Are your dachshund’s nails looking a bit long? Are you wondering how to trim them and what length they should be? Here’s everything you need to know about dachshunds and nail cutting.
How Do You Cut A Dachshund’s Nails? To cut your dachshund’s nails, use the right tools. Pick a time when he’s calm. Check his feet over for matting and debris. Reassure your dachshund, distract him with a treat and then trim the nails at a 45 degree angle, being careful not to cut into the quick.
Read on to find out how to trim your dachshund’s nails, what tools to use, how often you should do it, how long the nails should be, and what to do if you accidentally cut into the quick.
Table of Contents
- How To Cut A Dachshund’s Nails
- What To Do If You Cut The Quick Of A Dachshund’s Nail
- How Often Should You Trim A Dachshund’s Nails?
- Can Health Conditions Affect The Way Dachshund Nails Grow?
- How Far Back Should I Cut My Dachshund’s Nail?
- What Length Should a Dachshund’s Nails Be?
- What Problems Can Long Nails Cause In Dachshunds?
- What If Your Dachshund Gets Stressed During Nail Cutting?
- Should I Cut My Dachshund’s Nails Myself?
- What do I do next?
This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist.
How To Cut A Dachshund’s Nails
This is how to cut a dachshund’s nails:
Get the right nail cutting tools
If you’re going to trim your dachshunds nails yourself, then this is one of those situations where the right tools make the job so much easier.
Investing a little more and purchasing a good quality pair of scissor-type clippers will let you trim the nails much more quickly. The ‘Professional-Grade Dog Nail Clippers by Thunderpaws’ with the protective guard, are a popular choice.
This type of trimmer also avoids the discomfort that some of the guillotine clippers can cause with their crushing action.
Dog nail grinders
If your dachshund really HATES having his nails clipped, you could try a cordless pet nail grinding tool. Something like a FURminator or Dremel with the small drum sander attachment.
Nail grinders allow you to trim your dachshund’s nails more easily at home, where he’s more relaxed and comfortable. In general, they’re well tolerated and can make nail cutting a lot less stressful. Your dachshund just needs to get used to the noise and vibration.
Nail grinding does take a bit longer to do than clipping, but these types of tools give you much more control. They allow you to trim more gradually, so you don’t accidentally cut into the quick.
Obviously, don’t just jump in with a dog nail grinder, you need to know what you’re doing first. If you push down too hard or stay on your dachshund’s nail for much more than a second, it’ll get too hot and burn.
In fact, heat is one of the biggest dangers when using a nail grinder. You need to be really gentle and keep moving quickly from nail to nail.
Another thing you need to think about is the hair around your dachshund’s feet. So, if you have a long-haired or wire-haired dachshund, you’ll need to either clip the hair or hold it back so it doesn’t get wound in the shaft of the grinder.
Just make sure you research dog nail grinding or get someone to show you exactly what to do before you begin!
Pick a time when your dachshund is calm
Pick a time when your dachshund is relaxed and calm, so that might be after the morning or evening walk. You want him to be as chilled as possible so it’s easier and less stressful for everyone.
Check your dachshund’s paws
Get into position
Position yourself so you’re gently laying your upper body and arms over your dachshund. You need to keep him still as you don’t want him to be wriggling around while you’re trying to do his nails.
Reassure your dachshund
Take a moment to calmly stroke your dachshund and talk quietly to him until you can feel his body becoming more relaxed. If he’s really anxious, back off a bit and go more slowly.
You don’t want to freak him out with a bad nail cutting experience or it’ll be harder for you next time.
Trim your dachshund’s nail
Hold your dachshund’s paw firmly but gently and cut the nail at a 45 degree angle. Trim until you can see white inside the nail and a small black dot in the center.
Alternatively, you could sand your dachshund’s nail gradually at a 45 degree angle using something like a Dremel. This is usually painless and gives you full control over the length of your dachshund’s nails.
Again, just be careful when using a nail grinder. More than a second or so and it’ll burn your dachshund’s nail. And be mindful of any dog hair getting caught up in the grinder too.
Use an emery board
If your dachshund’s nail looks a little ragged, you can use an emery board or file to smooth out the edges. You won’t need to do this if you use a nail grinder as they leave the nails super smooth.
What To Do If You Cut The Quick Of A Dachshund’s Nail
Almost everyone who has trimmed their dachshund’s nails has at some point accidentally cut into the quick. It’s especially difficult to see the dark outline in a dachshund’s black claws.
The quick is basically the vein and nerve that runs down each nail, and when accidentally snipped, bleeds what always seems to be a crazy amount for the damage done.
So, you might want to have something to hand to stop the bleeding should you do this accidentally.
Most dog groomers use a styptic pen, which you can find in the human grooming section of your local chemist. These are normally used to stop bleeding when shaving.
Styptic pens do work really quickly but also cause an initial sting. Alternatives include dipping your dachshund’s claw into cornstarch, or an unperfumed and clean bar of soap.
How Often Should You Trim A Dachshund’s Nails?
A dachshund’s claws are growing all the time so, for most dogs, that means nail trims are needed at least once a month. But, this does depend on how much time your dachshund spends exercising on hard surfaces.
