Updated: 20 February 2017
I definitely adore both Harley and Lilo but honestly, our family had a really difficult patch at the beginning bathing or clipping their nails. Most canines and cats do not like their nails to be trimmed (fact!) However, it is nonetheless still important to maintain their health to prevent infections. Luckily, there are specific clippers designed to make the whole process easier.
Designed to suit your pet’s needs, they’re the perfect help for clipping easily. For more grooming related information, check out our round up of the top grooming brushes.
Table of Contents
- Why You Should Pay Attention: Consequences of Long Nails
- Tips For Clipping Your Pet's Nails
- 10 Best Nail Clippers for Your Dog and Cat
- Types of Dog Nails Clippers
- Tips & Tricks (When Using Dog & Cat Nail Clippers)
- So How Often Should I Clip My Dog’s Nails?
- Being Patient: A Slow Transition
- Using Your Own Scissors?
- Health Risks of Long Nails
Why You Should Pay Attention: Consequences of Long Nails
- Painful walking for your pet. Long nails can cause a lot of pain and strain on your pet's feet! It causes pressure to be pushed up against your pet's nail bed. Be sure not to wait until your pet suffers from this because it will make the process even harder since it will be sore even to touch.
- Bad posture. Having long nails will cause your pet to adopt a bad posture to compensate for the strain and abnormal sense of balance.
My top recommendation. Value for money and great reviews overall. Different rotation speeds & 2 year warranty
Small & medium canines & cats.
Patented blade design so you can easily replace blade.
Ergonomic design & safety guard with 100% lifetime replacement guarantee.
Medium & Large canines
Comes with a safety lock and 100% lifetime warranty
Small to Large Canines
Safety stop to prevent overcutting.
All Canines, specifically medium-large
Great for canines. Specially designed by vets for error free use. Lifetime guarantee!
All canines breeds & sizes
Heavy duty with spring loaded action for easy use. Helps prevent overcutting with its safety stop.
Allows for clean cuts. Safe, ergonomic & easy to use
Comes with bonus file & safety guard. 100% money back guarantee
Tips For Clipping Your Pet's Nails
- Try to do it in natural light or a well lit room. It makes the process a lot easier when you can see clearly.
- Hold the blades in a way that it is almost parallel to your pet's nail.
- Make the process fun! Use rewards and lots of praises to make a positive association for your pet so they learn to not be afraid of it.
- As much as you think it would help, don't squeeze your pet's toes! It will hurt and increase the discomfort. Instead, use your own fingers to separate the respective toes and hold your pet's paw gently.
- How often do I need to do it? Well, if you need to shorten it, try cutting every single week. If you just need to maintain it and give it a little trim, do it every fortnight.
10 Best Nail Clippers for Your Dog and Cat
1. Dremel 7300-PT
My top pick out of the whole lot (especially for my dog), this rotary tool is a favorite among so many dog and cat owners and it’s not difficult to see why it’s the best dog nail clipper. The cordless design is convenient and allows for optimal control. This dog tool is specially designed to provide safe, quick, effective and certainly a less stressful alternative to traditional clipping.
With 4.8 volts of power and performance, Dremel does its job well and very effectively which makes it a lot easier with a squirmy cat or dog. Choose between 2 speeds (high or low) and recharge with the removable battery pack when needed.
Why I Like It:
- No tension of blades and cutting edges
- Easily replaceable sanding drums and band
- No cords attached, giving you maximum control
- Change the rotation speed as and when required
- Comes with a two year warranty and 3hour charger
Keep In Mind:
- Comparatively costlier than the regular ones (but absolutely worth the price in my books!)
- Be careful about the timing and speed; do not exceed 3 seconds per nail
2. Cutie Dog or Cat Clippers
With its high-quality stainless steel blades that offer one of the safest ways to trim the paws of your dog or cat, this nail clipper ensures a clean cut every time. The safety guard that comes with it saves you from unintentional overcutting. This dog nail clipper is one of the top ones you can find for your canine and the ease with which you can carry out the clipping process is amazing.
Why I like it:
- These can be used for both canines and cats
- It does not cut in deep; hence no bleeding or no pain
- Comes with a rather helpful & educational free how-to guide
- 100% lifetime replacement guarantee
Keep In Mind:
- Very sharp blade so remember to keep it out of reach for children
- The guard can be a little loose
3. Resco Original Deluxe
Another option for dogs is the Resco Original Deluxe. They were actually the original makers of the guillotine style trimmers back in 1937 and their products are all proudly made in the USA. With its easy cutting action, it is ideal for cutting small and medium nails for both cats and canines. The extra sharp cutting blade gives you a smooth experience in trimming, and its ergonomic design offers a tight grip. If you have other pets, you can even use it for trimming for your bird, bunnies and other small animals.
