How to Use a Dremel Dog Nail Grinder

Filed in Dog Health, Dog Products on May 24, 2022

How to Use a Dremel Dog Nail Grinder

Nail trimming is an essential part of grooming any breed of dog, but many dogs (and owners) can get a bit anxious about it. When done correctly, it’s a relatively simple process.

One of the easiest ways to get the job done is with a Dremel dog nail grinder. Dremel is a power tool company that also offers dog nail grinders with various models. They’re on my list for the best dog grooming clippers.

In this blog post, I’ll give the general process of how to use a Dremel dog nail grinder, plus offer various tips to make the process safe and comfortable for your dog.

Note: You’ll still want to refer to the user manual for your specific model.

What Is a Dremel Dog Nail Grinder?

If you or your dog are not fans of traditional guillotine or scissor style nail trimmers, grinding is another option for keeping nails short. The Dremel brand is one of the most popular nail grinders among dog owners and professional groomers alike.

Based on my research, Dremel sells the following dog nail grinders:

  1. Dremel PawControl (7760-PGK)– This model differentiates itself with a lithium-ion battery, variable speed, USB charger, nail guard featuring a 45-degree guide for optimal trimming, sanding bands and sanding discs, and 8000-25000 RPM. It’s the most expensive model.
  1. Dremel Pet Grooming Kit (7300-PT 4.8V)– This model has 2 speeds of 6,500 and 15,000 RPM and uses sanding bands.
  1. Dremel 7350-PET 4V Pet & Dog Nail Grinder– This newer model of the 7300-PT offers micro-USB charging, more runtime, is 7% quieter, and has 1 speed of 12000 RPM.

Traditional nail clippers can put uncomfortable pressure on the dog’s nails as it cuts, resulting in a painful experience for the pup. Many dogs who misbehave during nail trims calm down considerably after being introduced to a nail grinder.

Nail grinders such as those offered by Dremel, alleviate that pressure and also remove the sharp edges that may be left after the nail is cut, reducing potential scratches on you or your furniture.

Nail grinders require a brief learning curve, but most owners find that with a little practice, Dremel nail grinders are far easier to use than nail clippers.

How to Use a Dremel Dog Nail Grinder

Step 1: Introduce your Dog to the Dremel

trimming dog nails with nail grinder

Before you even pick up your Dremel nail grinder, you’ll want to make sure that your dog is comfortable having his paws handled. This can be a daily practice that can be done for just a few minutes each day.

To get your dog used to having his paws handled, practice touching and massaging his legs, paws, and toes. Remember to use plenty of verbal praise to let him know that calm behavior is what you want. You can also reward him with treats if necessary.

If your dog has little to no experience with a nail grinder, you’ll also want to spend some time introducing the tool before you begin trimming nails.

Be sure to give your pup the opportunity to sniff and inspect the Dremel while it’s turned off.

For nervous dogs, it’s important to use plenty of praise and encouragement during the introduction. Food motivated dogs may also be encouraged with a tasty treat if necessary.

Next, turn the nail grinder on and let your dog listen to the sound without attempting to touch him with it.

Be careful allowing him to sniff the tool while it’s turned on as you don’t want his face hair or whiskers to get caught.

As your dog becomes more comfortable around the Dremel, you can begin handling his feet in preparation for nail trimming.

Gradually, you can try touching the grinder to one of the nails for just a second. If your dog seems comfortable, you can progress with actually trimming the nails.

Step 2: Restrain Your Dog

Even if your dog is normally well behaved for the groomer, it’s recommended to safely restrain him when trimming nails at home. This will prevent either of you from accidental injuries.

You will need one hand to hold the paw and one hand to use the Dremel, so you won’t be able to hold your dog too.

Additionally, an unrestrained dog will quickly learn that if he’s not happy with what’s happening to him, he can simply walk away.

At the very least, a collar and leash is recommended. If your dog is large or difficult to handle, you may also want to consider having a human helper.

A dog loving friend or family member can provide your dog with the support and praise he needs while you work on grinding nails.

If you don’t have someone to help you, consider tying your dog’s leash and collar to a sturdy fence, table, or wall. Just make sure that the object cannot be pulled over on top of you, potentially injuring you both.

Step 3: Find the Quick

checking dog's nail blood supply

Before you start trimming your pooch’s nails with a Dremel nail grinder, you’ll want to locate the quick, which is the nail’s blood supply. This is a sensitive area of the nail, and it will be painful if you cut the nail too short and “quick” the dog.

It will also bleed, so if you’re worried about cutting the quick, you might want to have styptic powder on hand to stop the bleeding.

Depending on your dog’s breed or color, he may have white nails, which will make it easy to find the quick. When viewed from the side, you’ll be able to see the pink area of blood flow within the nail.

Take note of this, as you’ll want to stop grinding before you reach the quick.

