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How to Trim Puppy Nails with a Grinder

rottweiler puppy with its paw being held in a human hand

The presence of trimmed nails shows everyone that your dog is well taken care of. It says a lot about you as a dog owner as those trim nails show that you care about your pet.

To get that proper look, you can use a variety of tools like scissors, nail clippers for dogs, or a dog nail grinder. Each has its good points, but the grinder may be the one that provides that picture-perfect trimmed nail look.

It just takes a little practice, and you won’t be in fear of clipping off more than you should.

Need to know when to trim your puppy’s nails? Check out our post “How & When to Cut Puppies’ Nails for the First Time – A Complete Guide” to learn more.

Can You Use a Nail Grinder on a Puppy?

Yes, if you are careful and know what you are doing this is one of the best tools to use. When you go to use the grinder, you should let your puppy get used to it. There are steps involved over several days in achieving this objective.

  1. Show the grinder to your puppy, let him or her sniff it, and then give it a reward and some good words.
  2. Touch the grinder softly to each paw and again give a treat and some praise.
  3. Do step #2 but this time turn the grinder on so the puppy can hear the noise. Follow with the reward, etc.
  4. Repeat step 3
  5. Trim 1 nail only and reward your puppy if he or she lets you do it. Do one nail each day until he or she gets used to the treatment. Don’t forget the treat, etc.
  6. The next time trim off two nails and repeat until your puppy lets you trim all of their nails.

Your use of treats needs to be monitored as you do not want to spoil your puppy. Plus, you do not want them to get too chubby.

When Should I Grind My Puppy’s Nails?

Curly red dog having its nails grinded

Before we answer this question, we should remind you that you should practice on some uncooked pasta. That way you can master the art of nail trimming with a grinder and not make mistakes when you do it for real on your puppy.

You should start trimming your puppy’s nails about a week after you bring them home for the first time. Let them get used to their new surroundings and family first, then do the nail trimming.

You should start with trimming just a tiny little bit so your new puppy gets used to the grinder. Then do it every week, again just trimming off a tiny little bit. This will help your puppy get used to the procedure and let you do it all the time.

It will take some time and you should be prepared for those times when your puppy gets scared and starts to move about. Some dogs will sit still and not worry about it while others will ‘fight’ to get away from the grinder.

You just have to be patient and use restraints to keep your pet still.

How Far to Grind Puppy Nails

Illustration of the correct angle to cut a dog nail

There are two things you need to be concerned about when trimming your puppy’s nails with a grinder. The first one is important as if you are not careful, you can cause your puppy some pain.

Before you start using the grinder, make sure all the paw fur is out of the way. You do not want to trap any fur in the grinder as it can pull that fur out. Even if it doesn’t pull out, it will still be very painful for your puppy.

The second thing to be concerned about is how far back do you trim those nails. There is the part of the nail that is called ‘the quick’. This is where there is some blood inside the nail.

When you cut the quick, not only did you go too far, but you will also see some blood. What you are trying to achieve is keeping those nails from growing too long and clicking on the floor or the ground.

When you hear that noise, it is time to trim those nails. Just take them back a little way, not too far, that should suffice. Don’t try to take them back so far it will be months before you trim them again.

Just enough is all that is needed and avoids cutting the quick

Need to know how to cut puppy nails when they are scared? Click here to find out.

Some Final Words

Pad side of a dog paw facing the camera

It is not always an easy job to trim your puppy’s nails. If you are not up to the task, you can always get the groomer or a vet’s assistant to do it for you. A grinder is a good way to avoid cutting the quick but it takes time to get your puppy used to the tool.

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Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.