Dog nail grinders are a must-have for dog owners. Yet they’re often overlooked in favor of expensive visits to the groomer or more difficult do-it-yourself efforts with a dog nail clipper.
We’ll explain what a nail grinder is, what to look for in dog grinders, and some of the best dog nail grinders on the market today.
We’ll also answer your questions about dog nail grinding and general nail care for your pet.
- What Is A Dog Nail Grinder?
- The 5 Top-Rated Dog Nail Grinders for 2021
- #1: Best Nail Grinder For Dogs – Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V Cordless Pet Nail Grinding Tool
- #2: Best for Small Pets – Hertzko Electric Pet Nail Grinder
- #3: Noiseless Dog Nail Grinder – URPOWER Rechargeable Pet Nail Grinder
- #4: Best Nail Grinder For Large Dogs – OSTER Dog Nail Grinder
- #5: Smooth Tool – ConairPRO Dog Nail Grinder
- How to Select the Best Dog Nail Grinder for Your Pet?
- Dog Nail Grinding Tips & Tricks
- Grinding Your Dog’s Nails – A Step By Step Guide
- The FAQ on Dog Nail Grinding
What Is A Dog Nail Grinder?
A nail clipper cuts through the dog’s nail. These have to be more robust than the human nail clipper since your dog doesn’t have the same thin nails you do. This means you may have to apply a lot of force to cut through the dog’s nail.
Because it is hard to gauge where the end of the nail should be, people occasionally clip the edges of the dog’s sensitive paws in the process. The solution is to use a dog nail grinder.
Dog nail grinders have a rotating rough pad like a file or dremel tool. It takes longer to do the job than a single clip. However, you have more control over the process. And it is almost impossible to accidentally hurt your dog while trimming their nails.
Pet nail grinders are increasingly necessary due to the easier lives our pets live. An active dog running around on hard soil or pavement naturally wears down their nails. More sedentary animals and those running on lawns and wood floors aren’t wearing down their nails fast enough to prevent problems. The solution is grinding or cutting the nails down.
The 5 Top-Rated Dog Nail Grinders for 2021
#1: Best Nail Grinder For Dogs – Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V Cordless Pet Nail Grinding Tool
This is the best dremel dog nail grinder on the market since it is actually made by Dremel, a brand so renowned for quality grinding tools that many copy-cat products continue to call themselves dremel tools. This pet nail groomer can serve as a dog nail grinder or painlessly wear down the nails on other pets in the family. It has two different speeds, so you can choose the one that works best for that particular situation. The 60 grit sanding paper won’t hurt your pet in any way.
This pet nail grinder is easy for the owner to use, as well. The process for changing out sandpaper or rotary tools is straightforward. The rechargeable batteries are not hard to remove and replace. This pet nail groomer works with the model 755-01 Dremel battery, so you can use the same battery in this pet nail groomer as you use with your artistic dremel tools. Better yet, this pet nail grinder comes with a battery recharging station, so you can recharge the battery that comes with it and other compatible Dremel batteries. You need this feature since the battery takes around three hours to recharge.
The downsides of this model include going slow and being noisy. While you can’t hurt your pet, you’ll be sitting there for a while. And you’ll have to keep the pet entertained or take frequent breaks for them to sit there the whole time.
#2: Best for Small Pets – Hertzko Electric Pet Nail Grinder
The Hertzko brand pet nail grinder is made for all small pets. It is equally suitable for grinding down your small dog’s nails as your cat’s nails. It has three openings for putting your pet’s nails in. This allows you to grind down the nail without possibly going too far. This pet nail grinder is notable for having a USB charging cable. You can power it from your laptop battery or recharge it via your computer’s USB port. This model is one of the quietest on the market. It put out bothersome noise while it works.
A side benefit of the model is how small and lightweight it is. You can literally take it with you and use as necessary. The diamond-covered grinding wheel doesn’t really require maintenance. One downside of Hertzko Electric Pet Nail Grinder is how slow it goes. For longer nails and larger dogs, you’ll have to spend ten minutes working on a single nail. It can’t get through a bulldog’s hard nails before the battery dies. This model is best for small dogs. The battery in the nail grinder for dogs has to be recharged frequently. It may let you finish with a single dog before the battery dies.
#3: Noiseless Dog Nail Grinder – URPOWER Rechargeable Pet Nail Grinder
This is one of the cheapest grinders on our list. However, it can be used with cats, as well. This dog nail grinder comes with a USB charging cable. The battery needs just two hours to recharge. Better yet, it can run for up to three hours. The unit comes with a USB charging cable. One downside of this model is that the battery won’t hold the charge after extended usage, so don’t expect it to more than a year. This can turn the Urpower pet nail grinder into a corded version when you’re trying to take care of hard nails on a large dog or do all your pets in one sitting.
