Best Dog Nail Clippers of 2024: Top Picks for Pet Grooming

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Are you tired of getting clawed by your dog’s long nails?

Or perhaps you’re worried about your pup’s health and comfort as those nails keep growing?

Just like humans, dogs need regular grooming for their well-being… and that includes maintaining their nails (shocker).

Now, consider that you could be the one to give them this comfort and safety right from the convenience of your home… with the right tools.

That’s where I come in.

As a pet professional, I’ve trimmed many dog nails over the years, and I am oh-so-picky about what I use to clip nails. The quality really matters and can speed up the time it takes to clip and give them a cleaner look.

In this post, I list the best dog nail clippers for your specific needs so you can give your dog the best nail trim at home.

Say goodbye to the claw and hello to pretty paws. 

close up of orange millers forge dog nail clippersMedium/Large Dogs:
Millers Forge
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close up of red millers forge dog nail clippers for medium dogsSmall/Medium Dogs:
Millers Forge 743C
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close up of green safari puppy nail clippersSmall Dogs/Cats:
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close up of green safari guillotine style pet nail trimmersGuillotine-Style:
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close up of dremel nail grinder and accessoriesNail Grinder:
Dremel Paw Control
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close up of kwik stop styptic powder for dog nails safety kitFirst Aid:
Kwik Stop
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cute corgi setting its front paws on an elevated scratchboard (side profile)Scratch Board:
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Best Dog Nail Clippers

Check out this curated list of reputable nail clippers to help make trimming a bit easier on you and your pup.

Best Nail Clipper For Medium To Large Breeds: Millers Forge Dog Nail Clippers

The Millers Forge Dog Nail Clip is a robust and efficient tool designed specifically for the grooming needs of larger dogs, particularly those weighing over 40 pounds.

Crafted with German stainless steel and manufactured in Italy, this nail clipper stands out for its durability and sharpness.

Its popularity among veterinarians and groomers highlights its professional-grade quality and reliability.

The clipper’s main feature is its sharp cutting blades, promising a quick and clean cut every time, making it an ideal choice for maintaining your dog’s nail health with ease.

Key Benefits

  • Exceptionally Sharp Blades: Ensures a swift, clean cut, reducing discomfort for the dog.
  • Durable Construction: Made with German stainless steel, offering longevity and sustained sharpness.
  • Suitable for Large Dogs: Specifically designed for dogs over 40 pounds, handling thicker nails effortlessly.
  • Versatile Use: Effective on both large and toy-sized dogs, showcasing its adaptability.
  • Highly Recommended: Favored by professionals like veterinarians and groomers, indicating trusted quality.
  • Good Value: Offers a balance of quality and cost, making it a worthwhile investment.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Grip Concerns: Some people struggle with the grip, which might affect handling for some people.
  • Size Specificity: Primarily intended for larger dogs, so may not be the best choice for smaller breeds with more delicate nails.
Meraki Dogs’ Thoughts

Miller’s Forge is the go-to nail clipper brand for pet professionals, myself included. I use these on all large breeds because of the high-quality material and sharp blades, which effortlessly slice through thick nails.

These trimmers are designed to stand the test of time, promising years of reliable use. I actually met a dog owner who has had these clippers last for 15 years.

Of course, they had to sharpen the blades on occasion, but I take that as a solid testament.

These awesome clippers are a trusted choice for those prioritizing quality and efficiency – especially when handling big dogs or heavily thick, black nails.

Best Nail Clipper for Small to Medium Dog Breeds: Millers Forge Steel Pet Nail Clipper 743C

The Millers Forge 743C is a plier-style nail clipper designed for small to medium dogs.

It features comfortable red plastic grips, a spring-loaded mechanism for precise cutting, and a safety stop bar to prevent overcutting.

Made of stainless steel, it’s durable and measures 5 inches long, making it convenient for regular use.

Key Benefits

  • Easy and Clean Cuts: Ideal for beginners, ensuring smooth and fast trimming.
  • Safety Stop Bar: Minimizes the risk of cutting nails too short.
  • Durable Construction: Stainless steel design for long-term use.
  • Spring-Loaded Mechanism: Enhances cutting accuracy.
  • Sharp and Effective: Known for its sharpness and overall performance.
  • Compact and Handy: Good size for easy handling and storage.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Grip Slippage: The red grips may slide off, affecting handling.
  • Size Limitation: Best for small to medium dogs, not ideal for larger breeds.
Meraki Dogs’ Thoughts

These Millers Forge clippers come in a close second.

These are my go-to for small to medium sized dogs, for the same reasons that I recommend in the other set of Millers Forge clippers: they’re sharp, give a clean cut, and are easy to handle.

A bonus that I really love with these is the nail guard.

Nail guards help to ensure that you don’t take too many nails off and lessen the odds of quicking your dog.

It’s still possible with long quicks, but if your dog jerks at the last moment, you’re not going to take a whole chunk off.

Best Nail Trimmer for Small Dogs & Cats: Safari Professional Nail Trimmer

The Coastal Pet Safari Nail Trimmer is a durable, stainless steel clipper designed for dog nail grooming.

