Trimming your dog’s claws is a challenge at the best of times, even without the added difficulty of owning a breed with naturally thick nails. The wrong pair of clippers can mean an already intimidating task could end in tears of frustration and bloodshed when you accidentally hit the quick. Fortunately, there are plenty of nail clippers available that are more than capable of cutting — and not crushing — your dog’s thick nails.
We checked out the most popular dog nail clippers and carefully considered the pros and cons of each. These reviews are our choices for the best nail clippers for dogs with thick nails, so you can take the first step in finding a hassle-free solution to your dog’s nail care needs.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Boshel Dog Nail Clipper||
|Best Value||H&H Pets Dog Nail Clipper||
|Premium Choice||Pet Republique Cordless Nail Grinder & Clippers||
|Best for Puppies||Safari Professional Nail Trimmer||
|Bissell Dog Nail Clippers||
The 10 Best Dog Nail Clippers for Thick Nails
1. Boshel Dog Nail Clipper for Thick Nails — Best Overall
|Size:||7.5 x 2.5 x 0.3 inches|
|Features:||Nail file, ergonomic handle, safety guard|
The best overall dog nail clipper for thick nails is the Boshel Dog Nail Clipper. It’s designed with an ergonomic rubber handle to make it easy and comfortable to hold and 3.5mm-thick stainless-steel blades to cut nails cleanly without tearing. The clippers have a built-in safety guard on the blade to help you avoid the quick and make these clippers easy for beginners to use.
These nail clippers also come with a small nail file to help you tend to all of your dog’s nail care needs. The file is securely stored in the handle, so it’s always close at hand.
Due to its size, the Boshel nail clipper is more suited for large dog breeds. It can be too cumbersome to use on smaller dogs.
2. H&H Pets Dog Nail Clipper — Best Value
|Size:||Small or medium|
|Breed:||Small or medium|
Available in two sizes, the H&H Pets Dog Nail Clipper is suitable for small and medium dog breeds and is our choice for the best dog nail clippers for thick nails for the money. The design uses hypoallergenic stainless-steel blades for easy nail cutting and rubber, non-slip handles to provide a secure grip.
To ensure that the blades don’t get damaged when the nail clippers are stored, the H&H nail clippers have a locking mechanism that keeps the blades closed when not in use. The package also includes easy-to-follow instructions for first-time dog owners.
However, while the instructions are suitable for beginners, some dog owners might have issues with the lack of a safety guard. If your dog has black nails or you’re not familiar with where the quick is, these clippers can be challenging to use.
3. Pet Republique Nail Grinder/Clippers — Premium Choice
|Size:||6.93 x 3.54 x 0.94 inches|
|Features:||Nail clippers and grinder, lockable handle|
If you prefer having more than one way of tending to your dog’s claws, the Pet Republique Cordless Dog Nail Grinder & Nail Clippers contain nail clippers and a grinder. The nail clippers enable you to quickly cut your dog’s nails and come with a lockable handle to keep the blades in top shape when stored.
It takes a little longer for dogs to adjust to the noise and vibration of the grinder, but it’s specially designed to be suitable for pets. Quiet with a low-vibration motor, the grinder is cordless and contains a long-lasting battery that can be quickly charged via USB.
Although the nail clippers are built with sturdy stainless-steel blades, the plastic handles break easily. Some skittish dogs might also take longer to adjust to the noise of the grinder.
4. Safari Professional Nail Trimmer — Best for Puppies
|Size:||4.7 x 2.6 inches|
|Features:||Tension spring, safety guard, lockable handles|
When you’re first introducing nail clippers to your puppy, quick and easy is the way to go. The Safari Professional Nail Trimmer is sold in two sizes for both young and adult dogs of all sizes. It has a tension spring to help both left- and right-handed pet owners trim their dog’s nails and durable stainless-steel blades for longevity.
There’s also a safety guard to protect the quick if you’re not sure how much of the nail to cut off. However, some users have had trouble with the screw holding the safety guard in place. It can come loose, and the safety guard can move while the clippers are used. These clippers also have a pinch point on the handles that can catch your hand if you hold the clippers too close to the blades.
5. Bissell Dog Nail Clippers for Thick Nails
|Size:||8 x 3.5 x 1 inches|
|Features:||Nail file, ergonomic handle, easy-to-follow instructions, safety guard|
Along with the ergonomic, non-slip construction, the Bissell Dog Nail Clippers include a nail file that you can store in the handle. You can use this to tend to rough or sharp nails during the grooming session. The blades are made from stainless steel, with a built-in safety guard to prevent you from accidentally cutting the quick. There are also easy-to-follow instructions included to help new dog owners feel less intimidated when cutting their dog’s nails.
