Clipping a dog’s nails can be one of the most hated grooming jobs when taking care of our pet. Some owners don’t have the confidence or tools to do so in a quick, effective way.
They fear injuring the animal, which makes them put off the job a little too long. Some dogs don’t like to be handled in this way and fear the clipper themselves. This is especially liking if they have a bad experience in the past. This is why all dog owners need the best dog nail grinder possible.
Best Dog Nail Grinders 2019: Our Top Picks
We have added a comparison table here for quick view. Later on in this guide we have some pet nail grinder reviews for 5 of the best products around. These products all have important pros and cons, but remain some of the most effective, user-friendly solutions around. We have laid out some of the most important factors here.
Important features to look for when buying one of these dog nail grinders
- Corded or cordless? This is an important place to start because there are two big differences in styles. Cordless, battery operated models are appealing to many users because there is no cord to get in the way. But, the battery does need to be recharged, so dead batteries and charge times are a consideration.
- Safety guards and other protections. Safety is a massive concern for anyone that is new to these sorts of products. There are some devices that come with guards to protect the pet from harm and ensure that you can’t trim too much at once. Make sure to read the specifications to know exactly what you are buying.
- Noise. The amount of noise or vibration produced. This is important from the perspective of the dog more than the owner. There are products that are built to be gentle and quiet so that they don’t disturb pets too much. This lack of noise tends to come from the motor and the speed of the bit. This is where it helps to read user reviews. Don’t assume that the promise of “whisper quiet operation” is completely accurate.
- Speed settings. On the subject of the speed of the bit. It does help to have a few different options available. A slow setting is good when training dogs, working with nervous animals or doing more intricate work. Higher settings are good on big, thicker claws that need a good trim, and where the dog has no issues at all with noise or vibration.
- Ergonomics. Finally, there is the issue of the ergonomics of the device. It helps if there is a nice feel to the device in regard to the shape, grip and weight. The last thing that you want is a pain in the hand that might cause you to jolt the grinder. Also, you don’t want wrist fatigue after just two paws.
Top 5 Dog Nail Grinder Reviews
It makes sense to start with this Dremel system for two reasons. First of all, Dremel is one of the leading names in these sort of tools from the perspective of owners. Secondly, this one has a few awards under its belt. This cordless system has two speed settings – 6,500 or 13,000 RPM – and 4.8V of power. It is also worth noting that there is another Dremel with a protective cap. This option may provide a bigger safety net for those uncertain about this sort of system.
By comparison, this cordless model is much prettier. It is slim, light and comes in a bold shade of purple. This tiny system is also said to be both low noise and low vibration to help more nervous animals. There are 3 different ports in the top for three sizes of grinder, which should add to the versatility.
3. Oster Gentle Paws Premium Nail Grinder – Good for Dogs and Cats
Oster is a name that we happily turn to when it comes to clipping our pet’s hair, so why not turn to them for nail grooming too? This device looks like it means business. This is another 2 speed design with a strong motor and a choice of bits. They are the coarse stone, fine band, and 2 coarse bands.
4. Furminator Professional Nail Grinder Grooming Tool for Pets
The Furminator name is one that pet parents either love or hate. Some find that their products are time savers and highly effective. Others see them as overkill. This cordless nail grinder comes in the familiar green and has 2 replaceable grinding bands powered by a high performance motors. It is another option that promises to be efficient and painless.
This final option is immediately completely different because it is a corded option, rather than cordless. This should eliminate some of the power issues above. The specification is pretty standard. There is the curvy ergonomic body, the interchangeable attachments and the protective cover.
What are the benefits of using a nail grinder over a clipper?
You may be wondering why we have focused on these nail grinders instead of nail clippers. There are some dog owners that will be a little uncertain of this approach because of the noise and power. However, there are some important advantages to using this type of product over a clipper. The disadvantages of clippers include:
- A lack of precision, which can cause owners to cut too close to the quick.
- Rough edges to the nails, which will need to be filed down. This means more hard work and more time grooming.
