet. As a result, they can get sore feet, develop joint pain and even bad hips. On top of that, getting scratched by a dog with long nails hurts!
With that said, we’ve tested lots of products in our salon to bring you 2 of the best dog nail clippers and 2 of the best dog nail grinders.
Best Nail Clippers For Dogs: Our Top 2 Picks
Thunderpaws Nail Clippers
Best For Medium-Large Dogs
These professional-grade dog nail clippers are excellent for medium-large dogs. They’re safe, comfortable and easy to use and have a safety guard to prevent over-trimming.
Mikki Nail Clippers
Best For Small-Medium Dogs
Heat-treated, micro-serrated blades are strong and cut cleanly. The safety guard prevents over-trimming and the rubber handles make them comfortable to use.
2 of the Best Dog Nail Grinders
Casifor Dog Nail Grinder
Quiet and Efficient
Super quiet for dogs that aren’t great with noise. The stepless speed adjustment means you can adjust the speed slowly instead of the typical slow and fast speeds.
OMORC Electric Dog Nail Grinder
Powerful and Fast
The diamond bit grinder heads make grinding your dog’s nails quick and easy. You have a choice of grinder ports which means you can grind their nails safely without going too far.
Nail Clipper vs. Nail Grinders
When it comes to trimming your dog’s nails you can;
- Cut them with nail clippers, or
- Grind them
So which should you choose?
The Pros and Cons of Nail Clippers
To start with, nail clippers are at least half the price of nail grinders (not that grinders are expensive). But still, they’re cheap.
Second, cutting a dog’s nails with clippers is quicker than grinding them.
Having said that, it’s easy to remove too much nail and cut your dogs quick.
‘Quicking’ happens when you cut into the blood supply of a dog’s nail. This is often painful and causes bleeding. Chances are, it will cause your dog to yelp and snatch it’s paw away. This can be traumatizing for both you and your dog. As a result, it can make cutting their nails in future much more difficult.
If your dog has black nails, there is more chance of cutting the quick because you can’t see it.
Another disadvantage to nail clippers is that they can squeeze the nail if they’re not kept sharp. This pinches on quick and can cause pain. Blunt clippers can also cause a dog’s nail to split instead of cutting it clean. This is much more likely to happen if your dog has thick, strong nails.
If you do manage to cut your dogs nails with no issues, clippers can leave sharp edges. They can hurt if your dog scratches you.
The Pros and Cons of Nail Grinders
Dog nail grinders are more expensive than clippers. A pair of clippers might cost £10 – £15 whereas a decent grinder will cost £20+.
Grinding a dog’s nails also takes longer. 5-10 minutes instead of a couple of minutes with clippers. You’ll also need to desensitize your dog to the sound and vibration.
On the plus side, you’re much less likely to grind into your dog’s quick. You can ‘quick’ a nail but you’ll need to work a lot harder to do so.
Grinding also removes the risk of pinching the quick and splitting a nail. And finally, when you grind your dog’s nails, you can shape them and remove any sharp edges.
Which Should You Choose?
We use both in our salon.
At the end of the day, time is money so where we can, we’ll clip a dog’s nails because it’s quicker. Then we’ll grind the sharp edges so they’re round and smooth.
That said, we do this every day so we know how and where to cut. We also change our clippers often so we know they’re always sharp.
For dogs that hate having their nails cut, we’ll grind them. Yes, it takes longer but much less traumatizing for them.
We’re not saying you should have both, but that’s ideal.
If you only have the budget for one or the other;
Choose Nail Clippers If:
- You’re confident you know what you’re doing
- Your dog’s nails aren’t overly thick or hard
- Your dog is OK with having his/her nails cut
Chose a Nail Grinder If:
- You’re not confident cutting their nails
- Your dog has really strong or thick nails
- They hate having their nails cut
A Closer Look At Our Top Picks
In order to bring you these reviews and recommendations, we’ve;
- Spoken with manufacturers
- Looked at reviews left by other users, and
- Actually bought and tested these products in our grooming salon
With that said, here’s a close look at our top picks;
1. Thunderpaws Dog Nail Clipper Review: Best For Medium to Large-Sized Dogs
These Thunderpaws dog nail clippers are sturdy and easy to use.
The blades are stainless steel and razor-sharp. So cutting through even thick nails is easy. No snagging or chopping, just one smooth action. Plus, they kept their edge, even after weeks of use.
Even though they’re pretty chunky, they’re comfortable in the hand. Their rubber grips give you the confidence to get a proper hold of them without slipping or moving.
The Thunderpaws have a built-in safety guard which limits how much of the nail you can cut. So you have no worries about cutting your dogs quick and hurting them or making them bleed.
There’s even a little file that slides out of the handle. Perfect for smoothing any sharp edges when you’re done cutting.
When you’re done with them, you can lock them closed and put them in the drawer.
2. Mikki Dog Nail Clipper Review: Best For Small to Medium-Sized Dogs
For small to medium-sized dogs, these Mikki dog nail clippers are excellent.
The stainless steel, micro-serrated blades are super-sharp. And like the Thunderpaws, they hold their edge.
Again, they have a safety guard to prevent over-trimming. This gives you the confidence to get on with the job.
They’re quite small in the hand but they feel sturdy and the rubber grip makes them comfortable to use.
And they lock shut for easy storage.
The only thing they don’t have is a nail file for finishing off the job.
3. Casifor Dog Nail Grinder Review: Quiet, Efficient Grinding
If you’d rather grind your dog’s nails than cut them, the Casifor nail grinder is quiet and efficient.
It’s the best we’ve found for dogs who hate having their nails done.
For starters, it’s the quietest grinder we’ve found at under 40db. It also has stepless speed regulation. This means you can start slow and build up the speed as your dog gets used to it. This makes desensitizing them much easier. At its slowest, it spins at 4,500rpm and at its fastest, it spins at 8,000rpm. Finding a speed that grinds well and suits your dog’s tolerance is easy.
The guard cap has two ports; one for small nails and the other for large nails. Or you can remove it completely for fast grinding. The grinding heads are diamond cut and cope well with heavy grinding – ideal for salon use as well as home use.
It charges via USB and a 3-hour charge gives you provides you with 20 hours of use. Not a big deal if you only use it every so often at home, but if you’re a dog groomer, this is perfect.
The grinder itself is comfortable to hold and work with. The fact that it’s cordless makes handling it easy too. There’s no power cord to tie yourself up with.
4. OMORC Electric Dog Nail Grinder Review: Powerful, Fast Grinding
If you’re more into speed and efficiency, the OMORC electric grinder is a decent option.
The diamond bit grinding wheels spin at 7,500rpm for fast and efficient grinding. It also features a guard cap with different sized ports for different sized claws. From the smalls claws to the largest.
You can remove the guard cap once you get used to grinding your dog’s nails which speeds up the process.
While it’s not as quiet as the Casifor, it’s not what you’d call noisey at 55db. That said, you’ll still want to desensitize your dog to it by turning it on and off, letting them sniff it, etc.
Most dog groomers charge between £5 – £10 to cut a dog’s nails. Have it done at the vets and you’ll pay £40 – £60 just for the consultation. For some dog owners, this is money well spent as it saves them time and stress of having to do it themselves.
That said, a decent pair of dog nail clippers will cost £10. A good dog nail grinder will cost between £20 – £30. So doing it yourself could save you several hundreds of pounds over your dog’s life.
Whether you choose clippers or a grinder, you should always train your dog to tolerate the process. This will make the experience much easier for everyone.