One of the best feelings in the world? Your doggo running up to you and giving you a big hug. One of the worst feelings? Their long, sharp nails digging into your stomach, arms, legs, and other sensitive body parts.
Not only is it not fun, but it takes away from the joy of owning a pup. However, in recent years new innovations have hit the market. There’s now an assortment of new tools available to dog owners make trimming dog nails a breeze — if you know which products to get.
Some work better than others, which is why we’ve compiled this list of the best dog nail grinders (not trimmers or cutters) for every budget. Below we look at our favorites “at a glance” followed by a more detailed breakdown of each. Let’s dig in.
At a Glance: Our Favorite Dog Nail Grinders
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- 1 Dog Nail Anatomy
- 2 Trimming Your Dog’s Nails
- 3 Dremel Grinder Overview
- 4 Buying Guide & Considerations
- 5 Best Nail Grinders For Dogs
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 Final Thoughts
Dog Nail Anatomy
Dog nails compare to human nails. If you look at your fingernail right now, you’ll see the white nail and the meaty pink part underneath. The nail itself is called the nail plate, and the pink part is called the nail bed.
If you’ve ever trimmed your nails in a rush, you’ll know it hurts to cut the nail plate too close to the nail bed, as the latter holds sensitive nerve endings. The white part doesn’t contain any nerve endings, but the fleshy underside holds the blood supply to nourish the nails.
The same is true for dogs and their nails. The white part of the dog claw is their non-nerved nail, with the sensitive area with blood vessels called the quick.
Your dog will yelp or squirm if you hit the quick. Cutting the quick could even draw blood, which could cause your dog to fear nail trimming in the future.
Therefore, if your dog has white nails, ensure you’re in a well-lit area or hold the dog’s paw up to a light to see the quick. If your dog has dark nails, you’ll have to find the quick through trial and error.
Trimming Your Dog’s Nails
You don’t have to trim your dog’s nails just like you don’t have to trim your nails. But for general comfort, health, and safety, it would be best to cut your dog’s nails.
Imagine you haven’t cut your toenails for so long that they curled beneath your toes. It would hurt to walk because the nail would press against the sensitive nail bed with every step.
Not only that, but your toes would get snagged on random carpet threads, small roots, sidewalk cracks and myriad other inconveniences in the world, which could mean random trips or potential damage to your foot, toes, or ankles.
Another reason is aesthetics. Some owners prefer the look of trimmed dog nails. If your dog scratches against doors, carpet, or other household items, trimming its nails could also reduce home damage. You also reduce the chance of getting scratched and breaking the skin.
In the wild, a dog naturally files down their nails from walking so much, but they often don’t have the same luxury as a domestic dog. Pet dogs are much more sedentary, so their nails grow longer until they curve near the paw pad.
Dremel Grinder Overview
The most modern Dremel grinders for dog nails allow owners to trim their pups nails without the fear of cutting through the quick. Essentially, a Dremel for dog nails is like a concentrated bit of sandpaper to file down the dog’s nail instead of cutting it off completely. The owner pressed the grinder onto their dog’s nail, creating a smooth nail edge as opposed to a sharp-edged one.
It takes more time to grind down the dog nail as opposed to the quick snip from a set of trimmers. Owners may like the longer time to ensure they round out and smooth the dog nail before getting to the quick. Others may dislike the longer time spent. It comes down to preference if you or your dog enjoy the Dremel.
Pros: Using a dremel grinder creates smooth and rounded nails. It’s easy to control where you stop before reaching the quick of the nail. It works on any dog nail, thin or thick, whereas clippers don’t work as well on thick nails. It can also be used perpetually.
Cons: Buying a dremel isn’t as cheap as just picking up a set of standard trimmers. It’s still affordable, just not “cheap.” It requires electricity to use, and can get warmer during prolonged use, which is worth monitoring if your pup shows signs of discomfort. You’ll also need to keep hair away from their paws, and using a deshedder is preferable for that job.
Buying Guide & Considerations
There’s a few things you should consider before buying a nail grinder to work on your pup. Making a mistake when looking at any of the following factors can end up where you’ve bought something you don’t use, or that your pup won’t let you use because they are down right scared when you try to trim their nails. That’s why it’s important to make sure you consider all aspects of picking out the right dremel for your dog.
The most important factor to look at before cost, is noise level. This is the single biggest reason that a nail grinder may not work for your pup. If your dog spooks easily, it can be really tough to get them to sit still through an entire grinding session. So noise is something you should make a top priority.
No need to grind your pup’s nail at the speed of light! It’s also true that most grinders that have an adjustable speed setting, will also drop in noise as the speed gets reduced. Having an adjustable speed level can make a difference both in noise, and in the level of comfort your dog experiences during the grind.
Dremel Bit Material
Most rotary tools will have a bit that’s covered in a sanding drum material. This will gently tear down the nail as you grind it, instead of outright clipping your pup’s nail which is far more likely to cause injuries to the dog’s quick if you are inexperienced with nail trimming.
