All ferret owners should be familiar with clipping their pets' nails. It's not always the easiest task to accomplish, but it's important, for the well-being of both you and your ferret. Clipping nails is a critical part of the grooming process that can't be skipped.
The most obvious consequence of unclipped nails is that they can scratch you. Left unattended, ferrets' nails can grow quite long. So long, in fact, that they can actually tear off, leading to pain, bleeding and possible infection. This can happen when too-long nails snag on bedding. Nails can actually grow so long that they curl back under and can cause lameness.
Another consequence of letting nails grow too long is that the nerve and blood vessels grow long as well, in order to sustain the longer nail. This means a heightened possibility of "nipping the quick" when clipping, which causes pain, bleeding, and likely an uncooperative pet when it comes time to clip nails again. It is much preferable to clip nails often, even if it's not every much, because it trains the nerves and blood vessels to stay shorter.
So how often does this need to be done? As a rule of thumb, your ferret's nails should be clipped no less than once per month. More often is better. Whichever process you use for clipping your ferret's nails, the more often you do it, the more accustomed your ferret will become.
Distracting your ferret with a treat or liquid supplement like Furo-Vite can be a solid strategy for getting your wiggly one to stay still enough to get the job done. A non-struggling ferret because you don't want to nip the quick. This is where skill comes into play. You need to be confident and adept enough to cut the nails quickly and effectively. That's why we recommend more frequent clippings that remove less nail. It makes for far less of a chance of causing bleeding--and an upset ferret.
Preferences as far as clippers vary, but our Ferret Nail Clippers have an easy-grip handle that makes it easy to maintain control. When you clip, be sure to make the edge at an angle that will be parallel to the floor when your ferret is standing on all fours. This will keep the tips from breaking as the nails grow.
If you're new to cutting ferret nails and nervous about getting it right, it might be best to enlist the help of a friend. Your friend can gently scruff your ferret while you get the job done. Be sure to reward with plenty of treats afterward!