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Dog nails can be naturally tough and thick. Just like human nails, dog claws are constantly growing and the outer shell right after the nail quick is the toughest part. The quick is the live section of the nail that supplies blood to the nail bed. Long thick nails can cause the paw to be splayed, injure the tendons, and they also reduce traction. The best dog nail clippers for thick nails are an important tool to maintain the ideal length of dog nails.
Our best overall pick from the list of nail clippers for thick nails below is the Safari’s Professional Stainless Steel Nail Trimmer. It stood out because it features sharp and powerful blades that enable you to get a precise cut with every trim and it is comfortable to use on dogs of all sizes. But read on for a variety of products that you can choose from depending on your needs.
Here is a closer look at the best nail clippers for thick nails, and we also highlight the most important features to consider when purchasing a pair.
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Best Dog Nail Clippers for Thick Nails
Best Overall – Safari’s Professional Stainless Steel Nail Trimmer
Safari’s Professional Nail Trimmer is a solid compact unit that can cut through a dog’s nail with minimal effort. These clippers are also easy to use so you don’t spend too much time on a fussy dog. They are fitted with a lock mechanism to keep them shut when you are not using them. The tension spring on the handles easily opens them up after each cutting motion saving the user the effort of prying them apart.
The unit also features a safety option that guides how far back you can trim the nail. It protects the quick from over-enthusiastic trimming. You can adjust the safety stop by tightening the nut on the back of the clippers.
The blades are stainless steel and corrosion-proof while the handles are plastic, which is fitted with a rubber grip for ease of handling. The size is excellent for dogs of all sizes and it can be used during all stages of your dog’s life. They are only five inches in length so they fit nicely in the hands. Their size allows you to wield them from any position comfortably. The unit is very well constructed, offering users years of service.
Best Safety Guard Option – GoPets Nail Clippers
We found the GoPets Nail Sensor Safety Clippers to be the safest option on our list because they feature an in-built quick sensor to detect a trim that is too close to nipping the nail quick. Cutting into the quick can be quite painful for your dog and it also makes the nail susceptible to infections.
The unit is available in both small and large sizes for dogs of all sizes. You can even use it for your cat if you have a multiple pet household. The blades are made from 3.5-inch thick stainless steel which can handle thick nails adequately. They are angled to make the unit additionally safe so that they snugly fit on the nail and provide a smooth cut, all while providing you with a view of exactly what you are cutting.
Its handles are coated with non-slip material for an excellent grip. The stainless steel blades are able to hold their sharpness for longer because the steel used is durable and premium quality. The clippers also feature a nail file to soften the rugged edges after a trim.
Best Budget Option – Millers Forge Dog Nail Clippers
Millers Forge Stainless Steel Nail Clippers offer the standard features of a safety stop, a guard, and sharp blades. They are small enough to work for small breeds and puppies with thick nails. These clippers have been manufactured by a surgical tool manufacturing company, so they come with very precise cutting blades that easily work through the nail. The blades are stainless steel and ultra-sharp. Handles are non-slip rubber for a good grip and they are small in size to fit your hand comfortably.
Clippers are a good fit for people who have experience with nail trimming because they are super sharp. They are recommended for a grooming service where professionals can wield them safely.
Best for Large Dogs – Epica Professional Pet Nail Clippers
The Epica Professional Pet Nail Clippers are very effective for large breeds with extra thick nails because the stainless steel blade offers a clean cut through the nail. This reduces the chances of hurting the dog during the trimming. The sheer size of these clippers makes them overkill for smaller dog breeds. They are 6.5 inches in length, with the blade measuring over half an inch in order to accommodate the dog’s nail effectively.
You will find they work well for adult dogs in giant or large breeds like German Shepherds, Mastiffs, or Great Danes. They just need a little pressure in order to cut through the nail. The unit comes with a lock that holds the blades shut when not in use. In addition, it has a safety stop to prevent you from cutting the dog’s nail quick. This makes it very easy to work with as it guides how much you can trim a nail. The combination of sharp blades and the safety stop make the process easy on both you and the dog.
Despite their massive size, these clippers are comfortable to use. They are fitted with anti-slip rubber on the handle to help you get a good grip on them. You need a firm hand to operate the clippers because the tension spring that opens them is quite robust and has strong resistance. The blades hold a sharp edge for a long time without dulling.
Best Premium Option – Simply Pets Dog Nail Clipper
The Simply Pets Dog Nail Clippers was created by two veterinarians with over 30 years of experience with dogs. They ensured the clippers not only have a sound construction with excellent safety features like an in-built nail guard to keep the nail quick safe, but they also heat-treated the stainless steel used on the blades for maximum durability.
The handles are also made with premium rubber coating to make the ergonomic design on the unit even more effective. The overall unit is very lightweight and the blades offer incredible accuracy and a smooth cut on the nail. This unit is ideal for use on both large and small dogs. With the assurance of the vets, the clippers guarantee you an easy and effective trimming experience.
These clippers come with a money-back guarantee and also a lifetime warranty which speaks volumes for the quality. The veterinarians who created these clippers considered the needs of home grooming, but they are very popular in professional grooming settings because of their premium quality.
Best Automatic Option – Andis 2-Speed Pet Nail Grinder
The Andis 2-Speed Pet Nail Grinder is an excellent choice if you are not comfortable using clippers. Instead of cutting the nail, you are able to grind it down slowly and gently which may be more comfortable for your pet. This unit is silent so your dog will not be scared by any buzzing sound and it works well for dogs of sizes. Thick nails can be hard to cut through but with a grinder, they can quickly be whittled down without any chances of injuries.