So, if your dachshund is walked twice a day on pavements, you may find once a month is all that’s needed. But, if he gets most of his exercise on grass, then twice monthly trims may be required.
As your dachshund gets older, you may find he needs less exercise, which then means his nails could need trimming more often.
Dachshund puppies have slightly different nail trimming requirements as their nails grow faster when young. But those early months are the perfect opportunity for your puppy to get used to having his paws handled!
Can Health Conditions Affect The Way Dachshund Nails Grow?
Yes, some health conditions can affect the way in which dachshund nails grow. Leishmaniosis, for example, causes the nails to grow very quickly, while some autoimmune conditions can cause nailbed infections causing nails to drop off.
Regularly checking your dachshund’s nails will help you to quickly spot any changes in growth rate and get prompt veterinary treatment if needed.
How Far Back Should I Cut My Dachshund’s Nail?
If your Dachshund”s nails have become too long, then don’t be tempted to cut them right back in one go. As the nails have been growing, so has the quick. This means you’re likely to cause pain and bleeding if you cut them to the correct length.
That doesn’t mean you can’t trim them, just that you need to cut a little each week, and wait for the quick to recede.
What Length Should a Dachshund’s Nails Be?
Many people assume their dachshunds nails should touch the floor when they’re standing. But well-trimmed nails should sit just above the ground so they’re not making contact at all. Ideally they should be cut just where the nail starts to taper inwards.
A good way to check if they’re overlength is to listen out when your dachshund is walking on a tiled or wooden floor. If you can hear the click-clack of the nail touching the ground, you know they need a trim.
What Problems Can Long Nails Cause In Dachshunds?
These are the problems long nails can cause for dachshunds:
When a dachshund has long nails, it can create a ‘catch 22’ situation. That’s because your dachshund’s toes can become very sore, and so he’s not going to want you touching them. But you need to touch them to trim the nail and reduce the pain.
That pain is caused by the nail being pushed into the nail bed every time it makes contact with a hard surface. As a result, pressure is then felt on the toe joints, and it may even force the toe to twist away from its normal position.
If your dachshund’s nails are too long, his toes will splay out, casing dirt and debris to get stuck in his pads. This can cause pain and discomfort when he walks and could lead to possible joint problems and infection.
Another issue with long nails is the impact they can have on your dachshund’s posture and gait. If your dachshund’s nails are too long, his feet are forced back so he starts walking on his pasterns, which are basically his wrists.
As you can imagine, walking like this can put a strain on your dachshund’s joints, ligaments, tendons, and could ultimately affect his back. Dachshunds are prone to back injuries so it’s important his nails don’t get too long.
However, the good news is that once the nails are trimmed, you should see an almost immediate improvement in his posture.
Longer nails are also more prone to catching when your dachshund is running around, and that can result in breaks and tears.
Sometimes, the only solution is for the nail to be removed under anaesthetic and that all adds up to pain and stress for your dachshund, and extra expense for you.
What If Your Dachshund Gets Stressed During Nail Cutting?
If your dachshund isn’t used to his feet being touched, or if he’s had a painful or stressful experience in the past, then he may be reluctant to let you handle his paws.
So, what can you do?
Nail cutting can be a stressful experience for dachshunds. And it can be hard not to get a bit stressed yourself, especially if you’re concerned about cutting into the quick. But, you have to stay calm and relaxed or your dachshund will pick up on this.
Distract with treats
Partnering having paws touched with receiving something really tasty can be a great way to change your dachshund’s opinion on nail trims.
Peanut butter (make sure it is Xylitol free) can be a great ally here, as while your dachshund is busy licking a big dollop off the spoon, you can briefly touch his paws. It’s also a great way to keep your dachshund busy while you carry out the nail trim.
So, ask a friend or family member to help. Have them in charge of holding the spoon full of peanut butter near your dachshund’s face, while you focus on getting the nails trimmed.
Go to a dog groomer
If the claws are already overgrown, then it might be helpful to ask a dog groomer or your vet to carry out the trim, just to begin with.
This gives you the opportunity to get your dachshund used to having his paws handled before you carry out the next trim.
Should I Cut My Dachshund’s Nails Myself?
You can cut your dachshund’s nails yourself if you’re confident you know what you’re doing. However, it may be easier and less stressful to leave it to a professional dog groomer or your vet. If you get your dachshund’s nail trimming wrong and cut them too short, you could cause him pain or make him bleed.
Some dachshunds badly struggle with nail cutting and can get themselves really worked up. But professional dog groomers and vets know how to get things over and done with quickly, making it less of an ordeal for everyone.
On the other hand, if you have a chilled dachshund who doesn’t mind his feet being touched, then you’ll probably get along just fine! It really does depend on your individual dachshund.
So, there you have it. The key to cutting a dachshunds nails is to get the right tools, relax and reassure your dachshund, and trim at a 45 degree angle. If you’re confident you can handle the monthly nail care routine and know how to avoid the quick of the nail, then you’re good to go. However, some people prefer to leave doggy nail cutting to the doggy professionals!
What do I do next?
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