best dog nail grinder

A dog nail grinder can be defined as a grooming tool that has been specifically designed to be an alternative solution for cutting your dog’s nails.

This is actually a great solution as dogs are not really fond of nail clippers. That being said, the best nail grinder will be a perfect pick for your dog.

What is a dog nail grinder and the benefits of using it?

A dog nail grinder is a small handy tool used to trim your dog’s nails. Trimming your dog’s nails should become your routine, as it saves your pooch from injuries and health issues caused by irregular posture.

Unlike the traditional nail clipper, usage of the nail grinder is pretty easy and much less traumatic for your pooch. Also, the grinder is much safer for the dog’s quick. The quick is the live part of your dog’s nail, and it consists of nerves and blood vessels.

Also, the quick is the part of the nail that will cause pain to your dog, if damaged by unskilled grinding. Through this article, we will provide you with all the essential information that will help you choose the right tool and groom your dog without any accidents.

What is a dog nail grinder and the benefits of using it

How does it work

A dog nail grinder is usually a small machine, that resembles human nose hair trimmers by shape and size. But all the similarities end there. A nail grinder has a small rotating engine in its case and a grinding attachment (usually made from sandpaper) on the top.

You just start the grinder up and you may begin to gently grind your dog’s overgrown nails. It is a simple and pet-safe procedure, as long as you follow the rules.

Types of nail grinders

Before making the decision of buying the new set of dog nail grinders, you should write down a few questions for yourself. How many dogs do you have? Are you a grooming expert or just starting a career? What amount of time do you think is necessary to grind your dog’s nails?

The basic division of the grinders is on the corded ones and the uncorded ones. Both have their pros and cons, so let’s get started.

Corded dog nail grinders

Corded nail grinders have the advantage that they can never run out of the power and that is important if you are in the middle of the grinding process.

Also, they are always a bit cheaper than the uncorded ones. The downside is that your moves are limited by the length of the cord, and the corded grinders are more prone to cord damage because of all that twitching and twirling.

Cordless dog nail grinders

With the cordless dog nail grinder, you have the full freedom of movement, so you can grind your dog’s nails without worry about those pesky wires…until you run out of the battery.

Most batteries in the cordless dog nail grinder last up to 3 hours, although some brands claim their batteries are even more durable. The best thing would be to buy a couple of batteries so you can easily replace them if they ran out of power in the middle of the grinding process.

Also, you will pay an extra few coins for that movement freedom and the extra amount of batteries.

Dog Nail Grinder (Dremel) vs Dog Nail Clippers

Most of the expert agrees that the dog nail grinder is simpler, faster and more precise solution, unlike the dog nail clippers. Although we cannot deny the familiar approach of the classic dog nail clippers, they have become a bit archaic.

Not to mention you have to be extremely careful when using the clippers, because one wrong estimation is enough to hurt your pet’s nails, damage the quick, rupture them or break them.

However, with the nail grinder, you will not have that kind of issues, just remember to take your time and always grind at 45 degrees angle, and your dog will get nails with a smooth ending, unlike the sharp cuts that clippers leave.

Dull nail clippers can cause real pain to your pet, and they are pretty hard to sharpen.

The simple truth is, if you are searching for a tool to use, the dog nail grinder is the better choice, particularly if you are not too experienced with trimming your dog’s nail.

How To Choose The Best Dog Nail Grinder (Dremel)

What makes a great dog nail grinder

If you want to purchase a really great piece of equipment for your dog’s well being, you must pay attention to even the smallest details. Here is a list of things you must take into consideration.

Easiness of use

Grinding your dog’s nail should be an easy and quick process, that should last much shorter than the clipping the nails. That’s why you need a grinder with the ergonomic handle and anti-slip protection.

The grinder should never be too heavy, as it will spend a lot of time in your hands. Also, all the components should be easy to replace, and if you go for the cordless type, batteries should be easily changeable and affordable.

The strength of the grit and grinder power

Ask your veterinarian about your dog’s nail texture and hardness, and get yourself a grinder with changeable speed. If you use too little force, you will accomplish nothing, but overusing the grit strength might damage your pet’s nails, as the dog nail grinder can easily overheat from excess use.

If you are in a need for a stronger nail grinder, we recommend using the wired one, as it can work almost endless. Even a cordless could do, but pick a stronger model and prepare yourself for frequent change and charge of batteries.

Battery life

As we mentioned before, the battery in the dog nail grinder should last at least three hours, and more would be nice. You must be aware that battery life is shortened with every use and charge.

The non-rechargeable batteries aren’t quite eco-friendly and will cost you more in the long run. Fortunately, there is a wide choice of rechargeable batteries, and some brands even offer to charge via USB.

Grinding bit durability

The grinding bit is the part that actually spins and grinds your dog’s nails. Softer bits made from sandpaper are less durable but more precise and mostly used for meeker nails and the finishing touch.

