Image of rabbits and nail clippers/trimmers. The caption reads "do rabbits need their nails trimmed."

Rabbits need their nails trimmed at least every 3 to 4 weeks or as needed by either you or a vet. If you are uncomfortable trimming your rabbit’s nails, then have your vet show you how to properly trim them. If you do trim your rabbit’s nails make sure to use clippers made for rabbits, never use nail clippers for humans.

Do Rabbits Need Their Nails Trimmed?

As stated above rabbits do need their nails trimmed just like a cat or dog. It is important not to let your rabbit’s nails get to long for several reasons.

The first is comfort. If a rabbit’s nails are too long it can create pain and discomfort for your rabbit. Another issue with long nails is health related. Long nails can make walking difficult and can also become stuck or caught on something and ripped off. A nail that is ripped or torn off can become infected and cause health problems for your rabbit.

How often do rabbits need their nails trimmed?

Every rabbit is different, but an average is about every 3 to 4 weeks. The best answer to this question is as needed. It is much better to trim your rabbit’s nails more than needed rather than not often enough.

If your rabbit’s nails are allowed to regularly grow out it will increase how far out the quick grows over time. The quick is the internal blood and nerve supply to the nail that cannot be cut.

If the nail is not trimmed and the quick grows out, you will not be able to cut the nail back as far as you should be able to. Now do not panic if your rabbit’s nails grow out a bit to far every now and then, that is okay. The quick will only grow out if you allow your rabbits nails to over grow regularly.

If your rabbits nails are severely overgrown I suggest having your vet trim your rabbit’s nails to start with.

What happens if you cut your rabbits quick?

If you cut your rabbits quick, it will cause pain and bleeding. If your rabbits nail continues after a few moments, then you can try to put a bit of flour on the wound to help it clot faster.

How to trim your rabbit’s nails

Trimming your rabbit’s nails is not hard in most cases. A few exceptions to this is If your rabbit has dark colored nails it is much harder to see the quick. The other exception is if your rabbit fights you or hates having his or her feet touched.

If you attempt to cut your rabbits nails and you have problems or are not comfortable with the way it is going, I would have your vet do the trimming. It is much better to pay the small trim fee than to risk injuring your pet rabbit.

Here is an excellent video on how to trim your rabbit’s nails.

Video: How to trim your rabbit’s nails

Trimming dark colored nails

If your rabbit has dark colored nails it can be exceedingly difficult to see the quick. My best advice is to use a bright flashlight to highlight the nail you are trimming. This will allow the quick to show more prominently. It is helpful if someone holds the flashlight for you while you do the trimming.

Best nail clippers for rabbits

If you do decide to trim your rabbit’s nails it is important to use a pair of high-quality nail trimmers made for rabbit’s nails. Here are the nail trimmers that I use. Never attempt to use a nail trimmer for humans. Rabbit nail trimmers have a stop on the back that keeps you from accidentally cutting to much nail off at one time and they must be very sharp. Their are not many clippers labeled as rabbit clippers, dog and cat trimmers will work fine as long as they have a safety stop.

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How to keep your rabbit still and safe while trimming

Like Mexican food? Ever tried a bunny burrito? A bunny burrito is a rabbit that is wrapped up in a small towel or blanket so they can not move easily. This allows you to trim their nails while preventing your rabbit from running away or injuring him or herself.

Here is an excellent video on how to make a bunny burrito.

How much do vets charge to trim a rabbit’s nails?

The cost to have a vet trim your rabbits nails usually ranges from  about 7 dollars in rural areas to around 15 dollars in cities or urbanized areas. Your rabbit will need his or her nails trimmed at least monthly so the yearly cost of trimming your rabbit’s nails will be between $84 and $180.

Like I stated earlier if you are not comfortable trimming you rabbits nails then it is best to have a vet do it. You may be surprised by the fact that most veterinarians will not see a rabbit, even for a nail trim. You must find a vet that specializes in rabbits.

FAQ about rabbit nail trimming

Here are some common questions I receive about trimming rabbits nails.

At what age do you cut a rabbit’s nails?

There is no age restriction on trimming your rabbit’s nails. The rule of thumb is to trim your rabbit’s nails as needed which is generally every 3 to 4 weeks.

 Do rabbits trim their own nails?

No, domesticated rabbits that are kept indoors will not trim their own nails. In the wild, or in the case of an outdoor pet rabbit they will keep their nails trimmed and worn by digging and hoping on hard surfaces.

Where can I get my rabbits nails cut?

Any veterinarian that specializes in rabbit care.

Can you use human nail clippers to cut a rabbit’s nails?

Absolutely not! Never attempt to use human nail trimmers to cut your rabbits nails. Human nail trimmers can cause injury to your rabbit.

About the Author

My name is Vanessa and I love my buns. My current house rabbit is Mr. Bunny, he is a black and white Dutch that just turned 9 years old.

I believe that rabbits are a magnificent animal that make great pets for SOME people. My mission is to share what I have learned about rabbits over the past 20 years to improve the relationship between our pets and us. Please contact me or comment if you have any questions or comments.