You probably need to trim your dog’s nails every four to six weeks, and–in case your pet will tolerate the noise and texture –using a nail grinder is a method that makes it all but impossible to accidentally cut your dog.
A nail grinder is a slower but safer tool for trimming your pet’s nails, since unlike with clippers you can not inadvertently cut the blood supply to the claws–but many dogs do not like the sound or sensation, or the amount of time it takes.
Why use nail grinder?
Generally speaking, your dog’s nails will need to be trimmed every four to six weeks. Letting them grow too long can result in health problems such as splayfoot, which can lead to nerve damage if left unchecked. If you can listen to your pet’s nails tip-tapping in your floor, then it’s time for a cut. Lf you are lucky, your puppy will patiently wait while you tend to its feet, but it probably needs it over with as fast as possible. Clippers are the fastest way to get your dog’s nails to a safe length, but they require a strong, steady hands to wield them, which isn’t always so easy when your dog is jerking its foot away. A wrong move can also nip your puppy’s quick (the blood vessels beneath the nail), which can be upsetting for both of you. Nail grinders shorten the nail bit by bit, as opposed to cutting them off in chunks. This is slower but safer, and it doesn’t require as much hand strength. They don’t produce splits or splinters like clippers can, and rather leave a smooth nail that is unlikely to catch on anything or unintentionally scratch. Grinders are also great for dogs with dark nails, where the fast is tough to see. However, not all dogs are comfortable around the sound and vibration of a grinder–and the friction can cause the nail and the bit to heat up, so you need to take frequent breaks.
Dremel Pet Grooming Nail Grinder Kit
A powerful grinder that’ll make quick work of your dog’s nails, this tool comes with helpful features like a dust-collection cap and a 45-degree paw guard.
- Features a 45-degree paw guard and dust-collection cup
- Three-speed operation (high, low, and off)
- Requires four AA batteries (not included)
- Includes 2-year warranty
- Can be used in conjunction with a variety of Dremel brand sanding drums and bands
Most owners found that this grinder worked very well, and was especially effective for trimming the nails of large dogs. The paw guard and dust-collecting cap are both nice features, and many owners liked that the grinder can be used with a variety of Dremel-brand accessories.
It’s slightly annoying that this grinder requires AA batteries (rather than using a rechargeable battery), but that’s not a huge problem. Additionally, a few owners complained that the instruction manual had incorrect information.
Petural Nail Grinder
This quiet nail grinder features a diamond bit and works at two different operating speeds.
- Two grinding speeds
- Comes with 900mAh Ni-CD battery and a USB charging cable
- Features two different nail ports to protect your dog’s paws, or you can remove the protective cap completely for use with large dogs
- Low-noise (< 50 dB), low-vibration, 9,000 RPM brass motor won’t startle your pet
- Comes with a carrying case
The Petural Nail Grinder has most of the features owners want in a grinder. The Petural’s diamond bit and 9,000 RPM motor make grinding quick and easy, and the included ports will help protect your pup’s paws during use. Also, because it is so quiet, it is a great choice for owners with nervous dogs.
A few owners complained that the motor didn’t seem powerful enough to grind their dog’s nails, but this doesn’t seem to be an issue for most people who tried this grinder.
UrPower Pet Nail Grinder
Easy to hold and quiet, this grinder is easy to use and shouldn’t startle your dog.
- Includes guard cap to prevent slipping & sliding
- Extra-quiet, low-vibrate grinder that’s great for skittish dogs
- Can be charged via USB cord, and lasts 3 hrs on a single charge
- Three grinding holes for grinding the nails of different sized pets.
- Comes with 180 day warranty
Owners note that this grinder is extremely quiet (although it does get louder when you actually begin grinding the nail).
This grinder only has one setting, as opposed to the multiple speeds other grinders offer. The grinding is a fairly slow speed, but most owners don’t seem to have issue with this. At least one owner has issues trying to get the company to fulfill their warranty promise.
Hertzko Electric Pet Nail Grinder
This rechargeable dog nail grinder features three safety ports and is designed to operate quietly to avoid scaring your pooch.
- Diamond bit grinder
- Three different sized ports for grinding various-sized pet nails
- Designed with low noise and low vibration for frightened pups
- Rechargeable device that includes USB wire
Owners love how compact, light-weight, and quiet this grinder is. The guide is also removable for those who prefer grinding without the guard in place (it can make clean-up a bit easier).
One user felt that this grinder really wasn’t powerful enough to take off any significant nail length is a reasonable amount of time, finding it more suitable for simply rounding the nails’ edges. However, most others found that it worked fine enough for at-home use.
