“It’s Time To Trim Your Claws!”

“Ooch!” “Ouch!”     “Stop, Murph… aaagh… I know you want down!  Hang on! You can’t walky around right here!

Fine. I guess you’re just going to slice me to ribbons until I set you down!

Dang it. Is that blood? Yep, it’s blood!”


Red is surfacing from numerous scratched lines upon my forearms. This is usually a good indicator it’s time to trim the darling’s cute little blades!

I have trimmed my Dragons’ claws for about an accumulated 9 years so far. I believe the following tips to be the ideal way for anyone who needs to do this. This is how it’s done:

What you need:

1: CLIPPERS      You can purchase reptile claw clippers at pet stores and online. However, I cannot attest to the performance of these. The exotic animal vet will trim claws (the one time a veterinarian trimmed my lizard’s claws, she trimmed too far and my sweety was bleeding from it, so I do the trimming now). I’ve only trimmed claws with a clipper made for a human baby’s finger nails (sorry, the clipper I’ve used all these years have no label. I don’t know the brand). You can probably obtain tiny clippers in the baby care section of stores in most locations.

2: A SAFE PLACE WHERE YOUR LIZARD CAN SLEEP BEFORE AND WHILE YOU CLIP   This means where animals or people won’t sit on him/her, you won’t forget he or she is there, and so on.


4: A BLANKIE       to help them to stay asleep during the clipping with a bright light

Step 1)           

After giving your lizard a best day ever, he or she has had food, freedom & lovins’, and is now sleepy, let them lay somewhere you can easily access all limbs to trim claws.

Step 2)

Cover lizard with the afore mentioned blankie so he or she feels secure while you’re messing around with fingers and toes. Don’t ‘tuck them in’. Give it 10 minutes or so and VOILA! He/she is deep enough in rest mode to perform the trimming.


Step 3)

Aim the light beam of your flashlight precisely onto each claw to be trimmed. Hold the little finger or toe at a slight angle so your vision is aimed at the side of the claw. YOU MUST CLEARLY SEE WHERE THE BLOODLINE ENDS ON THE UNDERSIDE OF THE CLAW TO CLIP JUST BEFORE THAT, OTHERWISE YOU WILL HURT THE SLEEPING BEAUTY!

Step 4)

Proceed with trimming.

Step 5)

When trimming is completed, scoop your lizard into your hands and lay them (lovingly) onto where they normally sleep through the night (and possibly with that blankie).

Step 6)

Return to the location of the trimming and brush onto the floor the tiny claw fragments for sweeping.

About to trim the pain-inducing tips

See where the thick, light color of mass ends under the black claw? Don’t clip that! Only trim the razor tip of the black portion.

Very asleep

Now we trim…


*If you cannot see clearly or have any doubts, you should not clip.

This procedure may take around 10 minutes due to the necessity to work slowly and carefully. Personally, I only trim because I’m confident in my ability… and I don’t want any more scars : ).

That being said, if you’re too concerned you may hurt your lizard if you trim his or her claws, and you don’t mind the little slices they can cause, it’s not worth the risk of making your lizard hurt & bleed if the claws aren’t really causing problems.

It is wise to have a collection of your reptile(s) belongings in one place, except of course, what may need refrigerated.  Before traveling, you may want too be certain your lizard’s claws do not need trimmed, so no one else has to stress it or get scratched. Family and your lizard(s) care-takers need to be aware of the location of belongings. Keep a number to the vet or preferred hospital handy as well.  Along with bedding, blankies, teddy bears, 🙂 or whatever. You can have a reptile first-aid kit!!! Ideas for what it may contain can be found here:


note* Styptic powder can stop bleeding, if say, you trimmed too much of a claw.


10 cute fingers & 10 cute toes … all done! : – )
“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – Dawn Renee♥


  1. I never had to trim any of my lizards’ claws. Somehow my iguana’s claws never got all that sharp, possibly because he was able to use them on wood, gravel, etc. I didn’t have to trim my savannah monitor’s claws, but I did have to medicate her–and oh, boy! It’s an experience you want to avoid.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. yeah… I would not want to agitate a Monitor! Poor him or her, and you! I’m sure you’re correct about why their claws did not need trimmed. My Beardies have been the ones to live lives of pillow-dom. Though I keep a couple rough items in the cage to climb upon & aid in scraping off the shedding skin, the enclosure does not replicate, in entirety, the natural habitat.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t had lizards in years. Only a large boa constrictor I’ve had for 19 years now, but lizard claws can get quite scratchy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My iguana’s habitat was the house. I kept his cage open, and he’d go in and out according to what he wanted to do at the moment. Never pooped outside his cage, either–good boy!

    As for Spot, my monitor, she had a bad case of liver disease which I had to treat by forcing her to swallow very large lecithin capsules. Swallowing anything is no problem for a monitor, but being made to swallow is.
    She got my finger once. It was rather like getting a car door slammed on your finger. Even so, I think she restrained herself a bit.

