The 10 Best Dog Nail Trimmers
Since the initial publication of this wiki in September of 2016, there have been 23 edits to this page. If you have a pooch who likes to "shake hands" but ends up snagging your pants, skirt or hosiery every time, perhaps you need to invest in a pair of these dog nail trimmers. Keeping your pet's claws in good order makes them more comfortable and prevents any issues with walking on hard floors in the home. These models are designed to make the grooming process as easy and painless as possible. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best dog nail trimmer on Amazon.
Why It's Important To Trim A Dog's Nails
When dogs live in the wild, their nails are naturally worn down as they travel across different terrain.
As the joints of the foreleg become more and more realigned, it can make the foot look flattened and splay the toes, eventually resulting in a near permanent deformity.
Trimming a dog's nails is something most pet owners avoid, but it is actually essential to a dog's health. So, if you love your four-legged companion, you'll have to get comfortable tackling this important task. Either that or be willing to spend lots of money on a groomer every month.
When dogs live in the wild, their nails are naturally worn down as they travel across different terrain. Rocks and other hard surfaces act much like nail files for a dog. Domesticated dogs live very different lifestyles, though. They spend most of their time indoors or running on soft surfaces like your yard or dirt and grass at a dog park. Their nails don't encounter enough hard surfaces to naturally wear down, so you must cut them instead.
If left to their own devices, a dog's nails will quickly grow too long, which can lead to a number of health issues. Nails that are too long are more prone to breaking. Broken nails will often expose the quick – the soft inner cuticle of a dog's nail – which can be quite painful to a dog. An exposed quick also leaves a dog more vulnerable to infection.
When nails become too long, the can actually make simple acts like standing and walking painful for a dog. Long nails that are constantly pushing against the ground exert pressure back into the nail bed. This is not only painful, but it also puts pressure on the toe joints. This can lead to an unnatural gait and, over time, even completely change the alignment of the joints of the foreleg. As the joints of the foreleg become more and more realigned, it can make the foot look flattened and splay the toes, eventually resulting in a near permanent deformity. In other extreme cases, the nail has been known to completely curl under the foot, embedding itself in the dog's paw.
Nails also play a part in providing traction as a dog walks and runs. Excessively long nails, though, actually reduce traction and can cause a dog to slip when walking on hard surfaces. This can be especially problematic in older dogs who are more likely to seriously hurt themselves if they fall. If all of this wasn't enough to convince you that you need to trim your dog's nails regularly, just consider how much safer your legs and furniture will be .
Understanding The Two Main Types Of Doggy Nail Trimmers
Dog nail trimmers may come in a range of different styles, but they all fall into one of two main categories: clippers and grinders. Nail clippers have been around for considerably longer and are the go-to item of choice for veterinarians and groomers. Clippers can be further broken down into two sub-categories: guillotines and scissors.
Nail clippers have been around for considerably longer and are the go-to item of choice for veterinarians and groomers.
Guillotines feature a small hole in which you insert the dog's nail. Once properly positioned, you squeeze the handle and a blade moves forward to lop off the tip of the nail. Many people find it easier to cut through thick nails using a guillotine clipper, but it can be difficult to thread a dog's nail through, especially when dealing with an uncooperative pooch. Scissor trimmers look much like their name sake, though they will generally feature curved blades to better accommodate the shape of a dog's nails. Many people find scissor trimmers easier to use, as you can more clearly see exactly what you are cutting. You can also get scissor trimmers around a dog's nail quicker than guillotine models.
Grinders are basically small rotary tools that have been specifically designed for use on dogs. They gently sand a dog's nails down, while also rounding out the sharp edges for a smoother finish. Grinders are great for dog owners who fear using a clipper because of the possibility of cutting the quick. The downside is that many dogs are scared of the sound and sensation of the grinder at first, so it may take them some time to get used to it.
Getting Your Dog Used To Having His Nails Trimmed
The sooner you can expose your dog to the nail trimming process, the better. If you cut your dog's nails regularly when they are a puppy, it won't be a traumatic experience for them when they are older. Begin by getting your dog used to having his paws handled. It is pretty easy to integrate paw handling into your daily interactions. If you are carrying your dog around, hold onto one of his paws for a little while. When playing, periodically touch one of his paws in a manner that doesn't interrupt the game. When lying on the ground or couch together, gently hold onto or stoke one of his paws. Just make sure to touch different paws and not the same one all of the time. Progress to a point where your dog is comfortable having you hold onto his paw for an extended period of time and keeping his toes splayed.
Eventually he will be happy just to see the trimmer and more than willing to let it touch his paws.
Next, get your dog used to the trimmer. If using a grinder, this make take a little longer. Put a little peanut butter on the trimmer and let your dog lick it off. Once he is comfortable doing this, turn the grinder on and repeat the process. It goes without saying that you don't want to put peanut butter on the blade or grinder tip, but just in case: don't put peanut butter on the grinder tip or the blade.
Now that your dog is used to the trimmer and having his paws handled, get him used to having the trimmer touch his paws. Play a game where you touch the trimmer to your pup's paw and then give him a treat. Eventually he will be happy just to see the trimmer and more than willing to let it touch his paws.
When you first start actually trimming the nails, only do one nail per trimming sessions. After you have cut a single nail. Give your dog a treat and play a fun game with him. As your dog gets more comfortable with the clipping sensation, you can move onto cutting two nails per session, then three, and so on.
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