Nail Clipping Versus Grinding | HolliePaws

Nail Clipping Versus Grinding

Hearing that clickity click sound on your kitchen floor? It may be a sign that your dog is in desperate need of a nail clipping!

But now comes the decisions to get your dog’s nails clipped or grinded?

First let’s talk about the different kinds of clippers and grinders:

Clippers  Grinders
Guillotine style clippers have owners place the dog’s nail through a hole and squeeze the handle, allowing for a single blade to slice down across the hole and cut off the excess nail. This clipper can be great for small to medium dogs but the blades also need to replaced regularly to keep them sharp.
Grinders use a small, rotating section of material (similar to sand paper) to grind down your dog’s nails. Also referred to as “dremels”, these grooming tools are electricity-powered and wear down a dog’s nails through the use of friction.
Scissor dog nail clippers (also known as Miller’s Forge clippers) work in a similar style to – you guessed it – scissors. The blades have small, round indentations, where you’ll position your dog’s nail for cutting. This style allows for a large amount of force, making them good for dogs with larger nails. However, the handles may not be ideal for those with arthritis.


Pros and Cons Clippers:

Pros  Cons
Quick & Quiet. Nail clippers are quiet compared to the buzz of nail grinders, which can sometimes frighten dogs. Clipping your dog’s nails takes also takes just a second, so the process can be over in the blink of an eye. 
Easy to Cut Quick. If you’re not careful, it’s very easy to cut into the quick of your dog’s nail, causing discomfort and bleeding. Once you cut into your dog’s nail quick, they won’t be too keen on letting you cut their nails again!
Cheap. Dog nail clippers are usually very affordable and it doesn’t cost much to own a pair. However, don’t get too cheap – it’s worth it to spend a bit more to get a higher end clipper from a reputable brand. Cheaper clippers won’t get the job done, won’t be sharp, and are more likely to hurt your pet.
Can Cause Pinching. The other major disadvantage to dog nail clippers is that they can squeeze and pinch your dog’s quick, which may cause pain and discomfort for your dog, even if you don’t cut into the quick.
No Electricity. Nail clippers are manual tools and don’t require batteries or electricity to work.
Nail Breakage. While uncommon, nail clippers can, in rare cases, cause your dog’s nails to split or crack. Always make sure your clippers are sharp to prevent this risk (more of an issue with guillotine-style clippers).


Pros and Cons Grinders:

Pros Cons 
Good For Dogs With Clipper Anxiety. If you’ve tried dog nail clippers in the past and freaked out your pooch, grinders provide a 2nd chance – you may have better luck getting your dog to go along with a grinder.
You Can Still Hit the Quick. Even with grinders, owners may accidentally hit their dog’s nail quick. It’s easier to avoid with grinders, since you can keep an eye on the nail as you grind and watch for the small dot that signals you are nearing the quick and should stop.
Rounded, Smooth Nails. One of the biggest advantages of grinders is that you can smooth your dog’s nails and round them. This is much preferred over the sharp edges left by nail clippers. Rounded nails ensure your dog doesn’t get snagged on carpets and is especially handy for dogs that have a tendency to scratch or jump up on owners (smooth nails don’t do nearly as much damage to furniture or to your skin). 
Loud (And Sometimes Scary). Dog nail grinders can be fairly loud and can scare your pooch, especially if they’re not found of loud noises.
Great For Thick Nails. Dog nail grinders are especially handy for dogs with large, thick nails that can be difficult to clip. 
Odour & Dust. Grinding a dog’s nails results in dust and odour. For this reason, it’s best to grind your dog’s nails outside. You may also want to wear a mouth mask cover and eye protection.

Ultimately it comes up to the dog’s personality and nail type. We hope this helps you when trimming your dog’s nails at home as well as when you book in at HolliePaws!

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