Personally, I prefer a nail grinder such as a Dremel to using clippers. This is for several reasons:
When using clippers, if you are in the wrong place, you don’t find out until it’s too late!
When using clippers, they squeeze the nail as they cut and many dogs find this uncomfortable.
When using clippers, they “click” loudly as they clip and this can startle the dog.
When using clippers, if they aren’t nice and sharp, they can “chew” the nail rather than clip through it.
For these reasons and the sheer size and strength of my dog’s nails (well, they are Ridgebacks after all), I prefer to use a Dremel nail grinder to do the job. When using a grinder it is vital that you introduce it to your dog kindly, slowly, gently and with oodles of lovely tasty treats. Please never FORCE your dog to stand and endure the process if they are frightened – this will simply build up a negative history which will result in a battle each time you want to do a pedicure. In turn, you won’t want to do it, neither will they and the nails will end up very long as you try to ignore the need to tackle the pedicure. Better to start them with this as a tiny puppy so that by the time they are older, with tougher nails, they readily accept the process.
When using a grinder, you grind away bit by bit which helps eliminate the chance of you going too far and nicking the quick by mistake.
When using a grinder, you can easily shape the nails from all different angles getting a smooth result with no sharp edges.
When using a grinder, you can choose a rechargeable, cordless variety so it’s easy to get in where you need to be.
There are, however, a few rules you do need to adhere to when using a grinder:
Never PRESS with the grinder; simply let the spinning wheel do the work for you
Never hold the grinder in one place for longer than 3 seconds at any one time; it will heat up and become very uncomfortable
Never grind into the quick; this will cause extreme pain and bleeding exactly as it would if you’d used clippers
Never pin your dog down to do the grind; take your time to introduce your dog to the process and to get used to the buzzing feel/noise.
I have talked about nail trims in other blogs but I was asked again just yesterday how I go about it so I thought the best thing would simply be to do you a little video which explains the whole kit and caboodle!
Here is the video with graphics, explanation and actual footage to demonstrate: HOW TO USE A NAIL GRINDER