Tools for Cutting Dog’s Nails

Be sure to watch the video at to learn how to cut your dog’s nails. Below are the types of nail clippers used on dogs.

Guillotine Type Clippers – Resco Deluxe Original Dog Nail Trimmer with Handle Grips

I think the guillotine type are easier to use than the scissors, but it’s a matter of personal preference.

The guillotine clippers have a stationary ring through which the nail is placed. You squeeze the handles and the cutting blade moves up to slice off a bit of nail.

TIP: The cutting blade should be facing you, NOT the dog. The screws on the handle of the clipper should be facing the dog.

You want to cut the nail at a 45-degree angle so you cut top to bottom or bottom to top. Do not hold the clipper parallel to the nail as the cutting action may splinter or crush the nail.

Scissor Type Clippers – Millers Forge Nail Clipper

The scissors type clipper is placed at a right angle to the toe nail.

Close your hand around the clipper to squeeze the handle which will move the cutting blade. Cut straight through the nail on a horizontal line.

Tip: Dip your blades in Kwik-Stop Styptic Powder before you start cutting. That will help if you accidentally nip him.

Dremel Nail Grinders

The granddaddy of the brands and the one I use is Dremel 7300-PT 4.8-Volt. I find this much easier to use than either type of manual clipper. My dog has black nails so avoiding the quick is difficult. With the Dremel, I grind slowly and in tiny increments. I haven’t clipped him too closely since I started using it.

I like the Dremel better than other brands because of it’s sturdy and because it’s a cordless battery operated model that is quieter than the electric plug in ones. (Mom and Dad use it on their toe nails!)

The downside is that you will need to recharge it and replace the batteries on occasion. If you prefer the electric plug in type, a good model is the Oster Pet Nail Grinder.

Nail File for Dogs

Regardless of type of clipper you use, you may find that your dog’s nail(s) have jagged edges or you just need to file one that caught on something.

First, try your own emery board. That should work for a puppy. If the nails on your dog are too strong for a human board, try a metal nail file made for dogs such as JW Pet Company Nail File for Dogs.

Not recommended

I do not recommend the PediPaws Pet Nail Trimmer The commercials hooked me, but I found it to be under powered and threw mine away.

With any grinder, there will dust from the nails, and you will need to familiarize your dog with the sound of these before your start.

I also don’t recommend QuickFinder Deluxe Dog Nail Clipper in either the scissors or guillotine style. The product is supposed to ‘read’ your dog’s nails and let you know where the quick is. It didn’t read accurately in my dog’s black nails. The guillotine version of it is the QuickFinder Small Dog Nail Clipper for dogs up to 40 lbs.

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