13 Best Dog Nail Grinders Reviews : How & Why ?

Best Dog Nail Grinders Reviews

Dealing with toenail management is a huge frustration for so many pet owners, and for so many dogs. The majority of time this is due to fear. Dogs have very sensitive feet and very sensitive hearing. If the dog doesn’t understand what you are doing they will resist what you are doing due to anxiety.. So we’re going to talk some about that issue and how to find the best dog nail grinder to offer your pup the best care. When a dog’s nails overgrow they actually can interrupt the pads hitting the ground and your dog can’t walk properly. Additionally long nails often get caught on things and tear off, causing pain and a lot of bleeding.

Dogs are usually at their calmest at home. Getting them used to nail grinding can save stress on pet and parent as well as saving money. Most clinics charge 15 to 20 dollars for a nail trim and they should be done every month in most dogs.

The dirt under the nails

It’s hard to talk about nail grinders until we know precisely what they are. They are a rotary tool that will grind dead nail tissue back. For all you home handy people out there,this is the same as a dremel tooll. Essentially it’s a handle about the size of a big screwdriver with a spinning end that has some sort of abrasive surface. They can be corded or battery operated.

Grinding vs. Clipping

Grinding takes the end of the nail off little bits at a time, depending on how much pressure you use and how powerful the tool is. They can get away from you. Nail clipping is taking a clipper with sharp edges, wrapping it around the nail and squeezing it together to cut off a portion of the nail.

Clipping

In general, this is what more people are familiar with. Dog toenail clippers are usually a rounded cutting surface as opposed to the flat ones people use because dog nails are round. The number one reason I have seen dogs resent clipping is the sense of pressure. Due to a lot of sensory nerves in the feet nail clipping is not painful for dogs, but it’s unsettling if they don’t understand what’s happening.

Grinding

This does not cause any pressure on the nail so a lot of dogs actually prefer it. Of course, nothing can be so simple, some dogs are bothered by the vibration and some are bothered by the sound. When grinding the nail the emery board on the tool head is gently placed against the nail and continued until the nail is the desired length.

We reviewed 13 best dog nail grinders currently on the market to help you find the right one for your pooch.

But first, here our quick picks:

Our Runner-Up Pick
Best for Budget Pick

Together with me, I invite you to study and explore the facts. Hopefully, this information will help you make the right decision:

When Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?
Anatomy of a Dog’s Toenail
So, How to Dremel a Dog’s Nails?
Specifics On Clipping
Specifics On Grinding
Is it safe to use a Grinder?
Advantages Of Dog Nail Grinder Over Clippers
Disadvantages Of Grinders Over Clippers
How To Choose The Best Nail Grinder For My Dog?
F.A.Qs

Here we go…

In a hurry? Check Out, Our Top Pick: best dog nail grinder

Top 13 Best Dog Nail Grinders Reviews

Our Rating:

4.3/5

Price Range: $$

This unit is a 2 speed (6500 and 13,000 RPMs). This is one of the highest RPM machines which might be worth a thought when you have a dog with big thick nails.

Removable rechargeable battery pack that charges in 3 hours.

60 grit sanding drums (compatible with other Dremel sanding drums, bands and accessories if you happen to have them already it’s something to think about).

This tool weighs slightly over 16 ounces making it one of the heaviest grinders. These may not be as comfortable for someone with very small hands.

A 1-year warranty is offered by the company. Make sure you always read the fine print.

what we like What we like about it:

  • Convenient compatibility with other Dremel brand accessories.
  • Has the power to do big dog nails.
  • You can buy extra batteries to charge and have on hand.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • Battery life is inconsistent

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

Works soooo well. I was apprehensive because I figured it would take forever to file dog nails. Surprisingly this Dremel makes quick work of their nails. Yes, it does take longer than just cutting them, however, it is worth it. I had anxiety about cutting their nails ever since a cut the quick. This relieves this fear. I am more relaxed which means the dogs are too. The vibrations are minimal as long as you hold the individual nail you are working on. It was a fast adjustment for the dogs to get used to this tool as long as you give out treats and show them it is not hurting them.

Paws Down.

The product itself is good but the battery is horrible. I charged it completely as soon as I received it, used it, and put it up. 2 weeks later i used it and the battery charge was low so I went ahead and charged it but it only lasted enough to for 2 paws for my 100lbs dog. I charged it again and finished the job. 3 weeks later the same thing happened but this time it died completely after doing 1 paw and it just wouldn’t last. Now it can’t even hold a charge.

