For such small dogs, Dachshunds are notoriously feisty when it’s time to get their nails cut. Despite their reticence to the process, keeping your doxie’s nails trimmed to the right length is very important.
When your pup’s nails are left to grow too long it can lead to joint problems and cause pain. It can also make it difficult for your pup to run and walk, making exercise difficult and leading them to turn into little couch potatoes and gain too much weight.
Overgrown nails can interfere with your dog’s ability to walk and run, impeding her ability to get the exercise she needs to stay healthy and prevent unwanted weight gain that often results from life as a couch potato.
But exactly how short should you cut a Dachshund’s nails?
The short answer is, to cut them short enough that they aren’t touching the ground when your pup is standing on a level surface. As with most things in life, however, there’s a bit more to it than that. The specific length varies from dog to dog, and there are several signs you should look out for that will indicate your pup’s nails are too long.
Here’s everything you need to know about keeping your Dachshund’s nails the right length…
Why You Need To Keep Your Dachshund’s Nails Short…
In recent years more attention has been paid to the impact nail length has on dog health. Both veterinarians and scientists are now in agreement that ensuring you keep your pup’s nails trimmed isn’t just about comfort and the prevention of ingrown nails.
Letting your hound’s nails grow too long can lead to a veritable smorgasbord of serious health issues, including postural, orthopedic, and mobility issues.
Dachshunds, as a breed, are already very prone to back problems. Allowing their nails to grow too long forces them to alter their posture. This, in turn, puts extra pressure on the spine and joint.
Their back issues – as well as general health concerns – also mean the prevention of obesity is vital for a Dachshund. Their distinctive and adorable long back and short legs are not built for carrying extra poundage, and any excess weight only increases the likelihood of back problems.
Beyond that, overgrown nails can cause deformation in your pup’s feet, as it forces their toes to be permanently splayed. This is extremely uncomfortable for your pooch. They’re also likely to suffer from ingrowing toenails, as the nails curve as they grow – particularly the dewclaw. Ingrowing nails will dig into your pup’s footpads and cause quite a bit of pain.
How to Tell If They’re Too Long…
There are a few ways to check if your Dachshund’s nails have grown out of control. The easiest is to stand your pooch on a level surface and check if the nails are touching the ground.
Another super-simple indicator is if your pooch is biting its nails. Long nails are uncomfortable, and your pup will naturally try to remedy the discomfort on their own.
Why You Need to Trim Your Dachshund’s Nails
While a lot of dog owners believe regular walks are enough to keep their pup’s nails in check, it’s important to trim them on a regular basis. While walking may wear your dog’s nails down to some extent, it isn’t an effective solution for every doxie.
For most Dachshunds, however, even regular walks are not enough to keep their nails short enough. Most sausage dogs either don’t walk enough or walk on surfaces that are too soft to effectively grind down their nails.
Dog nails are surprisingly tough. It takes a lot to wear them down, and they grow very quickly; while walks will help, the rate of growth will still outstrip the speed with which they are worn down on walks.
You will need to manually trim your pup’s nails, or take them to a professional groomer to ensure they stay at the right length.
How Often Should You Trim Your Dachshund’s Nails?
How often you need to trim your Dachshund’s nails will vary depending on whether you walk them on a hard surface – like pavement – or a soft surface – like grass. How frequently and far you walk them is also a factor, as is the speed at which their nails grow.
Dachshunds were bred to be hunters and burrowers. Nails are very important for that, so you’ll find they grow pretty fast!
It’s important to check your Dachshund’s nails once a month, and trim them as needed. You may find they don’t need trimming each month, depending on growth rate and walks.
Grinding vs Clipping The Nails…
There are two methods of keeping your Dachshund’s nails under control. The one that immediately springs to mind for most people is trimming them using scissors or guillotine-style clippers, but you can also grind them using a doggy dremel, nail file, or nail scratchboard.
Which method is best – grinding or clipping – will largely depend on your pup. Whatever they get used to when they’re young is the method you will have the most luck with over their lives. If you’re raising them from the litter, be sure they are accustomed to their nails being maintained regularly.
Some doggos are very fussy, so you may have to take some time and try a few different methods, either alone or with your groomer, to find the best way for your specific pooch.
You need a method that creates the least resistance possible.
Should You Cut Your Dachshund’s Nails Yourself?
Whether you choose to trim your doxie’s nails yourself, or head off to a veterinarian or groomer and let a professional handle it is entirely up to you. Which decision is best will depend on a few things.
If your Dachshund has a tendency to fight you while you’re grooming, it may prove quite difficult to safely restrain and calm them through the process. A professional will have the equipment and experience to do this.
There is a lot to be said for the convenience of someone taking care of it for you, particularly if you have a pup who doesn’t appreciate the process.
You may simply not like doing it – it can be an unpleasant experience for both you and your pup, and a lot of owners are afraid of cutting too close and hurting their pup.
The color of your pup’s nails will also factor in, as if they are black you may find it hard to trim them yourself.
All that being said, taking the pup for a pawdicure is a costly business, particularly if they need their nails trimmed monthly. Doing it yourself at home is certainly cheaper.
One Last Thing…
Your Dachshund may be small but that doesn’t mean her nails are! A doxie’s nails can grow very rapidly, so be sure to check them at least once a month to make sure they’re not too long. Your pup will have her own quirks and needs, so take ‘once every three months’ as a guide – it may be you need to cut her nails more often!