Iguanas have extremely sharp claws which are handy for climbing trees, but can make handling iguanas difficult. Get into the habit of regularly trimming claws and make handling your iguana easier.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 10 minutes

Here’s How:

  1. Get a good pair of clippers.
  2. Gather all the supplies you will need – clippers, cornstarch and cotton swabs (in case of bleeding), and possibly a towel in which the iguana can be wrapped.
  3. Hold the iguana with your left hand if you are right handed. Reverse if left handed.
  4. If the iguana thrashes or struggles, wrap in a towel, leaving one foot free for trimming. For larger iguanas, you may need a helper to hold the iguana.
  5. Look carefully at the claws – there is a thicker part with a pink vessel inside it, and a thinner curved part. Only trim a bit off this thinner part.
  6. Position the clippers on the nail where you want to cut. If the iguana flinches or pulls its leg back, reposition farther down the claw.
  7. Clip a bit off the end of the nail. It’s better to trim a little bit off frequently than try to trim a lot off at one time.
  8. If you accidentally get bleeding, wipe blood off with a cotton swab and pack tip of nail with cornstarch. Continue holding iguana for 10 minutes to make sure bleeding stops.
  9. Repeat for rest of nails, taking a break if iguana is upset.
  10. Trim nails every 2-3 weeks.


  1. Clippers that look like blunt scissors, with a short notched blades where the nail is positioned and cut are best for iguanas. Human clippers can be used on baby iguanas.
  2. Commercial blood clotting powders are available at the pet store and can be used instead of cornstarch.
  3. If the nails are brittle, let the iguana have a bath and trim the claws right after while they are softened from the bath.

What You Need

  • clippers
  • towel
  • cotton swab

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Filed under: Reptiles Care