How To Trim Bearded Dragon Nails? | Step-By-Step Guide

Bearded dragons become strong and heavy as they grow. They will try to climb places and if you pat them or sit them on your lap, you may feel a few pinches as they grab your clothes. It is important for pet owners to know how to trim bearded dragon nails, so they do not scratch others. Caring for your bearded dragon is not difficult once you know the basic dos and don’ts. Many of us feel overwhelmed if we have to cut someone else’s nails. However, please get to know how to do it so that you can groom your pet by yourself.

How To Trim Bearded Dragon Nails

Bearded Dragons Have Tough Nails

Bearded dragons grow spiky and sharp nails like needle-tipped talons. It is because of their natural dwelling and habitat that these reptilians require sharp nails. Scratching food and making their way through the sand in the arid zones where they originate requires sharp nails. However, pet dragons do not need these sharp talons when they are in the safe environment of your home.

Trimming the nails of your bearded dragon can be an arduous task as they get anxious if there is any equipment nearing. You will have to hold the dragon steady and keep the limbs still. Any standard toenail clippers will be helpful in trimming the hard nails. You must only nip the sharp tip to make it straight. Do not cut too much of the nail as that can hurt the nerve.

Cutting nails can be a stressful task for new pet owners because dragon nails are not similar to human nails. They have blood vessels and nerves close to the nail, and if you cut too low, you might hurt the dragon. However, once you understand how to do it, you will be able to cut nails within minutes.

Bearded Dragons Have Tough Nails

Why Trim Bearded Dragon’s Nails

Since bearded dragons have sharp nails, they will become threatening if you do not trim them enough to make them blunt. An essential health benefit of trimming bearded dragons’ nails is that their feet and hands remain healthy. When the nails grow, they curl downward, causing the toes to curve upward as the nail rests on the ground. This upward turning of toes can hurt the dragon and even cause permanent joint pain.


Long nails are uncomfortable for the dragon, and they find it difficult to climb or bend their toes. Even when bearded dragons tread on logs, they use their claws to hold on to them. If the nails are too long and sharp, their grip on the log is not as effective, and they become extremely irritable if they cannot do as much as walk over wood! Moreover, as the dragon sleeps on branches, they hold on to it, and long nails can again hinder this, causing them to sleep lightly.

Bearded dragon tanks are lined with a substrate or reptile carpet. If you do not trim bearded dragons’ nails, they can snag the carpet. Many times the fiber will be stuck on the tips of nails, and the worse scenario is that the carpet might rip off the nail! If your dragon pet loses its nail once, it does not grow back. Also, check How To Tell If A Bearded Dragon Is Dehydrated.

How Long Is Too Long

Pet owners feel that longer nails can be helpful for bearded dragons. While it is true that you cannot cut their nails completely, you can trim them when you feel that they are hurting you when you pick up the dragon. Secondly, the nails must be short enough to allow the dragon to move at its pace without upward bending toes or nail so sharp that they scratch the surface.

If you want to determine when it is necessary to cut the nails of your dragon, observe them when they stand. If the claws look risen from the floor and the toes are bent, it is crucial that you cut the nails. The nail must remain perpendicular to the ground.

How Long Is Too Long

The Correct Trimmers

There are hundreds of fancy pet stores and accessories stores that will try to sell special clippers for bearded dragons. Many new owners fall for these convincing purchases as they want their pets to get the best. However, the truth is that you can use any toenail clipper to trim the nails.

Always make sure that you use a nail trimmer sharp enough to cut hard nails in one go. It is hard to exert force on clipping nails when you are holding the dragon in position. In case your dragon’s nails have become too hard to cut with the trimmer you already have, you will have to buy a new one that can cut nails faster and better.

A Vital Tip To Cut Nails

When trimming the nails of your bearded dragon, make sure that you know where the nerve and blood capillaries may be. The nerve and capillaries run till the end of their toes and a few millimeters extend into the nail. If you look closely, you will be able to see the rosy or slightly darker part of the nail, which is shinier than the rest of it. This base of the nail is where the capillaries and nerves are found.

A Vital Tip To Cut Nail

Simple Ways To Trim Nails

You can make trimming nails easier by bathing your bearded dragon. The nails become slightly softer and can be trimmed with less force even if they looked hard and brittle before the bath! Moreover, bathing makes dragons happy. Once your bearded dragon is happy and content, it is easy to hold it and trim the nails!

Another way of ensuring easier trimming is to let the bearded dragon walk the tiled flooring. When they walk on tiles, their nails get filed, and they become more manageable while trimming. If the dragon is easily managed while trimming nails, the task becomes more manageable and will not lead to any anxiety or forceful trimming.


If you are wondering how to trim a bearded dragon’s nails, there is nothing to worry about. Follow the simple steps shared here and you can cut the nails without any difficulties! Bearded dragons can have sharp nails, and it is better to trim them before they hurt you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the dragon bleed if I cut the nail too deep?

Yes, the dragon may bleed slightly if you accidentally cut the nail low enough to reach the blood capillaries. In this case, you can help the dragon by washing the claw and using a bandage to cover the cut.

If I don’t cut the nails is it uncomfortable for the dragon?

Yes! Bearded dragons cannot walk properly if they have very long nails. The more you wait to cut the nails, the more uncomfortable it becomes for the dragon to walk.

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