Available in smaller and larger sizes. Premium stainless steel. Ergonomic design. Durable construction. Reliably provides a quick and clean cut. Safety stop prevents injuries.
If you buy the wrong size for your dog, you may not appreciate this nail trimmer.
Comfortable textured and rubberized grip. Extremely sharp stainless steel. Adjustable guide for precise cuts. Built-in safety lock. Sturdy design. Also works on cats.
Not for dogs much larger than a Yorkie.
This pro-grade feature set includes steel blades in your choice of two sizes. They are inexpensive yet sharp and precise.
The limited number of sizes may not suit all dog owners.
Comfortable rubber handle. Precise stainless steel blades. Slices through large dog nails with little effort. Rugged design.
Inexperienced users may pinch their hand in the handle if they aren’t careful.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Just like humans, dogs need to have their nails trimmed regularly to prevent them from growing too long. To do this at home, you'll need to buy a pair of dog nail clippers. You should know a little about canine nail clippers in order to find the best ones. In addition, you must learn how to trim your dog's nails without hurting or distressing it.
Some pet parents worry about taking a DIY approach to clipping their dog's nails. Whether you do the job yourself or have it done by the vet or a groomer is your choice.
Unless you have an extremely nervous dog, you will likely find it fairly easy to clip your pup's nails.
Just be sure to get your dog used to the process gradually, and don’t cut his nails too short.
Scissor-style clippers are sometimes known as "miller's forge" or just "forge" clippers. They feature two blades that close on either side of the nail like a pair of scissors. Small pairs occasionally feature round scissor-like handles, but most have straight handles.
Popular and readily available, these are easy to control and better than guillotine nail clippers for dogs with thick nails.
Although these are less likely to cause discomfort to dogs with thick nails than guillotine clippers, you still need to exert a lot of force, and the pressure can feel uncomfortable.
These cost between $5 and $20, depending on size and strength.
Guillotine dog nail clippers feature a hole that you poke your dog's nail through and a single blade that comes down when you press on the handle, cutting through the nail.
These are easy to use and good for small- and medium-size dogs. The blade can be replaced when it gets dull.
The clippers may crush the nail rather than cut it if the nail is too thick or the blade isn't sharp enough, which can be uncomfortable for the dog.
These cost about $5 to $25.
Dog nail grinders are essentially a small sanding tool designed to file down rather than cut your four-legged friend's nails. They range from the basic to the very heavy-duty. They may either have a cord or be battery powered.
These are ideal for dogs with very hard or thick nails that are difficult to trim. Some dogs who won't tolerate nail clippers are happy to have their nails ground down.
It can take some training and desensitization to get your dog used to the sound and vibration of a nail grinder.
These cost between $15 and $40.
The best blade material for dog nail clippers is stainless steel because it's strong, doesn't rust, and tends to stay sharp for a decent amount of time.
While some models are completely made of metal, most have plastic handles.
Plastic handles are fine as long as the plastic is heavy-duty and not flimsy. Weaker plastic handles could break if you exert a lot of pressure on them.
Some dog nail clippers are considerably stronger than others. Selecting a strong pair of clippers is particularly important if you have a large dog with thick nails. If your clippers aren't strong enough, they just won't cut it – literally and figuratively. Look for a pair with thick, sturdy blades and strong handles.
Sharp blades create a smooth result free of jagged edges, but more importantly, they make the nail-cutting experience more comfortable for your canine companion. If the blades aren't sharp enough, they won't cut cleanly through the nail. Dull blades, when you squeeze the handles together, will crush the nail, which in turn exerts pressure on the quick, causing your dog discomfort.
Depending on the type of clippers you choose, you may find a range of useful safety features.
Scissor-style clippers often have a safety catch to keep the blades together when they’re not in use. This makes you less likely to accidentally cut yourself on the blades when carrying them around or looking for them.
Both guillotine and scissor-style nail clippers may have a safety guard, a bit of metal that sits opposite the blades to stop you from cutting too much off your dog's nail at once.
Some nail grinders have a safety lock that prevents the unit from grinding while it's on. This can be useful so that you don't accidentally start the tool while you're setting up, which could startle your dog.
Consider your dog's size when selecting nail clippers. A large dog will require heavy-duty clippers with strong, sharp blades, while a small dog will need a daintier pair.
Take a good look at your dog's paws when trimming the nails. Use this time as an opportunity to check for any lumps, bumps, cuts, or scrapes on your dog's paws.
Make sure you know what you're doing. If this is your first time cutting your dog's nails, watch some videos online to learn the right technique or asking your dog's veterinarian for tips.
Don't be afraid to go slowly. If your dog isn't used to having his nails trimmed, it's okay to trim the nails on one paw one day, another paw the next day, and so on, so you don't overwhelm him. For dogs who really object to the experience, you can even trim one nail a day at first.
Rubberized grips are a nice feature to have because they make the clippers more comfortable to hold and use. You’re less likely to lose your grip while using them, which means you’re less likely to cut the nails too short.
Q. When should I start clipping my dog's nails?
A. Start to trim your dog's nails as soon as possible (once it's settled in, of course), even if there's only a small amount to trim. The sooner he gets used to having his nails clipped, the less of a struggle it will be in the future. Take things slowly at first, and make sure you give him lots of praise and treats after each nail so that he learns having his nails done can be a pleasurable experience.
Q. How often should I clip my dog's nails?
A. That depends on a range of factors, including how quickly the nails grow and how much exercise your dog gets (activity helps to wear down the nails naturally). Many people find that their dog's nails need trimming about once a month, but your schedule may vary.
Q. My dog has dark nails. How can I tell where the quick is?
A. If your dog has clear nails, you can easily see where the quick is (it's the pink-looking part), but if your dog has dark nails, you're essentially going in blind. The only thing you can do is trim a tiny amount off the nail each time, looking at the end of your dog's nail after every cut. When you see a little black circle emerge in the center of the nail, you're approaching the quick and should stop trimming.