If your dog has dark or black nails, you will not be able to see the quick through the side of the nail.

Don’t panic, if you grind slowly, you’ll be able to locate the quick as you go without causing your pup any discomfort. Step 3 will detail this process.

Step 4: Move Hair Out of the Way

With shorthaired dogs, trimming nails is as easy as picking up a paw and getting to work.

However, it’s not so simple with longhaired dogs. For this next step on how to use a Dremel dog nail grinder, you’ll need to be careful to keep your longhaired dog’s coat out of the way of the Dremel.

The spinning action of the Dremel can wrap up long hair in the blink of an eye. This can quickly tangle the hair or even pull it out, not to mention being incredibly uncomfortable for your dog.

If you catch a large chunk of hair, your grinder will likely stop due to tension, which will allow you to turn it off and untangle your dog’s hair.

Smaller sections of hair may be pulled out, so you’ll have to stop the grinder and remove the loose hair from your Dremel before beginning again.

It can take some unique handling to keep your dog’s paw hair out of the way, but the best way to keep your pup’s coat safe is to hold the hair away from the nail with the same hand holding the paw.

Slide your hand up the top of the paw beginning at the nails and grip the paw with the hair pulled back beneath your hand.

You can then use your other hand to tuck away any stray hairs before picking up your Dremel.

You can also try sliding a sock or stocking over your pet’s paw.

You can then isolate each nail by gently pushing it through the fibers of fabric or a small hole cut into the end, which will then hold the paw hairs out of the way.

Step 5: Begin Grinding

dog nails grinder

Once you have your dog’s paw in hand, you’re ready to begin grinding. It’s recommended to grind away just a thin layer at a time, rather than a large amount at once, especially if you’re working on dark nails.

Taking thin layers will allow you to locate the quick before you grind too far and hurt your dog. After each layer, you’ll want to examine the tip of the nail closely.

Keep an eye out for a darker circle in the center of the nail. This is the quick.

With long nails, you may be able to trim quite a bit of length off before seeing the quick, but if your dog’s nails are already quite short, you’ll need to be vigilant from the start.

Once you see the quick, you can round off any sharp edges, but do not trim any further.

Certain models of Dremel nail grinders will have multiple speed settings, so you’ll need to determine which speed works best for you and your dog.

If you have a lot of length to remove from the nail, the higher speed will grind more quickly.

However, if the quick is close to the surface, you may accidentally grind too far if you have your tool on the fastest setting and are not paying attention.

Once you start getting closer to the quick, you may want to switch to the slower setting to make sure you don’t grind too far. The slower setting is also ideal for removing sharp or rough edges after trimming.

Safety Tips

While grinding your pooch’s nails with your Dremel dog nail grinder, it’s important to note that very little pressure needs to be applied in order for the tool to do its job.

All you need to do is gently rest the grinding surface against the nail.

If you apply too much pressure, you may grind too far before you realize it. Pressure also increases heat, which can be an unpleasant or even painful experience for your pet.

To prevent the buildup of heat, you’ll also want to work in quick passes, rather than longer durations. The grinder should never be placed against the nail for more than three seconds.

If your dog’s nails are particularly long, you may want to do a few quick passes on each nail on that paw.

You can repeat the process, going from nail to nail to remove more length, rather than focusing your efforts on one nail at a time.

Don’t Forget Dewclaws

Depending on your dog’s breed, he may or may not have dew claws on his front or back paws. Dew claws are located on the inside of the leg, just above the paw pad.

Some dogs may have dew claws on the front only, while others may have them just on their back legs or possibly on all four.

Some breeds, such as the Great Pyrenees or Norwegian Lundehund, may have double dew claws on each leg.

Additionally, some breeders may opt to remove dewclaws at a young age, so if your dog does not have dewclaws, do not be concerned.

Unlike the nails on your dog’s toes, dewclaws are not worn down by walking and normal exercise, so they tend to grow more between nail trims.

If left untrimmed, dewclaws can grow long enough to complete a circle and begin growing into the pad. This can be extremely painful and may require a trip to the vet to remove.

Step 6: Reward Your Dog

The most important step of grinding your dog’s nails with a Dremel is the reward. If your dog is nervous about the process, you may want to reward after each paw or even each nail.

Remember, the more positive you make the experience, the more likely your pup is to tolerate it next time.

In addition to plenty of pats and treats afterward, you can use verbal praise while you’re trimming to remind your dog that he’s being a good and patient boy.

Conclusion on How to Use a Dremel Dog Nail Grinder

Well, I hope you have a better idea how to use a Dremel dog nail grinder. Use these instructions along with the user manual that comes with your specific model.

If you’re unsure about using a Dremel dog nail grinder on your pup, consider asking your local groomer for advice.

Most groomers are happy to show you the right techniques for safe handling and efficient nail grinding.

Let me know if you have any comments below.

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