Woof Woof Tip!

Hold the toe to decrease vibration.
By stabilizing the toe before you touch it with the tool your dog will perceive much less vibration and be less concerned about what you are doing. It will also make it go faster.

Our Rating:

4.2/5

Price Range: $$

This tool has a USB charger, the company doesn’t specify how long it takes to charge or how long it should last.

A super quiet motor is promoted for this tool and is something to think about with skittish dogs.

A diamond bit will last longer than emery board/sand paper belts.

Included with this tool are 2 different size guards to place nails in (the cover can be removed so no guard).

With a weight of 4.8 ounces it’s very light and easy to use. Always consider what feels comfortable in your hands though. Some people may find it too light to be comfortable.

what we like What we like about it:

  • Very quiet.
  • Lightweight.
  • Can be used while plugged into the charger.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • Grinder tip can’t be changed.
  • Poor instructions.

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

I read reviews before purchasing this nail grinder and am very glad I bought it. We have spent so much money on our dogs’ nails. Now we can do it at home for what we would spent for one vet visit on them. The grinder is very quiet just as other reviews stated. I also really love that it is rechargeable instead of requiring batteries.”

Paws Down.

I have 3 cocker spaniels. None of them mind the pet-icures. They don’t LIKE it, but they don’t fuss much. This device came with pretty much NO instructions. All the package says is which “port” to use for what size dog, and ‘how to clean’. That’s it. No further instructions at all. Thank you, YouTube. I got 2 dogs completely done before power began fading; but, on the 2nd dog I went ahead and clipped first then used the grinder. Because it just took too long and first dog was running out of patience by the time we got done”

Our Rating:

4.6/5

Price Range: $$

This is a set with a clipper and a grinder. For really long nails it can be a lot faster to clip the end of the nail (to the point you feel comfortable) then grind them back further and smooth the edges.

Low noise is a bonus for easing the stress for the nervous dogs.

The 2 speeds give you some flexibility. Higher speeds tend to be a bit louder, but faster.

The tool includes grinder guards with 2 sizes if you aren’t comfortable free handing it. They aren’t a failsafe though, you do still have to watch what you are doing.

The weight of the unit is 8 ounces giving it a light feel.

USB charging system means you can plug it into your computer a USB charging station or the wall with an adaptor.

A 30 days cash back guarantee and 1 year warranty is included. Always read the details if this is important to you.

what we like What we like about it:

  • Lightweight and easy to use.
  • Very quiet.
  • Sharp clippers with a comfortable grip.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • Low power

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

“This product has been a game-changer! I have a small chihuahua mix puppy with dark nails that I hate clipping. Not only does he hate it but I get so nervous bc I can’t see where I need to cut to and I’m not exactly ready to traumatize him yet by cutting his quick on accident. And he needs them done way too often to go get it done professionally. I use the manual clippers first to get at least the tips off and then use the electric trimmer to file them down and round them bc the WORST thing was having him scratching me and everything else up with sharp jagged nails. I’m able to do it pretty quickly

Paws Down.

The manual clippers work great. They feel good in your hand, and you don’t have to fumble around with them like with some other clippers to find that perfect grip. The grinder however, I was not impressed with. Although it has 2 speed settings, it just didn’t have the power to make much work of my dog’s nails. I’m not sure if it’s the lack of power or the grinder disc itself… I started clipping her nails then trying to use the grinder to clean them up, but even that took an asinine amount of time. I tried using it on my ferrets to see if nail thickness would make a difference, it didn’t.

Our Rating:

3.8/5

Price Range: $$

This unit has a diamond bit which is good for grinding, the company claims it never needs replacement.
They definitely last longer than sanding belts.

A USB charging system with a charge indicator light, 2 hours to full charge. It should run 3 hours on a full charge.

There are small and medium grinding guard though always pay attention they don’t guarantee you won’t quick the dog.

A quiet motor helps to minimize anxiety from noise. This is rated at 60 decibels.

The company offers a 30-day return and 90-day warranty. Check the details, we know how time can get away from us.

The unit weighs 6 ounces so it’s lightweight and easy to handle.

what we like What we like about it:

  • Very quiet.
  • Light and easy to use.
  • Good cutting quality of the diamond bit.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • It’s low power so it can be on the slow side.
  • The battery is not always meeting expectations.

