Just like with any other dog, Chihuahuas need to get their nails trimmed. Walking and running will help to file the nails, however not sufficiently. Typically it will file down some of the Chihuahua nails and keep others long. When you walk your dog on concrete (or other hard surfaces) its nails will wear faster compared to dogs that are walked on grass.
No matter how often you walk your dog actual filing/trimming needs to happen every 3 months or so. We like to recommend a trimming session every season. In order to know whether the nails of your Chi are too long, there is a simple trick. If you can slide a piece of paper between the surface and the nails, then the nails are short enough. Nails that are too long can bother a dog in different ways. He can even wound itself when he/she scratches him or herself. If this is the case then you should trim the nails.
However, trimming the nails of your Chihuahua is not an easy task. Indeed, the paws and nails are rather sensitive body parts so Chihuahua’s don’t like them to be handled. It’s entirely possible that your Chihuahua will not be the most cooperative little being when attempting to trim the nails yourself. We therefore recommend seeing a professional to make sure you don’t hurt your little dog. After a while, you can definitely start trying it yourself. It comes down to having the right technique, tools and not rush things.
When you are confident you can do this yourself, here are a few tips:
- Start early: the younger the chihuahua is when you start trimming, the more they’ll be used to this grooming ritual
- Use the right tools: We prefer to use a grinder instead of a clipper. While a grinder will make more noise, it’s also faster and more efficient.
- Don’t rush things: When your Chihuahua is resisting too much just stop, don’t worry if you’re not 100% done yet. You can always continue a while later.
Last but not least: When trimming nails it’s important not to cut/grind too far! If you cut too short you risk cutting into the blood supply and not into the nails. When you cut too short the wound can start bleeding and you might potentially hurt your Chichuahua. If you feel uncertain about how to trim the nails it’s best to always cut off a very small piece. This due to the fact that we can’t pinpoint very accurately where the Kwik ends for each and every chihuahua. When you cut off a little bit the blood supply will retreat after a few days. After these few days, you can cut off another small piece until the nails are short enough without risking to hurt your Chihuahua.
Pro tip: have some styptic powder ready to help stop the bleeding should you accidentally cut through it.
Read more on the Chihuahua Care pages: