Nail trimming is an essential part of a dog’s hygiene routine. However, if your dog’s nails are particularly tough, finding the right pair of nail clippers can be hard. To help you out, we have made this buying guide with a list of the best dog nail clippers for thick nails currently on the market.
Strong nail clippers are essential for clipping your dog’s nails if he’s got particularly hardy claws. So let’s get into some nail clipping basics as well as our favorite products and FAQs.
Dog Nail Care Basics
Dogs’ nails have a shell, which is the outer part that you can see. The shell can be black, white, or see-through. Then, there is what is called a “quick” underneath the shell, and bone underneath the quick. The quick is essentially the nail’s blood supply and shouldn’t be cut or it can bleed, cause pain, and leaves your dog’s nail open to infection.
Many dogs won’t need their nails clipped very often, as regular walks on hard surfaces like pavement keep them naturally short. However, some dogs have nails that grow longer and thicker than others and need that extra TLC. Breeds that tend to need extra nail care include Weimaraners. Grooming dog nails is a good way to also spot torn, splitting, cracked, or even broken nails and treat the root cause.
If a dog’s nails get too long, it can cause irritation, discomfort, and pain. They’re also more likely to get infected and they pose a scratching hazard to owners and household furniture. Owners of dogs who need regular nail trims should cut their dog’s nails (or have it done professionally) every 3-4 weeks, or once a month. For exact advice tailored to your dog, ask your vet.
Vets can check and clip nails at annual check-ups, and you can book appointments with dog groomers if your dog needs it done regularly. Alternatively, you can do it at home, but it’s essential you get the right tools for the job and learn how to do it properly, or you could hurt your dog. If you also spot a different or unusual nail color, speak to your vet (especially if your dog’s nails turn red).
Tips When Using Dog Nail Clippers
Nail clippers are cutting/trimming tools made specifically for dogs’ nails. There are different types of nail clippers, which we will explore below.
Types of Dog Nail Clippers
There are several types of nail clippers, including those that are manual and those that are electric. The most popular types are guillotine clippers and scissors.
The guillotine type is the easiest to use and best for regular nails. They have a stationary ring that the nail is placed into, and a cutting blade that slices off the tip of the nail when the handles are squeezed. Scissors have straight or slightly curved blades, and they are good for overgrown nails.
How to Cut Your Dog’s Nails
First of all, you want to get your dog familiar and comfortable with the clipper, especially if they are young or prone to anxiety, and particularly if it is electric. You should do this slowly and gradually, by first, letting them see and sniff the nail clipper. Then, let them hear the sound it makes when it’s in use. On a separate day, try touching their nails with the clipper and give them lots of praise and treats afterward. Then, attempt to cut the tip of a nail and give them a treat if they react well. If the above is successful, proceed to cut their nails. If it isn’t, keep trying!
How to cut your dog’s nails step-by-step:
- Ask your dog to sit or lie down in a familiar, comfortable place
- Take their paw and firmly, but gently, put your thumb on the pad of a toe and your forefinger on the top of the toe, on the skin above the nail. Make sure none of their fur is in the way.
- Cut the tip of the nail, straight across at a 45-degree angle, and avoid clipping past the curve of the nail, as this is where the quick is.
If your dog has white or clear claws, you can see the quick from the side. It is the soft, pink tissue in the center of the nail. If your dog has black claws, cut very small chunks slowly, and when you see a black dot in the middle of the nail, stop!
Alternatives to Dog Nail Clippers
If your dog really hates having his nails cut, you can opt for a nail file for dogs instead. They are obviously not as effective at shortening the nails and need to be replaced more often, but they are cheaper, easier to use, and less stressful for dogs.
Plus, they do take off a little bit of length as well as blunting sharp nail tips, which is great for dogs that just need the occasional touch-up rather than regular trims. It also reduces the risk of accidental scratching. For dogs that do need regular trims, try walking them on pavements more to blunt their nails naturally, or ask a professional to do their trims for you.
What to Look for in a Dog Nail Clipper
Besides the type of clipper you need, you might also want to consider other features such as the size, safety features, safety locks for easy storage, quiet or noiseless tools for anxious pets, durable, long-lasting materials, and comfortable handles for easy use.
How to Look After Your Dog’s Nail Clippers
You should clean your dog’s nail clippers after every use using rubbing alcohol to prevent bacteria build-up which could make them unhygienic. It can also cause the blades to dull quicker than they naturally should.
You should also re-sharpen the blades once a year if they get regular use, or when you notice a difference in their performance or the end result. The product manufacturers usually offer this service, or you can find independent companies who do it online.
10 Best Dog Nail Clippers For Thick Nails
These are the ten best dog nail clippers on Amazon.
1. Andis Pet Premium Dog Nail Clipper
Andi’s premium manual nail clippers utilize heavy-duty, stainless steel blades and comfortable non-slip handles with spring-loaded action. It also comes with a safety stop to lessen the risk of over-cutting and is lightweight at 0.2 lbs. It’s an Amazon’s Choice product and reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with buyers mentioning how easy to use the product is.
2. SHINY PET Ergonomic Nail Clippers
Shiny Pet’s manual nail clippers have razor-sharp stainless steel blades with a safety guard that prevents accidents, a comfortable rubberized grip made from top-grade recyclable plastic and rubber, and a safety lock. The packaging features a barcode that can be scanned into your phone for a free, detailed guide on nail clipping.