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

This grinder is so quiet, the dogs aren’t afraid of it as they are the other grinders. It works well; a little slow as is fine so it takes off just a little at a time. But it is so nice not to have to “fight” and then give up with trimming the dogs’ nails.”

Paws Down.

Works well and my dog is not afraid of it as nail clips. Only issue is the battery. I saw those good reviews and decided to ignore the views criticizing the battery issue. And it did happen. I can only use it for less than 2 mins after each fully charge. Weird thing is it will show red when using it but when connected to the charger, it turns to green immediately. Has no idea whether it has battery or not. But generally speaking expect battery issues , it works

Our Rating:

3.5/5

Price Range: $$

The grinding drum comes with course and fine bands if you want a little more finesse to work with.

There are two guards to help guide the tool for nail size if you don’t want to do it freestyle.

A collet lock means you can lock the neck and immediately stop rotation without turning it off.
The contoured handle may offer a better hand fit for some people.

A quiet motor helps to ease anxiety and there are two speeds, the lower will be slower but quieter.

The unit is 4.8 ounces making it one of the most lightweight ones to use.

A 1 year warranty is offered by the company. Always read the details if the warranty is important to you.

what we like What we like about it:

  • Gentle and easy to use on small dogs.
  • Quiet.
  • AA batteries if you don’t want to deal with keeping it on a charger.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • Not enough power to go fast for big dogs.

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

“Will never go back to the old guillotine-style clippers. I wasn’t sure if my Boxer would be okay with the vibration and noise, but she doesn’t seem to mind at all. No more yelping from the painful clippers. Within 3 weeks of buying them her nails no longer make noise on the wood floor when she paces around. Definitely worth the money. Still using the original grinder wheel and batteries after more than 6 months of weekly use..”

Paws Down.

I have always used electric grinders for our dog’s nails. I thought I’d try this battery-operated one for the convenience of no cord. Works fine for our 3-month-old puppy (Lab) but not so well for our 2-year-old Lab. With the larger nails, the motor will stop with just the slightest pressure requiring a longer time per nail. Our corded grinder takes about 2 seconds per nail to do the same job as 8 to 10 seconds per nail with this grinder
Woof Woof Tip!

Does your tool live up to the reviews? Know the company warranty and return policy before you buy. If the unit is not living up to your expectations then work with the company to get a replacement. If you haven’t noticed this with your cell phone, for example, you’re lucky, all batteries are not good. If the battery is supposed to run for 3 hours and you are lucky to get 10 minutes then contact the company and try to get a resolution. Bad batteries are one of the biggest complaints.

Our Rating:

3.5/5

Price Range: $$

This unit comes with 2 grinding bands to give you an option depending on how many nails you need to remove.

It has two guards to help avoid over-grinding.

There is a light on top of the grinder to illuminate the nail. This is a huge plus since we are usually doing this down on the ground.

The grinder runs at 2 speeds (6000 and 12,000 RPM) which gives you an option for how fast you take the nail off.

With rubber grips on handle, this may be more comfortable for some hands.

It runs on 4 AA batteries and weighs about 9 ounces.

what we like What we like about it:

  • The rubber grips make it easier to hold.
  • The light improves the process a lot.
  • Enough power for big dogs.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • The sanding belt has a tendency to slip.
  • Can go through a lot of batteries.

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

This is a great grinder! I wish I had found it years ago when I first got my fur baby. My Frenchton often falls asleep while I use the Furminator on him. He just pretends he’s at the spa and takes a little nap. I usually end up taking the guard off and do a very detailed job and this works well for us. The rubber grips on the sides give me a secure handle on the tool, it never wobbles or slips when holding it and moving it around. I want to add that this company has great customer service a win all around!”

Paws Down.

This really works great but…this is our 2nd one. Our first one lasted about a year. We liked it so much, we bought another one, I hope this one lasts longer. It sucked the batteries. 4 batteries very few uses, needed to change them. Eventually, brand new batteries just didn’t work. But, when it worked, it was great!!”

INVENHO Pet Nail Grinder

Our Rating:

4.3/5

Price Range: $$

This unit has a diamond grinding wheel that will last long and no belt slippage.

It comes with two grinding guards to help avoid over grinding.

It’s charged with a USB charger that has a charging indicator light. When fully charged it should have a 6 hour running time.

