How to Trim a Dog's Nails with a Dremel

15 - 30 Minutes
4 Weeks


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.

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. 


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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