Can You Use Human Clippers On A Dog?
[Updated Guide]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Which dog owner does not like to cuddle and snuggle with their dog after a long hard day of work? But if you have not been careful enough to groom your dog correctly, this action can stink. Apart from the looks and smell of your dog, a proper grooming regime is crucial for their health and hygiene.

There is always the option of taking your dog to a professional groomer for the various services that include nail trimming, ear cleaning, washing, brushing, etc. But regularly depending on these professional services can eat up your wallet significantly.

The best alternative then would be to learn to keep your buddy tidy at home. Learning the basics of dog grooming along with some equipment is necessary for you to achieve this objective.

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about dog grooming at home and on dog clippers vs. human ones. With further ado, let’s get started.

How To Groom Your Dog At Home?

It is necessary to carve out a regular grooming schedule for your dog at home. They need to be washed, brushed, and maintenance of nails and ears also must be carried out on priority. There are several benefits associated with home grooming, such as reduction of expenses, stronger bonding with your dog, and upskilling yourself in the area of pet care.

Product Selection

You would get the precise know-how of what products to use and the grooming procedures like a pro. But a crucial point to keep in mind is grooming products used on humans are entirely different from those that are safe for dogs.  

Take the case of dog and human clippers, shampoos, brushes, nail trimmers, and cleaners for the ear too. If you think you can save some bucks by reusing the same human products on your dog, then that can cause some severe repercussions. You are, in fact, putting your dog’s health and well-being at risk. For instance, human shampoos consist of several chemical substances that can lead to an allergic reaction in canines.

Due to these factors, it becomes imperative to be highly selective and meticulous in investing in the right grooming products for your dog.

Frequency of Grooming

A lot of pet owners ask us, “How often is it advisable to bathe my dog?” To answer this question in brief: the lesser, the better. Too much washing and use of shampoo can cause the dog’s skin to go dry and cause an itching sensation.

Ideally, they need to be given a bath every 2-4 months only. But there can be few exceptions made when they get filthy after playing in the mud or dirt. 

The frequency of brushing depends on the amount of fur your dog has. For dogs with short hair, minimal brushing (can be avoided, too) will suffice. In most cases, a good brushing session once a week will be enough. In contrast, dogs with long fur coats require regular brushing, and they also tend to shed their fur a lot. Lack of brush can also lead to the dog’s fur getting tangled and in a matted condition.

In addition, you can also make use of other accessories like the hairdryer along with combs after their bath to get rid of the furry tangles.

As far as the trimming of the nails is concerned, a frequency of 1-2 months is a good figure. You can try to understand how fast they grow and be extra careful while trimming them to don’t get hurt in the process.

Another core area of grooming is the ear region. Dog’s ears are prone to infections if not regularly cleaned. Also, if your dog is suffering from such ailments, extra care must be ensured that water does not enter while bathing them.

Last but not least, dental hygiene is also of prime importance. Ideally, vets recommend you to brush their teeth every day, if not on 3-4 days a week at least. Dental issues can be dangerous for them if timely care is not provided. Make brushing a priority to avoid a whopping bill with the vet later on.

Are Human Clippers Same As Dog Clippers? Can They Be Used On Dogs?

Despite the fact that they look similar in appearance and have a shared functionality, human clippers are not the same as dog ones. They do have some differences among them. The reason for this lies when you compare dog hair with that of humans.

Human clippers are designed for human hair, and the same logic applies for pet clippers to start from the fundamental difference. Cutting the dog’s hair with human clippers will not only make the grooming process tedious, but you are also making the dog vulnerable to injuries by using them.

The main difference between human clippers and the dog variant is that the human clippers have a smaller-sized blade. They are designed to cut hair that is closer to the skin. While in the case of the dog variant, the clipper blades are larger to facilitate running through more volume of the fur coat. Now you know why using human hair clippers on your dog can lead to serious cuts and bruises.

How Do Dog Groomers Select The Clippers? 

Dog groomers often receive questions like what kind of pet clippers they use on dogs. In reality, there is no single and straightforward answer to this.

