Can You Cut A Dog’S Nails With Human Clippers

As I sit on my porch this morning sipping my coffee I remembered that I needed to trim my dog’s nails. I always hate this because he gets so uncomfortable and he always seems to know when I’m about to tackle those little toenails of his.

I have found filing doesn’t seem to stress him out as much but takes a while to accomplish. As soon as he sees the nail clippers (you know the type with the round hole in the middle where you put the nail in) he runs for the hills, well in this case anyways the other room. So I’m going to be searching for a more comfortable way for performing this task that all my animals seem to really hate.

Human nail clippers can be used to clip your puppies nails, but it will be much harder to do effectively as they grow up. Your adult dog’s nails will likely need to be cut using a specialised tool.

When Should You Avoid Using Human Nail Clippers?

If the nail is not fitting cleanly into the nail clippers, it is absolutely not advisable to use force beyond that. It is important to see what the size of the nails are and then accordingly decide if human nail clippers are a good idea or not. The whole nail should fit easily in the clipper slot. If you have to trim the nail to be able to fit the center of the nail into the slot, it is too big for a human nail clipper.

If your dog is older, the nails are likely to be longer and thicker. Even if you can trim the tips of your dog’s nails with a human nail clipper, the closer the nail gets to the paw, the thicker it is likely to be. So even if you cut the tips you will not have cut enough of the sharp nails off for the trim to even be effective.

Can You Clip Puppy Nails With Human Clippers?

If you have a pup less than six weeks old, it is possible for you to simply use your nail clippers to get the job done. Puppies have thinner nails that can be cut using human nail clippers. In fact, since human nail clippers are shorter than dog nail clippers, you may get a better grip since the pup’s paws are not fully grown yet.

If you have a smaller breed, you may still get away with using regular nail clippers even after six weeks. However, for most larger breeds the nails become too thick to fit into a human nail clipper. In other words, yes you can use human nail clippers on dogs but not all the time. There are certain cases where you will not be able to do so at all and may end up doing more damage.

How to Trim Dog Nails without Clippers

Can You Cut A DogS Nails With Human Clippers

What is the best way? What is the safest and easiest? The normal clippers squeeze their nails as they cut which is where the uncomfortable part comes in for my puppers (and my kitties).

Noisy options seem to scare the heck out of him I tried the rotary tool route and in fact got a few scars myself from that when it slipped out of my hand…I have discovered they do make a battery operated nail file for animals but if you don’t use that from the get-go and they’re not familiar with that they’re going to be very nervous and pull away. I will show you several alternatives to the standard clippers so that you can trim your dog’s nails without clippers.

Looking for tricks to clipping dogs nails? Check out our post 6 Easy Tricks to Cut Dog Nails.


What can I use to cut my dog’s nails?

To cut your dog’s nails, you need scissor clippers, guillotine clippers, or a grinder. For first-timers, it’s best to have two people: one to comfort your pup while the other trims. Nail grinding is another option that may allow you to have more control.

Can you cut puppy nails with human nail clippers?

Nail Care Equipment

For tiny puppies, you can start with human nail clippers, but eventually will need clippers designed to cut the dog’s toenails at the proper angle without splitting or crushing the nail.

Can I cut my dogs nail myself?

Hand filing with a traditional emery board or using a scratch board are by far the best options for trimming your dog’s nails without clippers. Grinders can also work, but you need to acclimate your dog early on to these. Never use scissors and only use human clippers on small puppies who have tiny nails.