Clipping a guinea pig’s nails is not an easy task. Dealing with these lovely but often wriggly pets makes cutting their nails a challenging job so if you are wondering where you can get your guinea pig’s nails clipped, you are not alone!
Because so many guinea pig owners find this a tricky job, a nail cutting service is provided by:
- Some guinea pig rescue centres
- Some small pet boarders
- Pet grooming businesses who cater to guinea pigs and other small pets
What Makes Guinea Pig Nail Trimming Difficult?
Trying to keep a guinea pig still while you attempt to cut their nails without hurting them is a challenge, even with two people.
One of the most difficult types of guinea pigs are those with black fur or with dark patches as they will have all or some black nails. This makes it very difficult (well, pretty much impossible!) to see the “quick”. The “quick” is the small vein that runs through the nail. If you catch this with the clippers it will bleed and will hurt your pet.
If your pet is a lighter colour, this will make it easier, but if they are especially wriggly, it will still be a challenge. Sometimes the fur will obscure your view of the nail to some extent - some guinea pigs have hairier toes than others!
I actually find the more nervous types are easier to deal with as the confident piggies tend to be the ones who are not afraid of putting up a struggle. However, this is not always the case!
If you are at all nervous about cutting their nails or are not sure how to do it, it is adviseable that you contact your vet to find out if they offer this service. It is much safer for your guinea pig as they are used to dealing with this type of thing every day.
Taking them to the Vet
If you take them to the vet, it will usually be the veterinary nurse who will do the job for you. If you ask, they might also show you how to do it yourself so you can have a go when they are next due for a cut.
How Often Should I Get Them Trimmed?
A guinea pig’s nails grow fast so they need to be cut at least monthly. If you leave them to grow too long they will begin to curl which makes it a lot harder to trim them and uncomfortable for your pet.
How Much Does it Cost
The cost varies depending on where you go. Rescue centres, boarders and pet grooming services tend to be a bit cheaper. We found some offering nail trimming for as little as £3 but you can expect to pay somewhere around £5 per guinea pig at most of these places.
Some also offer a discount for more than one guinea pig which will save you a bit of money if you have a herd!
Vets are on the more expensive side although some still start at £4.99 but go up to around £8 for each guinea pig.
How to Keep Their Nails Short
In the wild, guinea pigs live outdoors so their nails naturally wear down. When they are kept in a hutch or cage, they don’t get the opportunity for this to happen.
To help keep their nails short, your guinea pigs need to be running around on a hard surface. Exercising in an outdoor run will help file them down a little and may mean less regular trimming is required.
Keep on Top of Nail Trimming
Check your guinea pig’s nails every couple of weeks to see if they need attention.
If you decide to do them yourself, it is handy to have some styptic powder. If you cut the “quick”, dip their nail into the powder as it will stem the flow of blood. Put them back into the cage when the bleeding has stopped.
If you’re taking them to the vet or a pet grooming service, make sure you book well in advance in case they are busy. It’s adviseable to book your following appointment each time you take them.