The Urpower dog nail grinder is incredibly quiet. The motor doesn’t make the high-pitched whine that can scare away dogs. You can choose from three different ports to put the dog’s nail in while it works. That means the dogs won’t see a spinning grinder wheel and try to fight it or play with it. The unit is easy to clean. Pop off the protective cover and wipe it down with a cloth. You could even use a pencil eraser to remove the nail debris and grinding powder. The unit may have a niche for large dog’s nails, but it is really only suitable for small to mid-sized dogs.
We’d recommend it only for owners of small dogs since it can take a long time to work. Look at our other recommendations for a large dog grinder. However, this unit is a great grinder with guard protection, making it a great choice if you’re afraid of hurting your dog again while trimming their nails.
#4: Best Nail Grinder For Large Dogs – OSTER Dog Nail Grinder
The Oster brand gentle paws “less stress” pet nail grinder is compact yet quiet. Its flexible guard allows you to customize the settings for each situation, making it suitable for small puppies and large dogs. This allows you to avoid buying a pedi paws pet nail grinder you can only use on puppies. This pet nail grinder works on all breeds. The dual-speed option allows you to choose the speed that works best for you at that moment. The built-in guard ensures that you can’t accidentally rub the nail the wrong way or go too far.
The nail filing bands available with the unit range from fine to coarse, so you don’t have to wait forever for it to finish on a large dog’s hard nails. However, it is best used on smaller dogs, because it can take a long time with larger animals. Replacement bands are cheap and readily available. Replacing the worn-out parts is not as easy, but it is possible. This means the nail grinder can replace your dog nail file, but for the sake of simplicity, you’ll want to grind their nails down first, then come back and polish them. The Oster brand nail grinder is truly cordless, powered by rechargeable batteries. However, there are cases where the battery that comes with it doesn’t even work. Worse yet, customer service rarely provides a replacement. In short, if it is bad out of the box, you’ve wasted your money.
#5: Smooth Tool – ConairPRO Dog Nail Grinder
Conair is best known for their human beauty products like hair dryers, but they make pet care products, too. The ConairPro is a professional dog nail grinder. It is ergonomic and lightweight and simple to use. It works with nearly every pet but can handle the hard nails of large dog breeds. For very large dogs, you may want to speed things up by cutting off the tips and then grinding the rest of the nail off with the Conair Pro. This is one of the best dog toe nail grinders.
If things do take a while, the unit’s motor will not overheat, and it won’t irritate your dog’s nails, either. This work is made easier by the plug-and-play stone and sander attachments. Swap out parts to get the right one for the task at hand. Better yet, it comes with several extra grinding stones and bands. One downside of the model is the noise it generates. This model will bother sensitive dogs. It vibrates quite a bit, too, especially on large, hard pet nails. In these cases, you’ll need to take breaks even if you switch to the harder grinding pads.
How to Select the Best Dog Nail Grinder for Your Pet?
One factor to consider is the size of your dog. You’ll want to use a smaller dog nail grinder for a small breed than a larger one. This should be your first priority since a cheap nail grinder for dogs that don’t fit your pet will be hard to use and more likely to hurt them.
A small dog nail grinder on a large pet will waste your time because it takes so long to get things done. You should also take your desires into account. Price is one consideration. So is the ease of use.
How easy is it to use the dog nail grinder? Equally important, how hard is it to replace worn-down pads and batteries? Or do you intend to replace the nail grinder when it is used up? The best dog nail grinders come with a variety of grit bands and/or grinding stones so that you can get a lot of use out of them.
Your dog’s comfort should be a consideration, too. Models that produce less vibration are less likely to disturb your pet or cause discomfort. Quieter models are less likely to scare the dog, though quiet doesn’t always equal low vibration. Low-vibration nail grinders have the side benefit of not causing ergonomic problems for the pet’s owner.
Dog Nail Grinding Tips & Tricks
If you’ve accidentally hit the quick a couple of times while trimming your dog’s nails, your dog is almost certainly going to be afraid when you try to trim them again.
One way to get past their fear is to change the routine when you bring in the nail grinder. Sit somewhere else when you only use the grinder on their nails. Give them lots of positive attention and praise. Make the nail grinding process an interesting, relaxing experience.
Then they won’t be afraid of nail grinding the way they are terrified the moment you get the nail clippers out. That’s a point in favor of grinders in the dog nail grinder vs clipper debate. Always give your dog treats when the job is done so that they are more willing to undergo the process in the future.
Clip the hair of long-haired breeds out of the way before you trim or grind the dog’s nails. This makes it easier to work on the nails. It ensures you don’t accidentally clip their skin when trimming, and the shorter hair on the paws prevents that from getting caught in the nail grinder. This is less of an issue when you buy a pet nail grinder with a guard that only allows the nail near the dremel nail grinder.
