There are lots of different types of clipper out there and it is important to get the style and size that suits your dog. Are they a large dog with big thick nails or a small breed with delicate ones? The problem for many dog owners is that the questions don’t end there. This guide will look at some of the best dog nail clippers, as well as ones to avoid, and highlight key features that are necessary for a clean, safe cut. We shall also look at health and safety considerations like cutting black nails, bleeding and nail guards.
Best dog nail clippers in 2021 (Updated list).
**Above ratings are given by our authors/editors based on their expertise.
Top 7 best dog nail clippers review.
1. Epica Professional Pet Nail Clipper - For Medium & large
Just because a product calls itself the #1 Best Professional Pet Nail Clipper, like this Epica model, doesn’t mean that this is necessarily true. This looks like a good, heavy duty pair of straight forward clippers, thanks to the use of the thick ergonomic handles and high grade stainless steel blades. The weight and design mean that it is best recommended for medium to large breeds of dog, as smaller nails may be too delicate.
There is the clear sense with this device that the makers have considered the ease of use for the owner. There are rubber coated handles with locks for security and a blade that stays sharp for accuracy and effective cutting on the nails.
There are some users that will find that there is a little too much bulk and weight to these clippers for long-term comfort, especially in smaller hands. Still, that easy cutting process minimises the risk here. There are also mixed response to the nail guard. Some say that it ease their minds and other feel that it just gets in the way.
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2. JW Pet Nail Clipper - Best scissor style clipper for large dogs.
As has been recommended by many associations, such as the American Kennel club, a forceful scissor is ideal for the thick nails of large breeds. The AKC recommend JW Pet and Safari. The Deluxe Soft Grip Nail Clipper is designed to be easy to use and as safe as possible and have a sharp blade and non-slip grip. Professionals and owners love the heavy duty feel and clean, precise cuts. One of the important features with this product is the use of a blade guard. Blade guards are important because they cover the nail to stop users cutting to high up. The problem with this will be discussed further later.
3. Safari Nail Trimmer - Another recommendation for large dogs.
The AKC’s top rated Safari model is the 770045 Professional Nail Trimmer. The small model is currently the #1 best seller in cat claw care on Amazon.com, but don’t let that put you off because the large one is tough enough for large breeds with a clean, precise cut. One of the key features here is the fact that this model’s blades are made from tough stainless steel. This is important because these scissors need the strength to apply appropriate pressure to thick nails and the durability to remain sharp after months of use.
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4. GoPets Nail Clippers for Dogs & Cats.
This GoPets model differs from some of the other devices here because it is a little smaller and lighter, which can make it a little easier for owners to handle. It may come as a surprise, therefore, that this model is designed for use on all kinds of pets. There are claims that it is just as effective on smaller nails of toy breeds and cats as it is on the larger nails of bigger working dogs. This comes down to the strength and sharpness of the blade, in partnership with that smaller size.
GoPets rightfully boast about the wealth of positive reviews that this devices receives online. They insist that this is mainly due to the clean cuts, the reliability of the device and the safety. This safety comes from the sensor guard for the quick and the locking blades. The guard works really well and there is a great effect on most nails. An added bonus is the included nail file.
The biggest issue here is that while this is sold as though it is suitable for any pet, there is an upper limit. Very large breeds with thick nails can join the grooming queue, but the results aren’t always great. It isn’t a clean cut and some can struggle to squeeze the handles all the way.
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5. Safari Guillotine Nail Trimmer - Best guillotine clippers for small dogs.
Guillotine clippers, on the other hand, are better suited to smaller breeds where precision counts. Heading back to Safari we have a different style of clipper for small nails, but the same stainless steel and high-quality cuts. The interesting aspect of this product is the fact that it can used in the left or right hand with ease. This is important because it can be hard enough to get your pet into a comfortable position where you can reach the nail. You need a position that suits their needs more than your dexterity, so this shape is a definite bonus.
6. Wagglies Dog Nail Clipper - Another recommendation for small dogs.
Sometimes the best products are the ones where the company has considered the needs of the user in different ways. The Wagglies Best Dog Nail Clippers are appreciated for their shape, clean cuts and the quality of the blade. The added benefit with this model is the range of bonus products in the pack. A free e-book is a nice touch for all those that lack the confidence and technique of the professionals. A free nail file is ideal for getting a smooth finish. Some dog owners prefer dog nail grinders to clipper because of the smooth finish, but dislike the noise and vibrations. A file is the ideal compromise.
Whichever option you choose, you must always remember to put the dog’s welfare first.
For us humans, nail trimming is a simple, quick procedure that we pay little attention to. We know that one quick snip with a pair of clippers or scissors will remove the nail with no pain or discomfort. Dogs may take a little while to learn this and the act of nail clipping can be a little distressing for first-timers and pups. Pets WebMD are quick to point out the warning signs for a distressed pet. This includes:
- aggressive behavior, such as growling and snapping
- fearful behavior, such as trembling and whining
- signs of distress, such as panting or drooling.
It is important to keep an eye out for any problems and to not get complacent about the job at hand. How many times have you pulled off a broken nail to fast and felt that horrible snag or lost it too close to the capillaries beneath and ended up bleeding. This can happen to out dogs too. Luckily, Pets WebMD is also on-hand with great advice on what to do if the nail does start to bleed. The blood loss should be small and quick but, in order to stem the flow and comfort your pet quickly, you can add some styptic power to the area.
Why is bleeding a possibility and how can you prevent it?
Bleeding occurs when pet owners cut the nail too short and end up reaching the quick. This is the area of the claw containing the nerves and blood vessels. Cut here and it will hurt. Concerned owners wanting to get the technique right can turn to the advice of veterinarians, such as those at the Washington State College of Veterinary Medicine. They have created a clear guide on how to find the quick and avoid it. As they point out, this can be tricky on black nails and owners need to work slowly.
So what is the best clipper for black nails?
Cutting black nails can be a daunting process so you need a product that isn’t going to cut too much at once. This is where those adjustable nail guards come in handy. It also depend on the breed. A German Shepherd with thick black nails may need a heavy duty scissor while a little black pug will need a small, precise guillotine.
7. Quick Finder Nail Clipper - Best for black nails.
Buyer should beware of products that claim to be able to sense the quick on dark nails as they have not been perfected yet. The Quick Finder Nail Clipper is a great example of this. It is great on paper because it has a sensor and a color changing light that tells users when it is safe to cut. The problem is that it doesn’t work every time and the lights are hard to see. The position of the dog, your hands and the clipper are all important for a successful session so you cant turn the clipper and paw just to see a light.
Choosing the best dog nail clippers and the best method for the job.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to cutting your dogs nails yourself. If your dog is calm and you are confident with the process, you can find a the best guillotine or scissor nail clippers for your pets nails. Check the products for the right size, take your time to learn where the quick is and be patient. If the talk of black nails and bleeding has dented your confidence, you can always go to a professional.