Have you tried clipping your dogs nails and failed miserably? Then maybe the best dog nail grinder might be a better choice to get the job done. There are no sharp points, you can do it a small bit at a time and once your dog gets used to it, a very easy process.
5 Best Dog Nail Grinders
Nail Grinders vs Nail Clippers
Why would you use grinders rather than nail clippers? The clippers are definitely cheaper to buy and if you know what you are doing they are quicker too. The problem with clippers is that it is all too easy to cut the nail too short and catch the quick of the nail. This can bleed quite a lot and is very stressful for the groomer as well as the dog. It’s also quite hard to know where to clip the nails if they are black and don’t show where the quick is.
A grinder is a little safer for inexperienced groomers as it doesn’t grip the nail, so if your dog moves his foot there’s no issue. It only takes a couple of seconds of touching the dogs nail to start to shape it. It’s easier to get a smooth finish, so no sharp scratchy nails and it helps to avoid split nails too. The added control gives you a better chance to avoid the quick, especially on black nails. You still have to be very careful as you can still hurt your dog and you will probably have to build up your dogs tolerance to the noise and vibration.
How often should you grind a dog’s nails?
The general rule of thumb is to cut your dogs nails every 4-8 weeks. This is obviously dependant on your dog, as they are individuals and their nail growth will be different.
If you have a hard floor you will hear if your dogs nails are clicking as he walks. This is a good sign that some of his nails are too long.
If you struggle to cut your dogs nails then a grinder is a good alternative that you might find easier. If you’re less stressed then so is your dog.
You could still grind your dogs nails on a 4-8 week basis but if you do it a bit more often you can keep the length in check with shorter sessions which will be easier for your dog to get used to.
Dog Nail Grinder Reviews
1. Dremel 8050-N/18 Micro
This Dremel 8050 isn’t specifically for grinding dogs nails but many dog owner have found this to be more effective than the Dremel 7020 model which is meant for dogs.
Being rechargeable means you can use this wherever your dog feels comfortable. I has a variable speed which means you can go on low speed which most users are finding is sufficient to shape the dogs nail but quiet enough so the dog isn’t stressed.
You need to make sure that you only use it a few seconds for each nail as it is a powerful tool and can heat the nail quickly. Short bursts mean you can shape the nail to the required length without exposing the quick.
The hardest part is quite often being able to see what you’re doing especially if your dog has black nails where it can be difficult to know when you’re getting close to the quick, but with this 8050 it has an integral led light which makes it much more user friendly.
It can be used on all dogs but is especially effective on large dogs with thick nails. It can make doing nails quick, easy and fun for your dog if you associate it with some treats.
Fits nicely in the hand for precision
Some people had problems with it holding charge.
Can stop turning under pressure
Problems have been found with the lock button
2. Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder Upgraded
The Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder is a great tool for dealing with your dogs nails if he dislikes having them clipped.
It has a 2 speed motor so you can safely choose the best speed that can deal with the thickness of your dogs nails. It’s quieter on the slowest speed so you can use that while you get your dog used to the grinding process.
It has a diamond bit grinder which can be accessed 3 ways. The small port is useful for small dogs who have thin nails with a small point. With bigger dogs that have thicker nails use the medium port or remove the cover so you have the full area of the grinder.
There is definitely a noise and vibration to the grinder but it’s not so much that it’s scary to the dog. Instructions are provided for helping to get your dog to feel comfortable with you using the grinder and most people find it doesn’t take too long.
The unit is light and easy to use and is rechargeable so you have the ability to work with it wherever you need to. Set up where your dog is comfortable and you have access to all his paws.
This dog nail grinder is reasonably priced and has too many good reviews to ignore.
2 speeds so you can choose the best speed for your dog
Diamond bit grinder for comfortable smooth grinding
3 Separate ports for grinding depending on the size of your dog
Some problems with unit holding charge
A selection of buyers feel it’s not powerful enough for larger dogs
It can still be loud enough to upset some dogs
3. Hertzko Electric Pet Nail Grinder
The Hertzko Electric Pet Nail Grinder is a light and easy to use grinder. It’s rechargeable from a USB connector so you don’t have to find a socket to be able to use it, just plug it into your computer.
It has a diamond stone bit with 3 settings depending on the size of your dogs nails. There’s a small and medium sized opening for smaller dogs and you can remove the cover exposing the whole stone for a larger dog with larger nails.
