Keeping your dog’s nails nice and short is really important for a few main reasons.
If your dog jumps up on to people, it can be excruciating as the dog’s claws dig into their skin.
It can also wreak havoc on the furniture in your home, especially if your dog likes to zoom, scratch, or root around.
Finally, if your dog’s nails get too overgrown, it can cause health issues, pain when walking, and generally bad for a dog.
So to keep on top of your dog’s nail, you want to make this job as easily as possible and then do it really regularly so that they never get too long.
There are three main ways of doing this. You can trim a dogs’ nails with a Dremel (or a similar grinding tool), you can use a purpose-built, professional dog nail grinder, or you can use dog nail clippers.
We will look at using a Dremel in this post with a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
Further down, we will share some useful tips and advice to help look after the dog’s nails.
How to Use a Dremel to Trim Dog Nails
You might be using clippers first to take the bulk of the nail off and then using the Dremel just to smooth down any sharp or rough edges.
Or you might be using a Dremel to take down all the excess dog nail that needs to be removed.
Either way, you can follow this same process. It will just take longer if you only use the Dremel tool.
But the advantage is that it is much easier to not cut the nail too short with the Dremel.
Step One – Put on Some Eye Protection
Yes, we know this might sound a bit over the top but trust us, it is more important than you think.
As you use the Dremel, little chips of dog nail can fly off, and it could be really nasty if they hit you in the eyes.
So wearing some safety Googles or even just some sunglasses is a great way to keep your eyes safe.
Step Two – Your Dog’s Position
The very best position for your dog is to be lying on their side with their back against your knees as you kneel next to them.
This position allows you to reach all four of the dog’s paws really easily, and it is also a dog position for you to be able to keep control of the dog if they get a bit wriggly as you do the nail trimming.
Step Three – Distract Your Dog
Some dog owners are fortunate, and they have a dog that will just lie very quietly and patiently as they get their nails trimmed.
Other dogs, however, can be really tricky to keep still during the process.
Using food or a toy can be a great way to help with this.
For example, if you smear a large dollop of peanut butter on the wall or post that your dog can lick as it lies down.
This will help distract them from the nail grinding, and they will get used to it more and more.
You should also praise and reward your dog for lying still throughout this process.
Tell them they are a good dog and give them a treat; they deserve it!
Step Four – One Dog Paw and One Claw at a Time
When you are ready to start the nail trimming, make sure that you only focus on one nail at a time and one claw on that paw at a time.
Place the top of the dog’s paw in the palm of your hand, and then use your fingers to separate the one claw you are working on (see the image or the video we shared below to understand this better).
Step Five – Keep an Eye Out for the Quick
A dog’s nail is made up of two sections, the outer claw and the quick of the nail.
The dog feels no pain in the outer claw, but the quick is very sensitive, and if you cut or grind into it, the dog will be in pain, and it will bleed.
So you need to know how to identify the quick from the rest of the dog nail and then make sure you do not grind into it with the Dremel tool.
The quick is a central core of the nail (a bit lit the more sensitive bit of human nail). It is a slightly different color and is usually fairly easy to spot.
You can see from this image what it looks like.
So before you start to work on your dog’s nails, take the time to identify the quick and how much claw you can safely remove without hitting it.
NOTE – If in doubt, always take less claw off rather than more. You can always do it again but trust us, if you hit the quick, you will feel terrible when you hear your dog yelp!
Step Six – Get on with the Dog Nail Trimming
Now you need to get on with it; you want to do it carefully and not in any sort of rush.
But you also want to get it over with a quickly as possible not to stress out the dog too much.
Keep the Dremel tool moving across the dog’s nail; the grit sanding action will build up too much heat if you keep it on one spot.
Remember to give your dog lots of reassurance and praise as you go through each paw one at a time.
Step Seven – Double Check the Quality of Your Work
After you have trimmed every one of the dog’s nails, just them a quick check to make sure you didn’t leave any rough edges.
Then let the dog up and walk them around. Make sure they can walk normally, and there are no pain issues as they move around.
Give them some more praise, another treat, and then tidy up the mess.
Precautions and Considerations
Here are some pointers and tips that you should bear in mind when trimming your dog’s nails.
Shorter, more regular trims are better for the dog – If you trim your dog’s nails frequently, over time, the length of the quick will reduce. That will mean you can cut each dog nail shorter without hurting the dog,
Walking on a hard surface can help keep your dog’s nails blunter – If you can give your dog’s lots of good long walks on hard surfaces such as tarmac roads.
It will wear down and blunt the nails some, not a huge amount but enough to help keep on top of them.
If you struggle, try a professional groomer or a vet – If your dog hates getting their nails done, take them to a groomer or a vet and get them to cut the dog’s nails.
Sometimes it is worth spending some money just to reduce the stress levels on you and your dog.
Groomers and vets are trained and skilled at dealing with difficult dog behavior and are experts at using dog nail clippers to cut pets nails.
How to Trim Dog Nails with Dremel FAQ’s
- Can you use a regular Dremel on dog nails?
- How do you Dremel a dog’s nails?
- How often can I Dremel my dog’s nails?
Can you use a regular Dremel on dog nails?
Yes, a standard Dremel or similar electric rotary tool with sanding bands is fine to help trim your dog’s nails, but ideally, you should use a specially made dog nail grinder as they are easy and safer to use.
How do you Dremel a dog’s nails?
You follow the step-by-step guide that we have shared further up this post or watch the instructional video we posted below.
How often can I Dremel my dog’s nails?
We suggest that you do it really regularly; it will ensure that they never get overgrown, and it is much easier to take a little bit off more frequently.
Even your dogs will thank you for following this simple tip!
Some Advice from a Vet
To finish off this post, we wanted to show you a video of using a Dremel to trim a dog’s nails.
The video starts with a DVM qualified veterinarian called Dr. Murray Matheson and his beautiful pet pooch Judy, who is a very good girl and behave perfectly as he grinds her nails.
He explains the basic steps you need to take with your own dog’s nail and shows a close-up view of the grinding so you can really understand what you need to do.
That is all there is for this short blog post. Thanks for taking the time to visit our website.
We really appreciate our visitors, so thanks very much, and please feel free to have a really good look around the rest of the site.
The Pupster Passion Team