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How To Trim Your Rabbit's Nails

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Brown Bunny Rabbit Sulking Evan Kafka/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Nail trimming is a necessary part of rabbit grooming, and will be easier if you do it on a regular basis.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 10 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Gather your supplies - trimmers, towel, cotton swabs and something to treat the nails if accidentally cut too short.
  2. Get your helper to hold the rabbit gently but firmly. Wrapping the bunny in a towel will help keep them calm and restrained.
  3. Trim only the tip of the nail. It is far better to trim just a bit frequently than try to trim off a lot once the nails get too long. See the link to nail trim information below for help on where to cut.
  4. Place the clippers on the nail where the cut is to be made. If you can, apply gentle pressure and if the rabbit flinches move a bit toward the tip of the nail. Make the cut in a firm, swift motion to avoid crushing the nail.
  5. If a nail is accidentally cut too short, wipe away blood with a cotton swab and quickly place a pinch of a product such as Kwik Stop (or cornstarch or flour) on the end of the nail and pack it gently.
  6. Repeat for all the nails. Take a break between feet if your rabbit is struggling or the procedure is taking a while. This is especially important if you are using a towel for restraint to prevent overheating.
  7. Quickly recheck all the nails to make sure they are not bleeding before leaving the rabbit alone.

Tips:

  1. Always restrain the rabbit correctly, supporting and restraining the hind end well. If the rabbit kicks strongly it can cause itself serious injury.
  2. Cutting a nail too short is scary but it is common so do not feel bad if it happens and don't panic. Make sure the bleeding stops before leaving the rabbit unattended, though.
  3. If you are worried, consult a vet or groomer for a demonstration of how to do nail trims. Practice will make it much easier.

What You Need

  • Clippers
  • Towel
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Kwik Stop or cornstarch
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Clipping Your Dog's Nails
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