Can You Use Human Nail Clippers on Rabbits? [Don’t Make This Mistake

Can You Use Human Nail Clippers on Rabbits
Can You Use Human Nail Clippers on Rabbits

Our bunnies are something that we spend our time trying to provide the best care for. We don’t want to do anything that may cause any physical harm or illness to our rabbits if it’s at all avoidable. When it comes to learning all the ins and out and best practices, things may seem overwhelming at first. Even simple things such as proper diets, toys your rabbits may like or dislike and even what water temperature our bunnies water bottles should be at can seem like a daunting task. I get that you may have questions. Lots of them. One of those questions that I have seen pop up more lately is a bit different than usual. Can you use human nail clippers on rabbits? Here’s what I can tell you about this topic.

So, can you use human nail clippers on rabbits? No. You shouldn’t use human nail clippers on your rabbits. Human nail clippers are designed for human nails. They are capable of clipping thin and flat nails. A rabbit’s nails are not thin and flat. They are round and have more density.

Alright, so I just told you what not to do but didn’t elaborate at all on what you should be doing. Let’s go over this question in much more depth so that you can have the perfect game plan to give your rabbit that manicure he or she so desperately needs. Let’s get started.


More About Nail Clipping and Your Bunnies?

First off, many people usually start by asking, do I even need to clip my rabbits’ nails. The answer is yes, they aren’t going to magically clip themselves and letting them grow is not advisable. They need to be clipped roughly every 3-4 weeks.

Rabbits have something known as “Kwik.” This is essentially the blood supply that enters a rabbit’s nail. Without clipping the nails, this blood supply will continue to build and grow.

Later in the future, it will be tough to trim your rabbits’ nails if you decide to be lazy about it now. What will happen is you will easily cause your rabbit to bleed when you do finally muster up the energy to get this task completed.

Think of this just like you would a dog. It’s always impossible to get your dog to sit still and you always are terrified you will cut it too short and end up with discomfort for your animal and blood all over those nice new white carpets.

That’s what happens when you wait to long. Doing this task on time avoids the issue altogether.

Consider a Vet or Groomer

It’s never a good idea to wait too long but anytime you overextend the cutting period on the nails, and this blood supply grows, the nerves will be much easier to strike. If you don’t feel like you are up for this challenge, you can always take your rabbit to a groomer or vet, and they will typically take care of this for about the price of a Starbucks coffee.

Not a bad deal for the individuals who just don’t have the stomach for a potential mess or mistake.

This Doesn’t Reduce Stress

Keep in mind that just because you are scared to complete this task on your own out of fear that you may go too short or cause your little bunny to let out a cry, doesn’t mean that using a groomer or vet is necessarily the best option. This will also stress your rabbit out. Just the simple act of being around other strangers and a different environment can cause many small animals a great deal of stress and anxiety.

My advice would be to do this maybe once or twice and ask to watch them perform the nail clipping. Learn what you can do to improve or how to do it in general that way you can start saving the 5 dollars and the trip to town and keep your bunnies stress levels as low as humanly possible.

It’s not that hard in all honesty. One YouTube video should have you at the same level as any bunny nail clipping professional. Do those even exist?

You Told Me Not Use My Clippers So What Clippers Should I Use?

Your right. I did say not to use your human clippers. In all honesty, if you do, I suggest making a YouTube video of it because I’d like to see how this goes. I don’t think you would even penetrate the nail. The good news is that you won’t cause much harm but watching someone try this would be interesting.

What you should use are known as sharp edge rounded clippers. They are sold basically anywhere. Pet stores and even major department stores such as Walmart and Target and others will have these readily available in the pet aisles. If not, you can probably have them on your doorstep in about 24 hours with how fast Amazon gets things done these days.

God Bless Amazon. Am I Right?

How Do We Avoid the Bloody Nail Mess?

Simple. Just don’t cut back to far. If you have decent lighting in the room hold your little bunnies’ foot up into the light. It will be effortless for you to see the dark shadow indicating the blood supply and nerves. Don’t cut to close to this and you will be good to go. Easy as 1,2,3.

Beware of The Black Rabbit Nails

Some rabbits have dark nails which make thing a real pain to see when you are looking for the blood supply. All you need to do is pull your iPhone or other mobile devices out, turn on the flashlight and shine the light through the opposite side of the nail.

Amazingly enough, this will illuminate and allow you to see exactly how far down you can cut. I know, cool right? I’ll have to get pictures of this up in the future. It’s a nifty trick if you are in a bind and can’t see.

This shouldn’t happen often, but nonetheless, this will help you get the job done with ease.

That’s the basics and the essentials that you need to know about trimming or cutting your bunnies nails with ease, but some other frequently asked questions often arise about bunnies and their nails, so I wanted to take the time to touch on those subjects now before sending you packing.

