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How To Trim Guinea Pigs' Nails

If you have any qualms about clipping your guinea pigs' nails, ask a vet to do it for you. Simple as that.

If the nails are trimmed regularly, less will have to be taken off each time. If your guinea pig's feet don't have much contact with rough materials such as stone or hard earth, the nails won’t wear down naturally. Clipping then becomes necessary, otherwise the nails will start to grow in odd directions and cause discomfort. If the GPs do walk on hard surfaces in their runs, the nails will not need trimming very often. The feet will still need checking, though, as hard surfaces can cause foot soreness.

cutting a guinea pigs nails
Watch an expert nail-clipping a guinea pig - online or at your vet's - before trying yourself

Clipping A Guinea Pig's Nails

Check your guinea pig’s feet regularly as part of their general health check. This is easy if you get someone to hold the guinea pig still in their lap while you gently check out the soles, toes and nails. If the guinea pig is light-coloured you can actually see where the blood vessel in their nail finishes. With darker ones the black toenails make it harder to see the line.

With a torch, shine a light through the nail and this will help you see the line where the blood vessel ends. Hold the toe still, and, making sure that you’re not going to cut the blood vessel or the nail just next to the blood vessel, use human nail clippers to remove a tiny bit at a time from the end of the GP's nails. We recommend watching a video or asking your vet to make sure you’re not cutting too much off.

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Modesto, 26 October 2019

I have two guinea pigs, and every time they whistle I feed them, I figure they are hungry. I feed them sevral times a day, it seems as if they are never full or satisfide, am I feeding them the right way?