One of the most recurring grooming habits that dog owners need to get accustomed to is trimming their dog’s nails on a regular basis.
New owners, in particular, are often afraid that they’re going to hurt their dog by clipping too much of the nail and nicking the quick, but unfortunately, it’s just not practical to have others come around each time you need the deed done.
It’s also not an option to brush it off since the nails can become painful in extreme cases if left unattended. Besides, once you get used to it, a proper grooming session can be a wonderful bonding experience with your dog!
Importance of clipping dog nails
It’s vital to keep your hound’s toenails neat, clipped and short, as a playful and busy dog can easily injure himself when playing outside if his nails are too long. Additionally, if his nails are left to grow too long it could make standing and moving around painful, unpleasant, and uncomfortable for him.
“Retaining healthy dewclaws, maintaining lean body mass, and trimming nails short for training and competition may decrease the likelihood of digit injuries.” 
In more severe cases, a dog’s nails can grow until they curve around the toe itself and become embedded in your dog’s paws, causing your pet an extreme amount of pain and discomfort.
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The best gadget for the job
Thankfully, the right tool makes any situation infinitely more manageable, and that also goes for nail clipping.
It’s a very good idea to have your dog get used to this beauty regime from an early age – it will cause less stress and frustration as he gets older and you’ll have the advantage of him being used to you touching his feet. Dog nail anatomy is also a big consideration when choosing a clippers to get the job done. 
How do dog clippers work?
A dog nail clipper is a tool which essentially works in the same way as a guillotine. You will need to place the end of your dog’s nail in the hole of the clipper, and squeeze the two handles together. The pressing action you perform will lower a blade into the space and clip off the tip of the nail.
Unlike human nail clippers that have a horizontal cutting edge, nail clippers for dogs are semi-circular. This allows the blade to neatly clip through the cylinder-shaped nails of your pet, which avoids any issues with painful splintering or fracturing.
Let’s have a look at this quick tutorial on how to trim your dog’s nails.
Popular nail clippers for dogs
Not all nail clippers are created equally though, especially when they need to work on large dogs with thick nails. That’s why we’re taking this opportunity to present to you five models that we’re quite fond of.
Epica Best Professional Pet Nail Clipper
Our first entry deserves it’s number one spot on this list due to its low price and the value it offers customers looking for a great deal. It comes in sizes suitable for both small and large dogs, and has a number of excellent quality of life features that make this a great option to consider.
First, and perhaps most important, are the rubberized grip handles that make it easy for your hands to hold it securely even as they get sweaty. This is particularly useful if you have a dog that is constantly trying to pull their paws from your grasp and you’re worried about making a mistake.
The second great feature is the locking mechanism that keeps the clippers closed and secure when you put them away. Now, it’s hard to hurt yourself using them anyway, but it’s nice not to have to worry about toddlers or other animals making their way into the drawer and being met with an unpleasant surprise.
Ultimately, this is a quality set of clippers at a price that’s tough to beat, which makes it an excellent deal for both new and veteran dog owners alike.
- Comes in two different sizes for different sized dogs
- Has a plethora of safety features to make clipping fun and relaxing
- Can dull quickly after repeated use on big dogs
This clipper earned a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Owners of small or medium sized dogs have experienced some of the best clipping sessions they’ve ever had after switching to these clippers. They claim that the clippers slice through their dog’s nails effortlessly, which makes grooming pain and stress-free for both parties.
Accurate nail guard guide and locking mechanism.
They also love the locking mechanism, even if a few reviewers find it unintuitive and hard to operate. The nail guard guide is also accurate which leads to fewer accidents, unlike some inferior models that have caused some bloodshed in the past. Many owners are still understandably hesitant to use them, but those that have reported that they encountered no problems.
The issues with these clippers, though few and far between, come from frequent use with big dogs. These negative comments state that their models have been quick to dull, which renders them effectively useless. Keep in mind though, that many owners use them with 100+ pound dogs with no ill-effects, so these negative reports could very well be manufacturing defects rather than design flaws.