Does your grinder need to be plugged in constantly? That’s something to think about, especially if you like to travel with your dogs. If you spend lots of time away from home, it’s important to take battery life into consideration so you don’t end up unable to clip your dog’s nails while away from home.
Best Nail Grinders For Dogs
Finding the right nail grinder can be a challenge for multiple reasons. Most notably, is the fact that it may frighten your dog if you use one, so finding the right nail grinder for your dog is extremely important. Using a Dremel isn’t the choice for every pup, and if you have an anxious dog, they may be better of with traditional nail trimmers.
With that being said, there are a few grinders out there that are heads and paws above the rest. Let’s take a look at our favorite grinders, and break down the reasons why we like each of them.
Dremel Pet Grooming Tool
Behold, the grinder that started it all. Dremel was one of the first companies to make electric nail grinding, leaving clippers in the dust. They’ve had more time to improve their product and make it the best possible for dogs and dog owners.
This grooming tool consists of the battery-powered motor and the 60-grit sanding drum to file down your dog’s nails. It comes with two rotation speeds (fast and slow, basically), so you can quickly file down the length of your dog’s nails before smoothing it out with the slower speed.
The cordless operation allows you to trim your dog’s nails in the garage, out in the backyard, or the bathtub. With plenty of space to monitor how close you’re getting to the quick, you can safely and humanely trim your dog’s toenails with a reduced chance of cutting the quick.
It’s a bit more expensive than other dog nail grinders, but this Dremel-style dog nail trimming tool is one of the best on the market. It’s quick, easy, and safe to use, and with the durable construction allows you to use the tool for multiple dogs and for many years to come.
We love that this dremel quickly, safely and efficiently can file down a dog’s nails. It’s rechargeable, and has a removable battery for maximum portability. It can be used for thick and thin dog nails. It’s also safe to use on cats. It’s great for dogs that are scared for clippers, and you’ll rarely grind low enough to cut the nail quick.
INVENHO Pet Nail Grinder
Is your dog panicky around loud noises? The INVENHO pet nail grinder will be the right grinder for you. The grinder is one of the quietest on the market with its vibrations a near negligible 40 decibels. This makes it a great choice for older dogs.
To put that into perspective, a standard electric toothbrush is around 50 – 60 decibels, so if you can brush your teeth around your dog, you can use this nail grinder.
The grinder wheel included in the package is supposedly strong enough to cut diamond, so you’ll rarely need a replacement. But just for extra measure, INVENHO includes an extra grinder wheel upon purchase should you lose or break your original one.
With a rechargeable USB battery, this electric nail grinder can be used at home or on-the-go if you use a portable charging bank. The USB wire is included for your convenience, so you always have a designated dog nail grinder cable.
The grinder can be used for a variety of dogs with various nail thicknesses, sizes, and lengths. This INVENHO dog nail grinder includes an attachment to go on top of the grinder wheel, making it easier to cut a small dog’s nails with the small opening (like a window to the side of the grinder wheel), the flat top of the grinder wheel for medium dogs, and completely off if the dog is over 50 pounds.
If you have multiple dogs of different sizes, you can use the same nail grinder for all of them. With the high-quality build and long-lasting battery, the INVENHO pet nail grinder could last your pets for years to come.
We love that this grinder has a quiet motor to make noise averse dogs feel at ease. It includes a USB charging cable and has multiple filing speeds, making it easy to turn down if your pup starts to get spooked.
Hertzko Electric Pet Nail Grinder
Hertzko has made the best dog nail grinder that’s affordable, effective, and safe to use. With the Diamond Bit Grinder, you don’t have to worry about accidentally cutting into the dog’s quick, reducing the risk of pain or injury during nail clipping sessions.
There are three sizes to the grinding ports, giving you flexibility in how you decide to cut your dog’s nails. There are the small and medium openings for small nails, such as the dewclaw or for dogs of smaller-sized breeds. The medium openings are better suited for dogs bigger than beagles, and the entire cover can be removed to easily trim large dog nails.
The Hertzko motor is specially designed to be low in volume and vibration. Dogs that are sensitive to loud noises or odd sensations may feel more comfortable using this grinder. There’s a chance your dog may still find the grinder disturbing. But, the low vibration and noise maximize your chances of their enjoyment.
Portable and easy to use, you can use this dog grinder while traveling, camping, or at home. It’s rechargeable and even includes a USB wire to make your life a little easier.
Lastly, this Hertzko dog nail grinder is super easy to clean, as the grinding wheel separates from the body. Simply run it under some cold water, and you’re ready to use it for the next dog nail trimming session.
We love that this grinder is low in volume and vibration. This makes it easier for jumpy dogs. It’s cost-effective, easy to clean and store. It’s also rechargeable with a USB wire which is convenient for recharging on the go.
I-pure Dog Nail Grinder
With the powerful design that underwent upgrades in 2019, you know know the I-Pure will give you the best dog nail grinding technology on the market. The newly revamped motor has a high-quality brass shaft, increasing the rotations per minute and getting the filing done faster.
