Even though rabbits spend a lot of time cleaning themselves, that doesn’t mean we can’t help out now and then. Rabbits usually don’t need baths, but brushing their fur regularly helps keep them in good shape and keeps them from getting hairballs. Trimming their nails keeps their feet healthy and keeps them from getting stuck in the carpet. A small amount of care goes a long way.
If you have a rabbit with short hair, you should brush it at least once a week. When they are shedding, which happens about every three months, you should brush them more often. During the most hair loss, you should brush them every day. If you can do this, you will see a big difference in how much hair you brush out. Keep in mind that rabbit skin is very delicate, so be soft and, if possible, use a brush made for rabbits. Bristle brushes are better than metal-toothed slicker brushes, which could hurt their skin. You can also use a fine-toothed comb. You can also clean up the loose hair with a rubber cleaning tool, or you can run a damp (not wet) washcloth over the coat after brushing to get any loose hair.
If you have an Angora rabbit, you have to brush it every day. If you don’t plan to show your long-haired rabbit, it’s best to keep the hair about an inch long, or else it will be very likely to mat. Be careful not to cut the hair over the rabbit’s hocks, though, or the lack of padding could cause sores. Your rabbit is also very likely to get hairballs, which can block its stomach (called a “wool block”) if they eat too many long hairs. You can cut your rabbit’s hair yourself, or you can take it to a groomer for the first cut and then do the rest at home. Rabbit skin is very thin and easy to cut by accident, so you have to be very careful when cutting hair. As with all rabbits, yours should be brushed every day from a young age. This is also a good way to get to know your rabbit better.
Removing Matted Hair from Rabbits
If your rabbit gets mats in its fur, don’t try to cut them out with scissors. It’s easy to cut into the skin by accident. Carefully separate and comb the hair out of the mat a little bit at a time, making sure not to pull on the skin. It may take a few times of cleaning to get a mat to its best shape. You can also take your rabbit to a groomer who will use electric clippers to get rid of the mats. However, electric clippers can also cut the skin, so care must be taken no matter which method is used.
Should you bath your rabbit?
Rabbits don’t need to be washed, and most of the time, they find baths very stressful. If a rabbit needs a bath, it is better to do a “spot cleaning” of the dirty area than to put it through the stress of a full bath. If you do need to get your rabbit wet, remember that rabbit fur takes a long time to dry, and you must be very careful if you use a blow dryer to speed up the process. Rabbits easily get too hot, so if you must use a machine, use a warm or cool setting.
Trims Rabbit Nails
Your rabbit should also have its nails trimmed regularly. When they brush their nails once a week, check them and cut them if they get too long. It’s better to trim often than to have to cut off a lot even if you only want to take off a little bit. Have styptic powder and a friend to help you hold your rabbit at all times.
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