Safari Pet Products Professional Nail Trimmer
A first-rate alternative to our first entry – if you’re the proud owner of a medium to large sized pooch, are these clippers by Safari Pet Products. They are slightly more expensive and don’t have the same range of safety features, but do have a texturized handle, and still have that razor-sharp edge that makes cutting effortless.
However, if you’re interested in purchasing this brand of clipper and are new to the grooming world, you should note that while the safety-stop is technically adjustable, it’s not the most reliable fail-safe in the world. Newbies can still push well into the quick if they’re not careful, so it’s advised that you get your feet wet by snipping small amounts of the nail on a more frequent basis until both you and your dog are more comfortable with the process.
- Sharp and efficient
- Adjustable safety stop
- Safety-stop not always reliable
Customers, in general, are quite pleased with these clippers since they remain sharp for months, and even years at a time, without dulling which earned it a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Owners love that after exerting some pressure to get the cut done, the clippers naturally spring back apart thanks to the spring-loaded mechanism that keeps weaker hands from getting fatigued after long stretches of use.
Excellent for large to medium sized dogs.
While most of this feedback is positive, however, there are some conflicting reports about how effective these are for smaller dogs. The company itself advertises that these are best for larger breeds, while many customers claim that the clippers work well for smallish, cat-sized animals, depending on the size of the product that you purchase.
This confusion has led to some customers buying clippers that aren’t the right size for their pet, which makes cutting more complicated than it needs to be. If you’re comfortable returning a product you’re not happy with, then there isn’t much cause for concern. If you’re not, however, then you might want to purchase a model with more consistent sizing.
BOSHEL Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer
If you’ve settled on consistency as a key selling point, then BOSHEL might have the product for you since their clippers come in just one size and color, which reduces their flexibility, but also the confusion of picking the right pair.
These clippers have seemingly been engineered from the ground up for comfort, since they’re by far the most ergonomic clippers we’ve come across. Whether you like to hold them in the crooks of your fingers or palms, they seem to naturally find the curves of your hands without much effort, making cutting a pleasant experience.
The safety-stop is easy to use with the flick of the visible, textured switch to avoid confusing owners, and we can happily report that it works quite well. As always, the best safety features are your eyes, but this definitely adds another point of reassurance.
- Comfortable to hold and use
- Intuitive design makes it easy to access all the features
- One size fits all philosophy, which may not work for dogs in extreme weight categories
BOSHEL is veterinarian recommended and used for a reason, and customers have quickly figured out why after spending some time with their new clippers, which earned a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Frustrated owners are ecstatic to report that these clippers work for even the most stressed out dogs and that they clip through even sensitive nails without much effort while still avoiding fracturing or splintering them.
Strong and solid product.
New owners have also felt reassured by the build quality and solid feel of the product, as well as by the safety features that are front and center, and easy to use. BOSHEL adds some extra value to this product by offering a free nail file which many owners have reported using successfully, even if they’re not the most used tool in their grooming toolkit.
The few negative reports come from owners who claim that their dog did not like the feel of the blades since they seemed to crush rather than clip the nails. That’s a valid concern but is probably one that warrants a refund or an exchange since it would most likely mean that the blades have dulled since leaving the factory. An overwhelming number of owners have never experienced this problem though, so you can buy with confidence knowing that you can probably get a refund if you complain.
GoPets Nail Clippers for Dogs + Nail File
While the BOSHEL clippers are quality products, sometimes one size just doesn’t fit all. That’s why we’re back to showcasing these clippers from GoPets which come in two different sizes, small and large, to better suit the independent needs of your dogs.
One great thing about these clippers is just how thick the actual cutting blades are. The stainless steel used is over 3 mm thick which gives them a massive amount of strength when slicing through the nails of even the biggest dogs. That should assure most owners who are looking for purchases that will last for years at a time, but if you’re still not entirely convinced, GoPets is banking that their Satisfaction Guarantee will.
