How to Clip a Dog's Nails Without Clippers

Cuteness may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

An important part of your dog's health care involves the proper maintenance of their nails. Without proper care, a dog's nails can cause discomfort and even lead to medical problems down the road. However, many owners find the traditional means of clipping their dogs' nails challenging at best. Dogs often hate the process and will struggle, leading to potentially painful results. Fortunately, there are other options.

An important part of your dog’s health care involves the proper maintenance of their nails.
Image Credit: alexsokolov/iStock/GettyImages

One of the best tools to cut dog nails is a Dremel tool. This tool is a safe and effective alternative to clippers. Using clippers or a Dremel tool on your dog's nails is a process of acquainting your pet with the tool and the process. Let them become comfortable at their own pace.

The smaller your dog, the smaller the Dremel tool should be. While any size can work, if purchasing one for this purpose, go with smaller models or commercial pet nail Dremels designed specifically for the purpose. Dremel tools also reduce split nails and prevent sharp nails that can scratch flooring or playmates.

Advertisement

Choose the Best Tool to Cut Dog Nails

Choose your Dremel tool. These can be smaller, standard Dremel tools or a commercial pet nail grooming Dremel tool developed especially for this purpose. The advantage of the Dremel tool is that while your dog may be frightened or uncomfortable with it — at least at first — you cannot accidentally damage your dog's nails or cut into the quicks to cause bleeding.

Help Your Dog Relax

Get your dog relaxed and comfortable before starting so that they will have the greatest chance of remaining calm during the process. A good time to work on acclimatizing your dog to the Dremel tool is shortly after a period of physical exercise. The more tired your dog is, the more likely they are to remain prone while you clip their nails with the tool.

Advertisement

Get Your Dog Acquainted with the Tool

Show your dog the Dremel tool. Turn it on so that your pup hears the noise and sees the tool clearly prior to beginning the process. This will help ensure that your dog will not be surprised or startled when you start. Acclimating your pet to the tool is a process that may take some time. But it is important to do this because it helps your dog become accustomed to the Dremel tool, ensuring that the process is ultimately a pleasant one for both of you.

Use a Manual Dog Nail File If Needed

Get your dog acquainted with the tool.
Image Credit: Chalabala/iStock/GettyImages

Take your dog's paw in your hand as securely as possible and gently apply the Dremel tool to each nail, sanding in a circular motion around the tips of the nails. If your dog pulls away, simply wait a moment and try again. Follow this procedure for the nails on each paw. Be careful because you can grind your pet's nails too far and into the quick if you grind too long.

Advertisement

Perform this process regularly and focus on the tips of the nail only while doing so. The point is to keep the new growth edged back so that the nails don't begin curling inward.

If there are any sharp edges left on your dog's nails, you can use a manual dog nail file to smooth down your pup's nails. After you're all finished, be sure to give your dog a treat. Avoid coming in contact with the pads of your dog's paws as much as possible. While the Dremel will not cut pads on contact, holding it against them will be abrasive to the skin and could lead to bleeding.

Advertisement

If your dog has long fur around its feet, you will also want to make sure to avoid it as much as possible. While the end of the tool will not tangle or pull fur, if fur gets caught in the higher assembly, it could get entangled.

Advertisement

references