The Best Dog Nail Clippers Australia - The Overview
Nearing your dog with a pair of clippers, scissors, or nail files can strike fear into the hearts of dog owners Australia wide. Or rather, it can strike fear into the heart of your dog.
That’s enough for both of you to find the situation awkward at best, and traumatising at worst. In many cases, dogs are most sensitive about their nails. A manicure is not your dog’s idea of rest and relaxation. Dog nail clippers in particular are hard work.
Fear not! We are going to break it all down today.
We’ll first discuss the qualities of a good pair of clippers. Then we’ll move onto how nail clipping is done. Finally, we’ll give you our recommendations for the very best dog nail clippers Australia has to offer.
Our aim is that you come away confident to tackle your dog’s unruly nails and have the right tool to do so. After all, grooming can be a calm, bonding experience once you get into the swing of things. (1)
What to Look for In A Pair of Nail Clippers
Nail clippers are not nearly as scary as they look. To find the right pair, there are a few factors at play. If you choose the wrong pair of clippers, you may harm your dog or at least make the job far more uncomfortable for yourself. Here is what you need to know.
Types of Nail Clippers
There are two main types of nail clippers: scissor clippers and guillotine clippers.
Scissor clippers are used like grooming scissors. You squeeze the blade around the dog’s claw and snip as you would with a normal pair of scissors.
Guillotine clippers work a little differently. You place the edge of the nail you want to cut into the hole at the tip of the tool. When you squeeze the handle, a blade will push forward and slice across the nail in one clean swoop.
The jury is out as to which is better. Some claim that guillotine clippers crush your dog’s toe. (2) Some also claim that scissor clippers give you more control and precision. We suggest speaking to your vet or a professional groomer to decide what is best for you.
This is what you’re truly scared of right? Is it safe to clip your dog’s nails yourself? How can you ensure it is safe when you are doing the clipping? Whilst, the safety of the product comes down to how you use it, manufacturers do their best to help you out in this regard.
Some models have safety stop blades to prevent over-cutting. Having extremely sharp blades also add to the general safety of the product. If the blades are dull, it will be tougher to get through your dog’s nail. This risks sudden slips or hangnails.
Following on from the sharpness, the materials used to make up dog claw clippers are important. You want durable, reliable materials like stainless steel to ensure the strength and sharpness of the blade over time.
Stainless steel is accessible enough that even the cheapest nail clippers on the market should have it. If it doesn’t, run!
This is all to do with your comfort in using the product. Though the comfort of your dog is paramount, ergonomics is also a safety issue. If they are difficult for you to use or are incredibly taxing on your hands, you’ll have less precision and strength when cutting your dog’s nails. You want the design to be easy to fit in your hands and allow you to apply even pressure to make accurate cuts.
How To Use Dog Nail Clippers
Hopefully, now that you understand the anatomy of a great pair of dog claw clippers, you feel more at ease finding the right pair for you. The next step is to know how to use them once you’ve purchased one, so here we go!
Step 1: Preparing your dog
Nail clippers can be quite scary to your dog - more so than nail files even which is surprising! Electric nail grinders buzz so they would seemingly be more frightening, but many report that clippers can be trickier. That said, we do recommend a good pair of nail clippers for your ultimate at-home grooming kit, so how do we get doggo on board?
It is all about acclimatisation. Your dog needs to get used to you handling their paws and claws. If your dog is a little sensitive about their paws, positive reinforcement practices like the use of treats and soothing praise can help them trust you. For me, I chose to train my dog how to high five when she was really young to ensure she felt comfortable voluntarily giving me her paw. That makes a huge difference.
You don’t have the same noise issues as with dog nail grinders or dog hair clippers, but it is worth letting your dog get used to seeing the tool. You don’t want to surprise them with nail clippers. Let them see the tool on a regular basis before using them.
Step 2: Angling the cut
You need to determine the part of the nail you need to cut. Your dog’s nail is made up of the free edge and the inner cuticle which has a network of blood vessels running through it. This is what you want to avoid. To cut your dog’s nail, either sit beside them or sit in front of them and hold their claw in place with your weak hand. Use your dominant hand to angle the clipper at a 45-degree angle.
Step 3: How much of the nail to cut
Once you are in position, make one clean snip. Aim to cut too little rather than too much.
PRO TIP: Jason Nicholas, BVetMed, from Preventive Vet writes, “aim to take enough off of each nail to keep it short, yet not so much that you cut the quick (blood supply) or the nerve endings that extend just beyond the leading edge of the quick.
