Rabbits are calm creatures. They eat, sleep and cuddle with us and they are low maintenance. When you are getting a new pet or if you already own a bunny and you want to know the proper way to groom him, it is always good to have some guidelines.
Since bunnies don’t like water very much it is important to know how to clean him especially if he goes outside and back inside your home. We will explain the easiest ways to get your bunny clean and groomed the proper way.
Bathing is out of the question
Bathing a rabbit is not possible. They are simply not fans of water and it can make them fall into a shock if you dip them in water suddenly. This is why cleaning a rabbit is something you should do without giving him baths like you would with other animals.
Bunnies can also experience hypothermia and fall into shock if they get dipped into the water. Their natural habitat is not water and their anatomy is not meant for swimming and moving around in the water.
Their body temperature is between 101 and 103 F, so giving him a bath might cause him to have hypothermia. Their skin is also very sensitive to heat, so it is not a good idea to put him inside the water.
Their front legs are not muscular enough for swimming and they only swim if they need to escape dangerous predators. This is why you should use these special techniques to clean your furry friend and avoid dipping him directly into water.
Grooming before cleaning
Calming your rabbit’s hair is important before cleaning his fur. This way you will remove everything from his fur. If he has been outside, there might be pieces of dirt or food stuck between the hairs. For this part you should use a brush especially made for rabbit grooming.
These brushes are fine-toothed brushes and they are softer than the ones made for dogs. You should do this step every few days, depending on the condition of his fur. If he hasn’t been outside too much then you can do this less often. For bunnies with longer fur, this process is of course necessary more often.
While doing this, don’t push too hard and hold him gently while you comb his fur. Focus on the areas where the dirt seems to stick more often like the areas around his legs.
This step will both decrease the amount of fur shedding around your home and keep your bunny nice and groomed.
If his fur is tangled then you can use a mat splitter for his clumped fur. This way you will detangle his fur without hurting him, while you are combing him. Make sure to use this tool the right way, and try not to cut your bunny.
Cleaning your bunny with water
If your bunny has fallen into something then you might want to clean this area without washing him again completely. Use cornstarch on the spot where your bunny is dirty and clean his fur. Rabbits don’t usually like water and they are scared of being wet.
You can also comb his fur after spraying on the cornstarch to remove the leftover dirt. Even if your bunny is really dirty, dipping him directly into the water is not a good idea. Since they only swim when they are trying to escape, it might be a big shock for them.
Dip a washcloth in the water and squeeze out the rest of the water. Then apply the washcloth to the areas where your pet has gotten dirty and clean his fur. Drying his fur needs to be done with a hair dryer. You should set the hair dryer to the lowest temperature because their skin is extremely delicate.
Cleaning the critical areas
Areas around your bunny’s body, where the scent glands are needs to be done with a cotton swab dipped in water. If you avoid this step your bunny will not have such a great smell. Since animals like rabbits don’t enjoy water very much and bathing is not possible, areas around his anus need to be cleaned regularly.
If your rabbit gets nervous during this process then you should get help from someone. Let your friend or partner hold him while you clean these areas.
This method can also be used for dried urine spots. Some rabbits can’t control their urination process and the urine can get into their fur and get dry in there. This will cause your bunny to smell bad and also make him very uncomfortable.
Again, use a washcloth or a cotton swab dipped in water and soap to clean these areas. If this process continues, then you should take your rabbit to the vet and see if everything is okay.
There are many products especially meant for rabbits which you can find in pet stores. These are special shampoos that you can use to clean your bunny, but of course, this does not apply that you should bathe your bunny.
If you don’t have a special shampoo then you can use regular soap. Try picking out the ones that are not too abrasive and make sure to clean his fur thoroughly. Water should be warm because otherwise you might scare your rabbit.
For combing use special combs that you can buy in pet shops. They have finer teeth and they are made especially for rabbit’s sensitive skin.