Knowing how to cut dog nails is an important part of Dachshund grooming. Doing it correctly can prevent your pet from suffering from unnecessary pain and injuries. Learn the basics if you own or plan to get a new pet.
Unlike cat claws, dogs do not really use their nails to attack or defend themselves. But dog nails are not entirely useless. Nails help Dachshunds get a steady grip on the ground – preventing them from slip and fall accidents. Some dogs even use their paws and claws to hold on their toys, food, and other objects. Your Dachshund finds his nail the most useful when digging.
To cut dog nails properly, you must familiarize yourself with some parts of your Dachshund’s paws and how toenails affect his well-being.
How To Cut Dog Nails Guide: Know Parts of Dog Nails and Paws
Despite being shorter than other dog breeds, Dachshunds need pretty much the same care as do other dogs with bigger legs and paws. It is essential to know some parts of your pet’s paws when learning how to cut dog nails. Without proper knowledge about your dog’s paw parts, you may cut his nails the wrong way and he may start bleeding.
- Digits – This part is more commonly known as the toes. Your Dachshund has a total of four digits in each paw. The bones found in the digits are called phalanges.
- Claws – This is the black part that grows out from your dog’s toes.While they are often called “nails,” the right term used for this body part is “claws.” Unlike nails, claws are attached to the bone. They come directly out of the phalanx bones. Claws also contain nerves and blood vessels, which means they can feel pain when it gets broken or injured.
- Quick – This is the blood vessel found inside your Dachshund’s nails. Because Dachshunds have black nails, their quicks are harder to find compared to dogs with white nails. This part also grows out along with the nail.
- Dewclaws – The dewclaw is the “extra claw” that appears like your Dachshund’s thumb. These claws help your pet grip on food, toys, and objects. Dewclaws are found in the front limbs but some dogs also have it on their back legs. Some dogs are even born with two dewclaws on their hind legs.
- Digital pads – This is the black (or pink in some dogs) and smooth pad found under your Dachshund’s digits and under the dewclaw.
- Carpal pads – The carnal pads are the black and smooth pads found above the dewclaw.
- Metacarpal and metatarsal pads – The metacarpal pad is the largest pad on your Dachshund’s front paws. On the other hand, the metatarsal pad is the largest pad on your pet’s rear paws. These pads are found below the digital pads. These parts are named after the bones they protect.
How Long Toe Nails Affect Your Dachshund
If your Dachshund has long nails, he may experience one or some of the following.
- Limping – Long claws can alter your Dachshund’s gait. If your Dachshund has long claws, his metacarpal bones and phalanges become angled when he walks, stands, or runs. When this happens, your Doxie will have a hard time balancing himself during walks.
- Arthritis – When your dog’s claws grow too long, it can push the bones into unnatural positions. The abnormal angle stresses the joints, and this can potentially lead to arthritis. While arthritis can be managed easily with pain medications, there is no treatment that can get rid of it permanently.
- Injury – Even if your Dachshund is able to walk normally, his long claws can get caught on carpet fibers, get cracked, break, and start bleeding, and it can be very painful.
How to Cut Dog Nails
- Introduce the nail clipper to your Dachshund. While holding your pet’s paws, grab the clippers and gently rub it on the upper part of his toes. Do not cut his claws! Let him be acquainted with the device before you start clipping his nails. Give your pet a treat if he manages to stay calm during the introduction. Repeat this until your Dachshund is comfortable with having the clippers touch his paws.
- Hold your Dachshund’s paw firmly and look for the quick. The quick is found inside the nails but you can see it by checking the underside your Dachshund’s claws.
- If you cannot see the quick, trim small bits off your pet’s nail at a 45-degree angle. Do not forget to check the underside of the nails after each snip. Once you see something that looks like a black and firm filling, it is time to stop snipping.
- Repeat the steps in each digit.
- If your Dachshund’s nails have grown too long, you will have to trim only very small bits. Then, wait for a few days for the quick to recede before you can trim the claws more.
Extra Tips for Cutting Dog Nails
Learning how to cut dog nails is not a walk in the park especially if your pet is adamant about this part of Dachshund grooming. So here are some tips you can use when cutting your Dachshund‘s nails.
- Walk your dog before proceeding to groom him and cut his nails. Exercise helps keep him calm and relaxed during the nail trimming.
- Choose a plier-type or scissor-type nail clipper. Unlike guillotine-type clippers, these have two concave blades that can cut your pet’s claws from both sides smoothly. Just make sure that it is sharp enough to prevent crushing the claws.
- Keep a styptic powder or stick. This product helps stop the bleeding in case you accidentally cut your pet’s quick.
- It is a good idea to put a muzzle on your Dachshund if he doesn’t like having his paws touched or is growling when you try to cut his nails.
- Do not forget to trim your Dachshund’s dewclaws. These doggie nails curl as they grow longer. When it does, it can get embedded into its pads or even injure your pet’s legs. They can also get ripped when they are caught in bed sheets, rugs, carpets, or similar items.
- Place your Dachshund on an elevated space, such as a table. This prevents him from moving too much or attempting to escape.