You and your pup’s grooming routine may include bathing, a good brushing, and nail clipping. While some grooming practices are for the simple luxury of giving your furbaby the spa day they deserve, others are out of health and safety. Trimming back your dog’s nails is often no easy task and it can become unpleasant for you and your pup if done incorrectly too many times. By stocking up on knowledge before diving into the trimming process, you are priming yourself for success. Your furbaby will thank you! In this article we want to shed light on the guillotine nail clipper.

     There are a variety of tools an owner can use to cut back Fido’s nails: traditional scissor clippers, nail grinders, and guillotine clippers. Each has its pros and cons. Today, we would like to focus on guillotine nail clippers. To learn about other options, check out Taking Care of Fido’s Nails at Home and The Best Nail Grinders for Dogs.

Why Trim Your Dog’s Nails?

     When dogs have the ability to play and roam around outside on harder surfaces, such as rocks and concrete, it naturally grinds down their nails. In reality, modern dog families own soft-surface yards. Furthermore, many dogs are kept indoors during a period of the day when owners are out and about or at work. In this case, your pup’s nails need help to be cut back.

     But why bother cutting them back at all? Trimming your furbaby’s nails will do more than protect your floors and furniture. When a canine’s nails grow long enough to touch the ground, it adds pressure to the nail and pushes it back into the paw. Over time, this pressure will become painful and can actually affect their joints! When their natural alignment is off, your pup may gain difficulties in walking and running.

     Trimming back their nails puts a stop to potential future pain and suffering. Your dog will grow healthy and strong in the natural alignment their bones and joints were meant for. In this sense, nail trimming is a necessity, not just a luxury grooming practice.

What is a Guillotine Nail Clipper?

     Guillotine dog nail clippers look similar to a traditional scissor clipper. On a guillotine nail clipper, you will notice that the end sports a stationary ring. Upon squeezing the handles together with one hand, a blade will slide across the stationary ring. When the cutting blade no longer seems to be sharp, replacement blades can be purchased and mounted.

     The original guillotine style nail clipper was invented in 1937. You may be familiar with the Resco company; they have produced a wide variety of excellent dog nail trimming products. The Resco Deluxe Dog Nail Clippers are proudly manufactured in the USA and come with a lifetime warranty. Owners have their choice between a large and regular size, it all depends on the dog’s nail size. Both come in a package measuring 5 x 3.8 x .6” and weighs just 3.04 ounces. For such a small contraption, they are definitely sturdy!

     Customers recommend paying attention to the size of your pup’s nails before ordering the regular or large size. While the regular size Resco Deluxe Dog Nail Clipper is great for small to medium sized dogs, it might not work so great on a 200 lbs gentle giant. We recommend purchasing a replacement blade about every 5 months (depending on how often you use it) for consistent, accurate cuts.

Getting Your Pup Used to the Guillotine Nail Clipper

     Before using the guillotine nail clipper on your pup’s toesies, we highly recommend you take steps to get them used to the instrument. If you have never used clippers with your dog before, start by simply handling their paws with your hand without doing anything. Give them plenty of treats to condition good behavior during the process.

      Next, show the new clippers to your pup. Allow them to sniff it and check it out for themselves. Then squeeze the handles together to show them how it works (do not cut yet!). Again, give them plenty of tasty treats!

     Finally, continue the introduction phase as long as it takes for your furbaby to become comfortable with the clippers. Keep in mind that it is not uncommon for this phase to last one to two weeks. By clipping their nails before they are comfortable, you will reinforce (in the dog’s mind) the idea that nail trimming is scary.

How to Use It

     The stationary ring is a great defining feature of the guillotine nail clipper. By placing your pup’s nail, one by one, through the ring, it will stabilize the nail for you to cut it properly. You will want to trim Fido’s nail within 2mm of the quick. While the quick can easily be seen through light colored nails, it proves more difficult to find in dark colored nails. Cutting the quick acts like a papercut for your pup. It will cause pain and bleeding. If your furry friend has dark colored nails, make your cuts in several small pieces until the very top of the quick can be seen.

     For a clean trim, cut the nail in a lateral direction. The blade will slide across it starting from underneath the nail. Cutting from side to side will crush the nail. Think about how you utilize nail clippers on yourself.

     Finally, the cutting blade on the guillotine nail clipper should be facing you, not the dog. This means that the screws on the handle face the dog. By clipping in this direction, you are less likely to cut into the quick.

The “Quick”

     A dog’s nail is made of a harder shell and a softer interior. The soft cuticle center of their nail is often referred to as the “quick.” It has nerve endings and blood vessels, allowing your pup to feel pain when it is cut and bleeding to ensue.

     Although very painful, your furbaby will not die if you accidentally cut the quick. The bleeding will last for about 5 to 10 minutes. The incident will, however, freak your pup out and they are less likely to cooperate during the next trimming session. If you are uneasy about the potential of cutting the quick, check out our top nail grinder finds here.

Nail Trimming on a Budget

     Guillotine dog nail clippers are commonly inexpensive. You can expect to pay under $20 for a quality pair. Often, the price of the product reflects how and what it is made of. This may mean the difference between durable stainless steel and less-durable plastic. The Safari Guillotine Nail Trimmer is a great budget pick that won’t lack on quality. You can order small, large, or a large 2 pack for Amazon. Both small and large sizes measure .6 x 4.8 x 8.1” and weigh only 2.88 ounces.

     The Safari Guillotine Nail Trimmer may be inexpensive, but they aren’t poor quality. Made from stainless steal, these bad boys will definitely get the job done. Customers recommend observing your pup’s nail size before ordering. The larger size will not be able to properly cut smaller nails. Instead, the small clipping might jam the contraption. To experience the best results, Safari recommends holding your pup’s nail trimming session after bathing.

Our Product Pick Overview

     In the realm of guillotine nail clippers, the Rusco Deluxe Dog Nail Clippers and Safari Guillotine Nail Trimmer are going to be your best buys. Both are fairly inexpensive, easy to use, and give nice clean cuts when the blade is sharp. Rusco is a well-known and trusted name for dog nail trimmers. They are sturdy and allow you to replace the blade when needed. While Safari is a lesser known brand, they receive good reviews for their guillotine nail trimmer. Both products allow an owner to choose a size; catering to your furbaby’s unique needs.

Price comparison:

Rusco Deluxe Dog Nail Clipper: $

Safari Guillotine Nail trimmer: $

In Closing

     Grooming Fido is fun, relaxing, and allows him or her to look their best. Yet, it is often essential for their health and well-being as well. Trimming back your pup’s nails prevents future joint pain. With their nail at a proper length, canines will grow up without weight displacement and walking issues. A guillotine nail clipper is one option owners have to satisfy their furbaby’s needs without causing too much hassle. As with any new instrument, make sure your pup is comfortable before your dive in and clip away.

     With new knowledge and confidence, you can make the right choice for you and your dog. Now it’s time for a spa day!