Guinea pigs have quite long and sharp claws and just like with a cat or dog, these nails need trimming from time to time. Doing it properly without hurting or stressing the animal or yourself is key to getting the job done. It doesn’t hurt to get the animal used to having his paws handled before you ever attempt to trim the nails. Providing some comfort to the guinea pig prior to and during the process is important as well. Once you get the hang of it, guinea pig nail care becomes a simple matter.
Set the animal on your lap and if necessary, have a helper hold him still while you do the trimming. Or, if it seems easier, simply wrap the guinea pig in a towel with one leg sticking out for you to work on. This will help the animal feel secure while at the same time, keeping him from panicking and scratching you. The nails should be trimmed at least once a month in order to keep them from getting too long. If the nails get long, they will begin to curl under and the living tissue inside the nails will grow longer as well, making it difficult to trim the nails in the future.
Using either human style nail clippers or clippers designed for pets, hold the paw carefully and gently place the tip of the nail into the clipper. Snip it quickly and carefully. Inside the nail is a section containing blood vessels and nerves. This part is called the quick and it can be seen as a more solid area within the transparent nail. The trick is to cut above that section of nail without cutting into the quick. If that area is accidentally cut, the animal will feel pain, and the nail will bleed. Continue reading