It’s time to cut your Chihuahua’s nails.
But you’re not sure how to do it properly.
No worries, fur parents.
This guide will help you to:
- Choose the best tool for trimming your Chi’s nails.
- Discover how to do the procedure in 7 easy steps.
- Know when is the best time for your Chi’s nail grooming.
- Train your Chihuahua to follow commands you can use when clipping their nails.
- And more…
How to cut Chihuahua nails – 7 easy steps
#1: Invest in the best nail trimmer
The first thing in trimming your Chihuahua’s nails is investing in the best nail clipper.
Please don’t use a nail trimmer for humans. There are specific clippers made for your dog.
It’s uncomfortable for your pup if you use your own trimmer. Worse, it can hurt them.
What exactly is a good nail clipper for your doggo?
Human nail trimmers are flat. Canine trimmers, on the other hand, are round.
They’re perfect for the size and shape of your doggo’s nails. Dog nail trimmers come in different designs and forms.
For you to buy the right nail clippers for your Chihuahua, ask your vet or the pet shop owner.
How to choose the best nail grooming tool for your Chihuahua?
For starters, there are 2 types of canine nail trimmers. The scissor-style lives up to its name.
It works like a scissor when you clip your Chihuahua’s nails. It’s best for small dogs like your Chihuahua.
The scissor-type is simple to work with. You just trim their nails by cutting it.
The second type is called the guillotine. Sounds a bit scary, right?
It has a ring where the nails are pressed then trimmed. It’s recommended for larger breeds.
Guillotine clippers can hold the nail in place, but they can crush it too.
The important thing to note is to choose a clipper based on the size and shape of your dog’s nails.
Another alternative is using a grinder like the Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder.
A lot of fur parents prefer this method because they feel in control.
The grinder works with a revolving tool that grinds your dog’s nails.
You use it at the edge of your Chihuahua’s nails and not at the top or middle.
The grinder is suitable for thick nails. It can also result in a finer nail texture when done.
As for its cons, the nail trimming process is slower.
It can make your doggo impatient. Also, the grinder gets hot, so you have to be careful in using it.
To help you decide what’s the best clippers for your Chihuahua, watch this video:
It also provides tips about nail grooming.
#2: Trim their nails after exercise
If you’re wondering when the best time to trim your Chihuahua’s nails is…
The answer is: after exercising. They’ll be tired and won’t move a lot.
Why spend the hassle of trimming your pups’ nails while they’re still hyperactive?
You can do it after they spend most of their energy.
Tired and relaxed puppies make it easier to trim their nails. Do this, especially if it’s the first time that you’re cutting the nails.
Your Chi needs at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. You can take them on a nice stroll around your neighborhood.
A short game of fetch or chasing bubbles can also keep your Chihuahua happy and healthy.
They can still exercise indoors with simple games such as find the treat or a DIY obstacle course.
Give your Chi a full or half bath after. A warm bath will soften their nails and make it easier to trim them.
Chihuahua’s nails are tiny and hard. That’s why it’s best to soften them before clipping them.
Note: Avoid grooming your puppy’s nails if they have a lot of stored energy. If they lack exercise, they may get hyperactive when you try to clip their nails.
Check for signs that indicate your Chi lacks exercise, such as:
- Barking too much.
- Getting overweight.
- Destructive behavior.
If your furry pal shows these signs, it’s not the best time to groom their nails. Give them ample time to exercise first.
#3: Make your Chi comfortable
Making your Chihuahua comfortable about nail grooming can start days before.
Their comfort is a priority to ensure that the nail trimming goes safely.
On day 1, allow your pooch to smell the clippers. Give them treats while they’re sniffing it.
The next day, you can let your canine touch it. Be consistent with the treats.
You can first clip 1 nail. Don’t be pressured to cut all nails at once, especially if they’re uncomfortable.
Let your Chi investigate the nail clippers as they lie comfortably. Being familiar with the tool will help them to relax when their nails are being trimmed.
Find a good spot with enough lighting before trimming your Chihuahua’s nails.
Put your Chihuahua to a spot where you can comfortably and easily trim their nails, such as a table or chair.
Avoid putting them on a leash while trimming. Your pup will get stressed if they’re restrained.
Gently rub their feet and put a little pressure on their pads. Close and open your nail clippers so they can hear the noise the clip makes.
How to tell if your Chi is comfortable? Your dog will show behavioral signs that they’re ready and happy.
- Soft eyes.
- Leaning in.
- Floppy ears.
- Tail wagging.
- Being playful
- Relaxed body.
#4: Calm your Chihuahua
Dogs might get anxious when they see you holding a nail clipper.
Establishing trust before trimming their nails is important to get things done…
Build trust through touching technique. Reassure them that everything will be alright.
Your Chihuahua should get used to your touch. Take a few strokes calmly and gently before holding its paws for trimming.
When they see that you’re calm and confident, it will put their mind at ease and will start to build their trust in you.
They only respond well through your positive emotions. Don’t be nervous or show any signs of it.
It will only make your Chihuahuas lose their trust in you and, in return, will make them anxious.
They’re very tuned into what you’re feeling, so be positive.
How to know if your Chihuahua is anxious?
