It’s always a good idea to know what your pet lizard needs before you start doing the task. For most lizards, it’s OK to clip their nails. But some people are under the impression that it’s a bad idea to clip bearded dragons. In reality, most lizards, including bearded dragons, are not picky about having their nails clipped, meaning that they will not bite or scratch you.
Are you supposed to clip Bearded Dragons Nails? Bearded dragons, sometimes known as beardies, require a variety of care, including regular nail trimming. If allowed to grow long, a bearded dragon’s nails will become sharp and almost razor-like, capable of inflicting damage on contact. It is critical to clip your reptile’s nails on a regular basis to avoid damage to yourself or others. Fortunately, with a little patience and a pair of cat nail trimmers, you can quickly do this procedure.
If your bearded dragon spends a lot of time on rough surfaces, you may find that its claws need trimming. Beardies are great climbers and often scratch at the tank glass as they explore their surroundings. These scratches can lead to a buildup of bacteria which can be harmful to your pet.
Keeping the claws trimmed is also important because long claw nails can actually force the webbing between the toes (called “interdigital folds”) into an uncomfortable position, which may result in scales getting caught beneath them and infections spreading up from beneath.
While the vast majority of people are happy with regular clipping, some people want to grow their beardies’ claws out. If you have a bearded dragon that doesn’t cling to you or furniture for dear life, you can safely clip their claws. But, before you start trashing your beardie’s nails with your clippers, there are some things you need to know.
How often do you cut bearded dragon’s nails?
Bearded dragon nails grow back very quickly so you will need to do this every two months or so. If your bearded dragon is struggling, there are two things you can do to help with this; nail files and moving their enclosure around.
To use a nail clip, simply use it under the old nail and clip away until you get the desired length. If you do decide to use nail clippers, make sure the dragon has a full meal and plenty of clean water before clipping.
Bearded dragon nails grow back very quickly so you will need to do this every few months or so. It is best not to cut the nails too short as this may cause them pain and lead to an infection forming on their nail bed.
There are two distinct symptoms to watch for that will indicate when it is time to clip your pet’s nails.
The first is when their nails start scratching you. You might not notice this if you don’t hold your pet very often, but it’s something to keep an eye out for. If you don’t take them out very often, keep an eye on their nails so you know when it’s time to clip them.
The second symptom is an ingrown nail, which occurs when the nail grows so long that it curls below. As previously stated, this is unpleasant and can be painful, so try to avoid reaching this point. Most owners will discover that they need to trim their pet’s nails at least 1-2 times each year, with some going as high as 5-6 times per year. This is entirely up to you and is primarily determined by how quickly your pet’s nails grow. Simply keep an eye on their nails every few months.
How do you cut bearded dragon’s nails?
Nail clipping can be hard for bearded dragons due to the fact that their nails are very long and they do not have an opposable thumb. Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to clip their nails correctly. How to cut bearded dragon nails:
Step One: Make sure your bearded dragon is still
You can ask someone to hold the bearded dragon while you cut its nails. At least the first few times, your dragon will squirm and try to flee as you cut its nails, so enlisting the assistance of a holder will keep it in place.
Place the beardie on a table and have the assistant gently hold the dragon steady, or have the helper hold the dragon in his arms so you can reach its claws easily.
Ensure the bearded dragon has a full meal and plenty of water before clipping their nails. Make sure you have taken all of the old nail clippings out.
Step Two: Examine your beardie’s nails
Using your less dominant hand, grab the beardie’s foot and examine its nail. Find the part of the nail that has to be trimmed—at its very end and is thinner than the rest. Bearded dragon nails feature veins in the beginning that feed blood to the nail; avoid cutting that area of the nail. The vein is absent from the very tip of the nail, where it is thin. Pay attention to the area of the nail.
Step Three: Start cutting and trimming
Trim the very tips of the nails with cat nail clippers to avoid over-cutting. A decent rule of thumb is to only take off half of the claw’s thin section. Clipping all the way up to where the nail becomes thicker increases your chances of cutting the vein and causing it to bleed. Furthermore, merely cutting that much of the nail allows a bit of sharpness on the nail to aid the beardie’s movement and climbing.
Step Four: Use a blood Clotting gel for bearded dragons if need be
Apply a small amount of blood clotting gel to any bleeding nails caused by over-cutting. To avoid infection, use a product that is both anti-clotting and antibacterial. Contact your beardie’s veterinarian if the nail continues to bleed after you’ve administered the gel.
Moving the beardie will also help in terms of avoiding infection in their nails; if the enclosure they are in is not completely clean, the chance of infections will increase. If you have a bearded dragon that is hiving off, which can be due to an internal problem, you should try cleaning their enclosure out on a regular basis.
How to trim baby bearded dragon nails
It’s a good idea to check your baby bearded dragon’s claws regularly for length. Start by gently brushing the outer edge of the claw using a baby nailbrush. The goal isn’t to dig into the actual nail, but just to clear away any dirt and debris that might be stuck between the toes and in any cracks in the surface of the nails.
If the nails are long, lift up one of the legs and push your fingernail between the two toes. You can see if you can get a fingernail in between without too much effort. This is a good way to check for any cracks or splits that may be allowing bacteria to grow underneath the nail.
If you do find a crack, it’s best to take your bearded dragon to the vet for care, because it could be an infection and proper treatment will be necessary.
To cut your baby bearded dragon’s nails, use a pair of nail clippers. I use a cat claw trimmer and it works like magic. Do not use a small, sharp, thin-bladed knife. Never use your teeth!
If your bearded dragon is docile and will tolerate them gently pulling their nails out, you can also choose to do it with a warm soak in the bathtub.
Be sure not to get any water in its eyes though! Do you know how children almost always scream when they fall down? It’s only natural for dragons to let out a screech when their feet are submerged into the water so be prepared for that too.