Chihuahuas’ small sizes make them ideal for dog lovers like ourselves who absolutely love carrying our fur babies. While at first, it is such a joy to have them in our arms, as time passes, you might feel their sharp, growing nails digging into your skin.
Ouch! Isn’t it?
When this happens, you know that it’s time to groom your chi’s nails.
If you are unsure how to cut your chihuahua’s nail or if you are a first-time pet parent, below is a detailed guide on cutting your Chihuahua’s claws, the benefits of nail trimming, and how best to do it.
Step by Step Guide on How to Cut Chihuahua Nails
Step 1: Soft nails are easier to cut
Ensure your dog’s nails are soft to make it easy to cut them. Therefore first, have your pet take a bath or swim. Swimming also helps to reduce hyperactivity, thus makes work easier.
Step 2: Find a quiet place with good lighting
Gather all your tools and move to a room with adequate lighting because you want a place where you can see the quick
Step 3: Let your chihuahua be comfortable
Place your dog where you can reach the nails conveniently, such as a table or chair.
Step 4: Hold your chi’s paw gently
Get the dog comfortable and use your non-dominant hand to hold their paw as you use the dominant hand to gently and carefully clip the nails. Ensure that the blade is facing you and cut in small increments.
Step 5: Cut above the quick
Proceed to cut until you are about 2mm above the spot where a white or black ring appears, depending on the nails’ color. Once you spot the quick, stop further trimming of that nail and move on to the next nail.
Step 6: Praise and reward your chihuahua
At this point, your dog may start getting fidgety so keep praising and rewarding him with treats for his patience. You should never restrain your dog physically because he will forever associate nail clipping with stress. As a result, future attempts of the process will be a challenge.
Step 7: Repeat until all nails are cutted
Keep repeating the process until all nails are done. You should note that some dogs may not stay calm even when you offer praises and treats, so you might have to postpone nail trimming to another day. The bottom line is, you must cut all the nails no matter how long it takes for the sake of your dog’s health.
Benefits of Cutting Chihuahua’s Nails
1. Prevents Pain When Walking
If you fail to trim your chi’s nails regularly, they will grow to the extent of curling inwards into the sole pad resulting in ingrown nails.
As a result, your furry friend will start limping due to the pain.
Your chi will try to get rid of the pain by biting at their paws, which should tell you it is time for a trim.
2. Improved Posture
If your dog starts limping due to the ingrown nails, it’s overall weight distribution will be compromised.
The more he limps, the more the pressure will be felt in the toe joints, which in the long term, may cause it’s foreleg’s joints to be realigned.
Consequently, it’s posture will be affected, especially in senior dogs.
3. Reduced Risk of Hurting Himself, You and Other Animals
If you have long nails, you are likely to hurt yourself when you scratch your skin.
Similarly, dogs with long nails may cause scarring on their bodies when they attempt to remove any disturbance on their coats. Moreover, during playtime, they might hurt other pups.
When welcoming you back home after a long day at work, your precious chi baby may scratch you accidentally when they jump on you..
4. No Risk of Breaking the Quick
Long nails are at greater risk of getting broken, which could sever the quick and cut short the supply of blood to the nails.
5. No Damage to Floor, Carpets, and Beddings
Your carpets will suffer a lot of damage if your dog’s long nails keep getting caught in them. As he tries to free himself from the rug, it will be frayed or ripped. Such damage will also extend to the dog’s bedding or yours if he prefers sleeping in your bed.
Is it Better to Cut or Grind a Dog’s Nails?
Shortening your chi’s nails can be through two options: using a grinder or cutting with a clipper. Choosing one over the other has its advantages and disadvantages.
Since professional groomers have mastered the art of using clippers, they prefer them over grinders. However, if you are a dog owner and want to trim your pet’s nail at home, a grinder is recommended.
Advantages of using a nail grinder:
The main advantage of using a grinder is that the risk of cutting the quick is significantly reduced. It is easy to misjudge with a clipper where the quick is; thus, you end up cutting too much of the nail and severing the quick.
A grinder enables filing the nail at high speed incrementally; therefore, you can stop whenever you have the desired results.
Besides, clipping leaves the dog’s nails with sharp edges, which can pose a problem if your dog loves to greet people with his paws. On the other hand, a grinder files the nail as it trims. Therefore, your dog will have rounded edges at the end of the process. However, your dog must be desensitized to loud noise first for you to trim his nails using a grinder.
Advantages of using a nail clipper:
Clipping has its advantages because it does not make any sounds that could cause anxiety in particular dogs. Additionally, if your dog is afraid of the loud noise that grinders produce or generally fears having his nails clipped, you will still get the job done. All you have to do is cut a nail or two a day and try the next day again. Grinders cannot be useful for such fearful dogs because grinding takes a while, unlike clipping, which is a few seconds per nail.
How to Choose the Right Nail Clippers or Grinder?
Now that you have an overview of the best tool to work for you, let’s get into the detail by looking at their advantages and disadvantages.
2 Types of Nail Clippers
Nail clippers come in two styles: the guillotine clipper and scissors-type clippers.