The company says it operates at <50 decibels with a 2 speed motor giving you some choice about how aggressive you are with the nails.

what we like What we like about it:

  • Powerful enough for big dogs.
  • Quiet.
  • Easy to use.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • It is slow especially with big nails.

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

“I have bought several Dremel-type nail grinders for dogs in the past and have always been disappointed. The motors were never strong enough to do the job properly. I am not disappointed with this product. The motor is strong and I LOVE the USB charging ability. The only drawback that I’ve encountered is the one port for large dog nails is just not large enough for my old Black Lab Roxy’s nails. This is not a show stopper for me as I just rotate the grinder around the nail. My dogs absolutely hate having their nails done, but we’re now going into week two and both are quite comfortable with allowing their nails to be groomed with this product. The grinder has two speeds, comes with a replaceable file and charging cord. It’s not too large and fits perfectly in my hand. Highly recommend this product and think this product is a great value for the price. I would buy this again and will recommend to friends and family.”

Paws Down.

“Not too loud, but dogs still do not like it and it takes so long to grind the nail that dogs can’t sit still that long. Working in five second increments and nail grinding minimal. Even with one dog sitting patiently, progress on the nail grinding is very slow.”

Our Rating:

4.1/5

Price Range: $$

This unit has a diamond grinder which means less issues with changing belts and smooth trimming. The diamond edge will stay sharp for a long time.

The motor is a 2 speed that gives you some power option that runs at around 60 decibels. It can be more comfortable to use lower power on small nails, but the faster speed on large nails. The 2 gards will help to judge lenth without getting to the quick.

It weighs 4.2 ounces so it’s very lightweight and would be more comfortable for people with small hands. When trying to do four feet hand fatigue can become and issue. The ergonomic handle also helps with comfort during use.

2 AA batteries run this unit which can be easier in some cases than having a cord in the way or having to work near an outlet.

what we like What we like about it:

  • Quiet
  • Easy to use.
  • Lightweight.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • Could run through a lot of batteries.
  • Low power.

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

“My very sweet shy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel thinks this is a huge improvement over nail clippers. She actually laid on her back while “having her nails done”. So much better than the looks she gives me when I clip her nails. Less stressful for both of us. Leaves the edges of the nails smooth not jagged and rough. This tool makes sense. Dipsy Doodle has white nails which I’ve heard are softer than black ones. The Pet Nail Grinder did a great job making the clippers hopefully obsolete for her nail care. One possible downside, this item takes 2 AA cell batteries and it may expend them rather quickly. We’ve done all nails twice, it’s just now sounding like the batteries are wearing down. In my opinion a small price to pay…I’ll switch to rechargeable batteries.”

Paws Down.

“I bought the nail grinder for my medium size dog because of the advertised quiet and I was not disappointed with just how quiet it is! However, it just doesn’t work well enough for tougher nails. My dog is very patient when I groom her but, the time it took to grind her nails (just after the vet clipped them) wore on my patience to say nothing of my sweet dog’s.”

Best Dog Nail Grinder

Our Rating:

5/5

Price Range: $$

This unit has a diamond grinder which can be easier than using the sanding belts. The diamond head cost in the $10-15 range to replace and should not need to be replaced often.

The motor is 2 speed giving you grinding options and runs at <50 decibels. Also the unit weighs about 9 ounces. The combination makes it versitile and comfortable.

The grinder is charged by USB so it is easy to use around the house. It takes 3 hours to fully charge and should run for 2 hours. This is a great option if you don’t want to continually buy batteries, but also wan to avoid a cord. USB connections are the most common style of the day so should work great in most households.

There are 2 guards to help limit overgrinding. This can be a bonus if your nervous to do grinding initially or if you have difficulty seeing close up and don’t want to accidentally overshorten the nail.

The company offers life time replacement guarantee, but always be sure and read the fine print. If you have any concerns about trying this out you can give it a good testing and still get your money back if you aren’t happy with it.

what we like What we like about it:

  • Ultra-quiet.
  • Good battery life.
  • Lightweight and good hand feel.
  • Lifetime warranty.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • Not as quick as a high powered tool.