What’s a Dog Nail Grinder?
Dog nail grinders are grooming tools that serve as an alternative nail-cutting alternative for dogs that aren’t big fans of clippers.
Nail grinders are also known as”dremels,” referring to the name brand of Dremel, a favorite and well-known grinding tool.
As opposed to cutting the nail, a puppy nail grinder will grind away at the nail using a high-speed, curved grinder which utilizes a material similar to sandpaper.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Dog Nail Grinder
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages of using a nail grinder as opposed to a nail cutter. We’ll cover a few of the big ones !
Benefits of Nail Grinders:
Good For Unsteady Hands. If you feel your hands are not steady enough to clip your dog’s nails, you might find a nail grinder easier to use. You’ll still need to hold your puppy still, but you probably won’t require the same level of precision to aim the grinder as you’d require with clippers. If your dog has had some bad encounters with nail clippers, he may quite terrified of round 2 with the clippers (unfortunately it’s rather simple to cut your dog’s fast and cause him to bleed — especially if he has dark nails). Grinders are easier to use and allow owners readily avoid cutting into the quick.
You’ll Get Smooth Edges. A grinder allows you to smooth the edges of your dog’s nails, which looks nicer and can also prevent them from snagging their nail carpeting or other substances. Having smoother nails is also handy if your dog’s a jumper (ouch, my legs), or a scratcher.
Reduces Cracking & Pinching. Clippers pinch back on your dog’s cuticle whilst cutting, which can wind up damaging your dog even if you don’t hit the cuticle.
Cons of Nail Grinders:
Your Dog May Still Be Fearful. Unfortunately, your dog may get fearful that the minute you catch his paws, so the grinder may not do much to alleviate immediate anxiety. The sound of the grinder may make your pet nervous, so in spite of grinders, it’s tough to say how well your dog will take to the nail grinding procedure. Be sure to work until the grinding by providing plenty of treats and praise as you show your dog the grinder and handle his paws.
You Can Still Hit the Quick. Keep a careful watch on where your dog’s quick is as you grind (you should be able to start to see a little dot in the center, even for dogs with dark nails). Even with grinders, you can still hit your dog’s fast (even though it’s a lot easier to do accidentally with nail clippers). The humming noise of this grinder may startle and frighten dogs, although the noise level varies between devices and rates.
Odor & Dust. An undesirable odor can arise from grinding a dog’s nails. This can usually be remedied by squeezing your dog’s nails outside. You may want to wear eye equipment or a mouth cover.
How to Grind Your Dog’s Nails: Step By Step Procedure
Introduce your dog to the grinder in small increments (and with loads of treats and praise at every step).
First, show your puppy the grinder and provide a reward (like some stinky, yummy treats). Place rewards close to the grinder (when it is off) to get the dog sniffing and close to the grinder.
Then hold the grinder in your hand and turn it off and on, followed by rewards. You are getting your dog used to the sound of the grinder, which can be somewhat scary for them at first.
Next, turn grinder on for a longer period and reward. Finally, turn the grinder on and tap your dog’s nail (only for a minute ) and praise.
This whole process won’t be done in 1 day — in fact, it might take a couple of weeks to get your dog acclimated. Go slowly and take your time. The payoff will be well worth it when you can grind down your dog’s nails with no stress!
Even with a nail grinder, you’ll just want to grind a little part of your dog’s nail in a single sitting. Support the dog’s toe, but do not squeeze too hard. Grind across the bottom and carefully in from the tip of the nail, smoothing rough edges as you go. If you do this weekly, the quick will recede and you’ll have the ability to keep short nails on your dog effortlessly.
Hold Close to The Top. Hold the grinder higher up, towards the top, for better control. Make sure that your dog is in a comfortable position as you grind the nails. Also, consider how you are going to maintain your dog’s foot. It’s recommended to hold your dog’s paw in a way that allows you to easily separate the toes from one another and push the nail you are grinding further out. Some dogs prefer to sit with their paws out, but some prefer to have their paw bend backwards. See what works for you and your puppy!
Grinders Get Hot! Remember, grinders get hot, so only hold the grinder against the nail for a second or two at a time. Press and release in little increments until your dog’s nail is shortened.
Watch Out For Hair & Fur. If your dog has long hair, be certain to hold it back and keep it away from the grinding tool so that it doesn’t get caught! Vet Street provides a excellent tip — using an old pair of pantyhose, place it on your dog’s paw and push the nail through. This makes the nail available to trim, while holding back any paw fur!