1. The Guillotine Style Pet Nail Clippers
The guillotine is ideal for nails that do not require a lot of force, such as thick ones. It produces a quick and precise cut, just like the nail clipper we use for our nails. It has a round hole where the nail goes in, and the blade cuts evenly and at a steady pace. The guillotine clipper can be used by dog owners with arthritis and is best for small and medium-sized dogs.
2. The Scissors-Type Pet Nail Clippers
Scissors-type clippers are perfect if your dog has thick nails, but you will still need to have a steady hand to avoid severing the quick. Ensure that the clippers are sharp by replacing or sharpening the blades regularly. Scissor-type clippers come in handy for large dogs, but this is not the tool for you if you have arthritis.
Advantages of using Pet Nail Clippers
They are not as expensive as grinders but ensure that you buy from a reputable brand since a cheap nail clipper may get blunt rather quickly and you will need to spend money to purchase another again.
- No Need to Use Electricity
You can save on the need to purchase batteries or charge your grinder if you choose to use a nail clipper.
Some dogs cannot stand even the slightest noise because it spooks them; therefore, a nail clipper comes in handy if your dog falls in this category.
- Easy To Travel With
When going on holiday and you cannot leave your furry friend behind, nail clippers are easy to pack.
Disadvantages Of Using Pet Nail Clippers
- Can Cut the Quick
The risk of severing the quick when using clippers is very high when the dog pushes the nail forward, or you estimate poorly the position of the quick.
A nicked quick causes pain and discomfort for your dog; thus, he will associate nail trimming with pain, and getting him to have his nails trimmed again will be a challenge.
- Can Cause Nail Breakage
Nail breakage is common, especially when using guillotine clippers. You can reduce the risk of such an incident buy, ensuring that the clippers are sharp.
- Replacing Blades Can be Difficult
Some clippers do not have replaceable blades, and others do not have ways to sharpen the blades. As a result, you will have to buy another clipper, which could dent your budget if you want a high-end product.
Pet Nail Grinders
Pet nail grinders work by filing your chihuahua’s nails to an acceptable level.
First, you fix a grinder to the tool, and once it is in, you begin to wear down your dog’s nail. You start by moving the grinder around the top of the nail tip slowly.
Advantages of Using a Pet Nail Grinder
- Rounded Edges
Grinding your chi’s nails results in rounded edges which help to prevent your dog’s nails from getting stuck in carpets.
Rounded edges nail also mean that your dog won’t scratch you or itself accidentally!
- Ideal for Anxious Dogs
If you nicked your dog’s quick with a clipper, a grinder may help to get him to trust you again with nail trimming.
- Choose the Right Speed
You can pick a speed that you feel is right for you because they come in various models with different speeds.
Disadvantages of Using a Pet Nail Grinder
Some chihuahuas get spooked by the slightest of noise. Hence, using a nail grinder can be too loud for your dog’s comfort. If you are still keen to use a nail grinder on your chihuahua, look for a high quality grinder with low noise for your dog.
- Dust and Odor
Since you are grinding the nails, you will have lots of dust and odor, which can be uncomfortable if you do it in an enclosed space. You, therefore, need to trim the nails outside.
A Pet Nail Clipper That Might Interest You
If you are looking for a nail clipper, you should check out the Gonnic Dog and Cat Nail Clipper with Safety Guard. Some of its features include:
- Sharp stainless steel blades
- Ergonomically designed nonslip handles
- Nail file
- Safety stop
What We Like About It
- The nonslip handles are lightweight and ease to use.
- Very sharp, so you get a precise and quick cut.
- The file ensures you get a rounded edge.
- The built-in safety stop will reduce the likelihood of you overcutting and severing the quick.
What We Do Not Like About It
- The handles may require using a lot of pressure which can cause the nails to split.
- The plastic handles easily crack
- The locking mechanism does not allow you to see if you are even close to hitting the quick.
A Grinder You Need to Check Out
If you have not tried the Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder, here are a few features that might convince you to give it a go:
- It can grind at two speeds
- The rotating motor is whisper-quiet
- Has three grinding ports
- Has built-in battery
- Uses a diamond drum bit grinder
What We Like About It
- The whisper-quiet rotary motor means your dog will not be agitated by noise.
- Can operate for two hours when fully charged
What We Don’t Like about it
- Some dogs are too sensitive to the slightest noise, so you must desensitize them first
- It doesn’t have an adjustable safety guard to ensure you don’t trim your pet’s nails too close to the quick.
- The dog’s nail can be caught between the grinder and metal cover so you must be extra careful.
FAQs On How To Cut Chihuahua Nails
1. What Happens if I Cut My Dog’s Quick?
Accidents can happen, and you should remain calm if you nick the quick. You can control the bleeding by applying a styptic powder, which also promotes faster healing.
2. Do Chihuahua’s Need Their Nails Clipped?
Although walking your dog can help file the nails, your Chihuahua still needs to have his nails clipped because the filing may not get the nails down to the acceptable length.
3. How Long Should a Chihuahua’s Nails Be?
There is no standard maximum length for a Chihuahua’s nails. However, they should be short enough not to scratch the floor and long enough not to harm the quick.
4. How Often Do Chihuahuas Need Their Nails Clipped?
A weekly trim is enough to keep your Chihuahua’s nails in check.