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Just like humans clip their fingernails or even get fancy with a trendy manicure, your dog needs their nails trimmed, too. However, unlike their owners, your furry friend can't do it themselves, and you'll need to help them out. Using a nail clipper on your pet can seem scary (especially if you're a new dog owner). But don't worry; with the proper equipment, including a nail clipper, of course, you'll be able to seamlessly and painlessly trim your dog's nails. (Remember, house-training your puppy seemed impossible at one time, too, right?)
Best Electric Dog Clippers: Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder
Best Dog Clippers with Guard: Boshel Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer
Best Dog and Cat Clippers: Gonicc Dog and Cat Nail Clippers and Trimmer
Best Dog Clippers in Different Sizes: Epica Professional Pet Nail Clipper
Most Affordable Dog Nail Clippers: Dudi Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer
Stacy Choczynski Johnson, D.V.M., a staff veterinarian for Pumpkin Pet Insurance, recommends getting a few items in addition to the clippers. You should get styptic powder ($4, Chewy) to stop any bleeding, a non-slip mat ($25, Chewy), a distracting treat, such as a treat mat ($8, Chewy), and dog treats.
Now that you have all the supplies, it's time to get your pup ready. First, Choczynski Johnson recommends storing treats and the trimmers in the same drawer so that your pup will have a positive association with the clippers. Michelle Burch, D.V.M., a veterinarian with Safe Hounds Pet Insurance, says to desensitize your dog to the feeling of getting their paws touched and the actual equipment. To do this, simply touch your pup's paws and toes, and reward them with treats. When it comes to the clippers, show your pet how the tool works by trimming a vegetable. (Again, reward them with a treat.) If you're using electric clippers, turn on the tool without doing any grinding so that your pet will get used to the noise. (And don't forget to keep rewarding your brave and patient pet!) Finally, once your pup is comfortable, you're ready to get clipping.
How to Use Dog Nail Clippers
Make sure you take your time and don't rush. "Start at the tip and trim small amounts at a time," says veterinarian Christian Cumberbatch, D.V.M., the director of medicine for Easy Vet. Cumberbatch says to be "very aware" of where the quick is, which is the small blood vessel in the nail. "With white nails, this will look like a pinkish hue starting from the base of the nail. In black nails, the quick is not visible, but one trick is to look at the nail's cross-section as you trim," he explains. "Eventually, you'll notice a small gray or black dot located centrally in the nail's cross-section. This is the 'quick,' and you shouldn't cut any further."
If you happen to trim too much and the nail bleeds, stay calm and apply some styptic powder. Take a break, and once your dog is relaxed, continue trimming. Make sure to offer your dog treats and love once you're done. "I take my dog for a walk after trimming the nails," Choczynski Johnson says. "Running on the pavement helps to smooth out the nails. Consider utilizing the sidewalk as a giant emery board." Burch recommends trimming your pet's nails every four-to-six weeks, depending on how fast they grow. "Frequent trimmings will help prevent unwanted problems, including torn nails, joint pain, and improper gait," she adds.
Now that you know how to trim your dog's nails, you're going to need clippers. Here, you'll find five-top rated options on Amazon, including an electric option that has the most 5-star ratings to keep your pup healthy.
Best Electric Dog Clippers
These electric clippers make trimming your pet's nails so easy. It features a diamond drum bit grinder that operates in two speeds: normal speed typical nails and high speed for thicker nails. The USB-chargeable machine, which comes with a charging cable and a protective sleeve, is available in black or white for the same price. The device is super quiet with a decibel level of less than 50, so it won't disturb your pet. It also has three ports for different sizes of dogs. The Casfuy electric nail clippers have a nearly perfect 5-star rating from more than 61,000 reviews, with one buyer calling it the "best grinder ever." They write that "I am very impressed. It is very quiet on both settings, which is great, especially for skittish pups. I would definitely recommend this grinder to any dog owners!"
Best Dog Clippers with Guard:
Even those new to clipping nails will rest assured using these trimmers, as they have ergonomic non-slip handles. They have 3.5-millimeter sharp stainless steel blades, a safety stop, and a locking switch. The tool, which has an almost perfect 5-star rating with more than 40,000 reviews, also comes with a free nail file in one of the handles for after-clipping care. One pleased purchaser, who gives the trimmers a 5-star review, writes that they're "the best nail clippers I've ever tried. These are the only clippers that I have found that cuts through the nail without effort and does not split her nails. The nail guard is very convenient, and I don't have to worry so much about cutting her quick. I am very happy with this purchase."
Best Dog and Cat Clippers
When an item is a No.1 best-seller on Amazon, you know it's a must-buy. (Especially when it's almost $13.) They have a soft, non-slip handle, a razor-sharp steel blade, a safety stop guard, and a nail file. More than 34,000 buyers recommend these trimmers that work well for your dog and cat, giving the clippers a 5-star rating and writing, "I love these! I've always been paranoid to cut my dogs black nails, so much I have never done it on my own, but this makes it easy. Great buy!"
Best Dog Clippers in Different Sizes:
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, which is why these trimmers come in three different versions to fit your pet's nails perfectly. The tool has a non-slip grip, stainless steel tempered shears, and a safety edge. The Epica clippers have an almost perfect 5-star rating with more than 16,600 positive reviews. One buyer, who rates the clippers 5 out of 5 stars, calls them "awesome." They add, " These clippers are strong, sturdy, and inexpensive! Much better than the ones I've bought in the store previously."
Most Affordable Dog Nail Clippers:
Yes, you can get a pair of excellent dog clippers for a great price. The trimmers feature ergonomic non-slip handles, a stainless steel blade, and a safety spacer. It also comes with a full-size nail file. The item has more than 14,500 reviews with an almost perfect 5-star rating. One happy buyer gives the clippers a 5-star rating because they clip their dog's nails "so easily." They add, "I have had all kinds of nail clippers, I didn't like any of them. I bought this pair a few weeks ago and absolutely love them. Apparently my dog does also, he sit perfectly still while I trimmed his nails, which he has never done! I would really recommend these clippers."