No matter what breed of guinea pig you have, all guinea pigs have something in common. All guinea pigs need their nails trimmed on a regular basis. There are many reasons for this.First, if your guinea pigs nails are not trimmed often, they will get too long, and will snag on thing when he is running about, or scratch you when you are holding him. There is also the danger of the long nail getting caught and being ripped out, which would obviously be very painful for the guinea pig. Another reason to trim the nails is because as nails grow, they will start to round on the ends, and will grow into the soft bed of your guinea pigs paw, which can also be quite painful for him. It can also easily become infected.
Guinea pigs can also grow spurs on the side of his paws. You will see these when you clip his nails, and you can safely, and painlessly, cut these off, before they start to hurt. Finally, your guinea pig will actually be much happier with shorter nails, because it will make it easier for him to run around.
You should check your guinea pigs nails every week to two weeks, but you will most likely find that he doesn’t need a trim more often than every four to six weeks. You can help your guinea pig even more by providing him with rough running surfaces, which will wear down his nails naturally, but you will most likely still have to trim them a bit, just not as often.
To cut your guinea pigs nails, all that is needed is a pair of nail clippers designed for humans, or nail clippers designed for cats. You may also need a towel to wrap your guinea pig in, to help hold him still, and keep his paws that you are not working on secure. It also helps to have someone else to hold the guinea pig, while you do the trimming.
You must be careful not to cut into the quick of your guinea pigs nails. You know how much this hurts when it happens to you, and the guinea pig will feel that same pain. Look closely at his nails, and you will be able to tell where the quick actually begins. Avoid trimming all the way down to the quick. Instead, clip just above the quick.
Cutting your guinea pigs nails will take some getting used to, for you and the animal but you will get used to it, and each time you do it will be easier than the time before. However, if you still feel apprehensive about doing it, you can always take him to the vet, or to a groomer to have his nails clipped. Note, however that the cost of having this done can quickly add up and you will save a great deal of money by learning how to do it yourself.