- A difficult process for those that aren’t experienced in cutting nails. By comparison, these grinders are much more effective and efficient. The fast sanding action create a smoother edge in a short space of time. The motions and protections also mean it is less likely that you will hit the quick. You can slowly work down the nail, rather than cut in the wrong place. These tools are also easy to use once you get the hang of them. A potential downside here is the fact that some dogs will not like the noise and vibration at first. This is why it is so important to train dogs well and use the best possible approach when grinding nails:
FAQs on dog nail grinders and nail trimming
Q1. Is there any chance that I will hurt my dog?
Answer: The chances of hurting your dog are reduced if you use a nail grinder correctly, and if it has the safety precautions mentioned above. The worst case scenario here is that you hit the nerves in the quick and cause the nail to bleed. This is far less likely with careful grinding than with nail clipping.
Q2. I have a really nervous dog, should I still use a nail grinder?
Answer: It is possible to have a good grooming session with your dog if you train them to become more comfortable with the grooming process. Once dogs learn that the process is safe and pain free, they will be less stressed. Switching to nail clippers doesn’t automatically guarantee that if you are nervous about using them. We have some training tip below that may help.
Q3. How often should I use the nail grinder and trim my dog’s nails?
Answer: This will all depend on the dog in question. There are some dogs that are active outdoors that naturally wear the nails down. Indoor pooches may not experience this. Generally speaking, one every week or two should be fine. If the nails have grown past the paw pad, they need a trim.
Q4. What do dog owners mean when they say they will Dremel their dog’s nails?
Answer: Dremel is a popular brand when it comes to sanders and related products there are Dremel tools and pet nail grinders with different bits and great results. The use of the word Dremel, or Dremelling, is a bit like saying that you will hoover the floor. Owners have taken the brand name and attributed it to the action.
Q5. What should I do if I grind too much?
Answer: If you do go way too far when sanding the nails and hit the quick, you need to stop the bleeding. Have some cornstarch on standby to patch up the cut and give your dog plenty of fuss. If you haven’t hit the quick, but the nail is shorter than intended, don’t worry. The nail will soon grow.
Training your dog to have their nails trimmed this way.
As we mentioned above, there are many dogs that are a little nervous when it comes to having their nails trimmed. The sound and vibration of the device doesn’t always help. That is why it is so important to train your dogs to get the best experience. To begin with, they need to be comfortable with you handling your feet. Work with this while they are young so that nail clipping is much easier as a result when they are older.
Once they are happy to have their paws handled, you can then introduce them to the grinder. At first, don’t do anything other than turn it on and let them see and hear it. Let them get used to the noise and maybe even the smell of the appliance. Then you can use it on the slowest setting on a nail. Again, take it slow in short sessions and stop if they are uncomfortable.
It all comes down to working in small, consistent efforts to get the dog comfortable with the process. It also helps to bring in plenty of positive reinforcement in the form of treats and praise. Tell them how good they are and give them a treat after each nail. Then reduce that down to every paw, then to just a big fuss and treat after the session. Eventually, they will see it all as part of a normal grooming process.
What have we learned about the best products for grinding a dog’s nails?
The products above show that there are lots of great products out there from brands that we trust. The cordless models can have some battery issues, but they are also easy to handle and tend to come with some great features. The more attachments there are, the better the chance of a great result on different breeds. Just make sure that they are fully interchangeable and come with instructions. It is also possible to find a powerful, effective device that isn’t too noisy.
Finally, we would like to offer some words of encouragement about this new system. There are sure to be many people that look at these grinders and think that they are too extreme. However, the combination of good practice, good training and the right product means that this isn’t so. You can find a device that offers an effective, efficient process for great results. They may look scary, but they can be more user-friendly and faster than nail clippers. Once you convince your pet of that, you may even enjoy the grooming session.
Dawn Bradley is a content writer, blogger and animal lover. She is also a pet parent. She has written many reviews and guides aimed at helping our four-legged friends and, in turn, their two legged owners. She also runs a nature blog about her home town of Plymouth, UK.