Make your life easier by grinding their nails regularly. When you grind their nails every week or two, the entire process is far faster. You’ll spend a few minutes doing it instead of turning it into a two-hour chore per pet.
The nail grinder dog owners appreciate most is one that can grow with their pet. Then you can use the same nail grinder throughout the pet’s life. Your dog will be used to it, so they won’t react badly when you turn it on.
In these cases, you want to buy a dog nail grinder that is capable of grinding down the puppy’s nails even when they’re a mid to large-sized dog. Try to acclimate the puppy to the nail grinder as soon as possible.
Then grind their nails every two to four weeks even if just a little so that they remain familiar with it. If you own both dogs and cats, you could save money by buying the best pet nail grinder that can be used with your cats, too.
Grinding Your Dog’s Nails – A Step By Step Guide
Before you get started, make sure the battery for the nail grinder is fully charged. You don’t want to have the nail grinder cut out halfway. Get your dog comfortable. Let them sit or lay down where they would be happy to be for half an hour. Give them several toys to chew on so that they are distracted from the grooming process. Trim the hair on the dog’s paws back if necessary. Then you can begin grinding their nails.
Watch Video: Learn With A Vet How to Use Dog Nail Grinder
Start by grinding across the bottom of the nail. This creates a smooth flat top that will wear away evenly as you move up the nail. Do not push the grinder against the nail. This will increase the vibration level, making it uncomfortable for your dog. Work your way up one side of the nail and then the other. The goal is to remove the sharp tip.
However, you don’t want to grind the nail down to the quick. That hurts your pet. Nor do you want sharp edges on the ground-down nail. This is why you want to polish off the edges of the dog’s nail before moving to the next one.
You may want to switch to a finer pad for polishing the nails than the rougher one for grinding off the main body of the nails. Take periodic breaks. Let your dog stand up and play. This will make the task less boring for them and more willing to cooperate as you finish the job. It also gives you the opportunity to check the length of the nails. Note which nails need a little more grinding.
A side benefit of these breaks is that it gives the grinder motor time to cool off. In fact, the dog’s nails may need to cool off, too. This is especially true for dogs with large, thick nails. When you’re done grinding your dog’s nails, clean the unit per the instructions that came with it. Then recharge the batteries if applicable.
The FAQ on Dog Nail Grinding
1. How long should dog nails be?
A dog’s nails should be short enough that they don’t touch the ground when the dog is standing up. Just don’t cut them so short that you cut off blood to the nail, or worse, actually draw blood. That puts your dog at risk for infections on their paws.
2. Do long nails hurt dogs?
Long nails can hurt the dog in a variety of ways. First, it interferes with the traction they get on slippery floors and terrain. Now your dog is more likely to slip and fall when running on wood floors. Long nails can literally hurt your dog, too, because they cut themselves with the long nails while scratching themselves.
Long nails may hurt the dog when they walk, too, because the force of each footfall travels up the nails to the leg instead of being evenly distributed across the paw. Let the nails get too long, and they curl and grow into the dog’s paw. That’s as painful as an ingrown toenail in a human. This issue is worse for de-clawed dogs.
3. How often should you grind your dog’s nails?
Most dogs need to have their nails trimmed every 4 to 8 weeks. If you are grinding the nails, it may be every couple of weeks. How do you know if it is time to trim or grind your dog’s nails? It is time to grind the nails when you hear them clicking on the floor or ground as the dog walks. Note that the nails on the dog’s front paws tend to grow faster than the back ones, so they’ll likely require more frequent grinding.
4. Are pet nail grinders difficult to use?
When babies are learning to walk, their leg muscles play a large role. Using baby push walkers can help to speed up their development. Although, we don’t recommend solely relying on these baby walkers to teach your child how to walk.
5. Do baby push walkers delay walking?
This depends on the nail grinder you buy and the dog. Some dogs are made nervous by the sounds of the nail grinder. You can reduce that by giving them positive attention while the grinder is on and giving them treats after you use it. Nail grinders can stress the nail and even break it if used too long, so take breaks while using it. A side benefit of this is that you can play with the dog and lessen their anxiety.
6. Do dogs bite their nails?
Dogs may chew on their nails out of boredom or anxiety. However, they should never do this regularly. Note that a dog licking their paws may be part of grooming, but they shouldn’t be constantly licking their paws, either. Chronic nail biting or licking may indicate a fungal infection under the nails or another form of irritation. The solution is trimming the nails, and then if necessary, having the issue treated by a veterinarian.
Nail grinding should be considered as important to your dog’s health and well-being as bathing and flea treatments. Your dog’s nails affect everything from their comfort to their ability to run and play freely. Invest in the right tools for the task, and grind their nails regularly.
If you are unsure which tool to choose, you can get any one of the dog nail grinders recommended above.