5 Ways To Cut A Dog’s Nails Without Using Nail Clippers

How To Cut Dog's Nails Without Nail Clippers

Dog care among other things includes trimming or cutting of their nails. This practice is as important as cutting human nails and needs to be done regularly.

However, the practice of nail cutting comes with a lot of frustrations anxiety. Failure to cut your dog’s nails can be negatively impacting. When your dog’s nail is left to grow too long, it can affect its posture thereby causing leg problems and arthritis.

This can be dangerous to the dog’s skin, especially around the leg region. It can affect the dog’s grip on slippery surfaces as well as causing discomfort. Overgrown nails can sometimes split or break and is not comfortable with the dog at all.

In cutting a dog’s nail, the nail clipper readily comes to mind. However, nail clippers come with some disadvantages that had forced dog owners and trainers to look out for alternatives.

This article is poised to showing you the alternative ways of cutting your dog’s nails without using the traditional nail clipper.

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One of the painful disadvantages of cutting your dog’s nail with a nail clipper is the possibility of cutting the quick of the nail (the living part of the nail). This experience can be badly painful and discomforting to the dog as it is capable of causing bleeding.

The process of clipping the god nail can cause nail splitting which can engender excruciating pain to the dog. These challenges have made some dog owners to be so anxious about the clipper method and have made some dogs not cooperate during nail cutting.

As the search for alternative ways of cutting dog’s nails kept increasing, it became very much important for me to help you with ‘5Ways To Cut Your Dog’s Nail Without Using The Nail Clippers’.

This article will certainly bring an end to your insatiable search for other alternatives to cutting your dog’s nails.

Here, I will be discussing five alternative ways you can conveniently cut your dog’s nails without using the clipper.

Reading the entire article will provide you with the choice of options that best suit you and your dog as all dogs are not the same in behavioral tendencies. I shall be delving into details now. Just follow me.

Cut Dog Nails Without Using Clippers By Manually Filing Them

This method is considered less stressful and the easiest and simplest method of cutting a dog’s nail but one will need enough dose of patience as this method takes a longer time.

The file comes in different forms such as ceramic, glass, or the hard metal nail file. There are different brands – Stainless steel nail file, Paw brothers, Diamond Edge nail file, Bona Fide Beauty Swarovski Crystal Dog Nail File, DiggerDog Nail File, etc.

Cut Dog Nails Without Using Clippers

You can visit a Vet or Pet store to obtain a specialized dog nail file. To use manual filing, you will need to make your dog tolerate the process. This is termed acclimatization. This you can achieve by manipulating the toes.

Excess hair around the toes should be trimmed so as to access the paws then make your dog lie on the floor or in a comfortable position. Hold each paw between your thumb and index finger of the left hand and the file with your right hand to manually file the nails one at a time as you avoid overheat generated by friction.

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Trim Dog Nails Without Clippers By Using Dremels Or Power Grinder

This is a motorized power tool with an abrasive head specially made for cutting a dog’s nail. It is known as an electric dog nail file or nail grinder. When put on, it has characteristic sound and vibration. These could cause uneasiness in your dog that can give rise to resistance from your dog.

Thus, it is necessary to take some actions that will make your dog put up with the sound and vibrations to enable you finally have easy cutting or trimming of your dog’s nails and secure unhindered cooperation from your dog.

Trim Dog Nails Without Clippers

First, you will need to get your dog to tolerate or associate with Dremel sound and vibration. This you can do by switching on the tool and bringing it close to your dog to get it used to the sound and vibration of the tool.

While the sound is on, you will need to give your dog treatments or cares (play with or pamper it) that will help it achieve that positive association with the sound and vibration.

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Thereafter, you trim the toe hairs around your dog’s toes and nails to create unhindered access to your dog’s nails and so that the hair does not become caught as the Dremel tool rotates.

When you are sure that the toe hairs are well-trimmed then get your dog well positioned either by sitting or lying on his back to enable you to have access to its paws.

If standing your dog will be appropriate for you and the dog, then you can as well adopt this position. After securing your dog in the best position, separate the toes and hold each paw with your thumb and index finger as to spread out the toes and have access to the nails and carefully insert the nail into the Dremel tool and activate the tool to file down each toenail.

Carefully avoid filing your dog’s nail too short. To avoid cutting your dog's nails too short check for the guide to preventing you from filing your dog’s nails too short. If you are using this tool for the very first time on your dog, it will be wise you begin by doing only one nail at a time and then allow your dog to rest a while.

Cut Canine Claws Without Clippers By Regularly Walking Your Pet On Concrete Surface

This is by far the most cost-effective and natural method of cutting your dog’s nails as it does not require any special tool. However, this is most common among dogs that are engaged in outdoor activities and frequently walk on hard or concrete surfaces.

This set of dogs will hardly need nail cutting or trimming. Their nails are by nature trimmed by the hard or concrete surfaces.

Cut Canine Claws Without Clippers

If your dog is always indoors and you want to apply this natural method to cutting its nails, then you will need to be taking your dog out for a regular walk on a concrete or coarse surface.

Dogs that are involved in outdoor works and farm works will hardly need to have their nails cut or trimmed, as they are trimmed from activities naturally. This method can be of great help to dog owners with a low budget as it does not require money to get it done.

Trim Your Dog Nails Without Nail Clippers By Using Scratch Or Filing Board

The scratchboard is a very cheap and simple method of making your own dog file its nails. It is one of the Do-it-yourself methods for your dog. Scratchboard is a board that is covered with an abrasive material (Sandpaper) capable of shortening your dog’s nail whenever it scratches or scrapes its nails on it. This method is similar to walking on a concrete surface.

