It's the one thing most rabbit owners dread: Cutting their bunny's nails. Cutting a rabbit's nails can be a stressful process, for both you and your rabbit, but it's an essential part of keeping your rabbit groomed. Nails that are too long can make walking difficult and can easily be ripped off, causing unnecessary pain.
Make sure you have everything you need, including nail clippers, flour in case of bleeding, a towel and a flashlight. Most rabbit owners find that using nail clippers designed for cats work best on their rabbits.
Prepare your rabbit. Every rabbit owner has a preference as to how to secure his rabbit for nail clipping. You may sit on the floor and wrap your bunny in a towel, tight enough so he can't squirm, but loose enough so he can breathe, and clip the nails that way. Or, you may want to hold your rabbit on his back to clip his nails.
Talk softly to your rabbit to help keep her calm. Most rabbits don't like having their nails cut and can easily become stressed out, especially at the sound of the clippers cutting the nail.
Start with whatever foot is easiest then work your way around until you've cut the nails on all four feet. If your rabbit has dark nails, use a flashlight to look for the quick. The quick is simply the blood vessel in your rabbit's nail, and you want to avoid cutting too close to the quick.
Put the nail clippers over the nail at the exact spot you want to clip. If you're worried about cutting the nail too short, simply cut the tip of the nail. You'll have to trim your rabbit's nails more often that way, but it's a sure-fire way to avoid accidentally cutting the quick.
Clip the nail quickly. Once you've placed the nail clipper where you want to cut, clip the nail smoothly and quickly. The longer you take the more stressed your rabbit is likely to become, so be careful but be quick.
If you accidentally cut too much of the nail and your rabbit's nail begins to bleed, gently dab flour on the nail and hold the foot until the blood begins to clot. Or, you can put your rabbit's foot into a small cup of flour. Wait until the bleeding begins to clot before moving on to the next nail.
Once you've finished clipping your rabbit's nails, check each of the nails to make sure it isn't bleeding. If the nails are all fine, you can let your rabbit go.
If you have too much trouble cutting your rabbit's nails, consider taking him to the vet and having the vet cut the nails.
Tips and warnings
- If you have too much trouble cutting your rabbit's nails, consider taking him to the vet and having the vet cut the nails.