Of course, this is easier to do in dogs with clear nails than it is in those whose nails are dark. With either colored-nails though, it's important to go slowly and give your dog lots of praise and positive rewards (treats) throughout the process.”
If you snip too little than intended but you don’t want to risk making another cut, you can always use a nail file (manual or electronic) to shave down the final bits.
If you are a touch overzealous and cut into the “quick” (the cuticle interior of the nail), they may be a fair bit of blood. Try not to panic as your dog will be stressed. The cut has hurt them but it is a short, sharp pain that should fade within time. Most commonly, dog owners use styptic powder to stop the bleeding. (4) For a home remedy, you can also use cornstarch.
We know that reading instructions for clipping your dog’s nails can be a bit abstract. There are many video tutorials available to help you visualise the process.
Best Dog Nail Clippers 2022 Reviewed
So, you know the makings of a good nail clipper and steps to cutting your dog’s nails proficiently. Let’s pair you with the best dog nail clippers for you and your needs. The following reviews are considering a wide range of price points and features so we hope you find the right option for you!
What sets this product apart from the rest?
Our top choice for nail clippers is one that is made from quality stainless steel and comes with a nail file! We are fans of a good grooming kit here, so a set of nail clippers covering a wide range of needs is right up our alley.
This kit comes with a nail clipper for large dogs & medium dogs, a tiny clipper for small dogs, puppies, and cats, and a nail file suitable for all of the above. This gives you complete flexibility. You can even use different clippers for different nails depending on your dog. Maybe your dog has a tiny dewclaw that needs a different size to the main nails. For those completing a dog grooming course or are already a professional groomer, this is a great starter kit.
As for materials, the blades are trusty old stainless steel. This means this set should last you a long time if well cared for. The ergonomic design is non-slip for an added layer of confidence.
Beginners will be pleased to hear that all of the clippers in the set are fitted with safety guard blades that are adjustable. You can set the length you need to avoid cutting too much.
The Dog Nation nail clipper set comes at a wonderfully economical price, making it an accessible option for all. Use it on your puppy and watch them grow into the larger clipper sizes. Use them on your Mastiff and have the smaller pair for your cat. This versatile, stylish, budget-friendly pack is a one-stop-shop for your pet nail clipping needs!
Maybe the Mudder Clipper set is a bit too overwhelming for you. You just want a one and done option that will suit your grooming needs. Our runner up in this category is the Wahl Pet Nail Clipper.
A simple product, the Wahl is very easy to use. The blade is made of hardy stainless steel. The handle is lined with rubber to ensure your hand doesn’t slip as you use it.
As for safety, there is a lock to keep the blades closed when you are not using them. As scissor clippers, this is very handy.
The Wahl clipper has another benefit - the price. This is a very budget-friendly option, accessible to all.
There appears to be no safety guard so we don’t recommend this for unconfident beginners.
Overall, for a simple one-time dog nail clipper, this is a foolproof option.
Verified Review - 6/06/2021
Works but be gentle
"I have three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels all with different lengths of fur. It definitely gets the loose hair out of my two very fluffy ones. But just be careful as the bristles are rather sharp. I always tend on the soft side with my fussy dogs. I would recommend the brush though."
For those on a budget, the Ezonedeal is the nail clipper for you. It has a cool black and red ergonomic design that is very easy to use. Stainless steel blades slice through your dog’s nails effortlessly. We love that the manufacturer has added a safety guard to help guide beginners and unconfident groomers in clipping their dog’s nails. That extra piece of mind is truly priceless!
There is a non-slip grip with rubber handles for extra security. The tight spring mechanism ensures that you can apply even pressure as you cut.
One of the best features of this economical product is that it can be used for medium and large dogs. Grooming tools for dogs tend to be very sizeist! Small dogs are often very well catered for, whereas medium - extra large dogs are forgotten. Luckily, Ezonedeal is offering an option that caters to the larger pups among us.
An extra addition to the kit is the metal nail file to smoothen out your work after clipping. All in all, this product is fabulous value for money. We highly recommend it.
As we mentioned, the dog grooming industry can be a little sizeist when it comes to creating products. If you want products for your large or extra-large pooch, you usually have to seek them out specifically. For big dogs with big nails, we recommend the Safari Professional Nail Trimmer. It comes in two sizes; small/medium and large, so your big dog is catered for here. Phew!
High-quality stainless steel is used to give a razor-sharp, long-lasting edge to the blades. A rubber grip exterior is comfortable for you to use.
