Dachshunds and Pedicures
One of the most important things you can do for your Dachshund is to
keep his nails trimmed. Proper nail care will promote healthy sound feet.
By keeping nails trimmed your Dachshund will be able to use his toes, nails
and pads as mother nature intended, as digging tools, shock absorbers and
traction devices. Click each image to see a close up.
first consideration is your tools. First you will need a nail clipper designed
for dogs. They come in many shapes, sizes, colours and price ranges. Your
basic choice will be between a guillotine type of clipper and a scissors
type of clipper. I prefer the scissors type as I find it easier to manipulate
with a smaller (woman's) hand. As for price I recommend a mid-price range
Next you will need to be prepared in case you err and cut a nail too
short (we are all only human and accidents do happen). You will need styptic
powder or silver nitrate sticks, which are available at a pet store or
drug store. I prefer to finish the job with a nail file designed
for dogs with a groove in the middle or an electric rotary sander. This
smoothes the rough edges and allows you to trim the nails as short as possible
with little risk of making the nail bleed. You can purchase a rotary sander
(i.e. Dremel brand) at most hardware stores or you may purchase a nail
grinder (i.e. Oster brand) at most pet supply stores. Make sure you also
purchase additional sandpaper tips, as you will need to replace them regularly.
Also remember to purchase safety glasses to protect your eyes from grit
and nail dust.
Keeping nails at the proper length on a short legged breed presents
it's own unique problems. As with most things in life there is an easy
way and a hard way to accomplish this.
with your Dachshund on a table with a non-slip surface. Since I am right
handed I have the dog stand and face to my left. I use my left hand to
pick up the left hind foot so the bottom of the foot is pointing to the
ceiling (lifting to foot 2 to 3 inches off the table) and clip tip off
of nail. I then use to electric sander to sand the nails as short as possible.
I sand the nail my goal is to smooth and shorten the nail. I concentrate
on sanding the outer, harder shell of the nail and I stop sanding when
the center of the nail appears darker as I am getting close to the "live"
portion of the nail. The reason for turning the bottom of the foot to face
the ceiling is to make it more comfortable for the dog and so I can see
precisely what I am doing.
dog is still standing on the table facing to my left. I reach over the
dog and pick up the right hind foot with my left hand and position it with
the bottom of the foot facing the ceiling and clip the nails. I then
continue with the sander.
do the left front nails I still have the dog standing on the table facing
to my left. With my left hand I pick up the left front foot and bend the
leg at the pastern so the bottom of the foot is facing the ceiling and
cut the nails.
then continue with the sander, being careful not to get any of the dog's
coat tangled in the sander. The head of the sander rotates at a very high
speed so if you get too close to the coat, the hair may become wrapped
around the rotating head and you risk ripping out a piece of coat. With
longhairs the dog's coat will be in a safer position if you drape a towel
over the dog's back to prevent an accident.
do the right front nails, I still have the dog standing facing to my left
and I reach over the dog and pick up the right front foot with my left
hand, turning the bottom of the foot to face the ceiling and clip the nails.
then sand the nails on the right front foot with the dog in the same position
The goal when finished is for the nails to be trimmed short enough
so they will not touch the table when the dog is standing normally (for
the dog's comfort) and be smooth with no rough edges (for their human's
Dachshund breeder and exhibitor
CKC licensed judge