A guinea pig’s nails grow constantly and will eventually turn long and grow inwards, causing harm to their feet. If left unattended, the long nails will affect the way they walk or even pierce into the flesh – causing pain and infections.
Before you cut your guinea pig’s nails, follow these steps:
- Prepare a nail clipper. You may use either a human nail clipper or one that is designed for cats and small animals. Either one will be fine.
- For each nail, identify where the quick is. The quick is where the blood vessels and nerve endings are. If you were to cut into the quick, the nail will bleed and hurt your guinea pig.
- If your guinea pig’s nails are light in colour or translucent, the quick is the visible pink part.
- If your guinea pig’s nails are dark coloured, observe how the tip is shaped – usually narrow – and clip that part, as little as possible. Alternatively, use a flashlight and shine under the nail to ascertain where the boundary is.
- Position your guinea pig by placing them on your lap, against your stomach with its tummy facing out.
- Be sure to hold it upright with its back against your body and place your hand lightly across your guinea pig’s chest. (If you are cutting your guinea pig’s nails for the first time, get someone to help you to hold it so you can trim the nails.)
- Hold one leg gently and start to trim off the nail on each toe before moving on to the other foot.
- If you aren’t sure where the quick is, try clipping just about a quarter of an inch away from the nail bed.