It features ergonomic large finger holes and a non-slip grip, suitable for various hand sizes. This tool is ideal for regular nail maintenance, promoting safe and easy trimming for pet owners.

Key Benefits

  • Sharp and Durable: Made with stainless steel for long-lasting sharpness.
  • Ergonomic Design: Comfortable for all hand sizes, with a non-slip grip.
  • Ease of Use: Simple and effective, great for beginners.
  • Consistent Performance: Smooth cutting without squeezing the nails.
  • Regular Maintenance: Encourages a routine grooming schedule.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Gripping: The finger grips may be uncomfortable while in use.
Meraki Dogs’ Thoughts

These adorably tiny pet nail clippers are an awesome choice for toy breeds.

Bonus: If you have multiple small animals, like cats, guinea pigs, or ferrets, you can use these too.

Don’t let the tiny size fool you – these toy dog nail clippers are robust enough to offer long-lasting durability.

The scissors have an angled design, making it easy to reach those tricky spots, and the razor-sharp blades guarantee a swift, clean cut.

Best Guillotine-Style Nail Clippers: Safari Guillotine Dog Nail Trimmer

Key Benefits

  • Sharp Blades: Ensures effective and clean cuts.
  • Ergonomic Vinyl Grip: Provides comfort and slip resistance.
  • Ideal for Medium to Large Dogs: Sized appropriately for larger breeds.
  • Durable Construction: Built to last through regular use.
  • Ease of Use: User-friendly, even for those new to pet grooming.
  • Good Value: Offers solid performance at a reasonable price.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Size Concerns: Some users find the trimmer too large or unwieldy.
  • Potential Nail Impact: There are concerns about its effect on the nails during trimming.
Meraki Dogs’ Thoughts

Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of guillotine clippers… but if I had to choose one, these clippers would be my pick.

They have sharp, durable blades and precise cuts for medium to large dogs.

The ergonomic vinyl grip makes it easy to handle for left- and right-handed owners, which can help to minimize slips.

The reason I don’t prefer guillotine-style nail clippers is because they tend to catch on the nail easily.

If your dog tends to fidget and jerk their paw around when you try to clip their nails, this tool can quickly become irritating because you have to carefully line it up every time. No thanks.

Best Nail Grinder for Dogs: Dremel PawControl Dog Nail Grinder

The Dremel PawControl is a cordless, rechargeable nail grooming kit for pets, offering a gentle alternative to clippers.

It’s equipped with multiple accessories, a 45-degree paw guide for safety, and variable speed control.

Lightweight and portable, it’s suitable for dogs, cats, and small animals.

Key Benefits

  • Gentle and Safe: A less intimidating alternative to clippers, reducing the risk of over-clipping.
  • Versatile: Suitable for dogs with different nail thicknesses.
  • Convenient & Portable: Cordless design with a soft grip for easy handling.
  • Rechargeable Battery: Ensures consistent power availability.
  • Multiple Grooming Options: Comes with 9 accessories for customized grooming.
  • Easy to Use: Variable speed for precise control.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Learning Curve: May require some practice to get used to, especially for beginners.
  • Noise Level: Could be unsettling for some pets, especially those sensitive to sound.
Meraki Dogs’ Thoughts

Dremel products are best of the best for filing dog nails and after testing other brands on the market, I stand by that statement.

The Dremel PawControl Nail Grinder is a top-notch product for a few reasons: it’s lightweight, easy to handle, variable speed settings, and cordless convenience make for a smooth grinding experience.

This grinder comes with a nail guard which can bring peace of mind to you if you’re just learning how to trim with a grinder, your dog tends to nip, or they have long hair and you want to protect their coat from getting caught (ouch).

Best First Aid: Miracle Care Kwik Stop Styptic Powder

Miracle Care Kwik Stop Styptic Powder is a first aid product that quickly helps stop bleeding caused by minor cuts and nail trimming.

The key ingredient, pharmaceutical-grade Ferric Subsulfate, effectively contracts blood vessels to stop bleeding rapidly.

It also contains Benzocaine to alleviate pain and itching, allowing wounds to heal with minimal discomfort.

This awesome product is made in the USA and has a long-standing reputation in the market.

Key Benefits

  • Quick Bleeding Control: Effective at stopping bleeding from minor injuries.
  • Pain Relief: Contains Benzocaine to ease pain and itching.
  • High-Quality Ingredients: Pharmaceutical-grade Ferric Subsulfate for superior results.
  • Trusted Brand: Reliable with over 50 years on the market.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Specific Use: Primarily for minor injuries, not suitable for severe wounds.
  • Potential Irritation: Benzocaine may cause irritation in some pets.
Meraki Dogs’ Thoughts

As much as we try to avoid cutting quicks (a sensitive area with blood vessels towards the base of the nail), it happens to the best of us.

And when it happens (and it will), you’ll want to be prepared for it.

I’ve been clipping pet nails for 20 years and my “old reliable” product that never fails me is Kwik Stop.

This stuff is amazing in its effectiveness to stop the nail from bleeding. Kwik Stop is a styptic powder which is a fast-acting clotting agent to stop the bleeding of small wounds.

