How to Pick Dog Nail Clippers

You may love coming home to hear your dog’s feet “tap, tap, tapping” on the linoleum floor as he does his “happy to see ya” dance. But what that sound actually indicates is that your pup is in need of a nail clipping. This often-ignored grooming task is important for preventing pain and eventual injury in your dog.

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Picking out nail clippers for dogs can be confusing because several different varieties are available. Here is a breakdown of the types of clippers and which works best for each dog.

Some people live by the motto “bigger is better,” and it extends to their dogs too. There are many large dog breeds, each with different care and training needs. Most large dog breeds were bred for a purpose or function. Some breeds were meant to be hunters, others guard dogs. Dogs with great endurance brought livestock or produce to market or protected the farmer’s animals. Knowing the dog’s original purpose can be very important in determining the amount of exercise a dog will need. Large dog breeds that were bred to work all day will need daily activity to work off their energy. 

Scissor Clippers 

Also called Miller’s Forge Trimmers, this type of dog nail clippers continue reading works like scissors and is preferable for large dogs, whose bigger, thicker nails need the extra force the construction of these clippers provide. Safari and JW Pet are two examples of brands in this style.

Guillotine Clippers 

These clippers work, as the name suggests, like a guillotine. Simply stick the end of your dog’s nail in the hole and squeeze. A blade is lowered, gently slicing off the end of the nail. Guillotine clippers, like those by Four Paws, are best for small- to medium-sized dogs.

Grinder Tools

Pedi Paws might be the most well-known version of this type of tool, thanks to its television infomercials. It works by grinding down the nail instead of clipping, which can be helpful for large dogs with thick nails as well as dogs who hate the feeling of the clippers. Note: Training may be necessary to get your pet used to the vibrating sensation of this device, and the grinding process takes a bit longer than the clipping process, so patience (from you and your pet) is required.

Once you’ve got the right tool, use these tips to get your dog used to having his toenails clipped. Remember to offer treats and praise during the process to make it fun for your no-longer tap-dancing pup.