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

Wow!!! I have had 3 dog nail grinders in the past. This one beats all of them by far!! The other ones had good reviews on Amazon and did the job, but this one goes above and beyond. It it very quiet on both settings, which is great, especially for skittish pups. It is sooo fast! I have 3 dogs and it would take several minutes per dog, about 30 minutes total. Not with this one. All 3 were done in less than 10 and they were much shorter and looked better than when using the other grinders. It also didn’t get nearly as hot as the other ones do. I am very impressed. The packaging is nice. It has everything you need. The company sent paper manuals, but also an email copy. There is also a lifetime warranty. I would definitely recommend this grinder to any dog owners!

Paws Down.

This did not work for my dog’s nails. I was really hopeful for this product. Unfortunately, it took WAY too long. Maybe 2 minutes a nail. Which is a really long time for my dog to be patient. I had a Dremel from Home Depot that worked way better. I gave it 3 stars because it is quiet and easy to use.

Our Rating:

4.1/5

Price Range: $$

This is a package deal containing a clipper, nail file and grinder. If you need a full set this might be a great deal for you. It is powered by a USB charger which is really common today so will be compatable with charging stations that a lot of people already have in the house.

The unit has a diamond grinder which may be easier than using sanding belts. It doesn’t require replacements and has a long lasting sharp edge. There are 2 guards to help mitigate over grinding. At a total weight of 8 ounces it should not cause much hand fatigue.

It has a single speed motor (6000 rpm) which is about the same as the low speed on the 2 speed units. The motor runs at <60 decibels.

what we like What we like about it:

  • Lightweight and easy to use.
  • Easy to manage diamond grinder head.
  • Quiet.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • Not a high powered tool.

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

I purchased this as a cost saving overtaking our dog Max to Pet Smart every 1-2 months at $13.00 a pop. The set comes with a nail clipper, file and the grinder. The nail clipper worked great, cut smoothly and fast. I followed up with the grinder which worked smoothly and cuts clean and fast . I did not expect it to work as well as it did. This set is fantastic and I would highly recommend it.

Paws Down.

Would have given this 5 stars if the motor was more powerful it would be fine if your dog is of the > 10 lb variety.
Woof Woof Tip!

Wear Goggles and mask Especially if you are grinding the entire nail a lot of dust can be created and it can be irritating.

Our Rating:

4.3/5

Price Range: $$

This unit has a diamond grinder head that can be easier to use than sanding paper and can last much longer. It is powered by a USB charger that has a 1.5 hour charge time and should have an 8 hour running time.

The unit has 2 guards to limit the risk of overgrinding and it has a two speed motor that runs at <50 decibels. This is one of the quieter units and combined with the guards may be good if you pet is particularly skittish.

The unit weighs 4.6 ounces which is one of the lightest so if week or quickly tired hands are an issue this should definitely be one you look into.

The company offers a 1 year warranty, be sure to always read the fine print. Try to compare your needs and preferences to what the company warranties so you have an idea of it will work for you.

what we like What we like about it:

  • Quiet and easy to use
  • Quick charging.
  • Very lightweight.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • Slow going on large dog’s thick nails.

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

I bought this Dog Nail Grinder to use on my 1-year-old Boxer puppy’s toenails. It was easy to use and quick to charge. It’s less stressful to use than clipping because I’m always afraid I’m going to trim her nails too short and make her bleed. It’s quiet too so it doesn’t scare her when grinding. Great purchase!”

Paws Down.

I think would be ok for smaller dogs. For my Great Dane and German Shepherd, it just didn’t have enough power. For smaller breeds, it should work fine.”

Out Runner-Up Pick

Our Rating:

4.3/5

Price Range: $$

This is a clipper, file, grinder set. If you need them all it might be a good deal for you.

It has a diamond grinding head which is often easier to deal with than the sanding belts which require frequent changing. The motor is a 2 speed and runs at about 50-60 decibel which is mid range quiet compared to other units.The unit weighs 8 ounces which is about middle of the road for grinders.

It runs by a USB charger taking about 3 hours to charge and should have a 2.5 hour run time. USB connections are so common today that this is likely easy to manage for most households.

what we like What we like about it:

  • Quiet and easy to use.
  • Comfortable hand feel.
  • 2 speed options.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • Not fast/strong enough for the big thick nails compared to a high power unit.

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

I was skeptical that this nail grinder would be strong enough for my dog’s claws, but I decided to try it because it was advertised as being quiet. I had tried a salon nail grinder on her but the noise terrified her. This tool not only works, but my dog wasn’t scared! She was concerned at first but relaxed quickly. It took down length fairly quickly, not as quickly as the pro salon nail tool but this was actually more efficient because I didn’t have to deal with my dog panicking and trying to get away. Definitely recommend.”