Despite the relative simplicity of the design, these nail clippers do have a thick, white button-like feature right by the blades. This part of the design can be a little obtrusive, especially if you’re trying to cut a smaller dog’s nails. Due to this, the Bissell nail clippers are best suited for large or medium breeds.
6. Zen Clipper Precise Adjustable Dog Nail Clipper
|Size:||7 x 3 x 1 inches|
Built-in safety guards are useful, but they can also be a cumbersome way of protecting your dog’s quick from getting cut. The Zen Clipper Precise Adjustable Dog Nail Clipper tackles this problem by offering adjustable blades instead of a physical guard that you can move around. By adjusting the blade sizes, you can use the Zen Clipper for any size claw — including cat claws — which makes it perfect for multi-pet homes and dogs with thick nails.
It’s sold in two sizes to make sure all dog breeds are covered by the adjustable blade sizes. The stainless-steel blades also have long-lasting, laser-etched markings to prevent the adjustment measurements from fading over time. Unfortunately, some pet owners have had issues with the bolt holding the blades together loosening while the clippers are being used.
Due to the unique design, these clippers are more expensive than the other options on this list.
7. PetSpy Dog Nail Clipper for Thick Nails
|Size:||6 x 2 x 1 inches|
|Breed:||Medium and large breeds|
|Features:||Nail file, non-slip handle, safety guard, lockable handles|
The PetSpy Dog Nail Clipper is designed with a 3.5mm-thick, stainless-steel blade to retain sharpness and ensure clean, quick cuts through your dog’s claws. To help make sure these clippers are easy to use, the handles are made from non-slip material and are designed to fit into your hand to ensure that you can grip them securely.
Like several other nail clippers listed, the PetSpy has a few extra features. It has a built-in safety guard that can be slid into place behind the blades to protect the quick and a nail file that’s stored in the handle.
The handles can be locked in the closed position to prevent the blades from dulling when they’re stored; however, the locking mechanism can interfere while the clippers are in use. This nail clipper is on the large side and more suited for large and medium breeds.
8. CHI Standard Nail Dog Clipper for Thick Nails
|Size:||1 x 2.25 x 8 inches|
|Features:||Ergonomic handle, safety guard, easy-to-clean, lockable handles|
Designed for large dog breeds, the CHI Standard Nail Dog Clipper is made with durable stainless steel and aluminum. The metal construction is easy to clean with ergonomic handles, so it’s easy to hold and doesn’t hurt your hands when you use the clippers. A safety guard can be moved into place if you prefer having a guide to help you avoid the quick.
While the handles are lockable to help you store the clippers safely, the locking mechanism has been known to jam occasionally when the nail clippers are used. Some pet owners with smaller hands have had issues with the size of the ergonomic handles.
9. Millers Forge Nail Clipper With Safety Stop for Dogs
|Size:||5 x 2 x 0.25 inches|
|Breed:||Small or medium|
|Features:||Safety guard, lockable handle, spring loaded|
Lightweight and easy to use, the Millers Forge Nail Clipper With Safety Stop is designed for small or medium-sized dogs. It has a locking mechanism to keep the stainless-steel blades in top shape and prevent injury when the clippers are stored. The clippers are spring loaded to make cutting nails easier, although the spring can come off in some cases.
As one of the most affordable options on this list, the Millers Forge nail clipper has a simple design. It mimics regular pliers by using rubber sleeves on the handles to provide a secure grip. However, these grips have been known to slip off while the clippers are in use.
The built-in safety guard is designed to be moved into and out of place when you need it to help protect the quick. Some users have found that the bolt holding it in place is too loose to be reliable and that the guard slips when you’re cutting your dog’s nails.
10. JW Pet Gripsoft Deluxe Dog Nail Clipper for Thick Nails
|Size:||9 x 4.25 x 0.75 inches|
|Breed:||Medium or large|
|Features:||Ergonomic handle, non-slip, safety guard, lockable handle|
Sold in both medium and large sizes, the JW Pet Gripsoft Deluxe Dog Nail Clipper is intended for heavy-duty use with medium or large dog breeds. The handles are ergonomically designed to feel comfortable for both right- and left-handed pet owners and have non-slip grips for security.
Like many similar designs, there’s a built-in safety guard to protect the quick. The design of the guard makes this tool too big for small dog breeds, though.
Some pet owners have found that the blades can quickly become blunt and struggle to cut through nails. The locking mechanism is also badly constructed and can interfere with how these nail clippers work, making it clunky to use.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Nail Clipper for Thick Nails
With so many nail clippers tailored to different sizes of dogs, it’s not easy to buy the perfect tool for your grooming kit. We hope that the following tips will give you a few factors to consider when buying the best nail clippers.
