It’s okay to admit you hate trimming your dog’s nails!
Nail trimming is one of the most frustrating aspects of pet care. First, you have to be extra-careful to avoid cutting the nails too short and accidentally hurting your dog. Also, most dogs want nothing to do with trimming. They squirm, struggle and refuse to sit still.
Nail grinders are safe and effective, but they can seem confusing to use. Fortunately, our complete guide will help you pick the perfect grinder – and we’ll teach you how to use it safely, too. We’ve even gathered up our five favorite nail grinders for 2019.
Here are five grinders we think you’ll want to check out:
|Hertzko Electric Nail Grinder||4.2|
|Furminator Nail Grinder||3.6|
|I-Pure Dog Nail Grinder||4.4|
|Invenho Pet Nail Grinder||4.6|
Table of Contents
- What is a Dog Nail Grinder?
- How Often Should I Trim My Dog’s Nails?
- What Features Should I Consider?
- How Do I Use a Nail Grinder?
- What are the Benefits of Trimming My Dog’s Nails?
- 1. Dremel 7300-PT
- 2. Hertzko Electric Nail Grinder
- 3. Furminator Nail Grinder
- 4. I-Pure Dog Nail Grinder
- 5. Invenho Pet Nail Grinder
- The Best Dog Nail Grinder
What is a Dog Nail Grinder?
Dog nails can be trimmed in two ways:
- Nail Clippers
- Nail Grinders
Clippers require a high degree of skill to use safely. You need to understand the structure of the nail to avoid accidental injury. Cutting the flesh underneath the nail, called “cutting the quick,” can hurt your dog and even lead to infection.
Nail grinders use a different approach to trim nails. A grinding drum spins at high speed. It wears down the nail. Because the drum starts at the top of the nail and works towards the paw, accidentally cutting the quick is very difficult.
How Often Should I Trim My Dog’s Nails?
Generally, you’ll want to trim your dog’s nails at least once every two months. However, every dog is different. Your dog might need his nails trimmed more frequently (although two months is the maximum length of time between trimmings for every dog).
Trimming needs depend on the breed of dog as well as his activity levels. Some dogs have thick, fast-growing nails. Typically, the larger the dog, the tougher and larger his nails.
How do you know when your dog’s nails are too long? Picture him standing on a horizontal line. His foot pads rest on the line exactly. In this position, his nails should be above the line. If they extend below the line, it’s time for a trim.
Also, pay attention to the sounds your dog makes. When nails are too long, you’ll hear a loud ticking sound whenever your dog walks across wood or flat services.
Focus on maintenance. Trim your dog’s nails briefly every week or so. Short, frequent trims are easier on dogs than longer sessions.
What Features Should I Consider?
Nail trimmers can seem complicated. Why is one better than any other? When choosing a trimmer, consider the following features:
Trimmers should be made from high-quality plastic. They need to be durable enough to survive an occasional drop on the floor – especially if your dog likes to wiggle.
The grinder is the most important part of the trimmer. Most trimmers use a diamond bit grinding drum. It’s strong enough to wear down nails quickly.
Other trimmers use a sanding band, which is powered by sandpaper. Trimmers with sanding bands are the least common type. They require a bit more maintenance. You’ll need to replace the sandpaper from time to time.
Choose a grinder with at least two-speed settings. The faster setting is useful for the initial trim, while the slower speeds are safer as you get closer to the quick. Variable settings allow you to switch speeds easily while trimming without having to release your hold on the dog.
Some dogs could care less about the noise and motion of the nail trimmer. But most dogs are at least somewhat anxious in its presence, if not downright terrified. You want the trimmer to be as quiet as possible. Most trimmers will list the decibel level produced during operation.
A grinder with a built-in battery charger is usually the easiest and most economical option. You don’t have to worry about buying new batteries. Simply plug the grinder into a wall outlet or USB port.
Most grinders take less than an hour to charge. Don’t worry too much about long charging times as nail trimming can usually wait a few hours. However, charging times of several hours can be annoying.
How Do I Use a Nail Grinder?
Basic operation involves seven simple steps.
- Gather the trimmer, treats and, of course, your dog. Choose a quiet spot free from distractions. Your dog should already feel comfortable in the selected area.
- Sit next to your dog or hold him in your lap.
- Turn on the nail grinder.
Allow your dog to investigate the running grinder as much as he likes. You want him to feel comfortable with the noise and motion. If he’s not used to the nail grinder, you might need to repeat this step several times. Simply sit with your dog and run the grinder without trimming his nails. He’ll grow increasingly comfortable over time.
- Hold your dog’s paw gently but firmly.
- Place the grinding tool against the nail. Pay attention to your dog’s mood as you work. If he starts to fidget too much, remove the grinder but don’t turn it off. Also, don’t release his paw. Simply taking the grinder away from his paw is usually enough to calm him down.
- When you’ve finished trimming a nail, turn off the grinder. Give your dog a treat and lots of praise.
- Repeat the process to trim all his nails. Try to trim all nails in one session. Walking with uneven nail lengths is uncomfortable for dogs.
What are the Benefits of Trimming My Dog’s Nails?
Nails which are too long can cause a variety of health problems. They can impact your dog’s ability to walk and run. Pain can extend through his ankles into his legs.
