Can You Groom A Dog With Human Clippers

Can You Groom A Dog With Human Clippers? Here’s What You Need To Know

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Grooming your dog is a necessary task that every owner has to deal with. Just as our hair is perpetually growing, so too does your pet’s fur. However, you may be spoilt for choice on the kind of equipment to use and have wondered whether you can groom a dog with human clippers.

Well, in a broad sense, human clippers are for humans and the same goes for dog clippers.

But this is oversimplifying it all.

Why Do You Need To Clip Your Dog’s Fur?

Grooming a big dog with clippers

There are plenty of reasons why you need to keep the fur on man’s best friend short and tidy. For starters, an unkempt coat will make your dog look terrible and he/she can be mistaken for a stray. You don’t want your furry friend carted off to an animal shelter because they looked the part.

Also, you will be taking care of their wellbeing through regular grooming. A lot of external parasites love to hide under your dog’s coat. While buried deep in the fur, these pests are harder to reach, and your pet will always attempt to get them off by scratching endlessly.

When a dog is scratching on end, it means something is irritating their skin, and the usual suspects are mites and fleas. Regular grooming can help you solve this problem.

Lastly, removing excessive fur growth keeps your dog’s coat free of debris, dirt, and odor. Regular grooming even gives your dog’s fur a beautiful shine that you’ll be proud to show off.

Using Human Clippers On Your Dog

Clipper with hair in the background

So, can you groom a dog with human clippers? There isn’t an exact answer because some circumstances can allow you to do so. On the flip side, however, using human clippers on your best friend isn’t recommended save for a couple of exceptions.

  1.       Dogs with short fur which isn’t too thick
  2.       Dog breeds with a single coat
  3.       You can groom smaller dogs quickly before the clippers become too hot

Dog Clippers Vs Human Clippers

You’re supposed to use dog clippers on dogs and the same holds for human clippers. However, not all pet owners can get their hands on a set of dog clippers and will turn to alternative equipment to get the job done.

Nevertheless, there are some critical differences between the two that affect the grooming process and even the outcome.


The clipper’s motor runs the show, and this little piece of equipment differs in both dog-specific and human machines. Our furry friends are often skittish. That’s why pet clippers have smaller motors that run quietly.

Human clippers, on the other hand, are designed with functionality in mind. As such, they vibrate a lot, are noisier, and heat up after prolonged use. If you are considering human clippers for your dog, you’ll have to work quickly to avoid the heating.

Arrangement of Blades

Fine-tooth blades have less space in-between teeth as compared to skip-tooth blades. The latter, however, is preferred when working on thick fur because of the spaces between teeth. Fine-tooth razors will give your pet’s coat a smooth finish.


Most times, dogs don’t cooperate when it comes to grooming. For this reason, a cordless clipper is best so that you don’t get entangled with your pooch, who’ll be trying to get away from the machine.

Which Breeds Are Best Suited To Human Clippers?

Set of human clippers

Small-sized breeds are generally easier to work with while grooming, their stature makes handling uncomplicated and you can groom them in a short time. In this case, breeds such as the Boston terrier fit the bill.

Additionally, make sure your pooch doesn’t have a lot of fur. Remember, human clippers go on human hair which doesn’t grow as thick as dog fur. Dogs with a single coat can go under human clippers unlike their double-coated relatives. Some single-coated breeds include poodles, Yorkshire terriers and whippets.

No human, however much hair they have, will ever achieve the same double-coat some dogs enjoy. And this makes it harder to use human clippers when grooming them. If you have a husky or Shiba Inu, you are better off with proper dog clippers instead.

Consider These Factors Before Grooming Your Dog With Human Clippers

Your dog’s breed generally determines, to a large extent, their physical characteristics. That is why a double-coated feature is prevalent in some dogs and absent in others.

Age of the Dog

Pups are smaller than adult dogs and generally easily handled when you’re grooming them. So it won’t take long getting the little fella to look their best.

However, despite being smaller than mature dogs, puppies are restless, and the loud clipper motor might get them uneasy.

Adorable white puppy


Your dog’s temperament will affect how they relate to you and other members of the family. This attitude also extends to other dogs as well. However, when it comes to grooming, you do not want to contend with an aggressive animal.

While the use of human clippers is not the go-to option for dog grooming, owners need to be extra careful with the tools. 

If your canine friend has a disagreeable temperament, they’ll be uncooperative and likely won’t sit through the entire grooming session. The added noise and vibration from the motor will also unsettle them and you’ll probably get bitten. If you have such a buddy, get professional help. If not, at least get a proper set of dog clippers.

Availability Of Clippers

You can find a set of human clippers in many households and just about any store. The same might be true for dog clippers. However, you cannot walk into any store and buy a set of pet grooming equipment – you’ll need a pet store for that.

If you are getting your first dog, make sure you buy pet grooming equipment as well. You can still groom them with human clippers; but unless you’re out of options, a proper grooming kit should suffice.

Grooming white dog with clippers

While using dog clippers is usually the best option when grooming dogs, don’t discount human clippers. Also, grooming isn’t just about trimming their fur. You’re also going to need scissors and grooming brushes at some point.

If you must groom a dog with human clippers, make sure you consider its breed, age, and temperament. In any case, just get a proper set of dog clippers for the perfect grooming experience without having to worry about potential injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use human clippers on a dog?

Human clippers are meant for human hair and if used on your pets, you can injure them. They have a louder motor that makes it harder to control your dog while grooming. Also, prolonged use isn’t advised. On the other hand, dog clippers are specifically designed for dogs.

Is there a difference between dog clippers and human clippers?

Dog clippers are intended for dogs. They have silent motors designed to operate for longer hours. Dog clippers have widely spaced blades to handle the animal’s thick fur unlike the closely packed razors in human clippers.

How do groomers keep a dog still?

The secret is keeping the animal calm. You can place a towel over their head and cover their eyes. An additional tether around their waist also keeps your pet in your control. If all else fails, make sure you have a treat close by to ease the tension.

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