If your lovable lizard friend is accidentally tearing you to bits during its handling/cuddle time, you might consider giving your reptilian pal a pedicure…
Most varieties of pet lizards are built for climbing to some degree or another, and wield curved, sharp claws to aid them from branch to branch, rock to rock, etc. Wild lizards rely on their naturally pointed nails for locomotion as well as defense against predation, and they are kept under control from frequent movement during the reptile’s daily fight for survival.
On the other hand, if your terrarium-bound lizard uses the same claws intended to hang vertically from a palm tree to perch from your arm, you probably won’t enjoy hanging out with “Lizzie” as much as she will. There’s a simple solution though: Clip the tiniest tips off her claws.
While this wouldn’t be an issue for smaller lizards, but larger and stronger specimens, such as monitors and iguanas can easily slash up your skin without even trying. The easiest way to nip this problem in the bud is to lightly wrap your lizard in a towel to keep her from squirming or biting and use a claw trimming tool intended for a cat or small dog to remove just the smallest tip from each claw. Get a friend to comfortably hold the lizard during the trimming process if you can, so you can concentrate on wrapping up as quickly as possible to minimize the stress on the reptile. Although you are very unlikely to clip the vein in the lizard’s claw if you only clip the tip of each nail, keep some styptic powder on hand just in case one starts to bleed.
Once you’re all done, it’ll be scratch-free fun for you and your big ‘ol lizard! Have fun, armchair herpetologists!