Is It Okay to Cut a Rabbit’s Nails?

I think this obvious after reading the beginning part of this post but yes. Absolutely. Not only is it okay to cut your bunnies nail but it’s necessary and a routine activity that needs to be performed as a rabbit owner. Not doing so could cause future harm and is borderline unethical.

They make the clippers designed to do them for a reason. Put them to use.

How often should you clip your rabbit’s nails?

We touched on this already, but I wanted to come at this from a new angle. All I mentioned previously Is that 3-4 weeks is about the sweet spot but what about too soon or not enough? Let’s touch on that briefly. If you can’t cut your rabbits nails every 3-4 weeks, that’s okay in theory, but it should be handled as quickly after this timeframe if possible.

I would say anything past 6 weeks is just too long, and it’s going to become very difficult to cut them without causing a bleed or severe discomfort. As far as too often, I would say just don’t go overboard with it. Unless you are taking your rabbit to a pet show, I’d say there is absolutely no reason ever to cut the rabbits nails more than once every 17-20 days which is just short of that 3-week mark.

Seems like I’m beating a dead horse here, but I know there are three kinds of pet owners in the world.

  • 1.)    Do Things Right on Schedule, Always
  • 2.)    Do Things Early and Have A Little OCD/Anxiety Over Their Furry Babies
  • 3.)    The Procrastinators That Want to Know the Absolute Latest They Can Perform A Task

It will help me sleep at night knowing that I provided the answer for all three kinds of pet owner here today. Making your bunny more comfortable, clean and happy is what it’s all about at the end of the day, right?

What Do I Do If I Cut My Rabbits Nails Too Short?

No big deal and take a deep breath. I feel like maybe this question may have needed to be mentioned at the beginning of the post because if you just googled this, it probably means it just happened, and you are frantic, and you may have a reservation sleeping on the couch tonight when the wife finds the blood stain on the carpet.

Nonetheless, here is your answer

Don’t panic and no need to call for rescue. Your bunny will be just fine. He or she is going to bleed some and be in some pain. She or he may even give you a glare and wonder if this is your first time ever cutting a pet’s nails.

Besides that, if you really want to help relieve the pain and bleeding, grab a bowl and pour some flour into it. Place your bunnies’ paw in the bowl. Inform your bunny that it was a stupid mistake and you should have known better.

He or she may be hesitant to forgive at first, but enough bunny butt kissing and you will be back in their good graces in no time.

The flour will stop the bleeding. Don’t expect them to sleep in your bed with you tonight. They may need a day or two to get over your mistake but no worries, all will get back to normal with a treat and some cuddles.

What Happens If a Rabbit’s Nails Get Too Long?

We have touched on this too. I hope you have some batteries in your flashlight or your phone handy because this is going to be when you need it. Like I mentioned before, this is when you will likely need a flashlight to see the blood supply line and the nerves by shining the light from the opposite side you are viewing the nail from.

As the nails grow, the supply thickens and reaches a further distance into the nails. Use your light and follow all the same steps as before except this time, don’t be the procrastinator we discussed previously. Stay proactive, and you won’t always have to use your light in the future to take care of business.

Do Rabbits Nails Fall Off?

Nope, they don’t. Nice try though. I see what you were thinking. Maybe curious and thinking to yourself “man, maybe they will just fall off if I wait.” Nope, sorry my friend. The only time your bunny will lose a toenail is if something happens that shouldn’t have happened.

It could get snagged or caught on something, but it is not normal for a rabbit’s nail to fall off. Looks like you will be ordering those clippers on Amazon after all. If that’s the case, give Amazon Prime a try. If you want fast shipping on those clippers and everything else for the rest of your life, that’s surely what they deliver.

Putting It All Together, With Proper Precautions, You Can Save Your Carpet and Bunny Discomfort

Pretty straightforward right? Let’s break this down one more time just to see how simple this will be for you.

  • Stop Thinking Your Bunnies Nails Will Fall Off.
  • Stop Thinking Your Clippers Will Do the Trick
  • Order the Round Clippers on Amazon
  • Grab Your Bunny
  • Find the Blood Supply (either with natural light or flashlight)
  • Clip Your Bunnies Nails
  • Repeat for the next 8-12 Years Every 3-4 Weeks

That’s it. Nothing more than too it and after doing it once, this process should take roughly the amount of time it takes to pop a bag of popcorn. 2-5 minutes. I get that it may be scary at first and none of us want to inflict any harm on our bunnies, but this is one task where you just need to trust your abilities and learn how to do it.

It’s easy, and I don’t think you will ever re-google this phrase against after completing this task.

Unless you want to share this on social media with all your friends and fellow bunny owners. Then feel free. In fact, I encourage it. Do you have any stories related to clipping your bunnies’ nails?

Any best practices that you use that I haven’t mentioned here today? Be sure to drop a comment below.