Can I file my dog’s nails instead of clipping them?
Yes, you can! One of the most popular alternatives to using nail clippers is to use a grinding tool that will be able to file down the nails. Many dog owners prefer to use this method if they have a dog who is afraid of nail clippers, as well as for dog owners who are anxious about nail trimming and would like a less invasive method that will reduce the chances of catching the quick.
If you’d like a recommendation, then the Cafuy Dog Nail Grinder is one of the best on the market and is suitable for a wide variety of dogs, including small, medium, and large breeds.
Nail Grinder (Dremel)—The “Dog Nail File”
Grinding is another option for dogs and might be a great alternative for those that have developed a negative association to nail clippers. Grinders or dremels use grit to shave down a nail tip gradually.
You can get your dog used to this tool by simply touching the vibrating grinder to their leg or foot without going near the nail bed. This allows them to get familiar with the tools sound and vibration. Reward them with a treat if they are tolerating it.
Note: Use caution when using a nail grinder. These tools conduct heat and can cause pain in the nail bed if held over one site for too long.
What if you cut the quick? What if your dog is afraid of the trimmers? Frequently asked questions answered.
Is it better to cut or grind dog nails?
While both of these nail trimming methods are very effective, the answer to this question will ultimately come down to what feels most comfortable for you and your dog.
Most owners do find that using a grinding tool is the best way to maintain their dog’s nails, as it gives them more control over spotting the quick. However, grinding does often mean that owners have to maintain their dog’s nails more frequently, than if they were to trim with clippers.
On the other hand, clippers are the traditional method of trimming nails, although many owners feel nervous about clipping their dog’s nails, in case they accidentally catch the quick.
If you are planning on using clippers, then we recommend cutting in very small increments, in order to avoid catching the quick. Once you see a little white dot, this means that you need to stop.