A dog nail grinder uses a high speed rotating pad and wears a dog’s nail down as opposed to clipping it like any other conventional nail clippers. It is a useful tool to safely file the dog’s nails back one nail at a time and helps to smoothen the edge of the nails at the same time.
Your dog should not feel any pain when you use the nail grinder. More importantly, it reduces the risk of you cutting into your dog’s quick (the pinkish part of the nails similar to ours), which can cause severe pain and bleeding if accidentally clipped with the use of conventional dog nail clippers. This is why nail grinders are popular among dog owners, who have little or no experience in dog grooming. You may want to think about buying a dog nail grinder if you are having trouble too finding where your dog’s quick starts.
If you want to get a dog nail grinder, you can find one in most pet stores. Make sure you learn how to use a nail grinder because you can still over-trim. You will need to watch how close you are getting to the dog’s quick. Stop when you have wear down enough such that the nails are no longer tapping the ground.
What to Consider When Buying an Electric Dog Nail Grinder
Although most nail grinders you come across in stores are electric, the specifications across the various makes and models differ. You should pay special attention to certain things when buying a dog nail grinder.
First thing to look out for is the power (grinding strength) of the dog nail grinder, not all the electric ones will have the same power. Especially if your dog’s nails are thick and rough, a weaker grinder will not do the job as satisfactorily as one that is more powerful. Ask a salesman for recommendation or check out the reviews about grinders on the Internet and listen to comments from people who have used the grinders prior to making a decision.
The second thing of note is whether the grinder is convenient to use. Ask the salesperson if the grinder comes with any removable parts. Find out if it would be convenient to swap these parts out. Ask perhaps if they offer a carrying bag to store all the parts in, including the grinder. As for the size of the device, don’t worry too much because most of the nail grinders are made to fit a person’s hand.
In addition, a good dog nail grinder will come with a cap or cover that gathers the nail dust so that its not scattering about everywhere. If budget allows, get one that comes equipped with a sensor that stops the rotating pad when the dog’s fur gets caught in the grinder during use.
For added convenience, you can also consider getting a cordless dog nail grinder so that you are not tethered to a wall someplace all the time.
To recap make sure you check out the dog nail grinder’s power, interchangeable parts, any carrying case, dust cap and whether it comes with the safety feature mentioned above.
How To Use A Dog Nail Grinder
First decide how much of the nail needs to be trimmed before you start. As a general rule, the long nail (that is curling downwards) should be trimmed/filed down so that the paw pad is even with the trimmed nail.
- Although there are some dogs that won’t move during the dog grooming process, fidgety and nervous dogs will need to be restrained for safety. One way to do this is to have someone help you hold the dog on a grooming table during the trimming. If you have a cooperative dog, you can just sit on the floor with your dog in your lap, hold the paw and grind its nails all by yourself.
- Show your dog the nail grinder the first few times you use it. Your aim is get the dog accustomed to the equipment. Pet the dog with it so that he sees it as a positive experience. It may be a good idea to do this a few sessions before you ever turn it on.
- Once you notice your dog is no longer resisting the nail grinder, turn it on. Likewise, perform the “ritual” as you did in Step 3 until your dog is used to the grinder in the power on mode.
- When the dog is used to the nail grinder, use the grinder on its nails. Always grind the dog’s nails at a 45 degree angle below the quick.
You can see your dog’s quick if your dog’s nails are translucent white. The quick is rather obvious even to an untrained eye, you should be able to spot the pinkish part of the nail (i.e. the quick) quite easily. In this case, aim to trim until a few millimeters away from the pinkish part. Going any further than this puts you at a high risk of trimming the quick.
If your dog has dark nails, you won’t be able to see its quick. Grind just a little off the end of the nail each time, and then stop to inspect. Repeat this until you could see a small black dot in the center of the nail when you are looking at the nail head on. This is where the dog’s quick start, do not grind any further. If you are unsure, just trim the nails enough such that when your dog steps down, the nails do not touch the floor. Start slow at first and work till you’ve become more confident to pick up speed.
- Even with all the precautions during your dog grooming, there will be times when you will accidentally get into the dog’s quick. You should always have a styptic pen (Silver Nitrate) handy. You can get this at your local veterinarian office or at a pet store. If you run out of silver nitrate, you can stop the bleeding by putting cornstarch or flour on the dog’s wound. If that does not stop the bleeding, put on a light bandage for about 5-10 minutes. If it still won’t stop, it might be prudent to call on the vet.
One final tip – the more you trim your dog’s nails, the more the quick will recede into the nail, allowing you to trim the nails shorter in the subsequent sessions. Therefore, it is good practice to trim the dog’s nails often.
If you like to find out more about other dog grooming techniques, check out the resource on “How to Groom a Dog” ebook. This book contains a comprehensive step-by-step instruction on dog grooming. You will be sure to find something useful for you and your dog! Also check out the Advanced Dog Grooming Training below:
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