The bits can be also made from stone or stainless steel, that offer high durability but a little less precision. The best choice would be for you to get a dog nail grinder with changeable grinding bits, so you can always pick the one that suits your needs the most.

Noise and vibration

A great dog nail grinder should not produce any higher level of noise or vibration while working normally. The sound of the engine working may upset your dog and any harder vibrations might cause the grinder to shake and damage the nail in the process

Additional features

The more additional features the grinder has, the better. Rotation speed control is a must, and you can choose from a variety of others, like built-in light, safety grind covers for ease of use, anti-slip design, USB-chargeable batteries and much, much more.

Does spending more means more quality?

To be honest, a great dog nail grinder doesn’t cost a fortune, it is mostly the financial equivalent of average dinner for two, or even less.  But that doesn’t mean you should be careless with your money.

Of course, top brands and sellers will always cost a bit more, but the quality of production and top materials used in one will guarantee you that you really got what you paid for. The most inexpensive item is the one that doesn’t serve its purpose or breaks after a few uses.

How to grind your dog’s nails? A step by step guide

How to grind your dog’s nails (step by step guide)

  1. Pick a comfortable place in the house where your pooch feels safe. Surround that place with his favorite toys and prepare a dog nail grinder and some first aid if anything goes wrong
  2. Arm yourself with patience and treats. Don’t use the usual treats, rather bring on the good stuff, like pork chops, peanut butter, cheese or bacon. Grinding the nails can be a very stressful situation for your dog so make sure the reward is appropriate.
  3. If you have a long-haired dog, band the hair around the paws, so it cannot possibly get stuck in the moving part of the grinder
  4. Turn the grinder on and watch your dog’s reaction. If you trained him well, you have no reason to worry, but if he is terrified at the very sight, give him some more time and a treat.
  5. Reach for his paw, as you should if you want him to perform a simple handshake trick
  6. While gently holding the paw, bring the nail grinder close to it, while calming your pet
  7. Try to grind his nails for a few seconds and stop if he is resisting. If he is okay with it, continue.
  8. If the process is successful, bribe your dog some more and tell him what a good boy he is
  9. Repeat the process with the other paws
  10. Remember, little bribing goes a long way

Dos and Don’ts To Do With a Dog Nail Grinder


  • Get yourself a quality brand of grinder
  • Take as much time as your dog needs, as the whole process is pretty stressful to him
  • Seek help from the professional groomer or a veterinarian if you don’t succeed at grooming
  • Reward your dog with a decent amount of treats for every successful step


  • Never buy an unchecked brand of the nail grinder, as you might put your dog in danger, or even cause an electrical discharge
  • Don’t try to hurry the process. If you don’t have enough time for the proper nail grinding, postpone it to some other day
  • Don’t leave your dog ungroomed if you fail at the nail grinding. Take him to a vet or a grooming salon
  • Never, ever yell at your dog if he is disobedient. Understand that he doesn’t know what is going on, and the yelling will just link the grinding with trauma in his mind

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I grind my dog’s nails?

The usual period of time is one or two months but it really depends on your dog. If you can clearly hear your dog approaching with the horseshoe sounds, perhaps it is time for some nail grinding.

Some dogs have slower nail growth while others seem to overgrow their nails over the night.

What to do if things go wrong while grinding?

If something goes wrong in the process of grinding, the best thing to do is to stop and inspect the damage.

You should call the veterinarian if you suspect anything more than a scratch. Also, your pet could develop a trauma so it is really important to try to calm him.

How to keep your dog calm while using a professional dog nail grinder?

The first thing you should have done is getting your dog used to the sound of the nail grinder. The easiest part would be if you have done it while your dog was just a puppy, but it’s never too late.

As always, patience and treats. Ask someone to help you in the process and pick a person who your dog trusts.

Can I use a human nail grinder on the dog’s nails?

Although it may seem like a good idea, you must remember that human and dog’s nails aren’t quite the same. There are significant differences in the density, shape and structure of the nails.

In the best case, you won’t accomplish anything, and in the worst case, you might end up hurting your dog. The equipment specialized for dogs is here for the reason.

How do I trim my dog’s black nails safely with the professional dog nail grinder?

The trick is to find the pulp. The pulp is a part of the dog’s nail located just before the quick. With dogs that have other nail colors, the task is pretty easy.

But with the black nails, you will have to take small grinding steps so you can stop after you reach the pulp. Unfortunately, the pulp is also black, but when you grind the first layer of it, a circular cross-section will appear. So, baby steps and precision.

Short conclusion

Grinding your dog’s nails, as insignificant it sometimes may seem, is an important part of the grooming process. Your dog will be grateful and healthy, and won’t accidentally tear your furniture or hurt himself. All it takes is a bit of patience and a great dog nail grinder.

Photos from: makidotvn /, oneinchpunch /, willeecole /

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Big pet lover and a dog training and behavior expert who loves to share his knowledge and experience. Happy owner of two amazing dogs Labrador Bela and Jack Russell Terrier Piksi and one cuddly cat Tom.