    The good news is that the treatment worked and she had a total recovery.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. aww man, I never saw it like that! I left out the part that my lizards have gotten wee massages too. They’d judge me, you know. Quadrupeds carry much tension in the area of the shoulders. So um, it’s really cute to rub a lizards feet between two fingers and watch the little toes flop side-to-side! tee-hee


  6. How long do Boa Constrictors live?! That’s a long time to enjoy a beautiful companion. I was once cordially introduced to 3 Boas, they all had pleasant dispositions and felt amazing… Bonnie, Clyde, and Baby (who was by no means tiny). Which lizards did you have the pleasure of company?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Boas can live 30 years, I believe. We had bearded dragons, chameleons and geckos. I had a pair of very feisty Tokay geckos that were rescue lizards. They barked, were quite aggressive, and very funny. I’ve had rescue snakes, also. Most of the rescue reptiles have been aggressive and difficult to handle. One beautiful, rare ruby tree boa was confiscated in a drug raid and I ended up with it. That was the most aggressive snake I ever had. But it was fun and had an excess of personality for a snake.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I never considered their life spans! I’m happy you can expect many more years with your Boa now. I can’t convey how thrilled I am, that you have rescued so many reptiles!! My exposure to an audio active gecko was a video. I had to watch it in loop-style because it was hilariously cute. I looked at Ruby Tree Boa images just now, if I had one I think I’d want to look at it all day! See, where to would Ruby end up & what kind of life would that beauty have had if you didn’t step & say, “I’ll take it!” ? Nearly anyone or anything that has been rescued has suffered a level of trauma or abandonment, so some issues can be expected. You knew what you were getting into as you continued to give them better lives & that is so commendable. Thank you for telling me this!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I knew a couple whom had the same living arrangement. I think they had 4 iguanas (potty trained). I bet Spot was indeed holding back, I’m sure she loved you and was traumatized by the whole experience of her condition and then the forced medicine too. I hope a part of her understand Daddy was helping her! I’m glad it wasn’t in vain and you two had more time together.


  10. When I lost Copper, after 7 1/2 years. I was devastated. I couldn’t go back to work
    for a week. It was bad. For months I couldn’t shop in the produce isles without thinking of her & what I use to buy for her. I still miss her too after these years. I miss all my lizards. I’m thankful for Murph, and never want to lose him either.


  11. One day when a friend from Cuba was hanging out at the house, I had to get the ruby tree boa out to clean its caged. Our friend had never paid much attention to the snakes, because they were in cages. But when he saw me wrestling with a 6 foot long, writhing, wild looking boa, he shot out of the house and I don’t think his feet touched the floor between the counter and the front door. Whenever I got that boa out, not only did it try very hard to bite me, it also peed on me. I was working on some house projects that day, so after I got the snake’s cage cleaned and the snake back in the cage, I changed my shirt the snake peed on, but I didn’t take a shower, because I was still working on house projects. I had to go to Home Depot (that was still in business at that time) and get supplies for my project. While I was there, two separate women asked me what cologne I was wearing. They said it had a nice musk smell. I don’t wear cologne, but then I realized they must have been smelling the snake pee mixed with sweat. I told them Eau de Boa. I didn’t have the heart to tell them it was snake pee.


  12. No!!! Eau de Boa?!!! Beautiful!!!! I am not one too say lol, but I’m stifling my snickering here! That is hilarious! I still won’t lol. I refuse and rebel. Dude’s feet never touched the ground… that’s great! Yeah, cuz if you’re gonna be grimy all day, get rid of it all at the end…. guess you smelled great in the mean time! Snake pee scent, bet ya didn’t know you loved it! haha

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Some scents and flavors are made out of pretty gross things. They make artificial Vanilla using the secretions from a beaver’s anal glands.


  14. I had a kitten when I got Goliath, my Green Iguana. In handling my Iguana and playing with my kitten (that lived 22 years!) I had slices up and down my arms from their claws! The worst part, I thought people would think they were self-inflicted. No one ever asked:)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Well there’s a fine line in asking and being pushy or asking out of concern often I asked questions and my husband says I you push it just a little too far but I think people need to open up and talk about what’s going on and their life and be noticed. So I ask…


  16. I agree, it is probably good to ask from concern, so long as the timing is right. I knew a waitress with scar tissue all along her arms (to me, it was obvious what they were). I heard a patron ask her in front of everyone what they were from. Her response was “Let’s just say I was a troubled youth.” It put her on the spot in front of an audience & it ticked her off. I could tell by the look on her face & they way she walked away. Some should talk about their problems. Others want to forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. […] For smaller lizards such as the Bearded Dragon, fingernail clippers may be used, and preferably tiny ones made for human baby fingernails and toenails. It is extremely important to not trim too far. Copper had her claws trimmed by a vet, and she trimmed too much from one and made my Copper hurt and bleed. I did the trimming after that. There are videos and books to teach safe trimming procedures, and I discuss every step using fingernail clippers – with photos, in the post It’s Time To Trim Your Claws. […]


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