Equipped with two speeds, it allows you to work with different velocities according to your dog’s needs and comfort level. You can use the 7,000 RPM setting for more detailed trimming at a slower pace or 12,000 RPM setting for a faster grind. It is important to touch the grinder to each nail for a count of four seconds at a time. The nails heat up due to the friction with the grinder. This can be uncomfortable and painful for your pet so after four seconds, go to the next nail. After finishing, lather and rinse the nails then repeat.
The unit only weighs 0.5 pounds so you can work with it for extended periods. It comes with accessories including three sanding wheels, two sanding wheels, one large and one small sanding drum attachment, a wench, and a detachable power supply for enhanced efficiency. It is easy to use this grinder because you can wield in from different directions. Using this grinder also helps you avoid accidents like cutting the nail quick. It does vibrate so introduce the unit slowly so that your pet grows accustomed to the vibrations on its paws and claws. The process may take longer than using nail clippers.
What to Consider When Buying a Dog Nail Clippers
Safety features like the quick guard and a lock stop are essential for both yours and your dog’s safety. The quick guard prevents over trimming, and the safety lock locks the clippers securely so that they are not a hazard lying around in your home. Some products feature a sensor that stops you if you are cutting too close to the nail quick. The best dog nail clipper should have most of the above, if not all, these safety features.
Ease of Use
Choose an option that features an easy to use design and offers you a good grip. This makes the unit comfortable to use for extended periods. Comfortable handles with excellent grip are easy to wield. Look for products with rubberized or anti-slip handles. Also, try out the opening and closing to make sure the tension spring is not too resistant.
The size of clippers you choose is dependent on the size of your dog. Large and giant dogs need big sized clippers to accommodate the size of their nails and small dogs need smaller clippers. It will be hard to work with small clippers on a large dog and vice versa. If fact, you could end up hurting your dog with the wrong size dog nail clipper.
Dog nail clippers are products used by professionals on a daily basis so check out what the pros are saying about the unit you are considering. If there are questions arising about the performance or ease of handling by many users, consider another option. Reports of poor construction should raise a red flag as should complex designs. In case of doubt, ask your local vet or groomer what they think of the unit you are considering and if they can recommend something better.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best dog nail clippers for thick nails?
There are three main types of dog nail clippers to choose from.
- Guillotine clippers
- Scissor clippers
- Grinder tools
Guillotine clippers have a guillotine design where the blade falls onto the nail which has been inserted into the hole in the clippers. As the blade is lowered, it slices off the end of the nail. These clippers work best for medium-sized dogs and small dogs. Unfortunately, these types of clippers are not ideal for trimming thick nails because the nail may not fit into the hole.
Scissor clippers feature the traditional pliers design and are also known as Millers Forge trimmers. They are favored by many people because they are easy to use, have an ergonomic fit, and can be used on dogs of all sizes. Thick nails need this type of clippers because they are able to accommodate the thick girth of the nails effectively. This is because they allow you to exert mechanical force manually so you put sufficient pressure on the clippers for a clean and fast trim.
Grinder tools are also an excellent option for trimming thick nails as they whittle the nail down although the process takes longer than clipping. Also, you have to train your dog to get used to the vibrations from the device. But having said that, nail grinders are an excellent option to use at home to avoid trimming the nail too close to the quick. Nail grinders come with an emery board or sandpaper attached to the grinder or as a standalone to facilitate the grinding process.
As you will notice, the products on our list are either scissor clippers or a grinder tool because they work well on thick nails.
How do you cut thick dog nails?
Trimming a dog’s thick nails requires patience and technique. You have to look out for too-close trims and also learn how to handle a nervous dog while wielding a pair of clippers. Before you begin, make sure that you identify the nail quick on all the claws. If your dog has thick black nails, you have to tread even more carefully.
Lay out your tools of choice and make sure that you have some styptic powder at hand. Styptic powder helps control bleeding from small nicks during the trimming process. It comes in pencil form and it works by contracting blood vessels slowing down the bleeding. The powder is completely safe. Most vets and groomers have it nearby during nail trimmings for this exact purpose.
Begin the process slowly by soothing your dog. However, this is not the time to give treats because they can be distracting. Hold the paw gently but firmly. Proceed to position the nail into the clippers from top to bottom. Do not cut your dog nails from side to side. Trim a very small section, about 1/16th of an inch of the top of the nail and inspect to see if the nail still appears white. If it is white, take off another 1/16th of an inch.
Continue to make small cuts of 1/16 inches but look out for the nail starting to look pink or black instead of white. This means you are no longer cutting off the dead nail section but you are close to the quick. Stop cutting at this point.
What do I do if I cut the quick?
Accidents happen even to professionals like vets and groomers. Remember the styptic powder we mentioned above. It will come in handy in case you accidentally nick the quick. Apply the powder directly on the cut. In case you do not have styptic powder, you can also use cornstarch or even some wheat flour.
Very rarely do cuts to the quick become a health issue but they can be very uncomfortable for your dog. So stop the bleeding, let your dog take it easy, and give a treat and plenty of praise to your dog to soothe them. If the cut happens on the first nail, stop the process for the day if your dog becomes nervous and pick up the trimming the next day.
Consider getting help with trimming your dog’s nails by using the services of professional groomers if you are not good with clippers. Vet technicians can also help to get the job done if they offer this service. If your dog is already comfortable with the vet, it will be best to get the trimming done at the vet’s.
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Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API