In the wild, ferrets wear out their claws by digging into the ground. At home, on the other hand, the floors are often not very abrasive and it happens that the claws grow in excess, causing injuries. You can limit this inconvenience by regularly trimming your ferret’s claws.
How often should I trim my ferret’s claws?
There is no exact answer to this question. It depends on the ferret’s environment and activity. You should observe the claws regularly, and only trim them when they seem too long. In general, the claws on the front legs wear out more slowly than those on the back legs, so they should be trimmed more often.
What equipment do I need?
First, buy a claw trimmer. This small, inexpensive tool is a good investment. It is universal and can also be used for cats and rabbits, for example. Nail clippers for humans do not have a suitable shape, and scissors tend to twist the claw or crush it, which is very unpleasant for the animal.
How do you do it?
Place yourself in a quiet and bright place. If the nail trimming is done gently and without stress, your ferret may not pay any attention to it. Some ferrets will do it spontaneously, others are less cooperative. Another common solution is to distract your ferret with some very appetizing food.
Several solutions are possible. The important thing is that you are comfortable:
- If you are alone, sit in a chair, and lay your ferret on its back on your lap. Spread the food on his belly. Ideally, you should put little, but spread it around a lot. The ferret will be busy cleaning itself and won’t pay attention to you when you trim its claws.
- If the above methods haven’t worked, lift your ferret with one hand by the scruff of the neck. This is a common restraint technique used for minor medical procedures or examinations. It immobilizes the ferret so it won’t move when you clip its claws with the other hand.
Ferret claws are very small. Unlike the cat’s, they are not retractable. There is one per finger, or 5 per paw. Each claw has in its center a pinkish part composed of blood vessels, which is visible by transparency. The objective is to cut about 1 millimeter below. If the pink part is cut, the claw will start to bleed. If you feel uncomfortable at first, you can ask your vet to show you how to do it.
If one of the claws starts to bleed, it’s because it was cut too short. Your ferret was probably in a little pain at the time. However, there’s no need to panic: this minor incident will soon be forgotten. The only thing to do is to disinfect and place your pet in a clean place for a few minutes until the bleeding stops on its own.