Dog Nail Grinding – Is It Safe And How To Do It Properly?

If you trimming dog's nails puts you under a lot of stress, you should try with grinding. This rotary tool can help you keep your dog's nails short and clean, and on a budget.

Trimming or cutting your dog’s nails can be a real challenge. If you don’t like this trimming dog’s nails cutting nails will be traumatic for you and your pet. Moreover, if you think that you are hurting your dog by clipping his nails, you won’t be able to do it right. That being said, it may ease your stress to know that you can also trim your dog’s nails with a nail grinder.

Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

Trimming or cutting your dog’s nails can be difficult if you are not prone to these grooming needs. Moreover, if you are scared of trimming or cutting your dog’s nails you can make more damage than good. Grooming your pet is mandatory if you really want to have a healthy and well-maintained dog.

Grooming your pet also means that you are a responsible pet owner and that you take care of you are pet as you should. Professional groomers make everything look easy. When it comes to nails cutting it looks like they are slice through nails like butter. In reality, to the majority of pet owners, this experience is not that easy. Therefore, many dog lovers decided to switch from nail clippers to a grinder.

What Are Nail Grinders?

You are probably familiar with nail clippers. After all, they have been here for a while. Until recently, nail clippers were the only available option.

Nail clippers were also the safest and most convenient option in the world of trimming dog nails. Until nail grinders appeared.

Many found that nail grinders are more handy, safer, and precise. Grinding also reduces the chances of pain, the appearance of cracks, and then reduces the high chances of uneven pressure. Some nail grinders come inbuilt with a tool that polished dog’s nails and prevents rough edges.

Dog’s Nails

Mammals nails are made of a tough protein named keratin. So, dogs have claws actually and not nails. As you already know, dog’s nails are significantly different than humans. Dog’s nails have two layers. They have a hard outer covering called unguis and subunguis, under the unguis, which is flaky and softer. The faster growth of the unguis is what gives the dog’s nail its characteristic curl.

Many dogs also have a fifth nail, or a declaw, on the inside of the leg, just below the wrist. Interestingly, some dogs are born with dewclaws on the front only, while others are born with declaws on every leg. There is no certain way to know if a dog will have or not a declaw once he is born. Some pet owners and dog lovers are arguing if dewclaw should be removed or not, but one thing is for sure – if a dog has dewclaws, they need to be trimmed.

Why Do You Have To Trim Dog’s Nails?

If the dog’s nails become too long it can lead to several serious problems. Moreover, it will initially affect their ability to work and run properly. Also, long nails can curl under and become painful, pushing the dog to adapt his way of running and walking. This can also put a strain on their paws and legs that can cause stress on dog’s joints.

Furthermore, this can lead to arthritis and joint damage.

Long nails can break and snag which is a painful injury for the pup. Long story short, all nails including the declaw must be shortened. The dewclaw can also curl back and cause pain. If you notice that your dog often licks its feet it may be an indicator that he is in pain. So, simply trimming his nails, by cutting or grinding, you may give your dog much-needed relief.

Clipping vs Grinding

If you are not a fan of trimming dog’s nails, you will find it even less fun if you dog is a large dog breed with large paws and thick nails.

The majority of nails is black and you can’t be able to see properly the cutting line. All together, it makes trimming dog’s nails difficult, and dog owners nervous about the whole ‘cutting nails’ process. Both trimming and grinding come with their benefits, apropos pro, and cons.

Clipping Dog’s Nails Pro & Cons

Cutting a dog’s nails is a quick and quiet process. Any type of traditional dog nail clipper is going to be quiet, making the experience more tolerable when it comes to the sound at least. The nail clipper is also budget-friendly and even cost less than the grinding tool. Also, a great thing about clipping is that you don’t need any electricity for clipping the nails. You can even clip his nails in the back yard. But, some things can make clipping uncomfortable.


  • Your dog won’t sit still: it’s easy to hurt your pet if he keeps moving around. It takes only one second to see blood on your hands. It’s easy to stop bleeding, but it can be a mission impossible to regain your dog’s trust when it comes to using clippers.
  • There might be some pinching: traditional dog clippers can pinch your dog. It can cause pain even when you don’t cut into the quick.
  • There can be a nail damage: just like humans, some dogs may more sensitive nails, prone to breaking, cracking, or even splitting. Using clippers on these types of nails can make damage worse.

