Best Nail Clippers for Small Dogs – (Based on REAL World Testing)

Best Nail Clippers for Small Dogs - (Based on REAL World Testing)

I’m NOT a big fan of clipping my dog’s nails by myself.

In fact, I used to pay my vet tech to do it for me because I hated it SO MUCH.

Especially since at the time we had a Min Pin (Jazzy) who had black nails where it was impossible to see the quick.

But then we moved and I didn’t have time to find a new vet’s office right away (we’ve found one since) and I had to learn to do it myself or my dogs would end up walking around with their nails clicking on the floor!

✔️If you want to skip the article and go right to the best nail clippers for small dogs – click here to buy them on Amazon.

Because I despised the nail clipping process SO much I went on a quest to find the best nail clipper for my small dogs – 15 to 20 pound rat terriers.

And I thought I HAD found my favorite, but as I was updating my article on 5 tricks to cutting dog’s nails my old stand by guillotine clippers broke – the spring just went boing (true story) and I had to buy a new pair of something.

I decided to give dog nail scissors for small dogs (you can find them on Amazon here)a shot. I had just done a bunch of research on them for the DIY Dog Nail Clipping article and thought they might be a good fit for my small dogs.

dog nail scissors

I was BLOWN AWAY by how easy these things are to use. I’ll go into all the reasons why, but I think I described them to my husband as “life-changing”.

I mean, I’ve tried all kinds of stuff for my dog’s nails, and these are by FAR the best nail clippers I’ve ever used for my small breed Rat Terriers.

The Best Nail Clippers for Small Dogs

The thing I hate the most about traditional nail clippers is the guard. I know a lot of people really like these, but I find that it makes it almost impossible to actually SEE what I’m doing.

If you can’t see the quick or where the end of the nail is then you risk clipping into the quick, hurting your dog and creating a bleeder. I’ve done that with this old style of clipper.

And I always FEEL terrible!

Plus, not being able to see makes me nervous and since my dogs pick up on my emotions then they get nervous too.

Those nerves translate into jumpiness for both me and my dogs – which is NOT a good thing while clipping.

I also find that this type of scissors dog clippers works great on puppies. Here is how to cut newborn puppy nails.

How to See The Quick on Dog Nails (with the Right Kind of Nail Clipper)

For me the first key to being able to see the quick is simply to have a nail clipper that allows me a good visual field of the nail.

Dog nail scissors work DIFFERENTLY than traditional clippers. They have an angled head and no guard. But I don’t need the guard when I can see what I’m doing.

dog nail scissors for small dogs

One of my dogs has half black and half white nails and the other has just white nails. For the dog with white nails I can easily see the quick INSIDE the nail.

How to see the quick on dog nails

But for the black nails I have to guess.

That’s where it becomes even more important to see what I’m doing. I know the basic anatomy of the nail structure (see the image above), and so I take off just the tip of the nail.

These scissors make it easy to do that without jumping around and without going in blind. It’s WONDERFUL.

These are Quiet Dog Nail Clippers

I used to use guillotine style clippers on my dogs (which were way better than the plier type with the guard) but they made this super loud “crack” sound when you cut each nail.

And that loud noise scared my dogs.

These scissors style dog nail clippers are SO MUCH quieter. They sheer the nail off rather than crush it and the sound they make is more like a small click than a big crack.

I also think that the sheering motion is more comfortable for my dogs.

These Dog Nail Scissors are EASY to Control

dog nail scissors are easy to control

Compared to the guillotine or traditional pliers grip dog nail clippers (the kind with the guard) – these are super easy to control.

The scissors grip lets me easily get in at any angle I need to – even on my dogs dew claws.

This makes clipping my dogs nails really easy.

These are Good Quality Dog Nail Clippers

good quality dog nail clippers

The final thing that I’m really impressed about with these nail clippers is how good the quality is!

The green part of the handle is made of this comfortable rubbery material that also feels sturdy.

The white part is a hard plastic.

And the stainless steel blades are SHARP – making cutting nails both fast and easy.

The Bottom Line on the Best Nail Clippers for Small Dogs

I’ve tried lots of different styles of dog nail clippers and these scissors are the best ones I’ve ever used.

They won’t work on large breeds, because they just aren’t big enough.

But if you have a dog under about 30 or 40 pounds, these clippers are perfect. They give you great control, they are sharp, and you can see what you are doing.

If you’ve never given scissors style dog clippers a shot before I recommend you try them. You can find the ones that I use at

For more dog care and dog first aid tips click here.

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