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10 Best Clippers to Trim Your Dog’s Nails at Home

If you need to give your pooch a pedicure, these dog nail clippers are your best bets for getting the job done safely and effectively.

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Close-Up Of Hand Holding Dog On BedTatiana Dyuvbanova / EyeEm/Getty Images

The grooming task you can’t ignore

As if the pandemic weren’t challenging enough, dog owners have an extra thing to worry about:  grooming their pups. With many groomers closed because of lockdown restrictions, you likely put off this task for a while and hoped for the best, but you can only do that for so long, especially when it comes to trimming your dog’s nails. That’s because long nails can split and expose the vein or grow long and brittle—both of which can be very painful for your pet. “If the nails grow too long, they may raise the pad off the floor, causing your dog to walk on his toenail instead of the pad,” explains Kathy Murray of Linda’s Critter Corral, a pet salon in Lynn, Massachusetts. “Nails can also grow very long and start to curve and make holes in your dog’s paws that could become infected.”

Of course, clipping your dog’s nails can be tricky, even under the best of circumstances. But if your dog doesn’t like to sit still or have his feet touched, it’s even harder. But Murray has two tips to make the experience go as smoothly as possible. First, take a deep breath and try to relax, because dogs can pick up on your stress. Second, get the best tool for the job. Getting the right dog nail clippers will not only make this task easier—it will also boost your confidence level, so you’ll feel like a pro in no time. Here are another 26 things your dog groomer wishes you knew.

Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.

FURminator Nail Clippersvia amazon.com

FURminator Nail Clippers

$24.97

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With the FURminator Nail Clippers’ ergonomic and easy-grip handle, trimming your dog’s nails will seem a lot less daunting. Plus, the stainless steel edges make clean, even cuts, and the adjustable nail guide will show you just where to cut. One important note: If you’re new to this process, Murray suggests clipping just the tips at first. That way, you can see how both of you feel about your grooming skills, and you can also build trust with your pup.

And whatever you do, never cut too far down. “Stop before you get to the vein,” Murray says. “There is a black dot in the middle of the nail right before you get to the vein, which is where you should stop.” If you cut the vein, not only would it be painful for your pup, but the area could also get infected if it gets dirty. In the case of a nick, be sure to have styptic powder on hand, which helps to stop the bleeding. Trimming your pet’s nails the wrong way is just one of the everyday habits that put your dog in danger.

Boshel Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer with Safety Guardvia amazon.com

Boshel Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer with Safety Guard

$21.99

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More than 11,000 Amazon reviewers have given these Boshel dog nail clippers glowing reviews—using terms like “effortless” and “easy” and praising the product for helping them groom their persnickety pets. If you want a pair of dog nail clippers that come highly recommended by professionals, look no further. The user-friendly yet powerful clippers trim each nail with one simple cut, and a safety stop prevents you from cutting too close. Bonus: A mini file is tucked into the handle, so you can smooth away any sharp edges in a flash. Here are another 20 pet products with nearly perfect reviews on Amazon.

Zen Clipper Precise Adjustable Dog Nail Clippersvia amazon.com

Zen Clipper Precise Adjustable Dog Nail Clippers

$24.99

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If you have more than one pet but only want to buy one nail-cutting tool, put the Zen Clipper in your cart. Believe it or not, you can use these dog nail clippers on a variety of different pets, including cats, birds, and reptiles of all sizes. These unique nail clippers are equipped with a micro-adjustment wheel that sets the blade size and prevents you from clipping too much, making the whole grooming experience a lot less stressful. Here’s what one happy reviewer had to say: “I used them to trim the nails of both my miniature poodles. Two sets of feet all done very quickly. They didn’t react when each nail was clipped, so I felt completely comfortable, too.”

