What Grit Sandpaper for Dog Nails

Having a little nail time with your dog is always fun. After all who doesn’t want a little pampering session. However, you might need all the right tools to make this session more comfortable and useful. In this article, we will discuss what grit sandpaper is right for dog nails.

Grit sandpaper for dogs

To understand the concept better, Grit sandpaper is used as a nail filer. The term “how much Grit” refers to the density of particles on sandpaper. So higher grit means a smoother nail file.

Dog nails are thick as compared to human beings. Every grit nail file is different and serves a different purpose. You can’t use human filer on dog nails. It’s important to choose the right grit paper or you might end up damaging your dog nails, paws, or skin. There are the purposes of few grits

  • 80-100 grits mean smooth nail file.
  • Up to 180 grit is good to get sharp toenails
  • 240-600 grits are used to remove small bumps or discoloration of nails
  • 600-2400 grits are used for super fine nail

So it’s important to understand which grit sandpaper is best for your dog. For dogs, you use between 40-100 grit sandpaper. In younger dogs, it’s best to introduce them to 80 grit than slowly move towards lighter grit paper.

Best sandpaper grit for dog nails

Almost all the dogs are comfortable rubbing their nails against 30-40 grit sandpaper. What grit to use on dog nails depends on the size of the dog and how routinely your dog use grit sandpaper to file nails. The best grit for a dog is the one that perfectly matches its nail requirements. As we have already mentioned most dog owners prefer 80 grit sandpaper.

How to make dog scratchboard?

Take a wooden block of medium size.  Let’s say 10×10 inches. Take a sandpaper sheet and paste it on a wooden block. The dog scratchboard is ready. We prefer wooden scratchboard because it is strong enough to be durable and is safe as there is no risk of sharp edges like metal.

Now sandpaper mats are also available in the market but we think they are not safe as dogs will rub their paws too while walking on them. This can damage their skin causing injury and infections (Read diabetic dog skin problems)

How to sand dog nails?

You can introduce this as a fun activity to your dog. Many dogs get aggressive while cutting nails so using grit sandpaper is a good idea to trim their nails. (Also read dog bites when cutting nails).

For this, you can simply paste sandpaper on a wooden block and let your dog rub his nails against the sandpaper. Although grits come in wooden,  metal, or foamy material. We suggest avoiding using the metal ones. They can be dangerous especially while your dog is alone.

To use grit sandpaper,  keep the dog treat near you and hold wooden blocks with pasted grit sandpaper at a 45° angle.  If you will lay it flat on the ground,  the dog will rub its paws instead of nails on sandpaper. So 45° is best for nail scratching. Every time your dog rubs his nails on grit paper,  give him a treat.


Sandpaper Grit Options for Dog Nails

Grit NumberCoarsenessBest ForNail TypesProsCons
80CoarseQuick nail trimming; Large, thick nailsLarge dogsFast nail trimmingToo rough for small dogs
120MediumGeneral nail trimming; Medium-sized nailsMedium dogsBalanced nail trimmingMay be too rough for small dogs
180FineFinishing touches; Small, delicate nailsSmall dogsGentle on delicate nailsToo slow for large, thick nails
240Very FineFinal smoothing; Sensitive dogsAll dogsGentle, smooth finishSlow, not ideal for thick nails
320Extra FineUltra-smooth finish; Show dogsAll dogsUltra-smooth finishVery slow, not for thick nails

Table 2: Top 5 Sandpaper Brands for Dog Nail Grooming

Brand NameGrit OptionsDurabilityPrice RangeAvailabilityDog-Friendliness Rating
Gator Finishing80-320Medium$Widely4/5

Top 5 Dog Nail Grinders with Sandpaper Attachments

Nail GrinderPrice RangeGrit OptionsBattery LifePortabilityOverall Rating
Dremel 7300-PT$$80-3203 hoursHigh4.5/5
Furminator$$80-2404 hoursHigh4/5
Casfuy$80-2402 hoursHigh3.5/5
Oster$$80-2403 hoursMedium4/5
Wahl$$$80-3204 hoursMedium4.5/5