Why I Like It:
- Has a patented replaceable blade design so you can easily and cheaply replace the blade
- A very affordable option
- Lifetime warranty!
Keep In Mind:
- Can be a little sturdier and stronger
4. Epica Cat or Dog Nail Clippers
Widely touted as the #1 Professional brand of nail clippers, this is made with high quality stainless steel. Its blades offer a smooth and painless cutting experience and its durability helps prevent it from bending or rusting. Even after several usages, the sharpness is still well retained.
It is designed with correctly spaced blades that is perfect for medium and large canine breeds.What makes it so preferable among dog or cat owners and vets is its safety lock that locks the blade when not in use. Also, the rubber coated handles gives it a good grip and avoids any accidental slipping. The handle fit really well over my fingers and there was no need to grip it extra tightly.
Why I Like It:
- Top quality stainless steel blade
- Safety locks to prevent unwanted cuts
- Rubber-coated handles for anti-slip
- 100% lifetime warranty
Keep In Mind:
• Mostly used for large and medium sized breeds
5. Safari Professional Nail Clippers
With its simply, traditional fuss free design, this nail clipper does its job well. It has a sturdy and durable stainless steel construction while its safety stop helps to prevent accidental over cutting.
Why I Like It:
- Sharp blades with long lasting durability
- Stainless steel cutting edge
- Very affordable
- Easy gripping with the help of rubber coated handles
- Comes with locking blades
- Great for both dogs and cats
If you’re thinking that previous experience is key when designing a product, this professional grooming dog nail clippers should be perfect for you. Invented by two veterinary surgeons with over 35 years of experience, this brand allows for safe and easy trimming.
Why I Like It:
- Durable since made with stainless steel
- Ergonomic design allowing for maximum comfort whilst gripping
- Designed by veterinarians and used professionally in clinics
- Lifetime Guarantee
- Ideal for medium to large sized dog, all breeds
7. Andis Nail Clippers
This heavy duty nail clippers is advertised as being perfect for all size dogs, and as you would expect, the blades come already sharpened and heat-treated for ideal cutting-strength.
Why I Like It:
- Stainless-steel blades
- Safe and comfortable grip handle due to anti-slip material
- Suitable for all sizes
- Safety stop helps prevent over-cutting
8. Go Pets
A professional grooming product, this cutting tool is recommended by veterinarians, animal trainers, and professional groomers. And the reviews speak for themselves, as they have a large pool of satisfied customers which stand by the product.
Why I Like It:
- Sensor safety guard which prevents over-cutting
- Unconditional Satisfaction Guarantee or full refund
- The brand donates a small portion of profits to no-kill shelters and animal charities
- Can be used for cats, or for medium breed dog
- Thick stainless steel blades
9. Pro Pet Works Nail Clipper
Pro Pet Works is another grooming tool, however made for both canines and cats. The difference between this product and the ones above is that it requires very little effort when being used. Also similar to the above products, the trimmer incorporates a sharp stainless steel blade which will help any owner achieve a clear-cut quality trim.
Why I Like It:
- Ergonomic, non-slip grip handle
- Safety guard
- Detailed instructions on how to clip correctly
- Money back guarantee
- Recommended by trainers, veterinarians, and professional groomers
10. Green Street Basics
Featuring high-quality durable materials, this pair makes use of a sharp razor which is angled in such a way so as to allow for a 45 degree perfect-cut. This professional trimmer is devised for small sized animals only (including rabbits).
Why I Like It:
- Money back lifetime guarantee
- Packaged with 100% recycled materials for people who hold great respect for the environment
- Great as a cat nail clipper, canines, rabbits
- Designed for safe easy trimming at a 45 degree angle
- Small and easy to use, not bulky like other products
Types of Dog Nails Clippers
The Normal ‘Scissors’
Not to be mistaken for your own kitchen scissors! These dog scissors look pretty ordinary and are easy to control, since you’d probably already have lots of daily experience with scissors. You can buy them with or without guards (they come in handy to prevent overcutting!
This type of dog nail clipper comes with a blade that can be retracted and a handle that you can squeeze. Basically, when you squeeze the handle, the blade will come out and cut your dog’s nail.
It’s not difficult to use; however, if you have a large dog that has really strong, thick nails, you have to make sure this blade can cut your dog’s nails properly and effectively.
The most famous model of this kind is the Dremel, of course! It’s pretty much like a power tool (so if you’re in to power tools, you’ll probably love this!).