In our experience, you aren’t likely to need it since the clippers are quite durable, but it’s a nice to have considering some of the complaints about some of the other options on this list. Just note that while the features sound great, you do have to pay a premium for them. They’re the most expensive entry in this article, but you will get what you pay for.
- Thick steel makes cutting a breeze
- Comes in two sizes for different pets
- More expensive than other options on this list
This product earned a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Big dog owners looking to find something that can finally clip with ease, were quite happy to have found these nail clippers. They report that even though their dogs don’t typically enjoy getting their nails cut, they seem to tolerate the action and feel of this product.
Even those that continue to put up a struggle have not been able to damage the clippers, even when they’ve been knocked out of the hands of the unlucky groomer. For the most part, these clippers seem to deliver exactly what customers expect, but with the added peace of mind of durability which is worth it for some.
However, some people have noted that the design is flawed since the blades can occasionally lock up when cutting thick, difficult nails. This makes grooming a time-consuming, tiring process for both owners and their dogs, so keep that in mind before putting in your shipping details to pick up a pair.
Pet Republique Professional Dog Nail Clippers with Optional Filer
So far, we looked at a bunch of large, industrial strength clippers, but what about something cheaper, simpler, and easier to manoeuvre? Our last option by Pet Republique fits these criteria precisely by cutting back on all the frills and features to deliver a tool that does just one job: cut nails. Thankfully, it’s quite good at it.
The blades are sharp, but the opening and closing action can be a little stiff at first, and since these are not spring-loaded and require the use of your fingers to work them, it can become taxing fairly quickly for people with weaker hands.
This simple design also means that unless you’re an experienced nail-cutter, you shouldn’t consider purchasing these. There are no safety features to speak of, so to avoid hurting your dog you’ll need to have a steady hand and a trained eye.
- Harder to operate due to stiff opening and closing mechanisms
- Not suitable for first-time users
This clipper earned a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Most people positively reviewing this product are those that have a tremendous amount of experience in the grooming world, and rightly so. They know how much of the nail to clip off, where to draw the line and stop, and are strong enough to make these smallish sized clippers work for them, rather than against them.
Good choice for a multi-pet home.
Most of them don’t recommend this product for large dogs, but those that have used it respond relatively favorably, even if it wasn’t the most straightforward process in the world. Multi-pet households, in particular, might get a lot of use out of this product as reviewers have used the smaller options on everything from cats to ferrets without an issue. If your dog is tiny, it might be worth picking up one of these just to save you the added expense of purchasing secondary clippers.
Unfortunately, compared to most other dog clippers, these are quite small and hard to handle which is the basis for most negative reviews. Unless you’re incredibly confident, we’d recommend sticking to using these for small breeds.
One final clip
Nail clipping can be a stressful, time-consuming process, but it needs to be done.  Luckily, quality clippers can alleviate pain and complications by slicing through, rather than crushing the nail. In this article, we took a look at five of our favorite clippers on the market that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and with different features to suit your wants and needs.
Whatever your experience and comfort level may be, we have a product here to get you started on a long and pleasant grooming journey. Just stick with it, because once you get it down, you’ll never need to hire a professional again.
Another must read: Best dog ear cleaners for your furry friend (Top 5 examined).
- “A survey of risk factors for digit injuries among dogs training and competing in agility events.” D. C. Sellon. K. Martucci. J. R. Wenz. D. J. Marcellin-Little. M. Powers. K. L. Cullen. 2018 January 1.
- “Defining the complex epithelia that comprise the canine claw with molecular markers of differentiation.”
P. E. Bowden. H. Henderson. J. D. Reilly. 2009 October 20.
- “Laboratory Animal Management: Dogs.” National Research Council (US) Committee on Dogs. 1994.