Guide To Clipping Your House Rabbit's Claws

Posted on: 28 February 2017

If you own a house rabbit, you will need to have his claws clipped regularly. You can either do this yourself or hire a mobile pet washing company to do the job for you.

Rabbits that live outside are able to wear down their claws naturally by digging, but house rabbits are not able to do this. Keeping your bunny's claws at the right length is very important as long nails can curl inwards where they can cut into your rabbit's paw, causing pain and discomfort. There's also the risk that your pet could damage your home furnishings if overgrown claws snag on carpeting and upholstery.

Here's a helpful guide on how to clip the nails yourself.

What you will need

  • a soft towel
  • claw clippers
  • coarse emery board
  • styptic powder

You can obtain what you need for this job from good pet supplies stores.

How to do it

  1. Start by wrapping your bunny in a soft towel to stop him from wriggling and to enable you to isolate each paw.  
  2. Before you begin, look carefully at each individual claw. Each one of your rabbit's claws has a blood vessel running through it. This blood vessel is referred to as the 'quick'. If you cut the nail too short, you risk cutting the quick. Cutting into the quick can cause your rabbit pain and the nail will bleed. This could make your rabbit frightened of having his claws clipped in future, so be careful not to try to cut them too short. In addition, cutting into the quick exposes the claw to the risk of picking up bacteria and infection.  
  3. Begin by clipping the very end from each claw so that the claws are not visible beyond the rabbit's toes. Remember to praise your rabbit and make a fuss of him as you work. It's a good idea to reward your rabbit with a treat each time you clip a claw so that he learns to associate the process with a pleasurable experience.  
  4. If you catch a claw's quick, quickly apply a dab of styptic powder to stop the bleeding and be sure to cut the remaining claws longer.  
  5. Next, take a coarse emery board and gently file away any rough areas at the end of the claws.

To keep your house rabbit comfortable and prevent damage to your house furnishings, you should arrange to have his claws clipped regularly. This is good advice to apply to cats and dogs alike, so contact a mobile pet washing and grooming company to help you keep your furry friends cared for.