Nail clippers can actually cause additional problems. Clippers increase the changes of nail breakage and splintering. Grinders keep the nail smooth and uniform.
Dremel’s actually more well-known for power tools than grooming instruments, but their 7300-PT is an excellent option for keeping your dog’s nails clean. It’s powerful but also versatile and easy to control.
The grinder has two speeds: 6,500 RPMs for low noise and precise control or 13,000 rpm for large, tough nails. A 60-grit sanding drum effectively wears down nails but isn’t coarse enough to cause serious damage or injury. The grinder’s compatible with a huge variety of Dremel sanding drums and bands.
The cordless grinder is made from durable, high-density plastic. A rechargeable NiCd battery provides 4.8 volts of power. The battery has a three-hour charging time to full.
Pros & Cons
- Two speeds give you precise control
- Compatible with most Dremel sanding drums
- Rechargeable battery delivers 4.8 volts of power
- The 60-grit sanding drum is safe and effective
- Battery shows signs of slowing after 20 minutes
This grinder is built with safety in mind. A diamond bit grinder gives you precise control to shape, trim and smooth your dog’s nails. Safeguards help prevent accidental injury.
Three size ports allow for safe operation on small, medium and large dogs. You can even remove the cover completely to trim extra-large nails.
But don’t let the power fool you. The trimmer is also surprisingly quiet and gentle. It produces minimal noise and vibration. Choose this grinder if your dog is nervous around noise.
The grinder is easy to maintain. The guard over the grinding stone is removable. You can easily access the entire stone for cleaning.
Pros & Cons
- Three ports for small, medium and large dogs
- Quiet and vibration free
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Diamond bit grinder is powerful but easy to control
- Takes a long time to trim large nails
- More powerful when powered by USB cable than battery
Hasta la vista, long nails! The Furminator is here to keep nails trim. It’s lightweight, portable and easy to handle.
Two speeds allow the Furminator to tackle the toughest nails safely. Plus, the ergonomic design allows you to carefully shape nails while avoiding the quick.
An automatic LED light increases visibility right at the nail. Not many other trimmers have a built-in light. It’s a welcome addition which increases safety.
The Furminator includes two replacement grinding bands and four AA batteries. If you want to use rechargeable batteries, you’ll have to supply your own. There is no internal battery charging capability.
Pros & Cons
- Lightweight and portable with a comfortable ergonomic handle
- Built-in LED light increases visibility when trimming
- Two speeds allow you to trim nails of practically any size
- Includes two replacement grinding bands
- No built-in battery charger
Versatility is the main feature here. The I-Pure Nail Grinder easily adapts to the needs of just about any dog.
It has two speeds. The low setting emphasizes accuracy while the high setting makes fast work of long nails (although its best for dogs comfortable with the tool). The Diamond grindstone is durable and powerful.
Three ports safeguard sensitive areas from accidental grinding. It’s great for a household with multiple dogs of different sizes.
Nails are removed quickly but quietly. The unit makes less than 50 dB when in use. Vibrations are kept to a minimum, too.
The 5V USB cable fully charges the unit is an hour. Each charge lasts for up to four hours, making this one of the longest-lasting batteries available in a nail trimmer. It’s great for taking on trips.
Pros & Cons
- Tough Diamond grindstone
- Three ports fit dogs of every size
- The quiet operation produces less than 50 dB
- Batteries last four hours between charges
- Power might not be sufficient for large nails
Nail grinding? What is nail grinding? The Ivanhoe Nail Grinder is one of the quietest grinders available. It makes less than 40 dB when in use.
It’s powerful, too. The diamond bit grinder has two adjustable speeds. Plus, three nail ports make the grinder suitable for dogs of every size.
An included USB cable allows for fast charging. Although it does take five hours to charge fully, it’s then operational for up to six hours.
Aside from dogs, the grinder is suitable for cats, rabbits, and even birds.
Pros & Cons
- The super quiet motor makes less than 40 dB when in use
- Diamond bit grinder is tough but safe
- The two-speed motor is adjustable during operation
- Includes USB cable for easy charging
- The motor isn’t strong enough to trim large nails quickly
The Best Dog Nail Grinder
If you’re a new pet owner, we recommend all nail trimmers over clippers. Trimmers are safer and easier for both you and your dog.
All of the grinders on our list are effective and easy-to-use. However, after extensive testing on dogs of all shapes and sizes, we recommend the Dremel 7300-PT. It’s the best nail grinder for most breeds and ages.
Normally, we prefer a diamond bit to a sanding band. But the Dremel’s sanding band is fantastic. It’s coarse enough to wear down nails quickly, but not harsh enough to accidentally injure the skin.
Additionally, we like the Dremel’s versatility. It’s compatible with a wide range of Dremel sanding drums and bands. You can easily find the perfect drum for any size dogs. (We admit visiting the hardware store for a dog care item is a bit weird, but the wide range of options is impressive.)
Finally, we like the dual speed settings. The fast setting quickly trims even the toughest nails. The slow, quieter setting is the best option for dogs who don’t like loud noises.
Long nails impair your dog’s ability to walk and run. Keep his nails trim with an electric nail grinder. They’re safe, easy-to-use and effective. Your dog will give you a thumbs up!