Best Dog Nail Scratch Board: VIROTEE Dog Scratch Pad for Nails

The VIROTEE Dog Scratch Pad is an innovative solution for pet nail care, offering a fun and fear-free alternative to traditional nail trimming tools like clippers and grinders.

This product is particularly ideal for dogs who are uncomfortable with standard nail trimming methods.

It’s designed to allow dogs to naturally trim their own nails by scratching on the pad.

The scratch board is adjustable to different angles (30°, 35°, and 45°), making it suitable for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages.

Additionally, it features replaceable sandpaper, ensuring long-term usability and convenience.

Key Benefits

  • Stress-Free Nail Trimming: A great alternative for dogs averse to clippers or grinders.
  • Adjustable Angles: Can be tailored to suit any dog’s size and comfort.
  • Suitable for All Dogs: Versatile design for dogs of various breeds and ages.
  • Replaceable Sandpaper: Easy to maintain and refresh the scratch surface.
  • Self-Grooming: Encourages dogs to participate in their own nail care.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Training Required: Dogs may need time and training to get used to the scratch pad.
  • Effectiveness Varies: May not be as effective for extremely overgrown nails.
Meraki Dogs’ Thoughts

If a classic pet nail trimmer is stressful for your dog, consider a scratchboard for their front nails.

A scratchboard allows your dog to naturally file their nails while engaging in a behavior that is instinctive and enjoyable.

This scratchboard is great for keeping their nails at an acceptable length between training sessions and it serves as a stress-free and enjoyable activity for your dog.

It’s a smart, dual-purpose approach to nail maintenance that ensures your training efforts are complemented rather than compromised.

And let’s be real – it’s really fun to watch!

Why Trust Meraki Dogs

Having spent years in the professional dog care industry, I’ve had the opportunity to assess many nail maintenance tools. The clippers, grinders, and scratch pads I recommend aren’t chosen lightly; they’re the tools I employ for my pets and clients. They combine efficiency with safety, enabling you to conduct this crucial aspect of dog care confidently and precisely. So, if you’re ready to make an informed decision for the sake of your dog’s health, rest assured that the tools I endorse are tried and true.

Why You Should Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Nail maintenance is no trivial matter when it comes to the well-being of your dog.

Overlooked by many, extended nails can dramatically compromise a dog’s posture and alignment.

This isn’t merely an aesthetic concern. When a dog’s nails grow too long, the natural alignment of their paws is altered, forcing them into a position of hyperextension.

This incorrect posture adds unnecessary stress to the paw structure and joints, creating a heightened risk of developing painful arthritis.

And it’s worth noting arthritis isn’t an ailment that discriminates by age—your young, energetic pup is equally at risk as an older dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Trimming a dog’s nails can sometimes be challenging, especially if your furry friend is not too keen on the process.

Here are some tips to make nail trimming less stressful for both you and your dog:

  1. Positive Reinforcement: Dogs respond well to positive reinforcement. Try rewarding your dog with treats after trimming each nail. This can help create a positive association with nail trimming.
  2. Take it Slow: If your dog gets particularly stressed, consider trimming one paw at a time. Allow them a brief pause between paws to relax, but ensure they don’t run off. While some advice suggests trimming one nail at a time with breaks in between, this can inadvertently prolong stress. Focusing on one paw at a time offers a good balance between efficiency and comfort.
  3. Safety First: For dogs that may become mouthy or try to bite during nail trimming, consider using a muzzle for safety. Remember, the key is to ensure a stress-free experience for your pet.
  4. Further Reading: For more detailed guidance, check out my comprehensive post on trimming dog nails, where I delve deeper into techniques and best practices.

When it comes to dog nail trimming, grinding is often the preferred method.

Here’s why:

  • More Control: Grinding allows you to remove more of the nail and achieve a smoother, rounder edge. This reduces the chance of leaving sharp edges that can snag or scratch.
  • Less Stressful: Many dogs tolerate grinding better than cutting, as it can be less abrupt and startling.

Yes, the quicks in your dog’s nails can elongate if the nails are not regularly trimmed.

This can pose several issues:

  • Health Concerns: Longer quicks can be problematic and harder to trim back. This may require a more frequent trimming schedule to bring the nails to a healthy length gradually.
  • Comfort and Mobility: Overgrown nails and quicks can be uncomfortable for your dog, affecting their gait and mobility.

Maintaining a regular nail trimming routine is essential for your dog’s health and comfort. If you’re unsure how to proceed, consider consulting a professional groomer or veterinarian for advice and assistance.

Final Thoughts

Quality in dog nail maintenance tools isn’t necessarily tied to a hefty price tag.

Whether you’re operating on a limited budget or willing to invest more, rest assured that you can find a suitable nail clipper or grinder that aligns with your specific needs.

If you are uncertain which product is most appropriate for your dog, consulting your professional groomer can provide invaluable insights.

They can assess and recommend the ideal tool based on factors such as your dog’s nail composition, temperament, and previous grooming experiences.

This personalized guidance can significantly streamline your selection process, ensuring you make a well-informed decision contributing to your pet’s overall well-being.

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