We also love the green design! Quite unique for this category but suits the long line of other accessories Safari offers.
Our one con would be the price, as it is much more expensive than the other options on this list. However, if you have the budget and you are in the market for a nail clipper for large dogs, you’ll surely get on well with the Safari model. The excellent reviews speak for themselves!
Verified Review - 28/03/2021
Years of Use--- Great Quality
"I’ve had these for years and continue to use on a week/bi weekly basis on my dog. If a dog could enjoy getting nails clipped this would be the only way. The guide for stopping is great with a wiggly butt to work with."
To balance the scales, let’s also cater for our small doggies and puppies! If you start clipping your dog’s nails during puppyhood, you will find it far easier to trim their nails later in life. Our pick is the Australian made Kazoo Puppy Nail Clipper. This is the ideal choice for your little one.
This tiny pair of clippers is unintimidating for your puppy. The blade is super sharp, slicing through your puppy’s nails with ease. The blades also have a particular shape to make them better ergonomically to clip nails.
Unfortunately, the finger holes are quite small for this tiny pair so they aren’t as comfy to use as the larger models. We also would have loved to see a safety guard to help prevent overcutting.
There isn’t a stainless steel seal on the blade so we can deduce that these aren’t the same quality of the others on the list. The price is relatively reasonable but the durability does come into question.
Overall, this is a great choice to get started with trimming your puppy’s nails without fuss.
Okay, yes, guillotine trimmers are controversial! If you know what you are doing, and simply prefer guillotine trimmers, we wanted to provide a recommendation for you too.
Safari has a great trimmer in this unique category. Hardy, high-quality, stainless steel creates a sharp cutting edge. The guillotine mechanism is supported by reliable springs to slice the nail quickly and cleanly.
The Safari® Guillotine Nail Trimmer being tested by our independent expert team.
There are two sizes of this product; small and large to cater to a wide range of breeds. The reason we like this guillotine model so much is the double blade system. This means that you can use this product whether you are left-handed or right-handed. The blades will work in your favour however you need to use it.
The characteristic green design is charming. There is no rubber outer lining this time so perhaps not as secure feeling as others on the list.
For a budget-friendly price point and high-quality materials, we think the Safari is the choice for you if you prefer guillotine nail clippers for dogs.
Verified Review - 22/06/2021
Much easier than scissors
"When it comes to nail clipping my cavoodles act as though I’m trying to clip off their tails. Ease of use makes it a much easier and safer experience."
The Final Verdict: Best Nail Clippers for Dogs
For our money, you can’t go wrong with the Mudder Clipper Set. Not only does it contain a full slate of nail clippers at all different sizes, it also contains a nail file which is always useful. The set is durable, budget-friendly, and stylish. Everything you could want!
For more canine grooming guides check out the below:
This is a great question! There are a few factors that come into this. Firstly, how active is your dog? If your dog often walks on pavements, nails will naturally wear down over time.
The second question is how fast do your dog’s nails grow? The average is to clip your dog’s claws every 1-2 months but some insist on doing it more often to help with acclimatising to nail clipping.
It’s not the most natural or enjoyable thing to your dog if they aren’t used to it. Some dog owners, therefore, clip their dog’s nails every week to integrate into a frequent grooming routine. Generally, you don’t want your dog’s nails to be dragging on the floor, so when they get to that point, clip them. Any in between clipping is entirely up to you. Just be careful not to overdo it!
If you have clipped a bit too much and your dog is bleeding, don’t panic. Some styptic powder will help stop the bleeding. Use a soothing voice to soothe your dog and perhaps give them a treat too. You want them to feel as comfortable as possible when being groomed by you. Accidents do happen so don’t worry that you have scarred them for life. How you deal with the shock is how they will remember the experience. Be kind, loving, and gentle. They will come around.
- Erb, H. September 25, 2015. “A Bonding Opportunity: Groom Your Dog”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved November 1, 2020. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/groom-your-dog
- Gellman, K. April 30, 2020. “A Stress-Free Way For Trimming Your Dog’s Toenails”. Dogs Naturally Magazine. Retrieved November 1, 2020. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/trimming-your-dogs-toenails/
- Nicholas, J. September 21, 2020. “How Often Should You Cut Your Dog's Nails?”. Preventive Vet. Retrieved November 1, 2020. https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-often-should-you-cut-your-dogs-nails
- “How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails”. September 2020. The Bark. Retrieved November 1, 2020. https://thebark.com/content/how-trim-your-dogs-nails