Rabbit grooming is a very important part to providing your rabbit with the proper care. This subject can be a bit touchy with some rabbit enthusiast because it is necessary to keep your rabbit without hurting them.
We've listed out the four most important grooming tasks your rabbit needs and the techniques to help you keep them safe and healthy.
One important fact when understanding how to groom a rabbit, is to understand that rabbits generally shed about every three months (House Rabbit Society).
If you have a cat, you will know that they groom themselves almost every day. Like cats, rabbits tend to do the same thing. Depending on how long your rabbit’s hair is, this could cause your furry friend to get hairballs. Normally, cats will deal with hairballs by vomiting, however rabbits are not the same. If a rabbit does get a hairball, it can cause a blockage in the stomach which can cause the rabbit to starve to death and its stomach may look extremely large.
To ensure this doesn’t happen to your rabbit, make sure to keep up on your rabbit’s care by brushing them at least one time per week (especially if your rabbit tends to have very long hair). If your rabbit tends to have a bald spot- don’t worry! This is very common when they are in the middle of shedding off their hair. Normally these bald spots will grow back in a week or so. Some rabbits even shed all of their hair except for the hair on their feet and face (this is common for Angora rabbits). Don’t fret! It's perfectly normal and the hair will grow back shortly.
If you have a long-haired rabbit, it is even more important to keep up on your grooming habits. It is recommended by House Rabbit Society that you trim your rabbit’s hair with scissors weekly so that their hair isn’t much longer than one inch in length. This will help to make sure you bunny does not get a hairball and it will keep him or her happy and healthy.
Rabbit’s teeth are always growing. It is very important that you check to make sure your rabbit is wearing their teeth down by chewing on toys. If your rabbit has crooked teeth, known as malocclusion, your rabbit will need to have their teeth clipped to ensure that it doesn't starve. If you do not feel comfortable clipping your rabbit’s teeth yourself, set up an appointment with your veterinarian and they will show you the best way to clip your rabbit’s teeth without hurting your bunny.
Grooming a rabbit consists of making sure your rabbit’s ears are clean. This can be done by using a Qtip almost like you would with a human. It is vital that you do not push the ear wax deep into your rabbit’s ear or your bunny could get an infection. House Rabbit Society also suggests that you could use a cleaner that contains Chlorhexadine in it such as Nolvasan Otic. This is a mild ear cleaner that will help your rabbit have clean ears.
Rabbits are known to grow fairly long, sharp nails which can become bothersome for your furry friend. Rabbits with light colored nails prove to be fairly easy to trim. House Rabbit Society claims that you should be able to see the blood in your rabbit’s nails and “you should be able to clip the nail right before that point.” Rabbits with darks colored nails may make it harder to see where the blood is in the nail. However, you should still be able to clip the nails.
Your rabbit’s nails should be checked every 6-8 weeks. If you do not feel comfortable clipping your rabbit’s nails (many people fear that they will make their rabbit bleed), you can always make an appointment with your veterinarian and they can show you the correct clipping procedures to make sure you don’t hurt your bunny.
Rabbit grooming is extremely important in keeping your rabbit happy and healthy. Brushing your rabbit weekly, cleaning out their ears every so often, keeping up on dental care, and making sure your rabbit’s nails are at an appropriate length is very important to keep your rabbit feeling well. If you ever have any hesitations or questions it is best to contact your local veterinarian to make sure you are providing your rabbit with the best care possible.
To learn more about rabbit care and what to feed your rabbit, download our free offer below.