Grinding Dog’s Nails Pro & Cons

Grinding dog’s nails are great for dogs with thicker nails. If your dog has thicker nails it can be difficult to clip his nails with traditional clippers. Light-colored or clear nails allow you to see the quick inside showing you where to cut. On the other hand, if your dog has dark nails it may be difficult to know exactly where to cut, or where the quick begins. Still, it’s possible to cause bleeding with grinding as well because of the rotary tool, slowly grinding away one layer at a time decreases the odds of cutting deeply.

Also, grinders make some noise making it more challenging for a dog to sit still, and the great thing about this is that with grinders your dog won’t have any sharp edges. Clippers usually leave more sharp edges that can hurt people or other animals.


  • Strong noise: dogs are not lowers of harsh and strong noise. Actually, they are rather irritated by sounds.
  • Smelly dust: rotary tool always makes a dust that smells a bit. It would be handy to have a mask on or eye protection, especially if you’re sensitive. In some cases, it would be much easier to grind nails outside.
  • Heat level: pet nail grinders are rotary tools and although they are small, they can still generate some heat if you leave it on one spot for too long.

Dog Nail Grinder

A nail grinder is a rotary tool that works by grinding your dog’s nail down. If your dog hates having his nails clipped, this is a nice alternative, if he is fine with the noise. There are many grinders available on the market, and it’s up to you to choose the perfect one, based on the dog’s size and your personal preferences.

Many of them come with a set of rechargeable batteries and 4 replacement drums. The great thing about this tool is its weight – grinder is extremely lightweight, which makes it perfect to hold it for a longer period. Besides, it’s easy to control it. It has two speed settings: high and low.

How To Grind Dog’s Nails?

To grind dog’s nails you have to put the rotary tool directly onto the dog’s nails. This tool is prone to heat after prolonged use, so it’s recommended that you only hold it on your dog’s nail for a second or two at a time. You will see how you can get dog’s nails much shorter than with clippers. The great thing about grinding is that you are removing only small bits of the nail at a time. Therefore, it’s easy to watch your progress and not to worry about cutting into the quick.

In order to have safe and peacefully grinding it’s important to introduce your dog to this technique and tool properly. Make sure that you take your time and use plenty of treats to make your dog comfortable with the noise and practice.

Always take it slow. Give your dog enough time to get used to noises and new situations. Have one thing in your mind all the time – heat. That being said, you should make a practice of grinding by doing one quick tap (or brush) at a time and take a break for a few seconds in-between.

Quick tip: turn off your grinder in between nails. This will help delay how quickly it warms up.

Dog Nail Grinding – The Takeaway

One of the most important things when it comes to dog’s grooming is keeping dogs nails at the right length. This can be achieved by numerous tools and different approaches. However, if you want to avoid traditional trimming than you should think about grinding dogs nails.

The first major obstacle here is the noise that grinder makes. Therefore, it’s important to make introduce this rotary tool to your dog on time. If your dog has nails that are too thick to cut with traditional clippers, or he is simply scared of clippers, you should think about grinding. Moreover, grinding provides round nails after clipping.

Frequently Asked Questions On – Dog Nail Grinding

1. How Often Should I Grind My Dog’s Nails?

In general, you should need to cut your dog’s nails every 1-2 months. Also, if you hear your dog’s nails hitting the floor a.k.a. ‘clicking’ it’s time to trim your dog’s nails.

2. Do Grinding A Dog’s Nails Hurt Them?

Overall, no. One of the main reasons why dog owners switch to grinder form traditional scissors clipping is because they can’t hurt their dog. However, if you are not careful you can provoke pinching. Pinching can cause discomfort and pain, even if you don’t cut into the quick.

3. Do Long Nails Hurt Dogs?

Too long nails can be painful for dogs. Long nails can cause a dog to lose traction in their paws, making it significantly easier for them to fall and slip. This can cause additional pain in the nail alone.

4. Does Walking Your Dog Trim Their Nails?

You have to trim dog’s nails regularly. However, taking your dog out on walks outdoors can help cut down on the number of trimmings a dog needs. Also, dog’s who don’t run or walk will need their nails trimmed more often.

5. Should You Hear Your Dog’s Nails On The Floor?

Some breeds have so short nails that you can barely see them, such as the Doberman Pinscher. However, this is not a rule. The commonly accepted rule is that when a dog is standing, the nails shouldn’t make contact with the ground. If you hear your dog coming, it means that his nails are too long.