Rabbit grooming tips are vital for new rabbit owners or those who plan to keep bunnies as pets. Without proper grooming, these furry pets may suffer from different health conditions. Although they groom themselves, there are still things that only you can do. Learn more through rabbit grooming tips to keep your bunny healthy and happy!

Rabbit grooming tips

Rabbit Grooming Tips for Coats

 

Grooming your bunny’s coat is crucial to prevent health conditions like flystrike. Rabbits with short furs require at least once or twice a week. However, long-haired bunnies need daily brushing. You must brush your pet regularly when shedding to prevent it from ingesting its fur. 

You can use a flea comb, pet fur-buster, fine-toothed comb, and glove brush when grooming your pet’s coat. A flea comb helps remove the loose fur on the undercoat. But to prevent tugging your pet’s hair, use a fine-toothed comb. Meanwhile, a pet fur-buster is ideal for grooming wider areas. A glove brush is recommended for those who don’t want to use brushes.

Before brushing your pet’s coat, it is vital to make it calm. Thus, your bunny won’t run away while you are grooming it. Once you put your bunny in the proper position, gently brush the fur in its direction. If you use a glove rubber, don’t press it too much to your pet’s coat since it can make the rabbit uncomfortable.

If there are matted furs, remove them using a mat splitter or rake. In case the mats are too tough, you can cut them using scissors. Keep your hand between the matted fur and the rabbit’s skin to prevent rabbit injuries. As a reminder, bathing your rabbit doesn’t remove the matted furs. On the contrary, the coat’s condition worsens after the natural oils are expelled. 

An owner removing rabbit's loose fur

Rabbit Grooming Tips for Nails

 

Bunnies with long nails tend to hurt themselves and their owners. Thus, trimming their nails is necessary. For new rabbit owners, this task can be challenging. Cutting their nails too short may cause the quick to bleed. Quick is the vein located at the base of the rabbit’s nails. It could be more difficult if your pet has darker nails. The best thing to do is to cut only the tips.

One of the rabbit grooming tips for trimming nails is that you must use animal nail clippers. Never use human clippers or scissors. Aside from the uneven cut, they can also injure your bunny. There are also nail clippers designed specifically for rabbits. If you are not confident enough to do it yourself, get a partner who can hold your pet while you are cutting its nails.

If you have a partner, he must hold the rabbit wherein it’s facing you, making its nails accessible. Clip its nails one by one, but pause when your pet needs to be positioned appropriately. You can also trim its nails by yourself. But you must wrap it around your arm and gently pull its forepaws out. Putting a towel on your bunny can help to make it calm.

Accidents can occur, so prepare a cotton ball and a small amount of cornstarch or styptic powder. You must not panic when you cut the quick and bleeding occurs. Apply cornstarch or styptic powder on the injured area. As much as possible, grooming must not be a traumatic and distressing experience for your pet.

Cutting rabbit's nails

Rabbit Grooming Tips for Ears

 

Cleaning your rabbit’s ears is crucial to prevent excessive build-up of ear wax. Neglecting to clean its ears may result in ear infections. The condition may occur either in the middle and inner or outer ear. Bunnies with ear infections show appetite loss, head tilt, and ear discharge.

Because of their sensitive ears, you shouldn’t use solutions not prescribed by the vet. Instead of a special solution, use a soft cloth and warm water. If you are dealing with stubborn earwax, ask your vet for a commercial solution. You may also use a headlamp or a penlight to make it easier for you to clean your bunny’s ears.

The first thing you need to do is to prepare your pet for cleaning. It should not be stressed or frightened since it may bite, kick, or scratch you. Interacting with your pet can help to calm down its nerves. If your pet is already calm, check if there is any debris inside its ears. You can use tweezers or cotton swabs. But never push them too much since they can get stuck in the ear canal.

To remove the remaining wax, flush it out of the bunny’s ears by dampening a cloth with water. Once done, wipe your pet’s ears from the bottom to the top. Keep on doing this step until the earwax softens. Make your bunny comfortable so that it will look forward to the grooming sessions. You can also treat it as a reward for a well-done job. 

Cleaning rabbit's ears

Rabbit Grooming Tips for Teeth

 

Since the rabbit’s teeth keep growing, you must watch them out to ensure they are not too long. The overgrowth of teeth can affect your rabbit’s health, especially if it stops eating due to the pain. Appetite loss may lead to gastrointestinal stasis. Hence, you must check your teeth regularly and ensure no overgrowth.