The I-Pure is also suitable for pets of all sizes. With two speeds, you can grind down the nail quickly and reshape it at a slower speed. You could also go slower to ensure you don’t hit the dog’s quick, or go fast if you’re a seasoned dog trimming pro who wants to save time.
The motor is quiet and safe, meaning noise reduction that can make your dog feel more comfortable if they already dislike having their feet handled or feel an aversion to loud noises. Get in, get out, and make as little noise as possible while doing it.
Lastly, the I-Pure dog nail grinder comes with a USB cable for its rechargeable battery and a one year warranty for the product. If for some reason you don’t like the product you can return it for a 100% money-back guarantee or a replacement.
We love that this grinder has a quiet design to keep dogs from getting startled. It’s usable for all sizes and thicknesses. It’s equipped with two rotation speeds for faster or slower nail grinding. It comes with a free clipper and filer for maximum grooming. It also has a free one year warranty and 100% money back guarantee.
Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder
Another great, high-quality dog nail grinder is from Casfuy. The effective and precise trimming lets you shape your dog’s nails how you want. You can shape them with round edges, blunt tips, or some other aesthetic.
The Diamond Bit Grinder delivers the finest, safest grinding experience for dog nails. This way you don’t have to worry about cutting into the quick and hurting your dog. The two-speed gives you the most control for your dog’s nail trimming experience. This is important as they age, where you can use the slow speed for puppies and faster speeds for adult dogs.
The low noise and vibration mean dogs who hate fireworks and vacuums could use the Casfuy nail grinder. Rechargeable and portable, the company gives its customers a lifetime replacement guarantee that this product will last them and their pet for many years.
We love that this grinder has a diamond bit grinder that gets the job done for the thickest dog nail. It’s fast or slow for a customizable filing experience. It also has a lifetime warranty should it cease to work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to grinding your dog’s nails. Again, this process isn’t something that every dog owner will want to participate in, but there’s some good reasons why it’s a good fit for most dogs. Let’s look at some of the FAQ’s.
Q: Is Nail Grinding Painful for My Dog?
A: No. Unless you grind into the quick, which is the blood vessel in a dog’s nails. As with human nails, the cuttable part of the nail consists of dead cells. It doesn’t hurt to cut your nails unless you get too close to the nail bed, where the nerve endings are.
The same applies to your dog. You have to avoid the quick while still ensuring your dog’s nails are as trim as possible. Certain tools, such as the best Dremel dog nail grinders, makes avoiding the quick a lot easier.
Always make sure there’s no growths or any type of injury to your dog before grinding, like an embedded foxtail into the paw. This will make nail grinding painful, and you won’t get far. It’s important to understand the basics of canine behavior so you can understand if any part of the experience causes them pain.
Q: How Long Should I Wait Before Grinding My Dog’s Nails?
A: The time it takes for a dog to grow their nails depends on the breed and nutrition. A good rule of thumb, though, is that if your dog’s nails reach the floor, it’s time for a trim. And if your dog’s nails are particularly pointy and sharp, cutting skin or clothes, trim its nails more frequently.
Q: Do You Need Attachments For a Dremel Dog Nail Trimmer?
A: Yes. When you buy the best Dremel for dog nails, you’ll get a few attachments in the packaging. Through time, though, the rough sandpaper texture used to file down the dog nail will lose its efficiency over time.
Q: What Should I Do If I Accidentally Grind into the Quick?
A: While the best dog nail grinders reduce the possibility of cutting into a dog’s quick, the possibility is still there. Have these precautions ready and treat the wound as quickly as you can.
Styptic Powder or Styptic Pencil:
Even professional groomers make mistakes and clip a dog’s quick. They use this powder to quell the bleeding and disinfect the area. Some styptic powders even contain an anesthetic to reduce pain. Just apply a little powder to the wound and pressure to stop the bleeding, and you can go back to trimming your dog’s nails.
One tub or pencil of styptic powder can last up to five years. This obviously depends on how many dogs you have. It’s worth the investment for your dog’s comfort during Dremel nail trimming.
If you don’t have styptic powder or its pencil on hand, corn starch works well too. Sprinkle some corn starch onto the dog’s wound and wait for the blood to clot. Once the bleeding stops, wash off the wound to prevent your dog from licking at the bloody corn starch on its foot.
Corn starch won’t disinfect or numb pain, but it will stop bleeding quickly and cheaply. And you probably have some in your kitchen right now.
There are lots of great dog nail grinders on the market. This helps ensure dog owners can safely and effectively trim their pet’s nails. All the tools on this list are high-quality, affordable, and will get the job done. We recommend the 7300 Dremel model dog nail grinder as the best dog nail grinder and Dremel-style nail filer.
The reason is simple: it does what the other dog nail grinders do but better. It’s the quietest nail grinder on this list. It’s one of the cheapest, has a USB rechargeable battery and comes in two speeds. The capless grinding system makes trimming small, medium, and large dog nails a breeze. Casfuy is also an excellent pick, and has brand recognition behind it. Either pick is sure to provide your pup with a nice, easy grooming experience.