Are Dog Nail Grinders Better Than Clippers? (Read This First)

dog nail

There is a big difference between grinders and clippers – everyone knows this to be a fact.

Instead of slicing the nail at a particular point, grinders trim nails with a rotating material that grinds the dog’s nails down. 

The rotating material operates in a similar pattern to sandpaper.

Grinders are powered by electricity, and use friction to gradually trim down a dog’s nail. Grinders are good for dogs that develop anxiety whenever they get close to a clipper.

In addition, the end result of grinders is much more smooth, and rounded.

Grinders are also beneficial for thicker nails that are more difficult to cut. However, they can be a bit loud, especially once you compare them to the naturally quiet clippers. 

If you are not a fan of dust, you shouldn’t use your grinder in doors. Grinders are known to generate a significant amount of dust and odor.

Dog Nail Grinders: Pros & Cons


Grinders ease the nerves of dogs with anxiety: Are your dogs scared of clippers?

Have you tried using clippers on your pooch only to deal with a freaked out pooch.

Well, grinders represent a 2nd chance – you’ll have better luck getting your dog to go along with a grinder.

Rounded, Smooth Nails: One of the biggest advantages of grinders is that you can smoothen your dog’s nails, as well as round them up.

This is much preferred over the sharp edges left by nail clippers. Rounded nails ensure your dog doesn’t get snagged on carpets.

You will find that your dog will not be prone to damage as much as it was when its nails had sharp edges. In addition, your pooch won’t hurt your skin whenever it jumps on you during playtime.


You can still hurt your dog’s quickness: Even with grinders, owners may accidentally hit their dog’s nail quick.

It’s easier to avoid with grinders, since you’ll keep an eye fixed on the nail as you grind and await the tiny dot that signals you’re nearing the quick and should stop.

Grinders are often loud, and sometimes scary: Dog nail grinders can be fairly loud and can scare your pooch, especially if they’re not fond of loud noises.

Odor & Dust

Grinding a dog’s nails leads to dust and odor. For this reason, it’s best to grind your dog’s nails outside. You may also want to wear a mouth mask cover and eye protection.

Why Grinders Are The Best Choice For You and Your Pooch

dog nail grinders


It all balls down to the personality, and confidence of your pet. However, based on performance, grinders are the best nail trimming tool for your pet.

If your dog is very skittish and fearful of loud noises, you may want to avoid a grinder and opt for clippers instead.

However, If you choose to use clippers, you will have to cut the dog’s nails very slowly. It is even recommended that you only cut small nail portions on a weekly basis – and nobody wants that!

However, that is the best means of clipping dog nails.

When you clip a little portion of nail, the fast will begin to retract away from the nail edge, this retraction takes time, and that is why the one week wait is recommended.

When you clip a large bit of your dog’s nail at once, you risk cutting into your dog’s quickness. 

Trust me – they won’t like that one bit! In order to avoid all the hassle involved in the use of clippers, you can simply go for grinders. Grinders will easily smoothen your dog’s nails.

Selecting The Perfect Grinder For Your Pet

Most pet parents are yet to accept grinders as a cutting tool. As a result, there are numerous unknowns.

People ask if grinders are efficient nail trimmers for their dogs. They also want to know which grinders are the most reliable.

Every decent pet owner wants to take care of their pet’s claws. In this regard, they ask should we choose battery operated dog nail clippers, a pet nail file or a dog nail grinder.

Ultimately, you won’t know until you are trying all the choices available.

There’s no one size fits all approach, as every dog is different. You might have two greyhounds that love the sound and feel of a nail buffer for dogs, and a chusky who prefers the clippers, or a dachshund that adores the attention no matter what you use.

Some dogs hate having their nails cut, getting so wriggly that they could hurt themselves on the sharp fringe of the scissors you’re using. 

Trimming can be very distressing for both you and your dog, especially if after you hurt them during trimming.

Rather than resigning yourself to asking ‘Can I exploit a nail file on my dog?’ or letting your dog’s nails grow goodbye they tear holes in fabric and skin, think about using a dog nail grinder instead of scissors or electric dog nail clippers. 

Nail grinders are inexpensive, easy to find online or in stores and great for nervous dogs or wriggling puppies.

How to Use Dog Nail Grinders

Grinding your dog’s nails is fairly easy. No matter which brand you choose – from Dremel, Conair, Pedipaws and Oster, to name a few, there are some simple rules to follow to make sure both you and your dog remain safe:

Grinders spin fast, using their speed and abrasive material to buff dog nails shorter without any jagged edges.

If your dog has long fur, make sure it’s out of the way by holding it back or trimming it, especially if it’s on their paws or in between the pads of their feet.

If the fur gets caught within the grinder, your dog is going to be hurt and it’ll be hard to untangle the fur without pulling further.

How to Introduce a Nail Grinder to Your Dog

If your dog hates nail trims, you’re far from alone. If you’ve purchased a grinder tool (like the Dremel or Pedi-Paws) to ease the discomfort, you’re in good company!

And if your dog runs at the sound of the tool, you’re probably very frustrated, but this will be fixed with a touch of time and patience.

First off, a nail grinder may be a great alternative to sharp clippers. There’s much less risk of injury when used correctly.

However, your first challenge is getting your dog to cooperate long enough to use it properly! 

Rather than fighting with your pup and forcing the issue, I suggest helping your dog get used to the experience and making it a pleasant event. Remember to take baby steps. 

When desensitizing your dog to anything, break it down into tiny, achievable steps, and never push too far too fast. 

The goal is for your dog to remain relaxed and cozy through the entire process, piece by piece. If at any point your dog stops cooperating with you and seems stressed, stop and go back to the last step.

Make it fun! Get out the super “high value” treats. That means lamb lung, lunch meat, hot dogs — whatever your dog loves the most. Reward your dog every single time you do one of the steps.

Start out by sitting near your dog with the grinder behind your back. Turn it on for a second, then reward your dog. Repeat 5 times. Give your dog a break.

Slowly introduce the following steps:

  • Turn the grinder on ahead of you for a couple of seconds; reward.
  • Bring the grinder close to your dog’s paw (while it’s off); reward.
  • Touch the grinder to one of your dog’s nails (while it’s off); reward.
  • Turn the grinder on and touch it to a nail; reward.
  • Turn the grinder on and touch it to a couple of nails; reward.
  • Grind one whole paw; reward.
  • Keep building on this until you’ll do all four paws in one session.

Each of the above steps should be repeated – during a relaxed and fun way – until your dog is completely cool with the entire process.

Keep sessions short and successful. If your dog is doing well, end your session on an honest note. Don’t be tempted to jump 3 steps ahead.

With patience and practice, your dog can learn to like getting a mani-pedi!

For an example of a pup comfortably tolerating his nail grind, check out this helpful video by Miles & Emma.


Most pet owners have excellent pets who don’t stress during nail trims. However, not all pet owners are that lucky. 

Trimming dog claws can be an extremely strenuous ordeal for most pet owners. 

Dogs get nervous around most trimming tools. Selecting the right tool is the most important step in the entire process. 

You also want to be extremely careful when trimming, because if you injure your dog, it won’t trust you anymore. And just like that, you will be back to square one.

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