The typical dog groomer possesses a variety of clippers with blade attachments. They will pick and choose the appropriate ones depending on the dog’s texture of hair, size of the pet, length, and sometimes even their nose sensitivity is taken into consideration.

If you start with dog grooming, we recommend you perform the first trimming at a professional center and inquire with the staff on the right tools and techniques to achieve the same at home. If they are also selling the grooming product range at their salon, that will make things even simpler for you.

If you are purchasing on your own, take care to read all the instructions on the manual and ask the sales staff whether this is precisely the tool you would need for the job. Cut dog hair to remove the loose strands and make the coat look healthier and free of tangles and other forms of messiness.

Clippers also must be designed in such a way that they reach the tricky parts of the dog’s body, like the neck and scalp. This will enable you to trim the hair in all regions in an even fashion. Some of them also come with configurations that allow you to adjust the speed and depth of cutting. 

Apart from the clipper, a few additional tools are also needed, such as straight or curved scissors and thinning shears. You can also use a pomade spray if your dog’s hair is curly and difficult to keep in a tidy manner.

When you’re trimming the hair from the dog’s head, there are a few steps that need to be followed:

  • Shave the area first to minimize the chances of cuts. To do this, place a towel on the floor. 
  • Keep a soft cloth on your dog’s back or wrapped around the neck. 
  • Using a pair of scissors, shave the required area.
  • Once the shaving is done, cover the area with a cloth to keep it dry. 
  • Rinse the area with a safe dog shampoo, and wash it off well to avoid traces of soap or shampoo from remaining in that area.

Pro Tip: 

Using a clean sponge, apply shaving cream to the required area for uniform application. 

Once the shaving is done, wash the dog. They use a hairdryer for around five minutes. To avoid your dog from getting burnt, ensure to apply less heat.

Can You Use Human Nail Clippers On A Dog?

Leaving your dog’s nails too long can lead to tearing up your clothes while they cuddle with you. Keep a regular check on their nails and understand when the time is apt for getting their nails cut. 

For pups under six weeks of age, human nail clippers can be used. This is because puppies have thinner nails that can be cut using a human clipper. Even for smaller dog breeds, the human nail clipper can still come in handy at times.

However, using human clippers for cutting nails can summon disaster and should be avoided for large-sized dogs. There are special nail clippers that can be used for such scenarios. These have a physical appearance similar to a plier that is capable of accommodating the whole nail.

You can purchase such clippers at almost any pet store and even on online retail websites.

If you are doing this for the first time, we recommend seeking the help of a professional dog groomer to understand the technique of nail clipping. A certain degree of confidence is needed to trim a dog’s nails, as shivering/nervousness while you do so can potentially lead to injuries. If you feel reluctant to proceed with the clipping or get stuck, you can visit the vet’s clinic or a professional dog groomer to get the job done. 

Precautionary Measures

When you are using human clippers or even dog variants, there are a few points of consideration to perform the task as intended.

  • We recommend keeping some styptic powder at hand in case of bleeding. It is easy to use and effective in stopping bleeding quickly. You can pour some of it on a cotton swab and apply it directly to the affected area. 
  • Take care to keep your dog’s mood light and calm while you are trimming their nails. The last thing you want is to cause injuries due to excessive nervous energy and excitement during the trimming. If you need additional help, get a family member or a friend to help keep the dog in control while you trim the nails. 
  • Feed them their favorite treats in between to keep them happy and under control. 
  • Don’t spook them by showing the clipper immediately once you enter the room. This can affect their mood and disturb the clipping process altogether.

Concluding Thoughts

Learning to groom your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience. More importantly, it can also help avoid recurring expenses due to the repeated visits to a dog grooming salon or vet’s clinic. 

Upskill yourself in understanding the right tools and techniques required to groom your dog properly and safely to avoid any potential mishaps.

In case of any physical injuries or unexpected dog behavior during the home grooming, never hesitate to seek the help of registered veterinarians or dog groomers who will guide you into understanding what went wrong and how you can rectify the same in the future.

We hope you found helpful information on dog grooming and the key differences between human and dog clippers. Learning to do the process the right way and keeping a strict grooming regimen will give your dog a healthy and hygienic lifestyle.