Written by Vet Tech

Can You Cut Dog Hair With Human Clippers? – Answered!

Amber LaRock
Written by: Amber LaRock, Vet Tech
Here is what you should know about using human clippers to cut the dog's hair. Read carefully if you want to avoid hurting your canine.

If your pup is in desperate need of a hair trim, you may be wondering if you can turn to human hair clippers to do the job.

While human clippers can certainly cut your dog’s fur in a pinch, there are more risks that come along with using human hair clippers for our furry friends.

In this article, we’ll dive into whether you can use human hair clippers for your dog’s fur, the differences between pet and human clippers, and some tips to help you groom your dog at home.

So Can You Cut Your Dog’s Hair With Human Clippers?

Human hair clippers do have the ability to cut your dog’s fur just as they can human hair, but it is certainly risky.

Human hair clippers are not designed with the same safety measures that pet clippers have, making them potentially dangerous when it comes to clipping our furry friends.

If you are simply trimming long fur without coming anywhere near the base of their fur (their skin), then some dog owners can choose to trim their tails or the feathered edges of their dog’s fur using human hair clippers.

However, human hair clippers are never a safe option for in-depth grooming or any trims that come close to your dog’s skin.

What’s The Difference Between Dog And Human Clippers?

When you first look at pet clippers and human hair clippers side by side, they may appear to be similar. Though they each perform similar tasks, they are created differently.

Pet clippers are created with your dog’s comfort and safety in mind, causing them to have a few key differences.

First, pet clippers are designed to be less harsh when it comes to the sound they create while they trim.

Since dogs can be startled by the sound of loud clippers, most pet clippers will be quieter in an effort to reduce fear.

Loud noises and sudden changes in sound can cause a dog to jump or become startled which can lead to potential injury during their fur trim.

Another difference between human hair clippers and pet clippers are the blades that are offered. Due to how thin human hair is in comparison to pet hair, human hair clippers will have blades with teeth that are close together.

When using human hair clippers on your dog, their fur will often become clogged and result in pulling due to this.

Pet hair clippers will often come with a variety of blades that are spaced apart enough to allow for a smoothie grooming process.

The last difference between the two clippers is the fact that pet clipper blades are often sharper than human hair clipper blades.

Since dog fur is thicker than most human hair, the blades will need to be sharper in order to cut smoothly. Sharper blades will result in a fur trimming process that does not cause and tangling or pulling.

Are There Risks Of Using Human Clippers?

Since human hair clippers are not designed for pet fur, there are a few risks that come along with using human clippers on our furry friends.

While these clippers have similar tasks, we have to remember how different our dog’s fur is to our own hair.

Some risks to using human hair clippers on a dog include:

  • Since human hair clipper blades have teeth that are spaced closely together, this can cause your dog’s fur to get stuck during use. Their fur being trapped can result in uncomfortable pulling on their fur, as well as possible injury from jerking the clippers.
  • Human hair clipper blades are not as sharp as pet clipper blades, meaning human clippers can become stuck or pull on a dog’s fur. This can cause extreme discomfort during their grooming sessions.
  • Human hair clippers tend to be much louder than pet clippers and can cause your dog to become startled during their grooming session. A frightened pup can jump and wiggle, causing them to become injured during their trim.
  • Some human hair clippers can become hot during use, and if you do not check the blade frequently, you may be unaware that the clippers are burning their skin.

Pet Hair Vs. Human Hair

You may believe that all hair is created equal, but pet hair is actually quite different than ours.

Dogs fur has a purpose to keep them safe and warm, giving their fur many different qualities that our hair does not possess.

First, a human hair is much thinner than dog fur. Dog fur tends to be generally thick no matter the breed, and of course, covers their entire body.

Dogs also have multiple different textures of fur all over their body versus the same texture and style that our hair has on our heads.

Dogs will often have a layer of thick fur close to the skin that helps to protect them against the elements, where their outer fur is closer to the texture of their whiskers.

Dog fur is created with protection in mind and is made to help them regulate temperature easily. Their fur also has a coating around the hair follicle that helps to better protect them against weather, which is a quality that human hair does not have.

Tips For Choosing The Best Pair Of Dog Clippers

Now that you understand the differences between human hair clippers and pet fur clippers, let’s dive into some tips to help you choose the best pair of dog clippers for your beloved companion.

  • Understand that you often get what you pay for. Cheap dog clippers may be suitable for basic trims, but may not do the job for any in-depth grooming. Always thrive to have the best dog grooming clippers on hand.
  • Understand what you want out of your dog clippers. Do you want to simply trim their fur? Do you want your pup to have different areas of fur lengths?
  • Some clippers will offer various speeds and multiple different clipper blades. If you are looking for more in-depth grooming, have a long-haired dog, or are trying to offer a cut of quality, you will want a pair of pet clippers with these options.
  • Search for clippers that have your dog’s fur in mind. Clippers will often advertise if they work best with long hair, thick fur, basic trims, show quality grooming, etc.
  • Determine if you need a portable pair of dog clippers that are battery-powered or a pair of clippers that can be stationary and plugged in. Some clippers offer both options.
  • Make sure to look at reviews of any dog clippers you are interested in. Reviews can be telling when it comes to deciding if a pair of clippers is right for your furry friend’s needs.

Cutting Your Dog’s Hair At Home

Once you find the perfect pair of dog clippers for your canine companion, it’s time to make sure you are ready to cut your dog’s hair at home.

Some tips to help the grooming process run smoothly include:

  • Make sure your pup has what they need to keep them positive and motivated throughout the process. This can include offering them their favorite treats throughout the process, giving them licking pads with a tasty spread that keeps their attention or offering them constant praise to keep them comforted.
  • Make sure you give your dog time to get used to the sound of the clippers before you get started. The noise can be daunting, so it’s best to let the clippers run for a few minutes before you start trimming.
  • Before you actually start trimming their fur, set the clippers up against their body to let them feel the vibrations. Once they are used to the feeling of the clippers touching their body they are less likely to jump when you actually start trimming their fur.
  • Make sure the blades are sharp and ready to go. You can do this by testing a small patch of their fur to ensure that they glide smoothly.
  • Make sure you are trimming in the path that their fur grows. Cutting against the grain can be uncomfortable for your pup and result in hair-pulling.
  • Take the grooming process slowly. Your dog will need time to adjust to this new at-home grooming routine, so don’t be surprised if it takes a bit of time for your dog to get comfortable.
  • Realize that some dogs are just too risky to trim at home. If your dog ever becomes too stressed, will not stop jumping, is trying to bite the clippers or any other reaction that makes the grooming process challenging for you; you may need professional help.

The Bottom Line

Now that you have all the details on how to choose the best dog clippers for your furry friend, you are ready to start your at-home grooming.

Make sure to review the tips and tricks that we mentioned above, and you are ready to get started!