Trimming your dog’s nails is an important part of every dog owner’s routine. You may have heard from your vet or know from friends that your dog’s nails should not be left too long.
Domesticated dogs today need their nails kept in shape. Unlike their ancestors, dogs as pets have a luxury lifestyle, with comfy dog beds, cushy grass and live indoors. Before we adopted dogs into our daily lives, they had to roam in the wild and had to run and hunt to grind down their claws.
Whether you’re an experienced dog owner or apprehensive to start trimming your dog’s nails, you don’t need to look any further as we have the top dog nail clippers as well as top tips from the experts right here.
If in doubt, always speak to your vet or a professional groomer before undertaking the task yourself.
So why do I need to trim my dog’s nails?
Some dogs don’t need their nails trimmed if they’re energetic and have been out playing and on rough surfaces enough. On the other hand, if your dog hasn’t worn down their nails because they’re on soft surfaces, keeping calm or staying inside a lot, the tips of the nails won’t have been ground down sufficiently and this can lead to problems.
When dogs’ nails get a little bit too long, they can get caught on various surfaces like furniture and carpets which can be really painful – a bit like when we chip our nails a little bit too short! If it’s a severe outcome for your dog, this may even result in a trip to the vets. You might also find that your dog is struggling to walk with longer nails because it’s uncomfortable or awkward. If you can hear their nails clicking along the floor, this probably means it's time for a trim.
Not feeling up to the task? Remember that it’s important for your dog’s health to keep up with their nails and if you can’t bring yourself to do it, don’t be afraid to ask the vet for assistance or seek out a professional dog groomer.
Our highlights of the best dog nail clippers
Look no further because here at Take a Break Pets, we’ve shortlisted the best dog clippers out there right now, to make your life easy.
Best overall dog clippers: Professional-Grade Dog Nail Clippers by Thunderpaws
Best dog nail clipping set: Dallfoll Dog Grooming Grinder with Clippers and Nail File
Best value dog clippers: Fine Life Dog Nail Clippers with Safety Guard
Best dog nail clippers for small breeds: H&H Pets Professional Small Breed Nail Clipper
Best electric dog nail grinder: slopehill Dog Nail Grinders
Scroll down for our full debrief on why these are the best picks.
The best dog nail clippers
Just so you know, while we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.
Professional-Grade Dog Nail Clippers by Thunderpaws
Best overall dog clippers
These clippers are perfect for every kind of dog owner - whether you're experienced or new to trimming your pet's nails, these are our top pick for overall efficiency.
Why we like it:
• Premium and professional-grade: Used by professional groomers and vets for top quality clipping
• Easy to use: The grip, non-slip design and spring function provides the best use whether you’re new to cutting or an experienced dog owner
• Safety stop guard: Means there’s no risk of overcutting your dog’s nails
• Extra nail file: This cutter also comes with a Fine Life dog nail file to groom to perfection
This is our top pick for the best dog nail clipper because it provides all the best options whether you're a beginner or expert. Used by vets and groomers, you can trust this clipper for its easy use and high-quality stainless steel blades. You won't have to worry about slipping or hurting your pooch either as it comes with a safety stop guard and nail file. Your dog will be feeling pampered in no time!
Dallfoll Dog Grooming Grinder with Clippers and Nail File
Best dog nail clipping set
Looking to stock up on a whole set for your dog? Check out this Dallfoll Dog Grooming set with a dog nail grinder, clippers and nail file in one.
Why we like it:
• A variety of products: You won't be tied down to just a clipper, you can figure out what works best for you and your dog
• 3-speed adjustable nail clippers with two heads: Built-in with a powerful motor, this grinder can work in a safe way and you can adjust it to your preferred settings
• Low noise and vibration: This won’t upset your pooch with upsetting noises as it’s low in vibration and sound
We recommend this dog clipper set because it has everything you need as a dog owner. With three different settings, you can work up to full power without scaring your dog and get used to the pace. You couldn’t need more, with a handheld filer and clipper also included, whether your dog needs a quick clip or a deep pamper this kit will do it for you. It’s also a great set with value for money with it being under £20.
