How to Use a Dog Nail Grinder in 8 Easy Steps

If you clipped your dog’s nails before, you know that it’s a problematic experience that a lot of dogs just hate. It also requires a lot of stability and caution on your behalf.

Dog nail grinders solve a lot of the issue of nail clippers. However, a lot of devices come without a clear manual on how to use them properly, especially that they can easily scare the dog away.

In the following article, I’ll walk you through a detailed step by step guide on how to use a dog nail grinder properly.

How Does a Dog Nail Grinder Work?

Nail grinders are simple dog grooming instruments that act as alternatives to nail clippers. They’re much easier to use, especially if you don’t have steady hands.

Dog nail grinders offer a way more gentle and less stressful pedicure session to your dog. Moreover, it’s usually a great value for its price, so it’ll also save you a lot of money in the long run.

Step 1: Make Your Dog Comfortable Around Nail Grinders

Before making direct contact with the nail grinder, you need to make sure that your dog is totally comfortable around it.

Hold your dog’s paws and start massaging the pads with your hand. Don’t show the device just yet.

Start praising your pooch for being a good doggie and give it treats while holding its toes and nails.

Once your dog is totally fine about it, introduce the nail grinder, and allow your dog to see it and sniff it.

Keep praising and giving your dog treats while it inspects the device. In the beginning, it might be a little skeptical, so you have to be patient.

Step 2: Get Your Dog Used to the Sound

Nail grinder produces a buzzing sound that might scare your dog away. So, you need to gradually let your dog get used to that sound first.

Start your nail grinder on the lowest setting possible and get it close to your dog gradually. Petting and praising your dog while throwing it some treats will help you get your dog comfortable around the grinder quicker.

Step 3: Encourage your Dog to Sit Still

Although nail grinders are much safer than a nail clipper, there’s still a chance that you might trim too deep or cause an injury. This happens due to excessive instability.

Holding the dog down helps a lot. Yet, you can encourage your dog to lie still while trimming its nails. Get your dog in the position and praise it for staying in position while giving him treats.

In some cases, your dog might be excessively active, so it refuses to sit still. Unfortunately, you’ll have to restrain its motion to protect your dog from injuries.

If your dog is still avoidant, you can always use an extra pair of hands to restrain your dog and protect it from injuries.

Step 4: Choose an Appropriate Port for Grinding

Depending on your dog’s nail size, you’ll have to choose an appropriate grinding port. Most dog nail grinder kits come with 2 to 3 grinding heads.

Each head has a port of different size, exposing that much of the grinding wheel bit. It’s important that you start with the smallest head and work your way up if the grinding surface isn’t big enough.

In some cases, some grinding tools might allow you to remove the port to completely expose the grinding bit.

Make sure that your dog’s nail is too large for all the grinding heads before opting for this solution.

Step 5: Determine How Much to Grind

Finding the dog’s quick is the essence of safe and effective nail grinding in a dog. The quick is the deepest part of the nail that is rich in blood and nerves. For that reason, cutting through it can be extremely painful for your dog.

If your dog has dark nails, it might be a bit difficult to find the dog’s quick. In that case, you have two options:

  • Grind the nails little by little to avoid reaching into the quick.
  • As a professional about how far to trim the dog’s nails. (can be a groomer or a vet)

If your dog has white nails, finding the quick will be much easier, as it will show as a pinkish outline deep within the nail. Ideally, you should leave an extra 3 to 4 millimeters of the nail after the quick.

If you accidentally cut into the quick, don’t panic. Simply offer your dog some treats and add some cornstarch of styptic powder. Leave it for two minutes to stop the bleeding.

Step 6: Prepare the Paws for Grooming

First, hold the dog’s paw in your hands and separate its toes. If your dog has long fur, you should keep it out of the way to work properly.

Here’s a tip you can try. Grab an old sock and poke a hole in it. After that, pass the toe you need to work on through the hole. This way, you’ll be able to hold back the fur efficiently.

Step 7: Grind the Nails

Start the grinder at the lowest speed setting and gently press it on the nail for about 2 to 4 seconds at a time. You can hold the device in any form that you prefer.

Don’t do it all in one go to avoid overheating the nail. You can even test if the grind bit is too hot by touching it by hand when the grinder is turned off.

Also, this will help you stay cautious, so you don’t grind into the quick. Make sure that your dog is praised with treats for every nail or two that you’ve finished.

Step 8: Keep the Nails Short by Grinding Them Periodically

You should know that the quick grows with the nails. So, by keeping the nails periodically trimmed, the quick will recede to its shortest length.

Ideally, dog nails grow back fully within 2 to 4 weeks. Trimming the nails weekly will make the job much easier for you and your little good boy!

Wrap Up

Remember to take your time while getting your dog comfortable around the grinder. The success of every other step depends on this step.

With that said, you now know how to use a dog nail grinder properly. As you can see, the process is simple and won’t take a lot to complete!