It is also an Amazon’s Choice product and comes with a lifetime money-back guarantee. Buyers seem to love the product and many reviews mention what brilliant value for money they are.
3. EPICA Professional Pet Nail Clipper
Epica’s manual nail clippers are an Amazon bestseller. They come in two different sizes; small-medium for dogs under 60 lbs and large for dogs over 60 lbs. The brand promises gentleness but effectiveness, with high-grade stainless steel blades that have a wide opening to help place your dog’s nails perfectly in between them.
It also comes with comfy, non-slip handles and a safety lock for when it’s not in use. Buyers seem to love the product as it’s hardly got any bad reviews and many mention the clean cut of the blade.
4. Coastal Pet Safari Professional Large Nail Trimmer for Dogs
These manual professional dog nail trimmers by Coastal are made from the finest quality stainless steel with a non-slip grip handle. They’re best suited to bigger breeds and are made with a large spring to give a wider opening for bigger nails.
Reviews praise the high quality of the product. However, we don’t recommend them for first-time users as they are of professional quality and novices may find them difficult to use.
5. Dremel 7760-PGK 4V Pet Grooming Cordless Kit
Dremel’s electric pet grooming kit is cordless and rechargeable via USB. It comes with 9 attachments for different grooming purposes, including a rotary nail file. The tool has four-speed options for maximum control and the ergonomic design allows for precision.
It also has a clear cap on the nail guard to capture dust and debris and runs quietly which is perfect for anxious pets. Buyers love this product and it will meet all of your grooming needs.
6. GoPets Dog Nail Clippers
GoPets’ nail clippers come with a nail file for buffing and touch-ups. The blades are made with high-quality 3.5mm thick stainless steel to provide a clean and smooth cut. They also contain safety guards and a safety lock for when they’re not in use.
The handles are non-slip for good grip and are comfortable for long usage. The clippers come in a small and large size for different dogs and reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
7. Fur Goodness Sake Dog Nail Clippers
These nail clippers by Fur Goodness Sake use long-lasting anti-rust metal grade steel blades that cut gently and easily. They’re suitable for puppies and elderly dogs with softer or brittle claws and come with a free nail file. They also have a safety lock and non-slip handles and can even be used for cats too! Reviews love the product and say it’s ideal for all of the four-legged family members.
8. Casfuy Nail Grinder Updated
Another rechargeable electric nail cutter, Casfuy’s product uses an advanced diamond drum bit grinder for safe and comfortable use. It comes in dark blue and white and has super low noise and vibration, which is perfect for anxious pets.
It also has two-speed settings and three grinding ports for nails with different sizes and thicknesses. Reviews love this product and buyers say that the different grinding ports are ideal for owners with multiple dogs.
9. Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V Cordless Pet Dog Nail Grooming & Grinding Tool
Another electric tool by Dremel, this lightweight grinder offers a safe, effective, and less stressful alternative to using nail clippers. It has a long-lasting battery and uses a 60-grit sanding drum with two-speed settings to help you control the flow. It’s said to be great for first-timers, and reviews love the product for this reason.
10. Millers Forge Stainless Steel Dog Nail Clipper
These durable plier-style nail clippers by Millers Forge feature an adjustable safety guard and a safety lock for easy storage. The 8-inch blades are long-lasting to withstand several years of usage. They’re very strong and work on dogs of all sizes, they’re even used by vets and professional dog groomers all over the US. Reviews love the product and say they get the job done.
Nail Clippers For Dogs: FAQ
Some dogs won’t need their nails clipped very often, as regular walks on hard surfaces like pavements keep them naturally short. However, some have nails that grow longer and thicker than others and need that extra TLC. For dogs that need regular trims, owners should cut their dog’s nails (or have it done professionally) every 3-4 weeks or once a month.
If your dog hates having his nails clipped, you can opt for a nail file for dogs instead. They are obviously not as effective at shortening the nails and need to be replaced more often, but they are cheaper, easier to use, less stressful for dogs, and take off a little bit of length as well as blunting sharp claw tips, which reduces the risk of scratching. You should also try to walk your dog on the street more to trim their nails naturally.
The nail quick is essentially the nail’s blood supply. It’s located above the curve of your dog’s nail and shouldn’t be cut or it can bleed and cause your dog pain.
If the quick is accidentally cut during grooming, the area must be compressed for at least two minutes. Some groomers find that applying styptic powder is the most common and efficient way to stop the bleeding, so keep some on hand if you’re a first-timer.
Make sure to keep it clean after walks to prevent infection, and take your dog to the vet if it becomes infected. An infected nail is soft, brittle, swollen, inflamed, may bleed or discharge, and dogs may lick or chew the affected area.
If your dog has white or clear nails, you can easily see the quick from the side. It is the soft, pink tissue in the center of the nail. If your dog has dark-colored nails, the easiest way to tell if the quick is close is to cut the nail gradually. Once you see a black dot in the middle, it’s time to stop.
Those are our ten best dog nail clippers for thick nails. Nail care is important to a dog’s overall health and hygiene. Will you be trying out any of our recommendations or have any tips of your own to share? Let us know!