How to Clip Your Rabbit’s Nails

Rabbit's nails

Since pet rabbits are not able to dig and wear down their claws inside your house or apartment, their nails will invariably grow too long. Your rabbit’s nails will need to be trimmed on a regular basis. Though some people elect to have their veterinarian handle it, frequent vet visits can get expensive. Here’s how to clip your rabbit’s nails yourself.

Step 1: Put Your Rabbit in a Bunny Burrito

It is easier to trim your rabbit’s nails quickly and effectively when the rabbit is properly restrained. If possible, ask someone to assist you and then wrap your bunny in a towel (a bunny burrito) to reduce movement and to isolate each paw.

Step 2: Find the Quick

Diagram of a rabbit nail and quickExamine the claw to locate the vein inside the nail. This vein is called the quick, and you should avoid cutting it. Cutting the quick will cause your pet to experience some pain, and he/she will bleed.

Some rabbits’ nails are quite dark, so you will need a small flashlight to see it.

If the nails are overgrown, the quick will be quite long as well.

Step 3: Clip Your Rabbit’s Nails

Use cat nail clippers to clip each nail as close to the quick as you can without cutting the quick. Go slow and trim a little bit at a time. If you do accidentally trim the nails too short, use flour or styptic powder to stop the bleeding.

Rabbits have four claws on each back foot and five claws on each front paw. The dewclaw on the front foot is further up on the paw and is the hardest one to clip. But don’t neglect it because if it gets too long, it can curl into your rabbit’s paw.

Some bunnies are startled by the sound of clipping. In these situations, you may consider simply filing the nails down, but this may be a longer process if your rabbit’s nails are quite long.

Rabbit Grooming Supplies

  • Nail clippers 
    You will need to regularly trim your bunny’s nails.  If your rabbit has dark claws, a small flashlight helps you to locate the quick and avoid it.  Buy on Amazon >
  • Styptic powder
    If you accidentally cut the quick, styptic powder will stop the bleeding. Buy on Amazon >
  • Grooming glove or brush
    The Love Glove is gentle, yet effective, at removing excess fur when your bunny is shedding. Buy on Amazon >

About the Author

Abi Cushman is a veteran house rabbit owner and a contributing editor of My House Rabbit.

Soaked!

When she's not writing about bunnies for My House Rabbit, Abi writes and illustrates funny books for kids, including Soaked! (Viking, 2020) and Animals Go Vroom! (Viking, 2021). And yes, there are bunnies in them.

Learn more at her website, www.abicushman.com, or follow her on Twitter: @abicushman and Instagram: @abi.cushman.

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