For dogs who are afraid of getting their nails cut with clippers, manual dog nail files can be the perfect alternative.
These handy tools are more than just glamorous accessories; they take up little room to store, are relatively cheap to purchase, and can last a lifetime if you buy a quality file.
Files can also be easier to use on smaller breeds while being less intimidating than a loud and intrusive dog nail grinder.
Dog nails do naturally wear down, especially if your pet mainly walks on tarmac or concrete, however keeping on top of nail care to ensure your pup is never in any discomfort and can enjoy their walks to the fullest will be an essential part of canine care. Fortunately, there's plenty of options to make dog grooming a breeze.
You can use a dog nail file in isolation and instead of clippers, or use it in conjunction with a clipper and/or scissors depending on your canine's needs, requirements and temperament around different tools.
Be sure to check out our guide on how to clip dog's nails too if you're new to the job.
PetsRadar's pick of best dog nail files...
- Best overall dog nail file: Coastal Pet Safari Dog Diamond Nail File
- Best budget dog nail file: FACEFOODING Claw Care PET Nail File
- Best stylish dog nail file: Dog Fashion Spa Crystal Nail File
- Best dog nail file for durability: Ryan's Pet Supplies Paw Brothers Diamond Edge Nail File for Dogs
- Best dog nail file for a smooth finish: Awesome Dog Crystal Glass Dog Nail File
Coastal Pet Safari Dog Diamond Nail File
Best overall dog nail file
Material: Stainless Steel | Size: 1 x 1 x 1 inches | Suitable for: All dogs
A great addition to any pet owner's dog grooming kit, the Coastal Pet Safari Dog Diamond Nail File works a treat in filing down sharp edges and lightly shaping a dog's toe nails.
It's not only perfect for nervous dogs but their timid owners too. If you've been putting off trimming your dog's nails because of fear, this handy dog nail file does the job effectively and efficiently thanks to its long length and rounded tip.
Great for thick, tough nails, it's an ideal tool even when you're pooch is visiting a groomer, smoothing out the rough edges effortlessly in-between appointments.
Pet owners report it's long-lasting and durable, so if you're looking for a reliable tool for the job you can't go wrong with this great all-rounder.
If your pet prefers a lighter touch or you're looking for a finer tool, however, this may be too coarse for some.
FACEFOODING Claw Care PET Nail File
Best budget dog nail file
Material: Abrasive paper | Size: 6 x 3.8 x 0.5 inches | Suitable for: Adult dogs
Most dog nail files look pretty similar, but the FACEFOODING Claw Care PET Nail File stands out with its fun and stylish pawprint design.
If you find working with a thin metal file tough work, this tool gives an excellent alternative at a particularly attractive price.
Most pet owners will appreciate the ease of use here; its larger surface area is easy to hold and cheerful to use.
The product could be rougher in texture for a more efficient file, but pups who like a gentle pedicure could just appreciate the softer touch.
At its budget price point you probably can't go wrong with picking up one to see how your dog responds to the larger surface area.
Dog Fashion Spa Crystal Nail File
Best stylish dog nail file
Material: Glass | Size: 6.4 x 1.3 x 0.2 inches | Suitable for: Adult dogs
If you fancy feeling like a professional dog groomer at home, look no further than the Dog Fashion Spa Crystal Nail File.
Its stylish black and crystal glass design will make you feel like you've set up your very own dog spa.
Fortunately, it's not just a pretty product but also highly functional for filing nervous dog's nails down to size.
The file is strong, sturdy, and rough enough to get the job done, while expect a decent size for tackling larger dog's unruly paws.
Just be careful when handling the product, the crystal glass looks sleek and stylish but can shatter if dropped.
Ryan's Pet Supplies Paw Brothers Diamond Edge Nail File for Dogs
Best dog nail file for durability
Material: Metal | Size: 7 x 1 x 0.5 inches | Suitable for: All dogs
If you're looking for a hard-wearing product that feels thick and sturdy in hand, then Ryan's Pet Supplies Paw Brothers Diamond Edge Nail File could be the tool for you.
It features a comfortable non-slip grip handle featuring adorable pawprints that pet owners love for being easy to use.
The product features two sides, coarse and fine, to make it easy to grind the nails then finish.
Then simply pop it under running water, scrub the brush to remove visible debris, disinfect and rinse time after time without causing damage to the nail file.
Only drawback here is that it's slightly more expensive than the leading Coastal Pet Safari Dog Diamond Nail File.
Awesome Dog Crystal Glass Dog Nail File
Best dog nail file for a smooth finish
Material: Crystal glass | Size: 8.1 x 2.2 x 0.9 inches | Suitable for: Ideal for bigger dogs
If your pooch pet has issues with jagged edges, peeling and splitting, then this handy and super stylish tool is ideal for smoothing.
Its large, double-sided design makes it ideal for larger dogs who love a good stress-free pedicure.
The file is easy to hold, has two grits and leaves a very smooth finish which prevents cracked and split nails.
However, as with other glass nail files, there is a risk of shattering and breaking so it's not for pet owners who are prone to dropping things!
How to manually file dog nails with a nail file
Once you've added a metal, paper or glass nail file to your grooming kit, getting your dog used to having their paws touched by paw handling is a great way to calm anxiety before you introduce the tool.
Hold your dog’s paw firmly and check the paws thoroughly for debris, ticks, and signs of injury. Then gently use your fingers to spread your dog’s toes from each other so you can hold each nail effectively.
Before you start, consider trimming back hair with scissors first so it doesn't get tangled while you file. Begin by rubbing the tip of the nail with the file, making passes in the same direction so you file the nail bit by bit, keeping an eye on your dog's behavior.
A good idea to calm anxiety in nervous pups is to provide dog treats for doing such a good job, keeping the session short, and offering a comfortable place for your dog to relax while filing is occurring.
Make sure that you file carefully so the affected area does not become overheated from friction. You should aim to file your dog’s nails until the nails are even with your dog’s paw pads when your dog is standing on the ground.
Regularly filing your dog’s nails will ensure it doesn't always take a long time.
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