How to Trim Guinea Pig Nails

Guinea pigs generally have small sharp nails, which need to be trimmed from time to time. Trimming guinea pig nails is quite similar to trimming the nails of any other living being – the only difference is that the nails in this case are very small. However, you will have to follow the right technique because you will not want to end up hurting your pet or creating a mess. The most important thing in this regard is to make sure the nail clippers you use are of a fairly large size, as this will make the task easier.

Things Required:

– Nail clippers
– Towel
– Flat surface
– Styptic powder/cornstarch


  • 1

    Invest in a nail clipper specially designed for trimming guinea pig nails. Visit a local pet store for purchasing the appropriate nail clipper. You might injure the guinea pig while trimming its nails, so in order to handle such a situation, you will also need to purchase some styptic powder. If, for some reason, you can not buy styptic powder, you may use cornstarch instead.

  • 2

    Spread a towel on a flat surface such as a table. Take your pet out of its cage and put the guinea pig down on the towel. Make sure that the flat surface you plan to use is perfectly steady and does not sway.

  • 3

    Distract the guinea pig using any possible means, such as treats, classical music, or a comfort toy. This will make it easier for you to trim the guinea pig’s nails.

  • 4

    Take hold of a leg and carefully pull it out just enough to gain access to the nails.

  • 5

    Carefully lift one of the nails out and snip it. Trim the rest of the nails on the leg in your hand in a similar fashion. You might face difficulty in spotting the nails of your guinea pig if the nails are very light coloured. If that is the case, look for a red line running through the nail; this is the blood supply. Make sure you do not cut the blood supply because it can result in blood loss and extreme pain. If you end up cutting the blood supply, immediately put the nail in some styptic powder, in order to stop the bleeding.

  • 6

    Move onto the next leg and cut all the nails as you did before. When you have trimmed all the nails, put your pet back in its cage and clean up by throwing away all the nail trimmings on the towel.

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