What is the safest and easiest way to clip my guinea pig’s nails?
- Gather your supplies. First, you’ll need a nail clipper. You can use a nail clipper for humans or one designed for cats or small animals. Second, you’ll need styptic powder. The powder quickly stops bleeding in case you cut the nail too short.
- Identify where the quick ends on each nail. The quick contains blood vessels and nerve endings. While the nail itself has no feeling, cutting into the quick can cause pain and may draw blood. If your guinea pig’s nails are light in color or translucent, the quick is the visible pink part. If your guinea pig’s nails are dark colored, observe how the tip is shaped. You’ll trim only the narrow tip of the nail. Start by clipping as little as as possible.
- Position your guinea pig. If your guinea pig is comfortable in your lap, hold it upright with its back against your stomach. Your guinea pig’s stomach will face away from you. Place your hand lightly across your guinea pig’s chest. If your guinea pig isn’t comfortable in your lap, wrap it in a hand towel like a little burrito while keeping its feet accessible.
- Begin trimming. Hold one leg gently and start to trim off the nail on each toe before moving on to the other foot. If you aren’t sure where the quick is, clip only the very end of the nail. If your guinea pig’s nails are too long, trim small amounts weekly until its nails are an appropriate length. If you are cutting your guinea pig’s nails for the first time, find someone to help you hold your pet while you trim.
Many of our stores host nail trim events each month. Your vet also can trim your guinea pigs nails.
I hope that you find this information helpful. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.