How to take care of the nails in Chihuahuas
Chihuahuas, as a toy dog breed, tend to have some specifics regarding the normal growth and wear-off of their nails. Chihuahua’s nails grow rather fast but there might be some difficulties in means of natural wear off. Natural wear off happens when a dog walks, runs and scratches rigid surfaces (concrete) thus reducing the length of the nails. For Chihuahuas, this process is limited because they don’t need to spend a lot of time outdoors and don’t have sufficient body mass which increases the pressure point between the nails and the surfaces. So the owners are left with nail trimming as the only solution for keeping their pet’s nails and paws healthy.
Every Chihuahua is different so there is no strict rule as to how often their nails should be trimmed, but once every two weeks seems to be the most appropriate interval. If you are not sure whether your dog’s nails should be trimmed carefully look for ‘clicking sound’ when the pooch runs on the floor. If you hear the clicking, then it’s trimming time. Because not every owner is comfortable doing nail-trimming on his own, it’s perfectly okay to take your Chihuahua to a veterinary clinic of professional groomer to get the job done.
Take a bit of time and observe the dog’s behavior when it’s nail trimming time. If the Chihuahua feels a lot of stress when being taken to the vet or the groomer, it’s probably better if you master the technique on your own. Also, if the dog is anxious and stressed when you try to trim his nails, let it be done by someone else.
Nail trimming at home
The basic tools for the procedure are scissor type nail clippers. You need to clean and disinfect the clippers each time before and after nail trimming to prevent infections. Always choose a bright room or trim your Chihuahua’s nails outdoors because sometimes it can get messy and you won’t have to clean up afterward.
Give a lot of praise and some tasty rewards to your dog while cutting his nails so he will be as relaxed as possible. The biggest fear owners have is ‘quicking’ the nail. This happens when you cut the nail a bit deeper than you should have and the sensitive part of the nail starts bleeding. First of all, if such a thing happens don’t panic as it is far from a life-threatening condition. Instead, grab a bit of cornstarch and apply at the spot so that the bleeding stops. If you want to avoid ‘quicking’ by any means, always look for the little notch below the surface of the nails. This area marks the ending of the quick so if you cut through this line there is no chance of harming your Chihuahua. While you cut you need to gently grab the dog’s paw and fixate it with your fingers. The first few times are the hardest, but soon enough when the routine kicks in you will see that nail trimming your pooch isn’t so difficult after all.