Ways To Groom A Rabbit

Brush rabbit's fur and grooming the rabbit
Image by Freepik

No matter who you are, everyone loves to clean up well and look their best. From cleaning to grooming, from using the best body products to tools, we all spend time in getting our best look out. We spend hours at spas and salons, doing what not treatments and going through grooming sessions. When it comes to our rabbits, the same rule applies. They love to be groomed and dressed. From brushing their fur to clipping their hair, they love the little attention they get. Most times, you’ll find that without you trying, your rabbits spend a lot of their time grooming themselves. They are smart to learn the ways to keep themselves clean, hygienic and healthy.

What Do Grooming Rabbits Usually Include

Grooming our rabbits majorly includes trimming of fur, trimming of nails, brushing of fur, removal of debris from their fur and removal of mat. It also can include cleaning of the eye areas, ears and their bottoms. Wandering why their butts are needed to be cleaned? Because you must have noticed tufts of fur poking out of their butts. Many people, despite knowing the checklist for grooming, do not know how to do it.

Significant Ways To Groom Your Rabbit

Grooming sessions are an excellent way to spend some time with your rabbit and an opportunity to check their overall health. We recommend the following to be included in your frequent grooming sessions:

  • Brushing their fur and removing hairballs
  • Checking their eyes and cleaning them
  • Checking their ears and cleaning them
  • Checking their teeth and trimming them
  • Checking their bottom and scent gland
  • Checking their nails and trimming them

Setting up a routine will help your rabbit to anticipate and be ready for when the next session will take place. Regular grooming also helps to find any serious issues pertaining to their body and preventive care can be given.

Brushing Your Rabbits’ Fur

Brushing Rabbit's Fur

Source: Medivet

Rabbits tend to shed their fur or coat faster and more so they tend have to hairballs all over. Brushing their fur helps to unknot the hairballs or knots. It’s important to brush their fur every day or in alternate days because rabbits love to self-groom. And they lick themselves in order to do that which increases the risk of them swallowing or digesting their fur. For wild animals, it is common that fur ends up in their gut more often than not, but we can take care of the domesticated rabbits so that they don’t end up having ball of hairs in their stomach. Less hair in their poop is better for our rabbit and this is where brushing their fur frequently helps. Long-haired rabbits will need to be brushed more often, multiple times a week or even multiple times a day during a big shedding season.

During the shedding season, rabbits tend to shed a lot. The shedding season is usually for a duration of 2 to 4 times during the year. Based on the breed and the climate the rabbits live in, the shedding season can be evaluated. Which is why it’s difficult to usually pin-point the exact start date of their shedding season. Rabbits will need to be brushed daily during heavy shedding seasons. This would prevent hairball blockages in the rabbit’s stomach.

Here’s what you need to do:

– Place your rabbit in front of you and calm them down by patting
– Brush in the direction of the fur while continuing to pat them through the process
– Pluck out some of the loose fur or turfs or hairballs
– Brush off the excess fur

A quick look at what you should ask the pet expert:

What To Use To Brush Their Fur

To brush a rabbit, the only item you’ll really need is a brush. Look for fine-toothed combs that will help you do a thorough job at brushing without making them uncomfortable. Sometimes, a brush that works for one rabbit may not work for another. Try different types of brushes before you find the one that your rabbit loves being used on them.

Remove Your Pets’ Loose Hair With A Push Of A Button

Trim Their Nails

Trimming the nails

Source: Supreme Petfoods

Rabbit’s nails are known for growing continuously. If we clip them, our rabbit can tend to accidently scratch us or anyone while playing. Also, it’s not very comfortable for our rabbit to have too long nails. If you’re scared or not comfortable trimming your rabbit’s nails yourself, do not take a risk of trying, take them to your vet for a trimming. A wrong trim can be very painful.

For trimming, use guillotine-style nail clipper. It’s a common clipper used for trimming nails for cats and birds too. If the nails are not too long, you can easily file them too with an emery board until it gets big enough and a clipper is needed to be used.

Look for signs of dark-colored nails. Don’t trim into the area that looks dark. Rabbits have a blood supply that runs a certain length down their nails. Use a penlight behind the claw to make it easier and quicker to see.

If you accidently trim too far or make a cut to their skin, use a little styptic powder and press it into the nail. Upon applying pressure on the affected area with the styptic powder, the bleeding would stop and the powder will also numb any pain the rabbit might be feeling. In case styptic powder is not available, one can use cornstarch or flour. But, if the bleeding doesn’t stop with the next 10 minutes after the powder was applied, consult your vet.

Here’s what you need to do:

– Place your rabbit on someone’s lap or a table
– Gently pull one of their forepaws out and clip the nails on that foot
– Hold your rabbit up on their hind legs and clip their back feet

If you need to trim rabbits’ nails, here’s what you need

Trim Their Teeth

Trimming Rabbits' Teeth

Source: Clever Pet Owners

Tooth problems are common among bunnies since their teeth can grow without stopping. The natural way of helping them trim their front teeth is by giving them a healthy diet of hay, pellets and solid foods. Rabbits’ teeth tend to overgrow very easily and quickly, and they tend to decay if not taken proper care. Knowing how to take care of our rabbit’s teeth is very important. If natural methods of trimming their teeth do not work, consult your vet to artificially trim their teeth on regular basis to prevent overgrowth.

Also, look out for signs of red or purple gums, those are signs of inflammation. Moreover, if your rabbit has started drooling or a pungent odor is coming out of their mouth, these are signs of issues that needs to be addressed.

Here’s what you need to do:

– Pull their lips back and check the front teeth for any signs of overgrown or chipped teeth or incisors. Simultaneously, check their gums to look for any red or purple inflamed areas.

– Put little pressure around the cheeks and feel for abnormal bumps or abscesses aling the jawline. If you find them flinching which means the touched spot is painful and should be checked further.

– Back teeth are far back to see and without specialized equipment it is not feasible to inspect. So, the best way to check the back teeth is to look for external signs. These external signs can be as follows:

  • Swelling jawline
  • Weight loss
  • Change in eating habits (e.g. stops eating hard foods and can eat soft foods only)
  • Dropping food while trying to eat
  • Not eating food for hours at a stretch
  • Drooling
  • Bad mouth odor
  • Grumpy behavior

Check here for more detailed information on rabbit tooth health.

Bottom Line

Grooming is a significant part of your rabbit’s care regime and should include fur, teeth, nails, eyes and bottom care. Rabbits know how to keep themselves clean but they will still need a little help from their pet parents, especially during shedding season. Rabbits can be cranky about the grooming sessions but a little patience and attention can keep them calm and sit through the session. You can help your rabbit to enjoy regular grooming sessions and help them to look and feel their best.

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