Part of bunnies’ grooming is cutting their nails. It is essential to cut their nails because it can cause discomfort if it gets too long. To avoid such a problem, you must trim their nails.
Bunnies’ nails will grow longer if you do not trim them. There is no problem if you cut their nails as it is part of grooming them. This will make them more adorable and cleaner.
Unlike wild bunnies, whose nails will be worn down because of always digging in search of food, pet bunnies’ nails will not be as they do not have the same activities as their counterparts in the wild. As a result, their nails will overgrow, leading to discomfort.
Cutting their nails is a bit tricky, and if you trim their nails without further knowledge on how to do it properly, it might injure your bunnies. The safest way is to send them to a pet-grooming facility and let them do the work for you. But if you insist on trimming their nails to improve your relationship with them, do not worry because there are helpful tips on how to do it carefully.
Here are the essential things to remember when cutting bunnies’ nails:
- Do not use ordinary nail cutters.
Human nails are different from bunnies’ nails, and it might damage their nails if you use regular nail clippers. Regular nail cutters are designed for flat nails that humans have; bunny nails are not flat. It is better to use nail clippers that are designed for bunnies’ nails.
Other things you need aside from nail clippers are a towel and styptic powder.
- You can start cutting their nails at the age of 3-4 weeks.
It varies from each bunny depending on the length of their nails. Usually, their nails will grow sharp at this age. Trim them if they are long enough, but wait for longer if they are still short.
They might be aggressive, especially if it is the first time they experience cutting their nails. It is better to observe their responses and do not force them to keep still. You can also go to any vet office if you are afraid to cut their nails for the first time.
- Always observe the “quick”.
This is a vein inside the nails that supply blood. It has a pinkish or darkish color usually found in every bunnies’ nails. Do not cut beyond the quick because it can cause bleeding. If you accidentally cut the quick, apply flour or styptic powder to stop the bleeding.
Use a flashlight if the nails of your bunnies are dark. This will help you locate the quick quickly.
- Cut their nails every 6-8 weeks.
Their nails will grow back after several weeks, so you need to trim them again. If you observe that they have difficulty walking, maybe it is because of their nails. Cut them but do not go too short to avoid hitting the quick.
There is no perfect length you should keep your bunnies’ nails at. It is always up to the preference of the owner how short to cut their nails. Some owners cut the nails if they extend beyond their fur.
- Restrain them.
Bunnies may tend to be aggressive when you cut their nails. Always make sure that you have a better hold of them to cut their nails safely. If possible, always ask for an assistant to hold the bunnies for you.
The next thing you must do is to approach them calmly and carry them over your lap. Start by talking to them and playing with them. This will help them adjust to the situation.
Now, you need to wrap them in towels to keep them in place. But it would be best if you observed proper handling techniques because they do not like tight restraints and avoid breaking their backs. If they start to struggle, release them, and rub their fur to calm them.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have to cut their nails regularly?
Yes, every 6 to 8 weeks. It is necessary to keep their nails at an average length to prevent them from curling to their foot, which can affect their movement.
- What if my bunny is very aggressive?
The best thing you can do is to put them in a shock position. You have to lift them on their backs, and it will keep them still. However, it is very unsettling for the bunnies.
Always find another way to comfort them when cutting their nails. Shock position should be the last plan if there are no more available ways to tame the bunnies.
- What should I do after cutting their nails?
Release them and allow them to move or run freely. If you find them not moving or having any difficulty walking around, check immediately if their nails are bleeding.
If it is the first time that your bunnies are having their nails cut, put food all over the area and make them get it all by themselves. This will encourage them to move and see if there are problems in the way they walk.
- Is it safe to use scissors to cut their nails?
The answer is no. It is not advisable to use scissors or any other cutting materials when cutting bunnies’ nails. Always use nail clippers designed for them to avoid further injuries. Using any other instruments to cut their nails can cause them pain.
- Is it normal that their nails are twisting while cutting them?
The main reason as to why their nails are twisting is that you are using dull clippers. It will hurt them during the clipping process, making them hard to restrain. Always make sure that your clippers are sharp to ensure fast and safe nail cutting.
- Can I cut their nails while they are sleeping?
Do not cut their nails while sleeping. It might make them anxious, making them scared and more aggressive. It is best to let them see that you are cutting their nails to get used to it.