Paws Down.

The unit is small and not loud at all! I’m sure when I figure out how to hold it while filing my dog’s nails, it will be great. It does have several places to put your dogs nails based on their size, but I can’t figure out how to cut my boxer’s bigger nail. Good directions are all this unit is lacking, I think!”

Our Rating:

4.4/5

Price Range: $$

This unit has a diamond grinder head which can be easier than sanding belts.It charges by USB with a 5 hours charge time and should have a 5 hours run time. These features combined make it easy for most households.

The unit has 2 guards to help avoid over grinding and a silicon grip improves handling. This might be good for people that have a hard time gripping tight and having tools like this slip in their hands.

The unit has a single speed motor that runs at <60 decibels. It’s mid-range quiet compared to the other units and it weighs 7 ounces. which is low to mid range in weight compared to other units.

what we like What we like about it:

  • Quiet and lightweight.
  • Can work on big dogs.
  • Diamond grinding head means less changing.

what we dont like What we don’t like about it:

  • Not a high powered unit so it seems slow to some.

The Woof on the Street...!

the woof on the street

Paws Up.

This is a pretty decent grinder, I have a big dog his nails are really thick and strong, it takes me only a couple of seconds to grind each nail without freaking out my dog. Also it comes with charging cable which I can reuse for other products too Lol!”

Paws Down.

“Everything was awesome until I actually used it. It’s so slow! I have to take lots of breaks for only ONE nail (since I also don’t want my pups nail to get hot with long use). My pup gives me no issues in grinding her nails, so she doesn’t struggle or fight me so I have no issues on that end. The vibration and sound is low, so I’m sure skiddish dogs will take comfort that it’s not loud.”

If you want to do it the easy way, trim them all the time. Start as a tiny puppy if you are fortunate enough to have your new family as a puppy. Otherwise, start working on it the day you get them, or after a short period of adaptation to your home.

They should be trimmed on average every month, but just like people dog’s nails grow at different speeds.

Some dogs wear all or some of their nails down while running and they sometimes need no trimming at all until they get older and become less active. (This will likely happen one day so it’s a good idea to get them used to it, even when it’s not needed).

Nail trimming should never be a wrestling match. Regardless of the reason, in the long run, the dog always wins with repetitive wrestle arguments, either because we get exhausted by the constant fighting or the dog is too big to hold down. Does anyone really want to do something repetitively that your dog hates?

The outer hard part is known by many names, Claw, Shell, Keratin, it’s the same as our nail material.

The blood vessel inside the nail is the quick. How far the quick extends toward the end of the nail will vary with a dogs age, breed and how often the nails are trimmed.

dog nail anatomy

  • I have worked with many, many dogs over the years to accept nail trimming. Start by winning your dog’s trust. Will they sit for you to get a treat? That’s step one.
  • Okay your buddy is sitting and waiting for that treat, pick up a paw (this can be combined with teaching to shake if you feel like it, but be sure to do all four feet). Continue doing this with NO nail work until your dog is totally comfortable with it. For some dogs, this will be a day, for some weeks.
  • If using a grinder turn it on and just sit there for a minute, then give your dog the treat.
  • Next while calmly holding your dog’s paw quickly but gently clip or grind one nail, reward with a treat and walk away. Continue doing one nail a day until your dog can tolerate it without showing any anxiety.
  • Start doing two nails at one time. Continue doing this until your dog can tolerate it without anxiety.
  • Continue step 5 until you can do all the nails in one sitting.
  • With some dogs, particularly adults it has taken me months to complete this process, but a few months is nothing compared to being able to do your dog’s nails without fuss for the rest of their lives. Using this basic sequence slowly I have taken patients from biting and alligator rolling during nail trims to a simple no drama 15 minutes process.
  • The proper length? You are aiming to not have the nails touch the floor during walking (no clicking).
You want to trim just short of the quick. If the nails are dark and you can’t see the quick it is best to just clip off tiny portions at a time until you either feel it’s short enough or you see pink, which means you’re approaching the quick. If you can see the quick you can cut about 1/8 inch short of that in most cases, but if all else fails just take little bites at a time.
You gently touch the grinder to the tip of the nail and apply slow steady pressure until you start to see pink or the nail is short enough. Don’t hold the grinder on for more than 5 seconds at a time due to the heat.
Absolutely. If you are careful, apply light pressure and pay attention they work great. What kind of trouble can you get into? If you apply too much force or use a tool with too much rotation you can overheat/burn the nail, and get to the quick very fast.
  • Easier to take tiny bits off at a time when you can’t see the quick.
  • Avoids the pressure sensation that many dogs don’t like.
  • The nails can be smoothed and contoured.
  • Tends to be more acceptable to a lot of dogs
  • Leaves a smooth edge.
  • Can overheat the nail.
  • Can traumatize local tissue if you slip.
  • The sound and vibration bothers some dogs.
  • Getting hair caught in the tool

Your dog’s comfort is your comfort.