Ask for Advice
One of the best ways to take the first step in buying a new pair of nail clippers is by asking for professional advice. Your veterinarian or groomer will be familiar with different dogs and their individual needs when it comes to their paws. They’ll also be familiar with the easiest tools to use and how effective the best clippers are.
You don’t have to follow their advice if you prefer another option, but it can help steer you in the right direction.
Thick nails are among the most difficult to cut through, and the tools you use need to hold up under the pressure. For this reason, considering the durability of your chosen nail clippers is important. Choose an option with sturdy handles and blades. The handles will make the clippers much easier to hold, and high-quality blades will hold their sharpness longer and won’t break or crush your dog’s nails.
In some cases, it might be best if you have at least two pairs of clippers in your grooming kit, especially if you have cats and dogs or two dog breeds with different nail types. One should be a heavy-duty option suitable for thick nails, while the other can be a simpler — but no less sturdy — nail clipper for a cat or smaller dog’s nails.
Many dog nail clippers come with a built-in safety guard or stop that’s designed to act as a guide for avoiding the quick. For new dog owners who are unfamiliar with how much they should cut off their dog’s claws, this small measure of security can make it easier.
However, it does have a downside and isn’t foolproof. Sometimes, the clippers are designed for larger dogs, or the guard can get in the way or slip while you’re cutting your dog’s nails. These things can make it easy to catch the quick by accident, even if you use clippers with a safety guard.
Just like dogs come in all shapes and sizes, nail clippers do too. Not all clippers are the right choice for all breeds, though. For example, nail clippers designed with large dogs in mind might work great for dogs with thicker nails, but they’ll be cumbersome to use for smaller breeds. Similarly, a smaller nail clipper for a big dog might not be strong enough to handle their much larger nails.
You need a nail clipper that can tackle the size of your dog’s nails without making it difficult for you to judge how much of the nail you’re cutting off. Choosing the right option will help you avoid cutting the quick and prevent the clippers from crushing the nails instead of cutting them.
Remember to consider the size of the nail clippers in your hand too. If they’re too big to hand onto, you’ll find it even more difficult to hold your dog’s paw securely and cut their nails. Using two hands to wield the clippers can result in your dog moving or you slipping and accidentally damaging the quick.
There are two types of nail clippers designed for dogs: guillotines and scissors. Scissors are the easiest to use and give you more control, along with the ability to snip off small pieces of the nail at a time.
Guillotine clippers take longer to learn how to use and work by pushing the blades together rather than using a scissor action. This type of nail clipper can feel awkward if you’re not familiar with how to use it.
You can also consider nail grinders, which take more time to introduce to your dog but cause much less damage to the nail when used. There’s no risk of crushing the nail, but you can still cause your dog pain if you use it for too long at once or grind too much of the nail away.
What Is the Quick?
The quick is the sensitive blood vessel found in each of your dog’s nails. In dogs with white claws, the quick is easily visible as a light pink area inside the nail, which makes it much easier to avoid. However, it’s much harder to determine the location of when your dog has darker nails, which is where many accidents can happen.
Avoid the quick by only trimming small amounts of the nail at a time. The very tip of your dog’s nail won’t contain any blood vessels or nerves at all. Make sure to not take off too much of your dog’s nails if they get too long. The quick grows with the nail, and you’ll need to slowly trim your dog’s nails until they’re the right length to maintain.
What to Do If You Cut the Quick
For all the steps that you take to avoid the quick, accidents sometimes happen. You’ll likely at some point accidentally take too much off your dog’s nail. This can be devastating, cause a mess, and make your dog wary about future nail trimmings. Here are a few tips for what to do if you accidentally cut the quick.
The quick is a blood vessel and will bleed when cut. This combined with your dog’s yelp and shying away is often a one-way ticket to panicked reassurances. Unfortunately, panicking about cutting the quick will only teach your dog that clipping their nails is something to be feared. Your dog will look to you for guidance, and staying calm will help you reassure them so you can properly treat their injury.
Stopping the blood flow is your priority. Apply pressure to the nail for at least 2 minutes to stop the bleeding. Sometimes, you might need to use a styptic pencil. Another home remedy is flour or baking powder.
Ergonomically designed and with a convenient nail file stored in the handle, the Boshel Dog Nail Clipper is the best overall dog nail clipper for thick nails. A cheaper option is the H&H Pets Nail Clipper with its simple construction and non-slip handle. For pet owners who would like more options for their money, the Pet Republique Cordless Nail Grinder and Clippers set includes two tools that you can use to tend to your dog’s nails.
These reviews were our favorite dog nail clippers for thick nails, and we hope that they have helped you start your search for your new grooming tool.
Featured Image Credit: Oleggg, Shutterstock