It is a very safe filing option but do note that your dog might be afraid of the sound. Sometimes, you’ll also have to be prepared to replace the sanding surface band.
Tips & Tricks (When Using Dog & Cat Nail Clippers)
So let’s say you’ve made up your mind about which you will buy, but you may still be concerned about how to use it. Here are some tips which may help put your mind at ease:
Method Place the nail between the blades and squeeze the handles together
Choose the right time Keep your dog or cat calm, taking the time to talk to it in a comforting voice
How to do it Lay your dog or cat on their side in order to clip their back feet. This will make your life at lot easier. Also, try keeping nails parallel to the blade and not across their fingers, all while using your own fingers to separate their little toes!
Where to do it Trim in a well-lit room so as to avoid accidents
What to avoid Don’t try to squeeze your dog’s toe as you might end up hurting them
Increase the lifespan of your product In order to avoid having dull blades, try cutting any excess hair around before actually cutting or trimming it
How often For maintenance, cut every two weeks; if your aim is to shorten, try cutting it every week
Follow-up File the nails. Once trimmed, they will be rough along the edges. You can use a file to smooth them
Further reading: 7 Tips For Cutting Your Dog’s Nails
So How Often Should I Clip My Dog’s Nails?
As annoying as a vague answer might be, it really depends! If your dog tends to be very active and walks or runs outside very often on hard, rough concrete surfaces, then you don’t have to trim it as regularly with the best dog nail clippers.
If you have a more laid back (or lazy!) dog, then you only need to trim your dog’s nails perhaps once a month. Start taking note of your dog’s nail growth patterns and you’ll be able to tell better when you should be using your best dog nail clipper!
So really, just consider your dog’s daily activities. A city dog who’s always out and about on the pavements compared to a dog who’s lying around at home very often will need less clipping.
Also, if you start hearing the annoying scratching of your dog’s nails on the floor, then of course – it’s time for some dog nail clipping! If you don’t have floors but have carpet instead, that’s easy too. Just look out for what your dog’s nails start getting stuck on the carpet. Remember to trim them before that happens though.
Being Patient: A Slow Transition
Just like kids, dogs don’t usually like their nails being trimmed as well. As a dog owner, try your best to understand that your dog isn’t being uncooperative or mischievous.
Make the process a slow, gentle, gradual and patient one. There’s no point scaring your dog away even more.
What you can do is speak gentle and quietly to your dog so you give your dog a calm, reassuring vibe. Never use force or sudden movements which will scare your dog even more.
Try using treats as well. This will help your dog to make the association of nail trimming day with happiness and reward. Be generous with your praising and always pat your dog and let it know it’s done really well.
For better effect, you can even try to reward your dog slowly step-by-step. In other words, you can try to reward one treat per nail! No, you’re not spoiling your dog! Rather, you’re really going to great lengths to make sure your dog has the best experience out of this.
Using Your Own Scissors?
Perhaps you’re wondering if you can save on dog nail clippers and just use your usual scissors instead. I know it can be tempting! Afterall, why spend money on something else that pretty much just does the same job. Or… does it?
I really have to recommend that you do not use your own scissors. Proper dog nail clippers are specially designed for your dogs. They are designed for the specific purpose, have certain kinds of handles and curves to the blades. They are meant to prevent accidents and do the job effectively.
Avoid using your own scissors as you can also increase the problem of contamination (between dog to human and human to dog).
Health Risks of Long Nails
This part should not really come as a surprise. Having long nails might even inconvenience some humans, so when it comes to your dog or cat, there is no need to go for a fashion statement. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) emphasises on the fact they can cause discomfort or pain, as they can dig into the paw’s soft tissue. This means that your fluffy friend might be suffering when running, walking, or even standing!
According to the ASPCA, they are more than likely going to break, simcilar to humans. When the breakage reaches the quick, it can be incredibly uncomfortable for your cat or dog.
Unless your pet is a cat who loves to scratch your furniture or its own scratching post, you might have a problem. They can catch on any item in your house (e.g. carpet, bed sheets), potentially resulting in the entire nail to be ripped out of the paw. If you’re already frowning and saying “ouch”, you’ve got the right idea. This will be extremely painful, and in some cases leading to surgery.
This issue is actually more common than people would like to believe: they are more prone to having infectious materials trapped inside them, and when coming in contact with the blood vessels, they might infect your dog’s paws.
Although uncommon, long nails can even cause deformity in the bone structure of the leg.
Investing in a pair of best nail clipper for your dog or cat can help you make the process a lot easier. I’m glad there are these useful tools to help make it less painful and traumatising for my dog and cat! My favorite and top recommendation as mentioned would be the Dremel one. Let me know which one you try and which is your favorite!