How well you can make a grinder work and how easy it is on your dog depends on your vision, hand-eye coordination, patience, familiarity with small power tools and the design of the grinder. All of these factors need to be balanced for your dog to have a positive experience.

Wired or Wireless?

There is no question wireless is easier, but they are also often weak, the battery dies quickly and they don’t function. With a cord you are limited to the length and have to keep working around the cord. If power is your biggest frustration then get a corded one.

Noise and vibration

Some dogs just don’t care, but for some, it’s a fine line of what they will tolerate. There is no easy way to find this out than to try them. Of course the least noise and vibration the least chance your dog will be bothered.

The sound of these units ranges from 40 to 60 decibels. 40 is about the hum of a computer, 50 the hum of your refrigerator motor and 60 the hum of an air conditioner.

Ease of use

This is going to be different for everyone. You most definitely should not buy the one your best friend has just because they like it (but it would be great to borrow it and test it out). How easy it is to use a grinder depends on the size and comfort in your hands. How fast it rotates is a factor also but not a yes or no. For people with shaky hands a slower one would be more comfortable. With arthritis in the hands the low power slower units would be much more manageable.

What makes the tool easy includes the following criteria, what are your hands like, and your vision and your comfort with tools. It will not be the same for everyone.

Grinding power

A general answer, you want the middle of the road. The really slow ones tend to create a lot of heat while not grinding much nail. The super-powerful ones can get away from you. In this case, more is not better.

Battery life

If you go cordless and the battery dies in 5 minutes it will end up in the trash. We have done that very thing in the clinic more than once. Cordless is only a benefit if the battery will work continuously for at least 20 minutes without a power drain.

Rotation speed options

Most of the units have a single or low speed around 6000 to 6500 RPM. If they have a second speed it is generally 12,000-13,000 RPMs. For comparison, a standard Dremel tool can go up to 37,000 RPMs.

Safety features

Most units come with a nail guard but they are not always easy to use.

Warranty

These vary highly and you really should look at the details and how you feel about returns and replacement and price. They come in everything from 90 days to lifetime.

Is there a perfect grinder?

No. What is going to work for you depends on your dog’s temperament, your patience and your idea of what is a success. You trade power for noise, meaning the stronger they are the louder they are. If you have a big dog with thick nails the low power units will take time. Some people can Clip then Grind, some just want to Grind. Getting one you like will depend critically on what exactly it is that you want.

Does a Grinder prevent you from Quicking your dog?

You can definitely Quick a dog with a Grinder but they are much easier to work into the nail slowly than a Clipper. You do have to watch what you’re doing and do it slowly. For some people, a high power tool would be a bad idea because they can be too fast.

What is the issue about having enough power?

One of the biggest complaints about the smaller tools is they aren’t powerful enough for big nails/big dogs or it takes too long. With the lower power tools often people will say if they press too hard it stops, this is an issue with torque. The unit is not designed to work against force.

They actually work best if you just touch the nail lightly. This will take a bit of time. Also for very long nails, it’s great to clip the end first if you want to be quicker if the dog tolerates it.
If you are short on patience only a high power tool like the Dremel will likely satisfy you.

Grind to the end....

I hope a big point you pick out of this article is the best dog nail grinder for you is personal.

Different people, different pets have different needs. I choose the Casfuy as both the best dog nail grinder and the best budget because I think it’s the least likely one to end up in the recycle bucket.

It has a convenient diamond head grinder that can be replaced, good power for a small unit and a simple USB charging system. It is one of the quietest units overall and has 2 speeds to work with. With some of the best features, it also comes with a lifetime warranty.

I think the lower power tools are more useful for home use but none of them are going to satisfy the person who wants a lot of power and torque. For that consider a corded rotary tool and be careful.

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