How to Trim a Dog's Nails with a Dremel

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
4 Weeks

Introduction

Grinding your dog's nails with a Dremel tackles two chores with one tool. When you cut your dog's nails with a guillotine cutter or a scissors type cutter you still need to go back to the nail and file it down to get rid of any sharp points or edges that may snag. A Dremel grinds down your dog's nails, making trimming easy and high-tech. The Dremel is the easy part. Getting your dog used to the feel of the vibration and the sounds of the tool may be a little tricky.

Dog's Perspective

If your dog has any anxieties over the sound or the feel of the Dremel, pair the Dremel with food. Introduce the tool to your dog before it's turned on and give him a treat. Turn on the Dremel, let him hear it, let him sniff it without touching it with his nose, and give him a treat. The first few times you Dremel his nails, be sure to have lots of tasty treats around to give to him. This will be a quick and easy procedure, and he'll get used to it easily with the help of some tasty treats.

The Comfy Grinding Method

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Step
1
Position
Have your dog lie down either on the table or on the floor. Position yourself in front of your dog so that you can get to his paws easily.
Step
2
Food
Have some food nearby in the form of delicious and tasty treats for your dog to see and sniff.
Step
3
Give me your paw
Ask your dog to give you his paw and set it comfortably either in your lap or in your hand. Offer your dog a treat along the way to ease any anxieties and let him know if he sits still, there will be more treats to come.
Step
4
Grind
Gently place the Dremel against the edge of your dog's nail. Move quickly and stay on the tip of the nail for only a brief moment. The Dremel will grind the nail away quickly. Be cautious of the heat the Dremel generates while sanding. Only leave the tool on the nail for a moment.
Step
5
Next
Move to the next claw and then the next paw, offering your dog a treat in between each paw.
Step
6
Repeat
Repeat this simple grinding of each claw on each one of your dog's paws. You may need to re-position your dog to get to the other side or the back or front end. Be sure you are treating your dog in between paws. If your dog is extra anxious, treat him in between each nail.
Recommend grooming method?

The Sanding Method

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Step
1
Massage paw
With your dog's paw in your lap or comfortably in one hand, use the other hand offer your dog a nice paw massage. This will relax his nerves and get him used to you handling his feet.
Step
2
Dremel
Hold one paw in one hand and the Dremel in the other hand. Very gently grind away the tips of the nails.
Step
3
Caution
Be cautious about how far you go above the tip of the nail. You can still cut the quick with a Dremel, causing your dog pain and bleeding.
Step
4
Trim
Every moment or so, pull the Dremel away from your dog's nail and view it to see how much more needs to be trimmed. If your dog needs more trimming, repeat the step above, cautiously grinding away the nail.
Step
5
Angle
You may want to file your dog's nail at a 45-degree angle. This will help your dog still have grip without scratching floors as well as help you avoid cutting the quick and causing your dog pain.
Step
6
Slow
Be sure to grind as slowly as you can. Not only do you not want to harm your dog by cutting the quick, but the Dremel also generates heat and sands down the nail very quickly. Be sure you are removing the Dremel often so it does not sand the nail down too quickly.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Just as with nail clippers, you can still cut into the quick, which is the blood source and nerve living inside the nail, with a Dremel.
  • Move the Dremel very slowly, understanding that it is sanding down the nail at a fast pace.
  • The first few times you and your dog do this together, be cautious in your movements until you get used to the speed of the tool and your dog gets used how it feels.
  • Be sure to offer your dog lots of treats to keep him motivated to stay still.
  • If you happen to cut the quick, you can use cornstarch or styptic powder to stop the bleeding.
  • Be patient and move methodically with a Dremel so you don't accidentally grind into your dog's skin or grind the nails too quickly.
  • Small dogs might be more comfortable on a table, however, sitting larger dogs on the floor with you next to them or on a step raised above them, so you can lift their paw to your lap, might give you the best leverage. 

Conclusion

Bringing a power tool into your dog’s grooming sessions can be dangerous but when done right can also be paw-tastic. This is an easy way to get your dog's nails in Top Dog shape. Once your dog's nails are neat and trim, he may enjoy a pedicure with beautiful colors on those nails.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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