Are Dog Nail Grinders Better Than Clippers?

are dog nail grinders better than clippers
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Is it your first time getting a dog?

Like any new parent, you might be wondering about grooming practices.

When it comes to dog care, among the most common questions is this: Are dog nail grinders better than clippers?

As one of the more challenging aspects of grooming your pet, you'll want the perfect one for the job.

Clippers and grinders both help to reduce the length of your dog's nails but in different ways.

Are Nail Grinders Good for Dogs?

Most pet parents prefer using nail Dremels to grind their dog’s nails.

When appropriately used, grinders can be handy, but it also means you're likely to do it more often than clipping.

Perhaps the most important thing, though, is that they're safe to use.

In fact, they could be more comfortable than using clippers in a couple of different ways, especially for first-time pet owners.

The Benefits of Nail Grinders

Here are the reasons why pet owners choose nail grinders:

Ideal for Thick Nails

If your dog has thick nails, you’d be better off using a nail grinder than a clipper.

Often, clippers can be hard to use with thick nails, as they can cause splitting and splintering.

Grinding, on the other hand, gently reduces the length of the nail regardless of thickness.

Avoiding the Quick

Another substantial advantage of these tools is that they help pet parents avoid cutting their dog's quick.

You might find a grinder to be preferred if your pet has dark or black nails, as finding the quick can be challenging.

You'll slowly be reducing the length of the nail by working it away with a Dremel, so it protects your pets better.

Smooth Finish

Once you've completed your dog’s grooming, you'll find that grinders leave an exceptionally smooth edge on your pet's nails.

Many pet parents even decide to use a grinder after clipping to help eliminate sharp and rough edges.

Not only will your pet prefer the feeling of their nails, but so will your floors and furniture.

The Disadvantages of Nail Grinders

With advantages come a couple of possible issues, too, including:


The most challenging aspect of nail grinders is how loud they can be.

If your dog is likely to get nervous around objects that make loud noises, a nail grinder might not be the best option.

When it comes to grinding dog nails, your pets are more likely to associate negatively with loud tools.


Another significant difference between dog nail grinding vs trimming is the cleanup.

As you begin to work away at the nail, it will produce dust that will fall everywhere. It can take a little longer than expected to clean up after grinding nails.

Fur and Rotating Mechanisms

A grinder has a bit on the end that rotates fast to work away at the nail.

This piece is particularly dangerous for dogs with long coats, as it's easy for the fur to get caught.

You'll have to take special care to ensure you don't accidentally snag your pet's coat while grinding.

are dog nail grinders better than clippers

Can You Grind Long Dog Nails?

Fortunately, grinders are an excellent choice for long nails on pets, although it can take longer than clipping.

These tools have a sandpaper-like bit at the tip that gently grinds down the length of the nail.

It's not as efficient as clipping a lot of length at once, but it helps you avoid painful accidents.

How Often Should You Grind Your Dog's Nails?

Every dog is different in terms of growth and development, especially with their nails.

You'll likely have to grind your dog's nails more often than if you were using clippers.

On average, you can expect to grind your dog's nails every two to three weeks, depending on growth.

Are Clippers Good for Dogs?

If a grinder doesn't seem suitable for your dog's nails, you might be tempted to try clippers.

These unique devices are specifically designed for the comfort and health of your pet.

Most clippers have incredibly sharp blades that effortlessly slice through nails without splintering and cracking.

They may also have special features, such as LED lights and nail guards, to help guide you away from the quick.

It's essential to invest in a high-quality pair of clippers; otherwise, the blades can dull quickly and require sharpening.

The Benefits of Nail Clippers

Here are the areas where nail clippers are better than nail grinders:

Quick and Efficient

There's no tool more efficient than clippers when considering grinding dog nails vs clipping.

Instead of using a Dremel to work the length off slowly, clippers chop it off in one fluid motion.

You can guarantee you can spend less time dealing with your pet's nails to focus on other aspects of grooming.

Low Noise

Another difference between dog nail clipping vs grinding is that clippers have virtually no noise.

You don't need to plug them into power or have to worry about batteries.

Also, there aren't any rotating pieces that can cause sounds that will heighten your pet’s anxiety.

It's often the preferred mechanism for nervous animals, as you clip the nail quickly and painlessly.

With that said, you will still need to take care to ensure your pets don't have a negative association with the clippers.


If you need the most budget-friendly solution between dog nail grinding vs trimming, clippers are best.

The devices are incredibly simple and don't have any mechanical parts, which makes them cheaper.

They may have a lower price, but they can be more effective in most circumstances.

You'll appreciate how easy to use clippers are, too, as they don't need very many special instructions.

Also, there are multiple types of dog nail clippers to consider.

The Disadvantages of Nail Clippers

So, when should you not use nail clippers when grooming your pet?

Clipping the Quick

Out of any disadvantage, this is the most dangerous for your dog's health.

When it comes to dog nail clipping vs grinding, avoiding the quick is essential.

It's easier than you think to accidentally cut too far down your dog's nail, leading to extreme discomfort.

However, most clippers are equipped with a nail guard, which helps you avoid cutting too low.

You'll want to try cutting the nail slowly in small sections until you achieve an appropriate length.

This process is safer than trying to take the whole length off at once.

Cracking and Splintering

With sharp clippers, you shouldn't have to worry about this issue, but it is possible.

Dull clippers can cause the nail to get pinched, leading to pain for your pet.

You might also find their nails are more likely to crack with clippers, which can also be uncomfortable.

It's essential to cut the nail quickly and with confidence to reduce the chance of accidents.

How Often Should You Clip Your Dog's Nails?

With nail clipping, you can take longer between grooming sessions before the nails need to be addressed again.

Most pet parents find it's best to clip their dog's nails every three to four weeks, depending on growth.

Like grinding, it's essential to regularly keep up with clipping to avoid a slurry of health problems.

Are Dog Nail Grinders Better Than Clippers?

When debating grinding dog nails vs clipping, you want to consider your pet's health and safety.

So, are dog nail grinders better than clippers?

The answer is yes when it comes to protecting your furry buddy.

However, for quick and efficient grooming, nail clippers are far more preferred.

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