How to Clip a Dog's Nails Without Clippers

By Danielle Kaheaku

An important part of your dog’s health care involves the proper maintenance of its 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, using a Dremel tool to clip your dog's nail is a safe and effective alternative.

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. Dremel tools also reduce split nails and prevent sharp nails that can scratch flooring or playmates.

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

Show your dog the Dremel tool. Turn it on so that it 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.

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.