As your furry friend hops around the house, you take note of some of their most prominent features. Their wiggly nose they love to move up and down as they smell, and their signature large ears that stand up straight when alert. However, one question that seems to pop up revolves around the claws of a rabbit, and whether they have them.
So, do rabbits have claws?
Yes, rabbits do have claws. They are very tough, and they are used for digging burrows. They must also be kept trimmed in order to prevent any health issues or discomfort for the rabbit.
I will be discussing what a rabbit’s claws look like, and what they are used for. I will also cover how you should cut a rabbit’s claws.
Does a Rabbit Have Claws? Yes, Rabbits Do Have Claws. Their Claws Are Essential for Their Survival in the Wild. Rabbits Often Live in Underground Burrows, Which Are Made by Digging with Strong Claws.
Rabbits have five toes on the front feet, but four toes on their back feet. Each toe contains one claw. These claws are very tough, as they are made for digging in the wild.
In order to dig a large underground shelter, a rabbit must have the necessary tools. This is where their set of claws comes in handy.
In the wild rabbits do not need to get their claws clipped. These naturally stay short due to the hard surfaces wild rabbits are exposed to. Surfaces such as rocks and logs help to keep claws worn down in the wild, as well as the massive amount of digging rabbits participate in.
While wild rabbits do not need their claws trimmed, domestic rabbits do in order to keep their body functioning in a healthy way.
So, how should you cut the claws of a rabbit?
Keeping the Claws Short; How Do You Trim the Claws of a Rabbit?
If the Claw of a Rabbit Gets Too Long, it Can Greatly Impact the Rabbit’s Health. This Will Create a Foot that is Uncomfortable to Walk on for the Rabbit. If You Choose to Cut Your Pet’s Claws at Home, You Must be Careful to Avoid Injuring Your Pet.
If a rabbit’s nails get too long, it will change the angle your pet is walking. This will put a strain on the joints of the rabbit over time, which will cause damage due to extra wear. Having claws that are too long also poses the risk that the claw will get caught on something, potentially dislocating or breaking the toe of the rabbit.
If a rabbit is not able to sit on their hind legs at the correct angle, they are at risk of “sore hock,” which is very hard to treat as well.
So, how do you trim the claws of your rabbit?
What you will need…
- Nail clippers
- Flour on hand in case you hit the quick
- A person to help restrain the rabbit
1. Ask someone to help restrain the rabbit if they are available. This makes the process easier and creates less of a chance for injury.
2. Examine the claw of your rabbit to find the “quick,” this is the vein. You want to avoid catching this while trimming because cutting the quick will cause pain for your pet, as well as bleeding.
Some rabbits have darker claws and will require a flashlight to find the quick.
Note: If you do accidentally hit the quick, use flour on the affected area to stop the bleeding
3. If your rabbit’s claws are not too long, you may want to consider only filing the claws rather than clipping. The sound of clipping can be really bothersome for some rabbits, so if clipping is not necessary it would be beneficial to avoid it.
If you do not feel comfortable clipping the claws of your rabbit yourself, you can always ask your vet to do so. Checking the claws should be a regular part of your check-ups. The nails should be no longer than where their fur ends (unless the rabbit is a Rex, in this case their fur may be much shorter).
If you feel nervous to cut your rabbit’s claws, your veterinarian will not only trim the claws for you, but they will walk you through the process. They will talk you through how to safely trim your rabbit’s claws, while demonstrating everything if you would like.
What Should You Avoid When Cutting Your Rabbit’s Claws?
When Cutting Your Rabbit’s Claws There are Certain Methods that Prove Beneficial, While There are Some That Should be Avoided. Since Rabbits Scare So Easily, there are Many Tips that Should be Remembered When Cutting Their Claws. First and Foremost be Patient with Them, Watch the Quick, and Don’t Put them in a Trance.
One common misconception about cutting the claws of a rabbit is that putting them in a trance is an acceptable way to calm them. This is actually very cruel. Rabbit’s go into a “trance” state when they fear a predator by making their entire body go limp and playing dead.
When cutting the claws of your rabbit make sure to be patient with them. If they begin showing signs of aggression, it may be time to put the clippers away and try again later as they are getting nervous. Do not yell at them or punish them for getting fearful.
Having someone on-hand to help keep the rabbit in place will make the process go quicker.
Lastly, watch for the quick. If unable to find the quick, try squeezing down on the claw until the rabbit reacts so you can find it.
Rabbits Do Have Claws, and They Are Very Useful for Surviving in the Wild. Claws Are Essential for Building Burrows and Hiding from Predators.
While wild rabbits do not need their claws clipped, an important part of owning a rabbit is clipping their claws.
This process is usually not too difficult; however, it does require great care and patience.