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Guinea Pigs Grooming Care | Step-by-Step Guide on How to Trim Guinea Pig Nails?

Growing nails is unavoidable, and our pets do not have the liberty to cut their nails by themselves with a nail clipper. Long nails can be tough to handle as they can cause a lot of pain to our pets, especially guinea pigs who love to run around. On the off chance they hit themselves on a bump or doorknob, the nail might break in the middle causing pain, bleeding and unavoidable infection. As a pet parent, you should know precisely where to clip the nail. Pet nails are very different to ours as a part of it, contain blood flow and is called the quick. You need to avoid cutting the quick but only the extended nail part. Therefore, here is a quick guide on how to cut guinea pig nails in the best possible way.

How to Cut Guinea Pig Nails?

Here is the step by step how to treat bumblefoot in guinea pigs, let’s get into it.

#Step 1: Gather The Tools

Before start clipping guinea pig nails, you need to be prepared with the right tools. Some of them listed here to help you clip your guinea pig’s nails the right way.

  • Nail Clippers: Make sure that you have the right set of nail clippers for your pet, as human nail clippers are very different from pet nail clippers. The difference is that human nail clippers have a small opening, whereas guinea pig nail clippers specially designed for pets have a wider opening with a guillotine-style design.
  • Styptic Powder: If you injured your guinea pig by cutting off on his quick, you would need this powder to stop the bleeding instantly. The styptic powder also helps prevent infection from spreading as they have antibiotics in it.
  • Paper Towel: While trimming guinea pig nails too deep before applying the styptic powder, wipe the area clean with a paper towel.
  • Treats For Your Guinea Pig: Training treat for your pet and a quick distraction. Offering treats on the positive response to nail clipping will teach him to correlate nail clipping with getting treats.

#Step 2: Holding On To Your Guinea Pig

Guinea Pigs like Rabbits are Prey animals, and they hate being picked up, as they relate it with a predator trying to pick them up. If it is your first time picking up a guinea pig, it might get tricky, and you need to start gently. Show your pet some treat and gently pick it up, make sure you are sitting on the floor while doing it, as adding height will make the pet more nervous. Put the guinea pig on a low-rise table to support its bottom – make sure your pet is relaxed and not jumpy.

#Step 3: Get Started With The Clipping

  • Provide some treats to your pet if he is anxious to make it feel at home. Now hold on to one of its front legs and gently grip it. If your guinea pig gets fidgety, let go of its leg and play around with it for a minute or two before continuing.
  • As soon as your pet is relaxed, hold on to its leg again and start with the nail clipping. Guinea pig nails have a quick area, which has blood flow. Cutting too close to it can cause your pet pain and also injury. You can use a torchlight to view the quick if you are new to it. The nail of a guinea pig is very translucent, and you will be able to see the quick easily with the torchlight.
  • Once you have located the quick, gently clip the nail by avoiding the quick.
  • If you have cut too close to the quick or notice blood off, quickly grab the paper towel and wipe the blood clean. Get the styptic powder, rub some on your fingers, and put it on the wound. It will help stop the bleeding and help your guinea pig relax by reducing the pain to a limit.
  • Give him some treats or veggies once you have successfully clipped the first nail. Now move on to the next leg and repeat the process.

$Step 4: Providing Treats

Once you are done clipping your pet’s nails, help him relax and make it a playtime for him by giving him some more guinea pig treats and playing some games. It will convert the nail clipping time for your guinea pig into a pleasant playtime, and they will start becoming more comfortable with the process.

Why Cutting Guinea Pig Nails Is Important?

Once a month, you need to ensure that you are clipping your guinea pig’s nails. You need to do this regularly because if you let the nail grow too long, there is the risk of the nail curving and growing into its footpad. This will cause injury to your pet and also infection. Another essential reason you cut your pet’s nails is to avoid skin infection, as nails can cause wounds on your guinea pig’s skin when it tries to scratch itself. Also, you do not want your guinea pig to be comfortable when playing or running around the house, as long nails can cause discomfort and pain on its foot. When you are regularly trimming your pet’s nails, it also helps maintain the balance of blood flow to the quick, which keeps your animal healthy and happy.

How Often Should You Cut Your Guinea Pig’s Nails?

On the off chance you are a busy pet parent who can hardly make time for your pet – cutting your guinea pig’s nails once every 1 and half months will be enough. But to avoid the unnecessary fuss, make sure that you regularly check on its foot and try to clip it once every month. This will also help your pet become familiar with nail clipping because of your routine every month.

How Much Does It Cost to Cut Guinea Pig Nails?

If you cannot make the time for your guinea pig for its regular nail trimming, you can always visit a nearby vet who will charge you not more than $10 to $20 for guinea pig nail trimming. But the most advisable opinion will be to take some time out of your schedule and do it by yourself in the comfort of your home. Your pet is more likely to feel at home in familiar surroundings and be more comfortable having a familiar face trying to clip its nails.


Being regular and responsible is the key to being a good pet parent. Clipping nails is an important part of maintaining and taking care of your pet, as it directly affects your guinea pig’s well-being. Make sure that you have selected the right tools to clip your pet’s nails – it should be small, guillotine style and have a wide mouth. Never try to clip your pet’s nails with a human nail clipper.