It has a quiet motor with little vibration so it’s less likely to upset you dog even if he doesn’t like noises. Keep to short bursts while you dog adjusts. It does only have one speed setting though so if you have a larger dog it might not be powerful enough.
It’s also quite portable so you can work on you dog anywhere he feels comfortable. The grinding head is small enough to get into the dew claw easily as well as the other nails.
- 3 ports cover all dog sizes
- Diamond Bit grinder
- Quiet to run
- Some feel the motor isn’t strong enough
- It doesn’t always hold the charge long
- Takes too long on larger dogs
4. ConairPRO Dog Nail Grinder
I felt it was worth looking at the ConairPRO which is a corded version of nail grinder as you get a steady power source for as long as you need.
The tool is light in weight and not too bulky to use although you do have to work with the cord which requires a bit more adjustment to get in the right position.
There are different head attachments provided with this grinder so you can choose what you need. You get sanding bands to remove more of the nail and grinding stones to smooth the edge. It comes with spares which are simple to swap out.
If you’re worried about touching your dog or yourself with the sanding head by accident you also have the option of using an adjustable cover which has an opening for the nail to go in.
There is only one power level on this grinder which is quiet when running but doesn’t have a boost if you need a bit extra and might take a while if you have a lot of nail to remove.
If you like to be able to change heads for different requirements and don’t like battery tools this could be a good option for you.
Not too loud
Adjustable cover for safer grinding
Corded so less flexible
Some buyers felt it wasn’t powerful enough
Only one speed
5. Peroom Dog Nail Grinder
This Peroom dog nail grinder is another rechargeable type. Plug it into any USB port, the charging led light will show green when fully charged.
There are 2 power settings so if you have a dog with thicker nails you can switch it up. It is still quiet when running and doesn’t vibrate too much, so most dogs manage to deal with it without problem.
There is a hard wearing grinding wheel to smooth the nail and it comes with a spare too. There are 2 sizes of port to use on smaller nails and the cover is removable so you can use the whole wheel for larger nails.
It’s getting good reviews and having spares is always good, so worth a look.
2 speed motor
2 grinding wheels (1 spare)
Some customers didn’t think it was powerful enough
It took too long to grind thick nails
Batteries didn’t last long enough
Features To Look For In the Best Dog Nail Grinder
When you’re looking for a nail grinder for your dog you will find that there are a lot of choices out there. You might want to check for these important features so that you have a better chance of success.
Some grinders will only have one power level which doesn’t give you any flexibility. If you can get a dual powered grinder or an adjustable powered choice then you can go slow for better control but add more power if your dog has hard or thick nails.
Some grinders only have one grit option but if your grinder allows different sander wheels or various grit levels you can start of shaping with a lower grit and then get a smoother finish with a higher grit.
The lower the noise the less stressful it is for your dog, and it makes it easier to get your dog adjusted to the tool. If you have a grinder with more than one speed then you can start off at the lowest speed to get your dog used to the least noise.
Cordless or Corded
There is a benefit to a cordless or battery grinder in that you can use it wherever you dog feels comfortable. Trying to manouvre a cable around your dog can make him more skittish and a bit more awkward to get the grinder in the best position.
The prices available are as varied as the types of grinder. It might be better to check for the other features first then see what price range that gives you. It can still work out cheaper than having to take your dog to a professional groomer just for a nail trim.
Getting your dog used to a grinder.
Depending on your dog this might take a few days or a few weeks. This will depend more on you than your dog because he will react to how you are feeling. Make the process like a gentle game. Make sure the reward is a special treat and keep the sessions short. It’s better to do a few short sessions than a long one. You can use a clicker to mark the movement or use a marker word like ‘yes’ or ‘good’
1. Touching Paws
The first step to getting your dog used to have his nails done is to get him to allow you to touch the paws while staying calm and happy.
Decide where you are going to be grinding the nails, either on a grooming table or on their bed or even sitting on the couch. Just choose a place where your dog is comfortable but also where you will be comfortable to do the grinding on all of the nails.
