‘If you are looking to cut your rabbit’s nails then you will know it is quite a tricky thing to do.
However, there are steps you can take to ensure that you do it well.
Rabbits nails grow continuously
As with human nails, rabbits nails keep growing continuously. This means that they need to be clipped often and with care.
What happens if they are not clipped is that they will keep growing and become increasingly unnerving for the rabbit causing quite a lot of discomfort for it.
What happens in the wild?
When out in the wild, they keep them trim by digging and grinding them against soil and rocks which keeps them trim.
If you are keeping a rabbit inside then they don’t have this option and so their nails are not given the grinding that they need.
This is why it is good to let them have a run outside and let them have an opportunity to dig and to grind their nails down a bit or at least puts some rocks or slabs in the run if it is all grass.
There is a way we can help them
If you don’t want to cut their nails yourself, as you may feel a little nervous doing it, then a vet will do this for you and will do it well without causing the rabbit distress or pain in the process.
However if you don’t want to pay a vet’s bill and are feeling brave then this can be done by following the steps below.
The things you will need include;
- A set of animal nail clippers; you can purchase these from any good pet stores and are different from human nail clippers as they are curved at the sharp edge so as to grip the type of nails that animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas have.
- A towel; so you can put the rabbit on in case it happens to poop of pee on you.
- Cotton wool; this will be needed if you cut into the quick to stem the bleed.
- Syptic Powder; you’ll need this if your guinea pig’s nail starts to bleed. it will help to clot the blood if this happen.
- Someone to hold the rabbit; its easier to trim a rabbits nails if someone else is holding the rabbit for you whilst you cut the rabbit’s nails.
Trimming A Rabbit’s Nails
1. Get your friend to hold the rabbit
Ask them to hold it under its belly and pull it towards their chest holding it up with their other hand supporting its behind clutching its hind legs.
This way, you will restrain them from kicking out with their hind legs.
Make sure that they don’t hold the rabbit by its neck or head as the rabbit wont like it and will struggle.
2. Time to use the clippers
Then take the clippers and take the first paw in one hand and the clippers in another.
What you need to take care in doing is to not cut through the quick which is the blood vessel in the nail. This is identified by seeing the dark part in the light colored nail.
Rabbits nails are lightly coloured and so it is easy to spot the quick.
3. Don’t trim big chunks off the nails
Trim gently and a slither at a time so you know what you are trimming.
Just trim the tip and don’t go too far into the nail making sure that each cut is a swift motion instead of putting pressure on the nail from an awkward cut.
If the rabbit is struggling then don’t force the issue but take you time and ensure that they are well cared for whilst you do this.
If you do happen to cut the nail too much and cut into the quick then don’t worry, just take the cotton wool and apply it to the wound.
Then take the syptic powder and apply it to clot the blood.
4. Give each paw the same attention
On each paw, trim each nail accordingly and give your rabbit a break between each paw if it is feeling uncomfortable and appearing to struggle.
Once you have done all the nails, then just double check them to ensure that they haven’t started to bleed and return the rabbit to its home.
It is better to trim them often, and trim a little off the nails a little at a time instead of doing big chunks at a time.