Can I Use Dog Clippers to Clip Horses? (Is it Safe?)

Can I Use Dog Clippers to Clip Horses

Clipping your horse’s hair, especially during the cold or wet months, is essential to make sure he doesn’t catch a cold. Wet horse hair can remain wet for hours, and there is frankly no good way of drying it. That is why most groomers who train their horses during those months just clip off the hair and be done with it.

But is it possible to use your dog clippers to clip your horse? Or do you need to buy a dedicated horse clipper? Let’s look at the answers here.

Can I Use Dog Clippers to Clip Horses?

I have a veterinary business that deals with horses specifically. So, I’ve spent years around horses to understand all there is about them. It’s my day job.

You should know that dog clippers usually don’t work on horses. And there are plenty of good reasons they don’t. Still, I wanted to do some experimenting to see whether I could actually pull it off. Turns out – it’s too much of a hassle.

Can I Use Dog Clippers to Clip Horses

Image Souce: canva.com

Once you know the problems you’d have to face, you would rather get a dedicated horse clipper.

Apparently, using a dog clipper to clip horses is possible, but there are a lot of issues to think about. And that’s what I want to share with people who are in the same boat and thinking the same thing as me.

Do Dog Clippers Work on Horses?

The only real difference between a dog clipper and a horse clipper is how powerful the motor is. In most dog clippers, the motor is only rated for about 5 to 15 watts to make sure it remains cool and vibrates less. A more powerful motor might just spook your pet.

Do Dog Clippers Work on Horses

Horses, on the other hand, typically do not get spooked as easily, especially healthy young ones. Once they are broken in, they should allow you to clip their hair easily even if the clipper gets a bit noisy or vibrates because of a powerful motor. So, the manufacturers can go with a stronger motor with horse clippers. That is why horse clippers often come with motors with a power rating of up to 120 watts. These motors make horse clippers a lot louder than a typical dog clipper.

Now comes the big question; can you use a dog clipper to cut your horse’s mane? The short answer is yes, you can. But it will not be as efficient or fast as a specialized clipper for horses. Since the motor power of a dog clipper is a lot less than a horse clipper, you will need to trim the hair for a good long while before you are done.

Horse Clipper
Horse Clipper
Image Source: animal-clipper.com

Now you might be thinking that it’s fine when you have a couple of hours to spare. But the thing is, cutting horse hair with a dog trimmer can take days; not just hours. So while it may technically work, it is not a bright idea to cut horse hair with a dog clipper, especially when the horse has no issue with horse clippers.

Can You Use Wahl Dog Clippers on Horses?

Wahl is one of the top manufacturers when it comes to dog clippers. And naturally, many pet owners who groom their own dogs opt to go with their clippers. Unfortunately, if you own a Wahl dog clipper on a horse, it would not make things easier.

The motor power on Wahl dog clippers is not high enough to easily trim horse hair. However, Wahl also produces many animal clippers, more specifically, horse clippers, that can work wonders here. Their horse clippers are extremely effective at keeping your horse’s hair under control.

Can You Use Wahl Dog Clippers on Horses

Image Souce: istockphoto.com

And the good news for Wahl-lovers is that the brand offers both cordless and corded variety with their clipper choices. So, whether you want more cutting power or more movement freedom when clipping our horse is entirely up to you.

When Is It Worth Using Dog Clippers on Horses?

Although I generally recommend using horse clippers only if you plan on trimming your horse’s hair, there are two situations where I can understand if you want to cut dog clippers.

Firstly, if you plan on cutting around the face area of the horse, then using a dog clipper might not be the worst idea out there. Since the face area is sensitive, you do not want to accidentally nip the skin when you are cutting your horse’s face area.

When Is It Worth Using Dog Clippers on Horses

Because of the low-power motor in a dog clipper, you will be able to cut that area of the horse a lot safer than if you were using a horse clipper. Sure, it will take a bit longer, and the cut might not come out perfect, but it will get the job done to a decent extent.

Another scenario where using a dog clipper might be okay-ish is if the horse is old. Old horses have sensitive skin, and they also get a bit jumpy around loud noise. And since horse clippers are quite loud, using them to cut an old horse’s hair might not be that easy.

However, since a dog clipper is a lot quieter, you can use it to cut his hair without spooking him or making him uncomfortable. The gentle vibration from the clipper can also help keep him calm as you give him a much-needed trim.

The Bottom Line

So, as you can see, unless you absolutely have to, it is always best to go with a horse clipper if you want to clip your horse’s hair. A dog clipper might seem fine on paper, but the time it will take to be done with the grooming is not really worth it.

Hopefully, my experience and research could help you understand why using a dog clipper to clip horses is not the brightest idea. Cheers!

Dr. Louise Cosgrove

Dr. Louise Cosgrove

veterinarian for 10+ years currently running a veteran house and I am here to serve my knowledge over the internet.

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