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What Can I Use to Cut My Dog’s Nails? 

Close up of a large dog paw

If you are a new pet owner and want to trim your new dog’s nails, it can be a nervous time for both of you. While it is a simple task, the need to be careful is great. You do not want to make a simple mistake and harm your pet.

To help you trim those nails, you have a variety of nail-trimming tools to choose from. There is the grinder, the clipper, the nail file, and the nail file pad.

All you have to do is pick the best one for your dog and experience. Or you can take him or her to the groomer and let them worry about it.

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

Tools you can use to trim your dog’s nails

No matter which tool you select, it will take some time to get over your nervousness. A little practice will go a long way in getting rid of those nerves. Making sure you are confident helps calm your pet.

They are nervous too so take some time to get your dog used to the tool before you use it. Also, pick a tool you are most comfortable using. It is easy to make a mistake with a clipper or grinder so make sure you know how to handle those tools well.

Nail Grinder

Person using a grinder on a dogs nails

These are often called a Dremel grinder. What they are is a power nail file. The tips may come in different shapes and sizes to meet the size of your dog’s nails.

Plus, these are the fastest option which means you have to be extremely careful when you get close to the quick. Take your time with this tool and go slowly. Too fast and you may cut too much off.

Nail Clippers

Close up of a person trimming dog nails

Not the human kind but the dog kind. Also called a guillotine clipper these handy tools are manually operated. They are easy to use and only take a little squeezing to chop off that long nail.

Because they are manual nail clipping tools, they are easier to control and help you avoid cutting into the quick. Although that risk is still there as on some dog nails, spotting the quick can be very difficult.

How to Cut Dog Nails with Scissors? Click here to learn more.

Nail File

3 nail files isolated on a white background

This is an option when you have nothing but time on your hands. This is also a manual option and can be used in conjunction with the first two tools mentioned.

All you are doing is filing down the nail to a nice length. It is easier to avoid the quick with this tool and you get some great puppy master time during this session. The nail file will also rid your dog’s nails of any sharp edges the other two tools created.

Nail File Pad

This tool gives you a break from nail-clipping duties. It takes some training on your part to get your dog to use these pads but once they do, you have some time off.

Your dog uses the pad itself and will rub their nails shorter. It is like a cat scratching post and it spares you the anguish of possibly cutting the quick accidentally. It is a good option when you have a busy schedule.

Sedating Your Dog

Yorkie being sedated

This is a complementary tool that works with all the rest except for the last one. This is an option for those desperate owners who have a dog that likes to fight when it is nail-cutting time.

However, this is not a go-to option where you just give your dog a pill and wait till they get sleepy. You need to talk to your vet about the type of sedative to give, how much you should give, and other very important details.

You will want to avoid giving your pet too much due to some severe side effects that can take place. This is not an option if you are new to dog ownership or are extremely nervous.

Like the grinder, it is easy to make a mistake using this tool to calm your pet while you cut its nails. Each dog reacts differently to sedatives so do not use your friend’s dog sedative at any time.

Can You Cut Dog Nails with Human Clippers? Click here to learn more.

Some final words

Dog nail clippers isolated on a white background.

There is a limited number of tools you can use to trim your dog’s nails. The key to the process is to pick a tool you are comfortable with using. Then take the time to get your dog used to the tool so they do not become afraid or think they are being attacked.

There are lots of things around your home that you can practice on first before making your first attempt at trimming your dog’s nails. It is a good idea to practice so you can handle the tool like an expert.

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