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Can You Cut Dog Nails with Human Clippers?

Human nail clippers isolated on a white background

They are handy as everyone has a pair of human nail clippers around the house. It just makes logical sense to reach for those when the dog version is somewhere else, or you do not have any.

While human nail clippers may be okay to use on smaller dogs, their nails are smaller and weaker, so it is not a good idea to use them on larger pets. Those nails can be very tough to cut even with dog clippers.

Also, keep in mind that human clippers are not made very strong. They could break mid-cut and really cause you some problems.

How to Trim Dog Nails without Clippers? Click here to learn more.

Is it okay to cut a dog’s nails with human nail clippers?

Technically, it is okay to use human nail clippers but only on some toys or smaller breeds. It generally is not a good idea to use this version of nail clippers as they are not made for the shape of the dog’s nails.

You may get away with using them on puppies of toy or smaller dog breeds but most likely, you won’t get the larger dog’s nails inside the human clippers. The size and shape of those larger nails just won’t fit.

Also, even if you could get the dog’s nails inside the human clippers, chances are they are not sharp enough to cut the nail cleanly. You may end up hurting your pet and making them afraid of grooming time.

It is possible to break or split a dog nail using this tool and you end up hurting your dog. Or the cut is so uneven, that your dog may not be able to walk comfortably.

It is best to leave the human nail clippers on the shelf when nail clipping time arrives. Then reach for a pair of clippers that are designed to handle the shape, size, and strength of a dog’s nails.

Besides, if you broke your human nail clippers, what would you use to trim your nails?

Why use nail clippers designed for dogs?

Dog nail clippers isolated on a white background.

There are some very good reasons why you should always choose a dog nail clipper over a human version. Here are the reasons:

1. They Are User-Friendly- Dog nail clippers are easy to hold, and fit comfortably in your hand and their shape makes it easy to clip those nails.

2. The Blades Are Very Sharp– Those blades are usually made from strong stainless steel and give a very sharp edge. You know those blades will go through the nail quickly, cleanly, and smoothly.

They will make the nail clipping time more enjoyable.

3. They Are Designed With Safety In Mind– The dog nail clippers are designed to help you avoid cutting the wrong spot on your dog’s nails. This design helps you avoid hurting your pet and makes sure both of you ‘survive’ the task without pain or emotional ‘trauma’.

The way that human clippers are designed, you may only get enough force to penetrate those tough nails. You may not be able to cut clean through. With some dog nails being very tough to cut, chances are you will break your human nail clippers before you finish one paw.

What Can I Use to Cut My Dog’s Nails? Click here to find out.

Use dog fur-cutting clippers

Electric hair trimmers in a human hand isolated on a white background.

The title just says human clippers so the question ‘can I use human hair clippers on my dog’ will arise. Like nail clippers, you should not use human hair clippers on your dog’s fur. There are several good reasons for this answer:

1. They Look The Same But Have A Different Design- This difference may cause you to hurt your dog when you use human hair clippers.

2. Different Teeth Length- These teeth are designed to cut a dog’s hair, not a human’s and vice versa.

3. Sharper Teeth- The teeth on the dog fur clippers come with much sharper teeth. This makes cutting their fur much easier. Human hair does not need teeth that sharp. You may end up pulling the hair out of your dog instead of cleanly cutting it.

4. Human Clippers May Overheat– The motor in the human clippers is not designed to be turned on for long periods of time. It can overheat when you use it on your dog. Dog clippers’ motors are designed to work for longer periods of time and should not overheat that quickly.

One reason why some pet owners reach for the human version of each style of the clipper is the cost. Dog tools are usually more expensive than human ones.

 Many people like to save money so they opt for the cheaper human version. That may be economical but not the best option.

Does Soaking Dog Nails Make Them Easier to Cut? Click here to learn more.

Some final words

Close up of a person trimming the nails on a dog paw

When it comes to grooming your pet, it is always best to use those tools designed for dogs. Their nails and fur are different from human ones so it stands to reason that you should use those tools designed for those specific nails and fur. It is also safer for your pet.

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