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How to Trim a Pig's Hooves

| Updated August 11, 2017


  • Just like the quick of our nails, there are nerves and blood vessels in each pig hoof. Keep this in mind when you cut back on the pig's hooves.

How to Trim a Pig's Hooves. When a pig's hooves become overgrown they can cripple him over time. A pig should have his hooves trimmed from an early age so he gets used to it and it isn't a battle. The foot of a pig consists of two primary toe and two dew claws. The toes are surrounded by very hard nail. Follow these instructions to learn how to trim pig hooves.

Help the pig relax by starting out with a tummy rub. While rubbing her tummy, gently massage her hooves so they become desensitized to your touch. Work up to using a file on her nails if she is still really young or use the clippers if she's an older pig to trim the hooves.

Use a pair of stainless steel spring-loaded side cutters, also referred to as diagonal cut mini pliers, to trim the pig's hooves. Make sure they're sharp and in good condition because a pig's hooves are very hard.

Clean the pig's hooves while she is still lying comfortably on her side from her tummy rub. The bottom of the hoof collects dry flaking nails that cause him to stand incorrectly. Use the cutters to trim away the flaky nails until you get to smooth nail.

Cut back both sides of the nail and blunt the end of it. Make sure not to cut between the toes on the inside edge. Smooth the rough edges of the hoof with a metal nail file making sure not to leave any sharp edges.

Move on to the dewclaws. Shorten them on the side if it's necessary. Leave them with a dull cut. Smooth away any rough edges using the metal nail file.

Rub hoof oil on the pig's hooves after you trim them. Move on to the next hoof until all four are complete. If the pig becomes stressed out then finish the other hooves at a later time, even if you have to do one hoof a week.