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How to Trim a Bearded Dragon’s Nails (with Video Guide)
If you’ve had your bearded dragon longer than a few months, you’ve likely noticed the length of its nails increasing. If you notice that your beardie’s nails are long enough that they’re starting to turn their toes out to the side, then it’s probably time to give them a little trim. Sometimes, these nails can get long enough that they start scratching you up when you handle your beardie, and sometimes they’re even long enough that they’ll start getting stuck in things and may even break. Broken nails can be painful and difficult to manage, and they open up a pathway for infection, so prevention is one of your best tools. It can be intimidating when you start trimming your bearded dragon’s nails, but the more you do it, the more both of you will get used to it.
How Often Should You Trim Your Bearded Dragon’s Nails?
It’s extremely variable how often you have to trim your beardie’s nails and is based on your tank substrate and your bearded dragon’s activity level. If you have a soft substrate, then your beardie’s nails may require more frequent trimming than they would on a stone or tile substrate since the substrate is not helping to file the nails down. This also applies to the places that your beardie is going when you take it exploring. If you’re going into the backyard and letting it walk around on grass, this isn’t going to shorten the nails as much as concrete or gravel would.
Generally speaking, you’ll likely only need to trim your beardie’s nails twice a year. Just remember that every bearded dragon and setup is different, so your beardie may need more or less frequent trims.
How to Trim Your Bearded Dragon’s Nails
Trimming your beardie’s nails doesn’t have to be a huge event or a stressful task for either of you. It will take some practice and will be easier the more used to being handled your bearded dragon is. Start small and work your way up until both of you feel comfortable and safe with nail trims. Break up the trimming across as many hours or days as both of you need and if you trim a nail too short, just stem the bleeding and keep an eye on the nail. As always, if you’re too uncomfortable with trying to trim your bearded dragon’s nails at home on your own, ask your veterinarian to do it! Most vet clinics that see exotics will happily trim nails that owners aren’t comfortable trimming at home.
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Featured Image Credit: KeraMik, Pixabay
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.