Bearded Dragon Nails – NAIL CARE Tips For Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are hardy reptiles. But even so, they require effective care to ensure that the pet lives for long and has a healthy life.

One of the core care areas of a bearded dragon, as they are commonly known, is maintaining their nails or claws at an appropriate length. As such, most bearded dragon owners often wonder, can I trim my bearded dragon’s nails?

Can You Cut Bearded Dragons Nails?

Yes, you can cut your bearded dragon’s nails. Their nails grow long and become razor-sharp, potentially hurting you or the bearded dragon itself. Cutting the nails helps prevent injuries and infections that might arise if the pet rips off its long nails. It is an essential part of providing the reptile with appropriate care.

Bearded dragons naturally scavenge and forage in search of food in the wild. The process and constant contact with the ground grind the nails. It means that their nails hardly grow extremely long. Therefore, the claws of wild bearded dragons don’t need to be cut.

When in captivity, you provide your pet with food, and they don’t fend for themselves. There is not much activity to keep the nails ground down, and they can grow very long.

Therefore, you need to take measures to keep the nails short, including cutting, trimming, or filling them. The frequency of how often you should cut the beardies nails depends on how fast they grow long but in general, three to four times a year is enough.

How to Cut Bearded Dragon Nails?

Knowing how to cut your bearded dragon’s nails effectively ensures that you do not hurt the pet. The nails of its back feet do not grow very much, and, thus, you might not need to trim them every time you cut the front ones.

The first step is ensuring that the beardie is calm and not stressed. Else, the lizard might try to move around, making you lose grip of the bearded dragon’s feet, which might cause accidental harm.

You can calm down your bearded dragon by feeding it, stroking its head, covering the tank, or giving it a warm bath.

Next, grab the bearded dragon from behind or above. Once you have the animal in your hands and it is calm, firmly hold the nails you want to start cutting.

Your hands should not move anywhere near the beardie’s face since these reptiles can sense shadows and see them as a sign of threat. If the beardie is fighting back, allow it to get more calm before trying to trim the nails again.

Once the lizard is calm and you have a firm grip on the foot and nails, cut them into a proper length nails. A beardies nail has a black and a white part.

The black one helps it with scratching and gripping, which is the part you need to trim. The white part supports the black one, and it has blood vessels. Therefore, you should not cut trim the white part as it can lead to bleeding or infections.

Have some styptic powder or pencil nearby when cutting a bearded dragon’s nails. It will come in handy in stopping bleeding should you accidentally hurt your pet. Dip the hurt nail into the powder to also reduce the chances of infections.

You can also apply the powder directly to the cut area. When purchasing the styptic powder, choose one that does not have benzocaine because this component is not suitable for reptiles.

Repeat the process with the other nails and give the pet a treat when done. The process can be demanding, but it is equally rewarding and goes a long way in safeguarding yourself and the pet.

bearded dragon nails

Are You Supposed to Cut Your Bearded Dragon’s Nails?

Yes, it is necessary that you cut your bearded dragon’s nails. You will know that it’s about time if the nails have become too long and the lizard can no longer climb or have a firm grip as they used to.

Another indicator that you need to cut the beardie’s nails is when the nails start to curl inwards due to overgrowth. If you do not cut the nails, they will continue to overgrow and puncture your beardie’s underfoot, which can be very painful and lead to infections.

At What Age Can You Cut Bearded Dragons Nails?

There is no specific age where you should start cutting your pet beardie’s nails. It all depends on how long and fast the nails grow.

Once you notice that your baby or juvenile lizard’s nails have become too long, it’s time to cut them. Irrespective of the age, do not wait till the pet injures itself or scratches you for you to trim the nails.

How to Trim Bearded Dragon Nails?

The first step to trimming a bearded dragon’s nails is understanding the anatomy of their nails. Their nail is entirely made of keratin, just like the human and other animals’ nails or claws. At the top part, the nail has a dark pigment, but it can be clear in a few bearded dragon species.

A nerve and vein, known as a quick, runs through the claw. While the upper part of the nail is dead, the quick is alive, and your pet will feel the pain if you cut or press this area. It can be hard to see the quick, especially in bearded dragons whose top part of the nail is dark.

With the understanding of a bearded dragon’s anatomy, the next step is making the pet calm and holding it firmly. You might need an assistant to help you hold the beardie in place.

Next, trim the nails using the usual human nail clip or the ones specialized for cats or dogs. Ensure not to cut the quick, but should this happen, forgive yourself; even certified veterinary professional accidentally do this at times.

Should You Trim Your Bearded Dragon’s Nails?

Yes, it is important to trim your pet bearded dragon’s nails. Keeping them at an ideal length prevents injuries, snagging, and infections. Whether your beardie is a baby, juvenile, or adult, trimming the nails goes a long way to keep it at optimal health and give it an optimally good quality of life.

In addition to trimming the bearded dragon’s nails, you can also put in place other measures that will help keep the nails from growing too long quickly.

Replicating the beardies’ natural environment is one of the most effective measures. Choose rocks with texture for the basking area instead of soft ones. A rough surface helps keep the nails ground down.