Fine Life Dog Nail Clippers with Safety Guard
Best value dog clippers
These clippers are perfect if you're looking for value for your money, and still provide the premium quality you'll want for your pup.
Why we like it:
• Safety guard included: Ensuring total protection for your pooch
• Non-slip handles: Allows for easy trimming with comfort
• Unlock protection: Useful as a child-lock if you have small kids
• Free nail file included: Good if you’re looking to clean up your clipping
These Fine Life dog clippers are our recommended value dog clippers with a safety guard to ensure you won’t over trim your dog’s nails. At less than £6 it’s a complete bargain for the pet owners looking for an easy tool to save money. This doesn’t cut down on quality, though, with a non-slip handle, stainless steel blades in a lightweight tool.
H&H Pets Professional Small Breed Nail Clipper
Best dog nail clippers for small breeds
These clippers are perfect for the smaller breeds of dogs like Yorkshire Terriers or Chihuahua. They're compact and effective.
Why we like it:
• Designed for small pets: The smaller handles help for control
• High quality: Stainless steel blade and slip-proof handles
• Helping charity: Every pair you buy, H&H donate 15% profit to Hope for Paws, a non-profit animal organization
If you’ve got a smaller dog who doesn’t need heavy-duty clippers, invest in these smaller H&H dog clippers that are compact and easy to use. The quality of the clippers means you’re still getting bang for your buck, but it makes your and your pooch’s life easier. Even better, H&H donates 15% to charity for every sale.
Wahl Electric Nail Grinder
Best electric dog nail grinder
If you're looking for the best nail grinder to buy for your dog, we recommend this Wahl Dog Nail Grinder. One thing to note is that this one is mains-powered.
Why we like it:
• Easy to use: Good grip and quiet motor for easy trimming
• It contains: Six features. 3 x 60 grit filing bands, 3 x 100 grit filing bands and a felt polisher
This mains-powered nail grinder is a fantastic value as you will get two types of grinding stones along with a felt polisher and a great care guide. If you’re looking for a new nail grinder for a larger dog, we’d choose this one.
Expert advice: Best dog nail clipping tips with Sean McCormack
Still not sure what's the best clipping and grinding options for you? We spoke to Sean McCormack, the Head Vet at tails.com for his insight and tips. Here's what he had to say.
How can I make nail clipping stress-free for my dog?
"Some dogs really dislike having their nails trimmed, often because it freaks them out to have their feet handled, especially by a stranger. So my first tip is to get your puppy or older dog used to having their feet picked up, examined and nails inspected frequently using reward-based training. Plenty of praise and even some tasty treats are needed.
"Then, introduce your dog to the nail clippers, allow them to inspect them, sniff them, see them in your hands from time to time before you bring them near their feet. Again, reward for calm interested behaviour.
"Then, go through the motions that you are about to trim your dog’s nails but take it step by step and reward for each stage. Until you build up to actually clipping, just the tiniest tip off one nail. If your dog gets worried, go back a step. Having someone else to hold them gently and distract them with treats is a great way to take their mind off what’s going on. Then just do one nail at a time, especially if your dog reacts to it in a nervous way. Clip a nail, praise, reward, rest. An hour later, clip another, praise, reward, rest.
"It may take time but it’s all about training, repetition and positive reinforcement. And if you need guidance on how to clip, where to clip, and how to handle your dog safely for nail clipping your vet and nurse team at your local practice will be more than happy to help."
When should I be clipping my dog's nails?
"This totally depends on the individual dog. Some rarely need a clip, some quite often, and some just need their dew claws high up on the side of each leg trim. The reason the dewclaws get longer quicker is that they don’t touch the ground very often. For the same reason, a dog that is only exercised on grass or does very little exercise at all due to mobility issues may need far more frequent nail clipping than a dog exercising on concrete. The nails wear down quicker on hard surfaces.
"Generally you should be checking your dog’s nails every month or two and make sure none are becoming overgrown."