Rechargeable via USB, this dog nail grinder features a diamond bit. Two speed settings allow greater grooming control. More powerful and quieter than most cordless models. Fits the hand nicely.
Grinding down nails is time-consuming unless you trim them first. Some dogs hate the sound.
Has a quiet operation ideal for nervous dogs. A lightweight design with a generous cord is comfortable to handle. Grinder attachments are easy to change.
Only one speed setting. Some owners felt it was a bit underpowered for large breeds with thick nails.
Small, light, and easy to handle nail grinding tool that's value-priced and super quiet. Pro tip: trim very long nails before grinding to save time.
Needs recharging after every use. Battery life only lasts long enough to do 4 paws on a small dog.
Dual-speed operation. The tool is lightweight and easy to maneuver. The motor isn't overly noisy, so it's not likely to scare most dogs. Easy to use despite the confusing instructions.
A bit underpowered when it comes to grinding large, thick nails. Battery life is fairly short per charge.
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If your dog has thick, dark nails or is less than fond of nail clippers, you know the pain of trying to keep them nicely trimmed. But, with the help of a dog nail grinders, your canine companion can be well-manicured without the fuss. These are basically electronic nail files, which buff the nail down.
Now all you need to do is decide which nail grinder is right for your dog. This can be easier said than done, especially if you know very little about dog nail grinders. The great news for you is that we've done the research so your choice will be easier.
Not only can you check out our top five dog nail grinders, you can read our full guide to these products to learn everything you need to know about this special tool for dog owners.
The obvious first choice for trimming your dog's nails are clippers, but nail grinders have a range of advantages.
When you use clippers, it's possible to cut too much off and cut into the "quick" where the nerves and blood vessels are, which will hurt your dog. With a nail grinder, you grind the nail down gradually, so it's hard to go too far.
If your dog has opaque nails, you can't see where the quick is, so you may feel more confident using a dog nail grinder.
Some dogs are nervous about having their nails clipped (often due to a bad experience in the past), but they might be happy to have their nails ground, if you start slowly and carefully.
Large dogs have thick nails that can be hard to cut through with nail clippers.
Nail grinders are much easier to use than nail clippers if you have limited grip strength.
Corded vs. cordless
Some dog nail grinders must be plugged into a power outlet during use, but others are cordless, either powered by standard batteries or a built-in rechargeable battery. Although corded models tend to be more powerful, cordless models allow you to grind your dog's nails anywhere and are better for nervous dogs who might get freaked out by the power cord. What's more, high-end cordless models are getting ever more powerful and now approach the clout of corded options.
Not all dog nail grinders make an equal amount of noise. Some are fairly quiet, whereas others are quite loud. Although there are dogs who don't mind noisy nail grinders, others are frightened by any models that are too loud. You know your dog best, but we'd generally recommend looking for a nail grinder that's as quiet as possible.
Dog nail grinders with a faster grinding speed wear down the nail more quickly, but give you less control. Models with a slower grinding speed are easier to control but take longer to grind down each nail. The best dog nail grinders have two-speed motors, so you can start quickly to grind down the bulk of the nail then switch to the slower mode as you approach the quick to minimize the chance of wearing your dog's nails down too far, which could cause some pain and bleeding.
The grinding bit is the part of the dog nail grinder that you use to grind your dog's nail. It's also sometimes called a grinding drum. Dog nail grinders either have diamond bits (which are made from stainless steel, not diamonds) or use sanding bands that go around the bit. As a rule, those with diamond bits are more effective, but those that use high-quality sanding bands are good, too. The benefits of diamond bits are that they tend to last far longer and they can be removed and washed or sanitized.
A large number of dog nail grinders have a grinder cover which fits over the grinding bit. This cover is designed to direct how you grind your dog's nails so you don't come at them from the wrong angle. As such, they're great for newbies to the world of dog nail grinding who might not be comfortable using a grinder without some assistance. The grinder cover may have a couple of openings of different sizes for tackling larger and smaller nails.
Dog nail grinders are very reasonably priced, considering how often you will use them. However, we recommend going to the higher end of the price spectrum, if you have the budget for it. Basic dog nail grinders start at about $15 to $20. These don't tend to be the best quality and are unlikely to be sufficient for dogs with thick, tough nails. Mid-range dog nail grinders cost around $20 to $30. You can find some excellent models in this price range, especially at the top of the price range. High-end professional-level dog nail trimmers are priced between $30 and $40 and are suitable for even the thickest canine nails.
Learn how to properly grind your dog's nails before you get started. This isn't something you should attempt with no preparation and hope for the best, because you could do it wrong and/or hurt your dog's nails. Watch an instructional video by a veterinarian or accredited dog care expert before your first attempt.
Check the grit of the sanding band. Those with a coarser grit grind nails down quickly, but can be too coarse for small dogs with finer nails. Choose the correct grit for the job.
Consider whether you want a model with an auto-stop safety setting. This can help prevent you grinding your dog's nails down too far, but some are over-sensitive and stop long before you need them to.
Q. How can I acclimate my dog to a nail grinder?
A. You should never attempt to start grinding your dog's nails right away if they're not used to it. Gradual acclimation is the name of the game. Start by simply showing your dog the nail grinder and giving them some treats while you do so. Next, touch the grinder to their nails, without switching it on, and give more treats and praise. That's enough for day one. If they seem fairly relaxed around the nail grinder, the next time you get it out, grind just one nail for a couple of seconds, give lots of treats and praise, and put the grinder away. Each day, build up the amount of time you grind your dog's nails for, giving ample treats each time, until they're happy for you to grind all their nails in one sitting. Never force it or rush.
Q. Are dog nail grinders safe?
A. As with any method for making your dog's nails shorter, there's a slight chance you could nick the quick and cause some bleeding and discomfort. That said, since nail grinding is a gradual process, you're less likely to do so than you are with dog nail clippers.
Q. Will using a nail grinder hurt my dog?
A. As long as you don't hit the quick, using a nail grinder is painless as there are no nerves in the dead parts of your dog's nails. It's the equivalent of using a nail file on your fingernails. However, some dogs aren't keen on the vibrations caused by nail grinders.
Q. Can I use a dog nail grinder on other pets?
A. We don’t recommend it, as other pets’ nails, such as cats and guinea pigs, are smaller and thinner. Consult your veterinarian or only use nail grooming products designed for the specific animal you will use them on.