Rabbits, like guinea pigs, ferrets and cats, don’t really need baths. Their skins are already dry and washing regularly will make their skin even more dry, which would be very uncomfortable for them.
Rabbits are clean animals by nature. They groom themselves pretty often. Besides regular brushing to prevent hairball formation, house rabbits would not normally require frequent bathing. However, some owners, particularly those who have sensitive sense of smell or those who intend to show their pets, may want to bathe their rabbits more regularly.
Can I Give My Rabbit a Bath?
Yes, but only if it’s really necessary.
Rabbits have their own version of bathing. They often lick their fur the way a cat would. So you would really need not to give your pet a bath that often. Moreover, bunnies have extremely fine, dense fur and it would take quite a long time to dry out on its own. So whenever your rabbit gets wet, he must be dried off as soon as you can. However, your beloved pet is also extremely sensitive to heat, and using a hot blow dryer may cause some serious problems.
But if there comes a time that bathing would be really necessary then you have to be extra careful.
Bathe your pet with a partner as much as possible. Most rabbits don’t want to take a bath. You would need someone to assist you to ensure that your rabbit remains safe in case he panics or reacts violently. Your partner should hold the rabbit in place so he won’t slip and slide around, while you focus on bathing your pet using an old washcloth or soft brush. Remember to use plain water.
For serious rabbit mess you may have to bathe him in a small sink with lukewarm water. A regular bathtub is not recommended as the large size and slippery surface might cause your pet to panic. Besides, the tall sides of a bathtub will prevent you from holding the bunny securely.
Do not, at all cost, immerse the entire rabbit in water. The suggested water level should lower than his belly. Let you pet stand on hind feet as you support his upper body from the front. Wait until your rabbit is comfortable with the water. Then you can use a cup to soak and rinse his body.
Remember to rinse your pet thoroughly. It is important to rinse all the shampoo out of your bunny's coat as he might ingest the shampoo chemicals when he licks his fur. Never use shampoos that are meant for humans. Even baby shampoos can harm your pet’s much sensitive skin. Only use quality shampoos specially formulated for rabbits or cats.
You should consider trimming your rabbit’s nails. It is important to check your pet’s nails at least once a week. Rabbits have sensitive skin, and clipping his nails will ensure that he won’t injure himself or hurt anybody with his long, sharp nails.
Also clean your bunny’s ears regularly. You can use some ear cleaning solutions that are available in pet stores. Such solution will help dissolve wax build up. Ensure to clean his ears carefully yet thoroughly.
Flea baths however, are not recommended unless your pet is still living in an infected area or with other animals with fleas. More importantly, flea baths should only be administered by a veterinarian.
In drying your rabbit, using a towel is much preferred than a hair dryer. The dryers can be dangerous if not used properly. It can burn your pet or stress him out and put him into shock. If ever you’ll need to use a hair dryer, ensure to only use the basic settings – just warm and not hot. Also, the dryer must be at least 12 to 15 inches away from your bunny.
Keeping your rabbit’s cage clean is likewise essential. Proper hygiene is not just about giving him baths or brushing his fur. Maintaining a clean habitat is also part of it. Regularly clean the litter box as the urine of a rabbit usually has a very strong odor.
And since your pet’s urine has a strong odor, do not forget to clean his genital scent glands as well. Ensure to keep his genital glands clean and fresh to prevent any prevent infections. Thoroughly clean the genital glands particularly if you see urine scalding.
Caring for your beloved rabbit entails knowing the proper hygiene procedures for him. Bathe your bunny only when really necessary to ensure a happy, healthy and safe pet.