Up&Up Dog Grooming Clip and File Setvia target.com

Up&Up Dog Grooming Clip and File Set

$6.99

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The price is definitely right on this Up&Up clipper. The bargain kit contains dog nail clippers as well as a beveled file because you’re not always done after clipping your pup’s nails. “Filing your dog’s nails takes away the rough edges,” notes Murray. “It also makes them less sharp, so they won’t scratch you or your floors.” Files can also serve as an alternative for pet owners who aren’t quite ready to try clippers, though the process will obviously take longer. Before you buy, take a look at these 15 tech gadgets every pet owner needs.

Gonicc Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmersvia amazon.com

Gonicc Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmers

$19.95

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If this whole thing makes you nervous, your hands can get sweaty and slippery, and that’s not great when you’re trying to hold your clippers steady. That’s why you’ll love this lightweight wonder tool, which has a non-slip, comfy handle that will make you feel confident, even when the pressure’s on. Special safety features include unlocking protection, so children can’t use it, as well as a stop blade that will help to ensure that you don’t clip too short. Even better? If you don’t like this product for any reason, it comes with a lifetime warranty. But chances are, you won’t be returning it since it has nearly 4,000 positive reviews on Amazon.

Four Paws Magic Coat Super Mini Dog Nail Clippersvia chewy.com

Four Paws Magic Coat Super Mini Dog Nail Clippers

$14.85

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Do you need to groom a small dog with teensy-tiny nails? These mini dog nail clippers are perfect for small-breed dogs. The removable safety bar prevents overcutting, and the comfortable ergonomic handle will keep your hand from cramping and make sure you have a good grip. If you love pint-sized pups, check out these adorably small dog breeds that stay small.

MGT Professional Ergonomic Nail Clippersvia amazon.com

MGT Professional Ergonomic Nail Clippers

$15.89

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These dog nail clippers feature surgical-steel blades, so you can cut quickly and precisely. If you’re a bit shaky, the double-bonded, non-slip handle is a bonus. Perhaps the best part about it is that it comes in small and large sizes. Murray stresses the importance of buying dog nail clippers to match the size of your dog if you want this to go well. “If you buy clippers that are too small for a big dog’s nails, they won’t get around them,” she explains. “And if the clippers are too big for your dog’s nails, it will be cumbersome.”

As Seen on TV Peticarevia target.com

As Seen on TV Peticare

$19.89

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To stay safe, you need to be able to see what you’re doing. Sure, that sounds basic, but it’s not always easy when you’ve got a squirmy dog or one with lots of fur. That’s where this As Seen on TV product comes in. The Peticare has a super bright LED light that shines on your dog’s nail, as well as a magnifying spot that makes your dog’s nails appear five times its normal size and collects the nail clippings so you don’t end up with a mess. Speaking of potential messes, you might also want to invest in one of these 15 best vacuums for dog and cat hair.

Millers Forge Guillotine-Style Pet Nail Trimmervia petco.com

Millers Forge Guillotine-Style Pet Nail Trimmer

$5.99

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Off with their nails! These guillotine-style dog clippers sound slightly terrifying, but their sharp steel blade makes easy work of dog nail trimming. The handle is comfortable and secure, a fast-change blade helps to keep the clippers sharp, and it comes with a bonus replacement blade. FYI, this style of nail clipper is best for small- to medium-sized dogs.

Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogsvia amazon.com

Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for dogs

$26.99

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These dog nail clippers, which come in a two-pack, feature a double-bladed cutter with a tension spring that quickly cuts through the nail instead of crushes it, according to one reviewer. The non-slip handle is also built for comfort and control. Another fan says that this clipper was recommended by her vet—and that it delivered on its promise, making clean cuts and boosting her confidence to accomplish this tricky task at home. On the other hand, these are the 16 pet products vets never buy—and neither should you.

Stacey Marcus
Stacey Marcus is a regular contributor to RD.com where she covers subjects ranging from penguin secrets to Jeopardy! conundrums. Stacey’s work has also appeared on FamilyHandyman.com and TheHealthy.com as well as in top regional and national outlets including Boston magazine, Boston Common Magazine, Destination I Do, Ocean Home Magazine, and Playboy.com. She earned a BA in Communications from Simmons University.