If you plan on soon being the happy owner of a pet bunny, there are a few must-have rabbit accessories that you have to acquire in order to provide it with the necessary comfort.
To start, you should get an indoor rabbit cage that is spacious enough and where it can feel at home. After you have purchased all the needed accessories, it is vital that you spend some time learning how to properly take care of your new pet. In this article, we have put together info regarding how to groom and bathe a rabbit.
If possible, baths should be avoided
Although it might seem natural, bathing a bunny is a decision that might result in the death of the animal. Generally, rabbits are fairly clean pets that take good care of their hygiene. The only instance when bathing a rabbit is acceptable is when it is soiled or when it is extremely dirty. This only happens when the pet is too sick to clean itself.
When bathed, there is a risk that your pets will go into shock. Because of its delicate constitution, there are a couple of directions that you should follow when bathing a pet rabbit.
Prepare the bath
If your bunny is sick and it needs the extra help to stay clean, you can give it a bath. To start, fill the bathtub with an inch of water and place a towel on its bottom. This will provide the animal with the necessary grip.
Add a gentle shampoo or some soap in the water. Next, place the pet in the tub. At all times, you should keep its front half out of the water. This way, it will feel comfortable and it won’t struggle to get out.
Gently massage the tail area of the pet and try to get rid of the dirt. Use slow motions and try to be as delicate as possible. Once the water is dirty, replace it with clean, warm water and make sure that the bunny is thoroughly rinsed.
To dry the pet it is best that you use towels. You can turn the hairdryer on so that warm air is generated. However, you should not point it in the direction of the pet as it might scare it. Moreover, if your hairdryer is particularly loud, you should avoid utilizing it altogether as pet bunnies are very afraid of loud sounds.
After the bath is over, there is a high chance that you will notice the pet licking itself in an attempt to remove the remaining water. If this happens, you should not intervene, as this is an innate instinct that rabbits have.
Grooming your pet bunnies also implies the process of cleaning its scent glands. If you are a novice, you might not know that rabbits have two scent glands placed on either side of their anus.
These glands have to be thoroughly cleaned regularly so that they do not clog up. Although the job is icky and stinky, it needs to be done. The best way to clean the glands is by using cotton buds and warm water.
To do the entire job quickly and with minimal discomfort for the pet, it is advisable that you ask someone to hold the animal upside down in a secure fashion. Once the pet is in the correct position, use the wet cotton buds and swipe at the glands until the discharge is off.
In case you find it difficult to go through this part of the grooming process by yourself, it is recommendable that you ask the help of your local vet, as he/she will be more than capable to carry out the task.
As a beginner, you might not know that bunnies have to have their claws trimmed every four to six weeks. Just like your nails, the claws of your beloved friend keep on growing. Plus, because it lives inside, it cannot wear them down as wild rabbits do.
You can take care of this issue by investing in a claw clipper and by clipping them at home. If you do not feel comfortable or out of your element doing so, there is also the option of taking the pet to the vet and having a professional doing the clipping.
If you decide to clip the claws yourself, it is vital that you place a light underneath the claws of the pet so that you can be sure that you do not accidentally clip its blood vessels as well. The blood vessels are the pink bits that you can notice.
Brushing and sleep eyes
Because bunnies tend to molt a few times a year, you have to constantly brush the coat of your fluffy companion regularly. This should not be very complicated as there are special brushes that you can use when doing so. Even more so, bunnies tend to like having their coat brushed.
Every now and then rabbits also get sleep in their eyes. Because of this, when grooming your pet it is important that you wipe it away. In case you notice that your bunny has excess gunk or too many tears, it is vital that you take it to the vet as soon as possible as this might indicate that the pet has a medical problem.
When washing your pet, you should also pay extra attention and look for indications whether or not your companion has fleas. Because fleas are small and brown insects, they are not very easy to spot.
If you notice the presence of fleas, it is crucial that you ask the local vet for a product that you can use to treat the infestation. Moreover, because fleas are transmissible, be sure to wash all the rugs and material items that have come into contact with the pet, such as towels.
Generally, treating a pet against fleas takes about a month. If you own more than one bunny, it might help to keep them in different cages so that they do not lick off the flea treatment from one another.