Unfortunately, the rabbit’s poor diet may lead to the overgrowth of its teeth. Bunnies that don’t eat enough fiber suffer from this condition. Hay strengthens and trims the rabbits’ teeth. Hence, wild bunnies rarely experience this kind of situation. Besides overgrowth, your pet may also suffer from misshapen or damaged teeth.

To stop your bunny’s teeth from growing, provide it with timothy hay. Aside from hay, you can give it tree branches, twigs, and pine cones. Pinewood, cotton towels, wicker baskets, and rubber balls can also trim their teeth. Avoid giving your pet cheap chew toys since the bunny can accidentally choke them. You can also provide more chewing options to your bunny to encourage it to chew more. 

You must also check your rabbit’s teeth once in a while. If its teeth resemble fangs, it is time to bring them to the vet for trimming. Other signs that your bunny’s teeth are too long are yellowing and eye or nasal discharge. Checking your pet’s teeth every week will prevent them from overgrowing.

Rabbit Grooming Tips for Teeth

Rabbit Grooming Tips for Scent Glands

 

Scent glands are present in the different parts of the bunnies’ bodies. They use them to mark their territories. However, the scent glands you must clean are located on the bunny’s bottom. The scent gland located in this area usually gets impacted or plugged. Thus, your rabbit needs your help to clean them up. 

First, you must put your pet in a neutral position. Let it sit on the floor to prevent it from falling off. Get a towel, then wrap it around your bunny. Hold it against your body while supporting its chest and hind limbs. In this position, you can prevent your bunny from kicking suddenly. You can also give it the treat to keep it distracted.

To expose the scent gland, gently lift the tail and spread the skin on both sides of the anus. After that, apply water-based lube to a cotton-tipped swab. Gently rub the swab on the scent gland and remove the dark, waxy substance plugging it. This procedure can be uncomfortable for your bunny for a while, but it gets done pretty quickly.

 

 

Rabbit Grooming Tips for Feet

 

As active and playful pets, the rabbits’ feet tend to get muddy and dirty. Since bathing your pet can be harmful, the best way to clean your pet’s feet is through spot cleaning. For this procedure, you need a soft cloth soaked in water. It would be advisable to place a towel on your lap to prevent the rabbit from soaking you wet. Place your pet in your lap and gently rub its feet until they are clean.

If you are dealing with urine stains, the best way to get rid of them is by giving your pet a dry bath. To do this method, you have to put your pet in a belly-up position. Ensure that a padded surface supports its back and neck. In this position, your bunny’s feet are more accessible to you. Get a cornstarch powder, then rub it on the urine-stained area. 

After you have rubbed the powder into the stained areas, start combing through the fur. The best comb you can use is the flea comb. Patting and stroking the fur can remove the powder. However, the best way to get rid of the powder is by using a hand-held vacuum, which does not irritate the bunny.

 

 

Preventing Flystrike

 

A poorly-groomed bunny may suffer from flystrike. It is a condition wherein flies lay maggots on your bunny’s fur or skin. Flies love to lay eggs in damp areas, including a rabbit’s poopy bottom. Once the eggs hatch, they will start consuming the bunny’s flesh. Because of too much pain, your pet may experience a shock, leading to death. The infestation can only take 24 hours until the rabbit dies.

Symptoms of flystrike include loss of appetite, lethargy, and limited movement. You can also see your bunny digging into a corner because of too much pain. The best way to treat this condition is to bring your rabbit to the vet. Never submerge your rabbit in the water since it may only cause too much pain, leading to a severe shock. 

With your help, you can prevent your bunny from suffering from flystrike. Give it a proper diet to prevent it from having diarrhea or GI stasis. These conditions may cause the bunny to have a damp and dirty bottom. You should also clean its hutch to prevent its coat from getting wet. Flystrike is more common in summer, so you must regularly check your rabbit.

Checking the bunny's health

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How can I calm my rabbit before grooming it?

 

You can calm your rabbit by giving it treats. It is a good way of keeping your pet distracted. Aside from that, you can also put a soft towel on your pet’s head. It will feel calm and secure while a towel covers its head. As a piece of advice, never groom a frightened and nervous rabbit. You may only end up injuring it while grooming it.

 

How often should I brush my rabbit’s coat?

If you have a short-haired bunny, you can brush its coat at least once a week. However, brush its coats daily if you have long-haired rabbits like Lionheads. When the rabbit is shedding its fur, you must brush its coat more often to prevent it from ingesting its fur.

Grooming a bunny

Conclusion

 

Learning rabbit grooming tips can help your pet enjoy a happy and healthy life. A poorly-groomed bunny may experience severe health conditions like flystrike and overgrown teeth. Regularly brushing your pet’s coat and cleaning its body, you are helping it enjoy a good life with you.

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