Grooming your Pet Bunny
Grooming your pet bunny is as important as grooming your dog. Do you groom your bunny? If not, there’s no time like the present. Grooming your bunny is essential to comfort and overall health of the pet bunny. Not sure where to start? Well, you’re here right now, aren’t you? Let’s get started!
Groom your Pet Bunny in all Ways that Matter!
Some people think that grooming your pet bunny is all about brushing his hair, but there’s really more to it than just that. A bunny needs to be brushed and combed out, for sure. However, a bunny’s nails should be trimmed, his eyes and ears should be looked over, his scent glands should be cleaned and more!
Bathing your Pet Bunny
Many people ask if they should bathe their bunny. The short answer is no! Generally speaking, bunnies are very clean animals. If it becomes necessary to bathe your bunny, it is advisable to spot clean the dirty area.
Most bunnies will only need their bottom cleaned from time to time. Warm water and bunny shampoo should be used. If you use a blow dryer, put the dry on the warmest setting and position the dyer at least 12 inches away from the bunny. Be sure to keep the dryer moving and don’t aim the dryer in one spot for too long as you may risk burning his gentle skin.
You may need to ask someone to help you bathe your bunny. Even though your bunny isn’t completely being submerged in water, it’s likely he’s not going to sit still for you. Remember, spot cleaning is all you need to do for the bunny and it’s all you should do too. Bunnies are known to go into shock during experiences with bathing when their immune systems have been compromised so don’t try it.
Brushing your Pet Bunny
Grooming your bunny also involves brushing. Some bunnies will need to be brushed every day. Long haired bunnies such as the angora bunny tend to mat so proper attention is a must. Even bunnies with shorter hair will need to be brushed at least once a week with a bristle brush and maybe more if you notice mats forming.
Bunnies need to be brushed more frequently no matter their coat length during periods of shedding. Most bunnies will shed their coats every three months. You should be aware that not all bunnies shed for the same amount of time or during the same season.
It’s possible that grooming your bunny may, at some point, involve shaving. Shaving your bunny should only occur if absolutely necessary. It’s perfectly appropriate to trim your bunny’s fur down to about an inch or so if you are trying to prevent matting and hairballs. If you do not know how to shave and trim your bunny, leave it to the professionals. They will be glad you asked.
Cleaning your Pet Bunny’s Scent Glands
Did you know that your bunny has scent glands? Similar to other pets, a bunny has scent glands on their bottom and under their chin. From time to time, they being to smell bad due to build up of the waxy substance in the ducts of the glands. By simply wetting the area of the scent glands with mineral oil, you can easily wipe clean and restore your bunny’s gland to the prior and more preferred scent free version! Keep in mind you are dealing with very delicate areas of your bunny so please be gentle.
Trimming your Pet Bunny’s Nails
Finally, grooming your pet bunny also includes trimming his nails. Trim your pet bunny’s nails only if you fee comfortable doing so.
Place the bunny on his back in your lap or hold him like a baby in the crook of your arm. Carefully trim your bunny’s nails. This can be done if you are aware that you can’t trim past the quick, which is where the blood supply begins. Nails that are light in color are easier to trim because you can visually see the quick, making it easier to avoid injury to the bunny while trimming. Dark colored nails are trickier. Using a flashlight makes it easier to see the quick. If you do happen to cut down to the quick, you can quickly stop the bleeding by applying styptic powder or Kwick stop.
If trimming your bunny’s nails makes you nervous, don’t fret. Just take your bunny to the vet or groomer and they will be glad to do it for you. They do it all the time.
In conclusion, always remember the delicate nature of bunnies and act accordingly with them. Grooming your pet bunny should be a positive, bonding experience. Injuries can occur from harsh grooming to these gentle little creatures. To learn more about grooming your bunny, check out the House Rabbit Society, a non-profit rescue and education organization.