Another measure is using a big stone tile in the feeding area. The nails will wear down as the reptile moves around when feeding. These measures are effective complements to trimming the beardies nails but should not be used as a replacement.

The wearing down of the nails is minimal and thus can’t sustain the nails at a short length for the beardies lifetime.

Can I Cut My Bearded Dragons Nails With Nail Clippers?

Pet stores will recommend different tools for cutting a bearded dragon’s nails. Nail clippers are one of those products. If your bearded dragon is small, then the standard human nail clippers is enough. It will do the job just right.

You might need nail clippers designed for other big reptiles or cats and dogs with a big bearded dragon. In general, only a beardie measuring more than 24 inches will need you to get special nail clippers.

Their nails are thicker and larger, which might make nail trimming harder if you use the standard small animal nail clippers. Clippers make it easier to cut the nails and ensure that you don’t cut them too much.

Whichever tool you choose for the beardies nails, it should only be used for the lizard and not any other pet. Doing so prevents infections transfer as beardies can carry harmful bacteria. In addition, clean the clippers with alcohol before and after use.

How To Clip Bearded Dragon Nails?

Clipping remains one of the most effective ways of keeping your beardies nails at an ideal length. It is crucial not only for the beardies’ own safety and ease of mobility but for your safety too.

The process of clipping a bearded dragon’s nail is similar to when cutting them. First, you need to ensure that the lizard is comfortable, then firmly hold one foot and the nail you need to cut.

Next, determine a reasonable length nails and proceed to nail trimming while ensuring that the beardie does not move the foot at all.

Besides having the reptile nail clippers, it is also important to have a styptic pencil or powder close just in case there is accidental hurt. It stops bleeding and prevents infections. Treats are also suitable for post-nail clipping as a form of reward.

Tips to Make It Easier to Clip Your Bearded Dragons Nails

There are various ways in which you can make trimming time easier.

1. Handle the pet frequently

One of the best tips is regularly bonding with your pet so that handling them during trimming is a lot easier. Don’t wait and watch till you have to cut the pet’s nails or take them to a vet to pick them up.

When the lizard is used to your frequent touch and handling, it will be calmer during the process. You can also choose to get an assistant to help you hold the pet as you get their nails trimmed.

2. Give the beardie regular baths

Bathing the pet once or twice a week not only keeps it hydrated but also makes it get familiar and more comfortable with your presence. As such, your beardie will be more cooperative when you trim your bearded dragon’s nails.

If your bearded dragon is still squirmy, despite your efforts to calm it down, you might need to wait till another time.

You may attempt to clip the nails as the beardie sleeps, but the next solution is to take the pet to a professional if all fails.

Clipping the beardies nails is important, and just because you can’t do it does not mean that you should avoid it altogether.

A professional will help you carry out this vital task and might give you tips on doing the same at home effectively.

Are You Supposed to Trim a Bearded Dragon’s Nails?

Having rocks in the bearded dragon’s enclosure helps keep the nails short. They grind their nails against the rocks, naturally keeping the nails short. Else, you will need to trim them.

There are various reasons why you are supposed to trim a bearded dragon’s sharp nails. The primary reason is to prevent the lizard from leaving claw marks on you as the pet owner.

As a part of bonding, you might be holding your beardie from time to time. Being scratched by the lizard can leave you with painful marks, skin irritation, and even bleeding.

Another reason why you need to trim bearded dragon nails is that it ensures that the lizard’s feet are perpendicular and parallel to the ground. Otherwise, long nails push the toes to the side, making it hard for the reptile to maintain balance when climbing up.

In addition, long nails make bearded dragons stuck, which can be stressful, especially if they cannot move. Sadly, the bearded dragon might rip off the nails while trying to rescue themselves.

Besides being painful, ripped nails also expose the lizard to infections, and in most cases, ripped-off nails do not grow back.

Using smooth tiles as the substrate could contribute to the beardies’ nails growing long too quickly. Replace it with porcelain tiles, textured rocks, or wooden logs.

Such substrates help keep the beardies’ nails naturally worn down, making you trim bearded dragon nails less frequently.

Can I Paint My Bearded Dragons Nails?

Yes, you can paint your beardie’s nails. Its safe to do so as their nails are made of the same materials as humans. But make sure to use a nontoxic nail polish.


Cutting your bearded dragon nails is vital for providing the reptile with adequate care. While this is not necessary for the wild lizards, it is crucial for captive beardies whose nails are not exposed to the being constantly worn down by the ground as it happens in the wild.

Cutting or clipping your bearded dragon’s nails doesn’t need you to contact a professional. With a basic understanding of the pet’s nail anatomy, how to calm it down, and how to effectively trim the nail, you are good to go.

Besides the nail cutter or clipper, you should also have a styptic pencil or powder to stop bleeding in case of emergency cuts.

We hope that the steps in this article made it easy for you trimming your bearded dragon’s nails as you aim to provide your lizard with the best life and care you can. If you are still not confident about doing this at home, take the pet to a vet when it is due for a nail trim.

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