Written by Vet Tech

How To Shave A Dog With Human Clippers – Answered!

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

Can you use human clippers to shave a dog? Can you use human clippers on dogs? Is this something that can be defined as a ‘good idea’?

It is not uncommon for people to choose some human-only items for their dogs, such as clothes and even a baby shampoo… but is it safe using items such as human clippers on dogs?

When it comes to cutting your dog’s hair, should you risk it with human clippers, or you should leave this to a professional groomer? Or you should use only grooming tools that are strictly created for dogs?

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.

Can You Cut Dog Hair With Human Clippers?

Simply said, yes – you can cut dog hair with human clippers. However, this is very risky if not done properly.

Dog clippers are specially designed to be safe for dogs, which is not the case with human clippers.

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

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

Now, let’s see how to shave a dog with human clippers.

How To Shave Your Dog With Human Clippers?

The best way to shave a dog with human clippers is to do it safely. Safety plays a big role in dog grooming in general and isn’t something that should be ignored.

If you need extra reassurance on how to shave a dog you can always monitor closely your groomer working on your dog.

Otherwise, you should be careful, and shave a dog slowly and methodically.

Here is how to shave a dog with human clippers, and how you can cut dog hair with human clippers safely and like a professional.

  • First, place the clipper against your dog’s fur coat.
  • Secondly, work in the direction of growth, and never the opposite.
  • Thirdly, it’s not uncommon to cross some sort of resistance when working with human clippers, so do not force it.

Pull away the clipper for a few seconds and then try again. This is how you should work over the entire fur. To avoid, any sort of accident, work extra carefully around the tail area or do not touch it at all.

If your dog is a breed with heavy dreadlocks such as Komondor, make sure that you talk with a professional groomer before you use human scissors on curly fur.

After all, human hair clippers are risky to use, unless you are highly trained to work with them on your dog’s coat.

Before we elaborate on the difference between dog and human clippers, let’s first learn about the risks of using human clippers on dogs, because if your main question is – Can I cut my dog’s hair with human clippers, so far you know that you can, but you should be careful.

Risks Of Using Human Clippers On Dogs

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 from our own hair.

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

  • Human hair clipper blades have teeth that are spaced closely together. As such, it can cause a 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 shaking the clippers.
  • Human hair clipper blades are not as sharp as pet clipper blades are. As such, 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 loud. Don’t forget that dogs have much more sensitive hearing than humans do. If you don’t hear something, doesn’t mean that your dog doesn’t hear it. As result, a frightened pup can jump and wiggle, causing them to become injured during their trim.
  • Human hair clippers can become hot during use. If and when this happens, your dog may experience skin burning.

Can you cut dog hair with a human trimmer? In general, human trimmers are specially made for human hair. As such, they usually have a very powerful and durable motor that instantly trims the hair.

Trimmers for dogs usually have a less aggressive motor and a much softer noise. That being said, do not use a human trimmer on your dog.

How To Cut Your Dog With Human Clippers 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 shave or just cut a bit of your dog’s hair at home.

Here are some tips to help you cut a dog’s hair with human clippers:

1. Keep Your Dog Calm

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.

2. Prepare Your Dog For The Sound Of Human Clippers

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.

3. Get Your Dog Comfortable With The Touch Of Human Clippers

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.

4. Understand The Importance Of Sharp Blades

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.

5. Follow The Fur Growth

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.

6. Take It Slowly

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.

7. Be Ready To Hire A Professional Dog Groomer

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 has any other reaction that makes the grooming process challenging for you; you may need professional support.

Important: If you want completely to shave your dog, make sure that you schedule an appointment with a professional dog groomer.

Hiring a professional dog groomer may be pricey, but it will save you time and keep your Fido looking his best.

Still not sure why human clippers are not so effective when it comes to cutting your dog’s hair… Because hair is hair both in humans and dogs, right?

Well no, there is a difference. Let’s learn about it more.

Dog 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, 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, whereas 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 – this is why some breeds such as Siberian Husky are so comfortable with spending long hours outside, even in the snow.

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.

Now, let’s talk more about the difference between a dog and human clippers, and how to choose the best clippers for showing your dog.

What’s The Difference Between Dog And Human Clippers?

When you first look at dog 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 dog 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 smooth grooming process.

The last difference between the two clippers is the fact that dog 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 tangling or pulling.

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.

1. Be Ready To Invest In High-Quality Dog Clippers

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.

2. Know What Kind Of Clippers You Need

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.

3. Get Clippers For Your Dog’s Fur

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.

Last but not least… 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.

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.

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 – be mindful of that.

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

If you feel like shaving your dog is too much for you, make sure that you schedule a session with a professional dog groomer.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Shave A Dog With Human Clippers

1. Can I Shave My Dog With Human Clippers?

All in all, you should avoid using human clippers on a dog, or either cutting or shaving their hair.

If you want to groom your dog make sure that you choose to use dog clippers primarily to keep Fido looking nice and clean. Human clippers are designed for humans, not dogs.

2. Can I Use Human Clippers On My Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzu demands regular grooming. Weekly brushes and occasion trimming or hair cutting are mandatory.

Just like any other dog breed, Shih Tzu should not experience trimming with human clippers. This small size dog should be groomed once a month or every six weeks.

3. Can You Use A Dog Clipper On Human Hair?

Dog clippers can be used on human hair, but this isn’t something that is advised.

They are after all made for dogs, and will not deliver the style the person wants. If you want to upgrade your hairstyle, stick to human clippers.