Start with the front paws as they are usually the ones your dog will have most trouble with. Start at the top of the leg then give your dog a high value treat that isn’t always available to him. Move your hand down a little mark with a word or click and then treat. When you get to a point where your dog moves his leg away from you then move back up to where he’s comfortable, mark and treat. Finish on a good note. The goal is to do this a couple of times a day aiming to move down to being able to touch the front paw. Keep it light and fun, no bad temper on your part, stay patient for as long as it takes.
2. Holding The Paw Firmly
The next goal is to be able to hold the paw firmly. Using the same treat system and work towards holding the paw for a few seconds then separating each toe. Do this on all paws.
3. Build Up Time
Now you need to build up some time holding the foot and being able to hold the toes separately as if you were going to grind them. If your dog pulls away at any time it means you have gone too far for his comfort and you will have to go back a step and build up again.
4. Introduce The Nail Grinder To Your Dog
Go through the process of holding your dogs feet and treat then bring in the grinder and lie it near the dogs feet. If he isn’t upset by it click and treat. Go through touching the feet with it there. Next is to switch it on and let your dog get used to the noise. If it’s too much for your dog go back a step.
When he’s comfortable again, try and switch the grinder on a few feet away. Find the distance where your dog is happy and then go through the treating process as you bring it a bit closer each time. Get to the point where you’re holding your dogs paw in one hand and the grinder switched on in the other.
Next it’s time for a tiny touch, this is where it might be easier to use a marker word as you will have both hands full. Keep each touch tiny to begin with and try on each toe. Don’t worry if you can only do one nail in each session. Each time you train your dog you will get further as he becomes comfortable with you doing all his nails in one session. Make sure that each training session ends with a few treats and your dog will learn to love getting his nails done.
Who Should Buy A Dog Nail Grinder
Anyone who grooms their own dog would benefit from using a nail grinder. But if you have a dog that is scared of you touching their feet and pulls away when you’re trying to clip their nails, they will probably cope better with grinding.
There is a noise to the tool but it is usually quite low and if you take the time to get your dog used to it they fare well with the procedure. It’s also less stressful for the owner too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Are they safe to use?
All tools are safe in good hands, and all can be dangerous if not used as instructed. If you keep the grinding to small touches on the nail for only a second or two at a time and keep checking you’re not down to the quick you should quite safe.
Q2. Won’t my pet get scared by a battery-operated/electric tool?
As instructed above, if you take it in small steps to accustom your dog to the sound of the grinder, then small steps to get them used to the feel of the grinder it won’t leave negative feelings attached to the process. Give lots of good treats and they’ll soon be happy to let you do their nails.
Q3. Are they difficult to use?
Whether you’re using nail clippers or a grinder for your dogs nails the biggest difficulty is being able to hold you dogs feet and present the nail for shaping.
Once you can do that you have to be aware of where the quick of the nail is, which is easier to detect with white nails than black nails. Clip slivers off the nail or grind with small touches and keep checking for the quick.
White nails are similar to ours with the quick being the pink body of the nail and the part for trimming is white. On black nails this is much more difficult so you have to check the end of the nail for a white circle which reveals before you reach the quick.
Dogs can get nervous with the feel of the clippers on their nails which is why they tend to pull back. You don’t get the same with grinders as it just feels like someone filing your nails, no gripping feeling. The thing you have to be aware of with a grinder is if you’re dog has long fur near the toe nails. You will need to cut this off so that it can’t get caught up in the grinder.
An old pair of tights can help here. Cut the end off the foot part, put a small hole in for the toe nail, place the foot in and the toenail through the hole. The material will hold the hair inside while presenting the nail for grinding.
Q4. Do nail grinders leave a good finish on the nail?
The one good thing about grinders when it comes to the finished result is that it leaves it smooth to the touch. That’s not to say you can’t be scratched but the nail shouldn’t have and sharp edges which can catch on your clothes. You’re more likely to split your dogs nails with clippers.
The Dremel 8050-N/18 Micro is the most flexible grinder in my opinion. You have the option to change the bits to different size grit or a metal diamond bit. It also has an adjustable speed option so you can start slow and work out the best speed that will work with your dog.
It’s cordless which is easier to use in different places and it also has an led light on the front so you can easily keep a check on your dogs nails as you work.
The price isn’t the cheapest but it’s not much more expensive than the others and you can use it for jobs around the house too.
If you’re unsure, you can choose a cheaper version and get your dog and yourself accustomed to it then move onto the more professional Dremel if you don’t get the results you want.