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The dog scratches on an abrasive surface as a way to file their own nails. This is a method of choice for dogs that are anxious or resistant to clippers or Dremel tools.

Trim Your Dog Nails Without Nail Clippers

The majority of dogs appear to love this method because of the motivation they get in form of rewards from their owners. It is an anxiety and tension-free method of helping your dog to keep their nails shortened.

You can as well construct a scratchboard yourself if you have all the needed time in the world. It is very simple to construct. I promise to teach them how if you will read to the end. The abrasive comes in different grit such as 80, 100, 120, etc. The choice of grit is purely dependent on the thickness or size of your dog’s nails. There are different brands of the scratchboard out there in the market. They can be gotten online as well.

One most important thing about the scratchboard method is that you will certainly need to teach or get your dog to master the art of scratching or pawing the board. It is not stressful.

You sure can do it even if you are not a dog trainer or guardian. I will walk you through the process of teaching your dog to master the art of scratching the scratchboard as you keep reading this article.

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In training your dog on the usage of the scratchboard, you will be required to choose a place devoid of distractions. This can be any room of choice or open place but without distractions. So, at the time of the training session, you walk your dog into the chosen room or place.

Make sure to go with needed items (treats) and a chair upon which you will keep the items as they will be helpful in motivating or rewarding your dog as it responds positively to the training. The seat should be high such that the dog cannot snatch the treats from it. During the training proper you will need to follow the steps below.


While generally the scratchboard is placed flat on the floor, placing it at 45 degrees from the ground appears to give the best result as the dog files the bottom followed by the middle and the top portion of the nail, making a fine rounded and smooth nail. The drawback with placing the scratchboard flat on the ground is that the bottom portion of the paw is blunt.

Here we go. Using the 45 degrees from the ground, place the bottom of the scratchboard on the ground and rest the top of the board against your leg or a small wooden object ensuring that the abrasive surface is facing your dog. When your dog takes a look at it and makes advancement in the direction of the scratchboard or touches her front paw on the scratchboard, reward it by throwing one of the treats to it.

You can do this about 5-10 times and bring the training session to an end for that day. Doing this will create curiosity in your dog to learn about the scratchboard and you must reward it accordingly. This step is aimed at introducing your dog to the scratchboard in a positive and motivational way.

STEP 2 PAWING ON THE SCRATCH BOARD: This step is aimed at teaching the dog to touch or scrape its paw on the scratchboard hence mastering the art of scratching or scraping the scratchboard. When you do this, you are simply developing what is called pawing behavior in your dog. Here you are going to repeat step one in the same choice room.

That is, go to the same room with your dog and set up the scratchboard and treats as before. Ensure you are using the treats your dog loves otherwise your dog may walk away.

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When you are done setting up the scratchboard, watch your dog paw on the scratchboard. For each pawing, treat your dog to reward its action. You can do this 5-10 times before calling it a day.

Keep doing this each day until your dog master the art of scraping its paw on the sandpaper-covered board. This process will help you achieve cutting your dog’s nails without nail clippers.

It is important to ensure that what is touching the scratchboard is your dog's nails and not the pads of its feet and that it using both feet. Also, make sure to avoid excess filing so as not to expose the quick.

Remember, I promised to teach you how to make scratchboard. It is very simple and you can do this within few hours as the case may be. Here we go. In constructing scratchboard, the following materials are required:

  • Sandpaper(80,100, and 120 grit)
  • A good adhesive 3. Board(clipboard, wooden board, etc)

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  • Cut or trim the sandpaper to the size of the board.
  • On the non-abrasive surface, add any good adhesive. Just enough to fix to the board.
  • Invert the sandpaper and carefully fix it firmly to the board avoiding the formation of an air pocket.
  • Now invert the board with the sandpaper side facing downward, place a heavy object on the board and allow to it dry. This can take between 1 to 6 hours depending on the strength of the adhesive used.
  • It is ready for use after proper drying. You have just made your own scratchboard.

Cut Dog Nails Without Nail Clippers Using Filing Mats

This is yet another simple way to cut or trim your dog's nails without using the clipper. A nail filing mat is just like the common doormat but with an abrasive or rough surface that helps to file the dog nails each time the dog walks on it. It is easy to use. Simply place the mat where your dog walks most often every day.

This could be the doorway, hallway, or doggy door. So every time the dog walks across it, the nails will scrape against the abrasive surface thereby wearing away.

Cut Dog Nails Without Nail Clippers

The mat is designed in such a way that it can be rolled or folded up when not in use. The mat is made up of an abrasive surface or a filing layer, the backing layer, and a fabric border.

The filing layer is attached to the backing layer and this is firmly held by the fabric border. It is simple to clean as well. You can just shake it like a rug and spray water on it gently. One of the brands available is the Bekky-Board. The drawback with this mat is that it does not file to the dewclaw.

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The frustration of cutting or trimming dog nails faced by dog owners and guardians is increasingly alarming. Using nail clippers has worsened the case as the possibility of splitting and breaking of nails and cutting of the dog's quick is very high. Some in a way to reduce the frustration jettisoned the idea of cutting their dogs’ nails but this had led to overgrown nails that in turn affected the posture of their dogs hence causing joint problems and arthritis among other health challenges.

These challenges had led to the discovery of alternative ways of cutting dogs’ nails. There a wide range of available options such as manual filing, electric filing or grinding, walking on a hard or concrete surface, scratchboards, filing mats, and filing pads. The choice of any of the options will largely depend on the type of dog you have and your budget.


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