Observe your Chihuahua’s body language. If they try to get back while trimming their nails, you stop and continue later when they’re calm and relaxed.
How to know if your doggo is anxious? Check for the behavioral signs below:
- Excessive licking.
Be observant of signs of anxiety. Do not force your Chihuahua if they’re not ready.
Getting your Chi to trim their nails requires patience. A positive attitude towards them won’t hurt as well.
You don’t need to trim their nails all at once. When they get uncomfortable, then you can stop.
You may continue it the next day or when they’re calm to do it again.
They need to think that it is a positive experience.
It won’t be easy the next time you do it if they get stressed. Chihuahuas are naturally hyperactive.
For you to train them to be calm and relaxed canines, here are some tips:
- Try music therapy.
- Exercise your pup daily.
- Give them a healthy diet.
- Socialize your Chihuahua.
- Feed on a regular schedule.
- Don’t give them attention when they’re misbehaving.
- Reward and praise them when they’re well-behaved.
When your Chi is trained to keep calm, it’ll be easier for you to trim their nails or perform other hygiene routines.
Do you know that bonding with your dog also helps you?
Study says that our furry friends can help lessen our mental stress as well. So, enjoy the time spent with your doggo.
#5: Hold your Chihuahua’s paw properly
After getting your Chihuahua’s trust, you can start the grooming.
Hold their paws and gently squeeze their pads to spread the claws.
Make sure you’re not holding on to their hair. Take a look first at their nails. All dogs have what they call quick.
It’s pinkish, and you’ll see it inside their nails. Be careful not to trim the quick. Because if you do, it’ll bleed.
The quick is the blood supply in their nails. So make sure not to clip past the curve of the nails. Do it only on the tip.
Once your Chi happens to yelp, move the clipper backward because it may mean that you’re too close to the quick.
Let your Chihuahua stand on the floor and take a look at their nails to locate the quick.
If you see that their nails are just above the floor when they’re standing, it means you have trimmed enough of it.
How about grinding your Chi’s nails?
Hold the grinder in an upright position. Make sure to grip it tightly to avoid accidents.
Start grinding at the bottom part, then carefully go in. Ensure that you’re just working on the tip.
Smoothen the rough edges of your Chihuahua’s nails. Do not let your dog’s hair get caught in the grinder.
#6: Give praises and treats
Who doesn’t want praises and treats? Your Chihuahua loves them, of course!
Make sure that you have your treats ready when trimming their nails.
You can continue trimming their nails while they’re distracted with treats.
Pay attention to your Chihuahuas mood. If they’re stressed out, give them treats.
You can also talk to them with a bit of stroking of their fur. Verbally praise them when they’re calm.
Tell them, “Good boy” or “Good girl” every time you’ve finished 1 nail after another.
It will be a positive experience for them. Your nail clipping routine will be smoother the next time.
They will behave positively because they know that there’s a treat behind it.
Do you know that you can give your Chi treats from your kitchen?
There are human foods that are safe for your Chihuahua. You can give them treats that you can find at your pantry, such as:
- Green peas.
- Peanut butter.
- Plain popcorn.
- Sweet potatoes.
Are you into baking? If your Chi loves sweets, you can make them baked goods made of carrots, apples, and peanut butter.
Your pup will be too distracted with your freshly baked goodies to mind the nail clipping.
Another trick is to let them lick peanut butter while you do the nail grooming.
What an enjoyable time it must be for your Chi if they’re surrounded with treats.
#7: Train them young
Start trimming them young as early as a puppy.
The earlier you start them, the more they’ll get used to grooming their nails.
Nail trimming is a crucial part of our Chihuahuas grooming.
Trimmed nails are a sign that our pups will be in good health and hygiene.
Cutting their nails can make them nervous. It can worsen especially when you accidentally cut the quick.
The early process of trimming and grooming will help both you and your Chihuahua.
It can help your pup to become accustomed to the process. When they’re used to the process of clipping their nails, it will be less hassle when they grow up.
They’ll get used to the routine. It can be a happy and fun process if they’ll get used to it early.
Training your puppy to understand commands can also help.
Research says it will prevent misbehavior.
You can use commands such as “Leave it” or “Stop” when they’re misbehaving during grooming.
What are the advantages of training your pup?
These are the pros of starting early:
- Good socialization skills.
- Home and furniture safety.
- Increasing your dog’s confidence.
- Easier to take your dog anywhere.
- Improve your bonding with your pup.
- Keeping your dog safe from danger.
Would you like your dog to learn a basic command? Let’s try training your Chihuahua to understand the cues “Sit” and “Stay”.
When your Chi follows the command, it’ll be helpful during grooming time.
Start with the command, “sit.” Hide a treat in your hand and let your doggo sniff it.
Slowly raise your hand and when they follow it, tell them to “sit.” If your Chi follows your command, reward them with the treat you’re holding.
Now it’s time for another cue if they are already familiar with the sitting command.
When you are in an enclosed area, tell your pooch to “stay.” Take a few steps backward.
Observe if your dog gets up or stays in the area. If they don’t get up and follow you, you can praise them and offer a treat.
Training has to be consistent. You can only give them a treat when they obey. Practice the command several times.
Use it in other enclosed spaces in your home. Clipping their nails will be as easy as pie when they can follow your commands.