Will my rabbit start hating me if I try to cut his nails?

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Gelly

Rae
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He's only about 15 weeks old and we've been bonding really well. He binkies a lot and seems to really like us. I'm afraid that if I attempt to hold him down and cut his nails, he'll see me as danger and it will thwart the bonding process. Any tips would be appreciated for new bunny nail cutters...
 

Linda123

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He's only about 15 weeks old and we've been bonding really well. He binkies a lot and seems to really like us. I'm afraid that if I attempt to hold him down and cut his nails, he'll see me as danger and it will thwart the bonding process. Any tips would be appreciated for new bunny nail cutters...
This is my opinion an I am sure others will disagree. But I would never chance it it's not worth it if you got a loving bonding bunny like I do why chance it. If you do an you accidentally hurt him it's to late. I am very new at having a rabbit what I'm reading on this site some bunnies can change their mind about being cuddly for no reason at all so I sure wouldn't want to give them one. I've only had to have mine cut one time and he's 6 months old when I take him back for his ear check I'll probably have it done again it's worth paying a little extra money for it. If someone else hurts him I want to be the one to comfort him an on the way home him an I can cuss out the vet's office LOL I'm just kidding .
 

Hermelin

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I trimmed my bunny nails when he was a kit, he got a little pellets after and gave kisses. Another of my bunnies that’s scared of humans will be grumpy one day but I always have treats on me and he will forgive me again.

The one scared of humans can lunge and try bite me, when he get putted down after trimming his nails. But he calms down after and munch on his treat [emoji5]

So the fragile bond with him have never been broken, because of nail trimming. Was once broken because of kids visiting but that was the only reason for his bond breaking. Even the time I accidentally scared him, so he jumped into a wall, head first. He still ran to me after he calmed down and asked for cuddles.

While the one I had since a kit. Will try everything he can to get out. From kisses to stealing treats and hiding his paws. But our bond have never been affected by nail trimming.

Because you only do it once during a month and it’s a short time period with treats after. The rest of the time, you build your bond with them.

All my bunnies, their bond have never broken because of nail trimming. Just make sure to reward them after with whatever they love.
 

Nancy McClelland

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Have your Vets Tech show you how--we had 17 rescues so I had to learn as the cost was enormous. My son holds while I do the clipping, so that makes it quicker and easier.
 

John Wick

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You're in the beginning stages of forming a relationship, so minimizing stress when possible is important to keep in mind, as you are doing. In addition to that, remember that relationships can be resilient! You may go through an unpleasant experience (maybe you accidentally drop something in front of your rabbit; that'll have the same "ah they're dangerous!" effect), but since you'll be caring the rest of the time, your rabbit should learn that you have best intentions in mind.

That being said, I have a rabbit who I very consistently gave gross medication, shots in the back, as well as smeared lotion and soap on his face using a q-tip... So lots of negative experiences; however, he always forgave me because of the solid trust we established over time. I had to start medications at 9 weeks old, and it was daily for 5 months, but again, since the majority of the day was a positive experience, he learned that he could trust me!
 
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Our rabbits have never had a problem with it. They get scared when the nail clipping happens, but after we’re done they’re right back to hopping on our laps and begging for pets as if nothing happened. Ours are 5 months and we started clipping their nails at 3 months. It’s not a pleasant experience for them but they seem to get over it quickly. We usually wrap them in a towel and have one of us hold them while the other trims. They hate it but they have never been afraid of us for doing it and seem back to normal seconds after it’s done.
I’m sure it’s different for all rabbits though. My fiancé had a holland lop who hated getting his nails cut so much that he would be mad at them for a while afterwards. I don’t think he ever fully resented them or was scared of them though, just right after they cut his nails. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen I suppose.
If the rabbit’s nails are way too long then they need cut. We waited too long to cut our male’s nails once and he ended up scratching an itch and making it bleed because his nails were too long and they broke his skin. If you are worried about doing it wrong or hurting the bunny, maybe you could try and find a professional or someone with lots of rabbit experience to do it? Even if the bunny gets scared, maybe having someone else do it will make it so they don’t associate you with the action so they won’t be afraid of you.
 

Imbrium

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As others have said, they get over it. Quickly. Treats help.

I've had to do many unpleasant things to many animals (cats, dogs, rabbits, sugar gliders, birds, even a turtle) for their own good over the years. Seriously, they get over it. Many of them seem to figure out afterward that the "icky" thing you did was actually for their own good. For example, getting flipped over and claws trimmed sucks to many rabbits but when they're upright and running around with appropriately short nails, they realize they're more comfortable that way. That doesn't mean they won't fight the nail trim just as hard next time, but it does mean they won't hold a grudge.

An example: one of our sugar gliders (who was wildly, angrily un-bonded with us at the time) was making weird noises and straining to poop a few years ago, so I took him to the vet. He got scoped and x-rayed and it turned out he had inflammation in his lower intestine. I had to syringe nasty-tasting antibiotics + metacam (pain med) to Mr. Bitey-pants once a day. Even with a feeding tip (cannula tip) on the syringe to help get his mouth open and make the droplet of meds smaller, it was quite traumatic to both Hobbes and myself to medicate him on the first day because he had zero trust for me. Day 2, I expected to be in for a major fight yet again... but when I pulled him (and his fleece pouch, which protected my hand from his teeth) out of the cage and approached with the syringe, I was in for a surprise! His mouth popped right open for it, lol. Clearly when I gave him the pain killers the first time, he started feeling better shortly after and connected the two experiences, making him quite receptive the second time around.

We've had 7 rabbits over the course of the last 7 years and "mommy" (ie me) is always the 'bad cop' in our house. I'm the one who has to do anything nasty that comes up with our animals - syringe medications, force-feed, trim nails, cut burrs out of the fur of a cat who escapes outdoors, clean up poopy butt, get eye boogies (rabbits appreciate that but cats LOATHE it), wipe snotty noses (our newest cat passed around a URI to the other four cats after we brought her home), you name it. If an animal doesn't want us doing something that needs to be done, then it's "mommy's job". Worst-case-scenario, an animal holds a grudge against me for about 5 minutes. I've made a mistake on rare occasions that caused minor pain - no one's perfect - but it really doesn't matter in the big scheme of things.

I can't stress this enough - do what's gotta be done, fork over a treat or two, give a nose rub and get on with life; your rabbit will do the same :).
 

JenGibs

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Agreed. They get over it pretty quickly. My daughter called me at work one day in hysterics. “MOOOOOOOM, I JUST CUT HIS TOE OFF!!!!!” Of course, panic mode kicked in and I left work to come home.
As it turns out.....what had happened was....she was grooming him with the clippers (I have floofy Angoras) and he jumped. The edge of the clipper grabbed the top of his nail and ripped the whole thing out! The whole thing! I got home and there was a tiny bone-looking piece at the end of his knuckle and you could see the hollowed out part in the nail where it came off!
I freaked out! Called the vet and she said it happens more than I think bc bunnies jump so quickly! It looked so painful and the little guy had literal tears coming out of his eyes.
My point is that even after that, he came to my very distraught daughter for lovies. He has been good since, even with nail cuts. It did grow back and I did have pain meds on hand that day.
I would caution you though- if your bun has had a nail trim once in 6 months, it is not enough. Nail trims should be every 4-6 weeks....roughly. You don’t want them getting too long where they get stuck in things, scratch the buns when they groom or start turning to the side bc of length. That is a much harder thing to fix than seeing the bun-lovie give you the stink eye for a little while after!
Good luck!
 
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