Understanding the Grooming Needs of Your Rabbit

Bringing home a friendly bunny as your new family pet will come with some basic grooming responsibilities, which is something some prospective bunny owners do not expect. However, keeping your bunny well groomed ensures you have a happy, healthy pet. Take a look at some of the basic grooming needs your pet rabbit will have.

Brushing

All rabbits have a thick coat of hair that will need attention, especially during periods when they are shedding more. It is a good idea to brush your rabbit with a soft-bristled brush at least every few days. If you have a long-haired rabbit, such as a Lionhead rabbit,  brushing should be done more often. If you do not brush your rabbit enough, the excess hair can cause problems in their digestive tract and your rabbit’s fur can become matted, which can contribute to skin diseases and irritation.

Nail Trimming

Your pet bunny’s nails will grow fairly quickly and do have to be regularly clipped. Nail trimming will have to be done about every six to eight weeks to prevent them from growing uncomfortably long, which can be a problem for your pet but a danger to you as well. If you are not comfortable trimming bunny’s nails on your own, the veterinarian can assist you with this grooming task.

Feet Grooming

The rabbit’s foot, even on the bottom, is covered with soft tufts of hair for protection. However, these tufts of hair can sometimes get matted and will have to be removed. If you have to remove these small mats of hair from the bunny’s foot, be extremely careful not to take off more fur than is necessary. Keep a close eye on your bunny’s feet for signs of injury because even small injuries can lead to a dangerous infection of the foot.

Ear Cleaning 

The inside of your rabbit’s ears can accumulate wax, dust, and dirt and should be cleaned occasionally. To clean your bunny’s ears, simply use a damped cotton ball or cloth to gently wipe the ears. If there is an excessive amount of wax or you see signs of mites, talk to the vet about treatment options available.

Eye Cleaning

Because rabbits have shorter front legs, they can have a difficult time effectively cleaning around their eyes. All that is required of you as the bunny’s caretaker is that you periodically check to make sure your bunny’s eyes are clean. If you spot any debris, such as a piece of hay or hair, around or inside the eye, you can use a basic eye wash to flush out the material. Use a soft cotton cloth moistened with water to wipe away any dirt.

Flea and Mite Treatment 

Even if your bunny is a full-time house rabbit, it can still get fleas and mites. It’s important to look for signs of fleas and mites, like scratching or skin irritation and treat for the problems right away. Be sure you consult your vet before using typical flea treatments that you might consider safe, as a rabbit’s skin can be more delicate than a dog or cat’s. Mites can develop on the skin and in your rabbit’s ears and this condition is treatable with different products depending on the type of mites.

Checking Teeth

A rabbit’s teeth continually grow throughout their adult life, which can cause some problems if not properly monitored. It is best to check your rabbit’s teeth for signs of overgrowth on a regular basis. If your rabbit’s teeth seem to be so large that it is causing them difficulties with closing their mouth or eating, schedule an appointment with the vet. To prevent issues with tooth overgrowth, make sure your bunny gets a steady supply of treats to nibble that are designed to help file down teeth as the bunny chew.

Giving your pet bunny a healthy life has a lot to do with how well you give proper attention to its grooming needs. To find the supplies you need to keep your little hopper looking spiffy and feeling great, check out the supplies we have available on Rabbits.ie.