Grit Sandpaper and Dog Breed Compatibility

Dog BreedRecommended GritReasoning
Great Dane80Large, thick nails require coarser grit for quick trimming
Labrador120Medium-sized nails; balanced nail trimming
Golden Retriever120Medium-sized nails; balanced nail trimming
Beagle180Smaller, delicate nails; gentle on nails
Poodle240 or 320Sensitive nails; requires a smoother finish
Dachshund180Smaller, delicate nails; gentle on nails
Chihuahua180 or 240Tiny, delicate nails; gentle and smooth finish
Boxer120Medium-sized nails; balanced nail trimming
Shih Tzu180 or 240Small, delicate nails; gentle and smooth finish
Bulldog120Medium-sized nails; balanced nail trimming

Factors to Consider When Choosing Sandpaper Grit for Dog Nails

FactorCoarse (80)Medium (120)Fine (180)Very Fine (240)Extra Fine (320)
Dog Nail SizeLarge, thick nailsMedium-sized nailsSmall nailsAll nail sizesAll nail sizes
Trimming SpeedFastModerateSlowVery slowVery slow
Dog SensitivityLowModerateHighVery highVery high
Desired FinishRoughSmoothSmootherVery smoothUltra smooth
Dog BreedLarge breedsMedium breedsSmall breedsSensitive breedsShow dog breeds



Can Grit sandpaper for dog nails cause bleeding?

Grit paper itself is not that harmful or harsh. It’s the amount of rubbing and the angle at which the dog rubs its paw against grit paper. You must adjust the grit paper to an inclined angle. So that when the dog rubs its paw his skin stays safe.

Secondly, don’t let your dog rub his nails for a longer period. Consistent rubbing will trim its nails deep and it can damage the nail quick part. Grit paper itself is not going to cause bleeding. Take precautionary measures and all will be fine.

How to use grit paper if your dog nails are bent sideways?

You simply can’t let your dog rub on grit sandpaper when his nails are bent sideways. (Read dog nail bent sideways). You have to cut his nails first and then allow him to rub his paws on sandpaper.

Also,  when your dog nails are bent sideways, you have to carefully monitor using grit sandpaper yourself. Rub each nail individually to ensure your dog doesn’t get hurt.

Is grit sandpaper better than clipper?

Many dogs get uncomfortable while using nail clippers. Grit sandpaper is safe and dogs enjoy it sometimes. Sandpaper is a natural way to trim your dog nails without cutting them.

What grit sandpaper for dog nails Dremel?

Dremel offers the best sandpaper grit for dog nails. Their products are highly reviewed by customers and dog owners love them. Dremel offers a lot of tools and accessories to aid in maintaining a nail routine for your dog. Some of their products for dog nail filing are

  • sanding pads on metal and wood that offer 60, 80, and 120 grit sanding.
  • Sandpapers include 80, 120, and 240 grit triangular sheets.
  • 240 grit sanding bands
  • 120 grit sanding bands
  • Dremel sanding discs
  • 60 grit abrasive Sandpaper
  • Half inch 60 grit coarse drum sander bands
  • Dremel cordless rotating tool

How to make your dog comfortable while using the Dremel sandpaper tool?

Wooden board sand grit papers are good for routine use. However,  tools like Dremel make the work a lot easier.  They file nails within seconds. A rotating tool like a Dremel may scare away your dog. Also, Dremel can heat dog nails so your dog must be fine with using Dremel nail filer. To make your dog comfortable

  • Make him used to the voice of the tool.
  • Always sit facing front and in a comfortable position.
  • Hold your dog’s paws gently.
  • Use a tool for 1-2 seconds and hold up.
  • Again use for 1-2 seconds.
  • Don’t push the tool too hard on nails.
  • Give your dog a treat after successful nail filing.

Conclusion :

Using sandpaper grit to naturally trim a dog’s nails is effective. However, you can use Dremel to make the process quicker.

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