How to Safely Cut Your Bearded Dragon’s Nails: A Step-by-Step Guide

Trimming your bearded dragon’s nails is important to their health and well-being. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and even lead to infection. Here are some steps to follow when cutting your bearded dragon’s nails:

  1. Before starting, make sure your bearded dragon is in a calm and relaxed state. You can cover their head with a small, light blanket to simulate nighttime and help them feel more comfortable.
  1. You will need a pair of sharp nail clippers, styptic powder (in case of bleeding), and a towel or blanket to wrap your bearded dragon in.
  1. Hold your bearded dragon gently but securely, with its feet facing away from you. Wrap them in a towel or blanket to keep them calm and still.
  1. Use the nail clippers to trim the very tip of each nail. Be careful not to cut too close to the quick blood vessel inside the nail. If you accidentally cut the quick, apply styptic powder to stop the bleeding.
  1. After trimming their nails, give your bearded dragon a treat and lots of praise to reinforce positive behavior.

Reasons Why Bearded Dragon Nails Need to be Cut

Damage to Furniture

Bearded dragons are known for their sharp and strong claws, which can cause injuries to themselves, their owners, and other pets. These claws can also cause damage to furniture, carpets, and other household items; therefore, it is important to trim bearded dragon nails regularly to prevent such incidents.


Bearded dragons are active creatures that love to climb, dig, and explore their surroundings. As a result, their nails can grow quickly and become sharp. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and pain to the bearded dragon, making it difficult for them to walk or climb. They can also get stuck in substrates or other objects, causing injury or infection.

Improved Quality of Life

Overgrown nails can lead to posture and mobility problems, ultimately affecting their quality of life. According to PetMD, bearded dragons can move around more easily and engage in their natural behaviors without hindrance by trimming their nails every few weeks.


Handling the bearded dragon during the nail trimming process can help to socialize them and make them more comfortable with human interaction. It can also allow owners to examine their bearded dragon’s health and identify potential issues.

Trimming bearded dragon nails helps prevent injuries and maintain their health and strengthens the bond between the bearded dragon and its owner, just like my bearded dragon and me. We became closer after our regular trimming session, and he became more comfortable with me. By following the proper techniques and using the right tools, owners can ensure that their bearded dragon’s nails are always at a safe and comfortable length.

Preparing Your Bearded Dragon

Before trimming your bearded dragon’s nails, you must ensure they are calm and comfortable. This will make the process less difficult and time consuming for both you and your pet. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Choose a quiet and calm area where you can work without distractions or interruptions. This will help your bearded dragon feel more relaxed and at ease.
  • Place a light blanket over your bearded dragon’s head to simulate nighttime. This will help them calm down and become more pliable.
  • Make sure that your bearded dragon is in a good mood. If they are jumpy, playful, or stressed, it will be difficult to hold their feet, and you may end up causing harm to either of you.
  • Handle your bearded dragon gently and with care. This will build trust between you and your pet and make the process less stressful for everyone involved.

By preparing your bearded dragon, you can help ensure that trimming their nails is as safe and stress-free as possible.

Things to Do if You Accidentally Cut the Quick

When trimming a bearded dragon’s nails, it’s crucial to avoid cutting into the quick, which is the blood vessel and nerve inside the nail. However, accidents can happen, and you may cut to the quick despite your best efforts. Here’s what to do if this happens:

  • Stay calm, and don’t panic. Your bearded dragon may sense your anxiety and stress, worsening the situation.
  • Apply pressure to the nail using a clean cloth or tissue to stop the bleeding. Hold the cloth or tissue in place for a few minutes until the bleeding stops.
  • If the bleeding doesn’t stop after a few minutes, you can use a styptic powder or gel to help coagulate the blood. Apply a small amount to the bleeding nail and hold it in place for a few minutes until it stops.
  • Be prepared to comfort your bearded dragon. Cutting the quick can be painful, and your pet may be scared or upset. Offer treats, praise, and gentle petting to help calm them down.
  • Monitor the nail for signs of infection. It may be infected if the nail becomes red, swollen, or tender. Consult a veterinarian to treat the infection.

Accidents happen, and cutting the quick is not the end of the world. With proper care and attention, your bearded dragon will recover quickly and return to their normal self in no time.


After trimming your bearded dragon’s nails, taking care of their feet and nails is important to ensure they heal properly and reduce the risk of infection. Here are some aftercare tips:

  • Inspect the nails and feet for bleeding, swelling, or infection. If you see any of these signs and symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
  • If bleeding occurs, apply a small amount of styptic powder or cornstarch to the nail. This will help stop the bleeding.
  • Keep your bearded dragon’s enclosure clean to prevent infection. Remove any feces or debris from the enclosure daily.
  • Monitor your bearded dragon’s behavior and appetite. It could indicate infection or illness if they seem lazy or refuse to eat.
  • Offer your bearded dragon a warm soak in shallow water to help soothe its feet and promote healing.
  • Avoid handling your bearded dragon for at least 24 hours after trimming its nails to allow time for its feet to heal.

Following these aftercare tips ensures your bearded dragon’s nails and feet stay healthy and happy. Always be gentle and patient when trimming their nails, and seek veterinary care if you have any concerns or questions.