How to bathe your rabbit

How to bathe your rabbit
How to bathe your rabbit

Rabbits take good care of their fur and usually don't need help with grooming. In fact, immersing your rabbit in water is dangerous, as it could easily suffer from hypothermia or shock. Instead of giving your rabbit a normal bath, you need to learn how to clean the rabbit's fur, clean its scent glands, prevent it from getting fleas, all without soaking it in water.


Part 1 of 3: Grooming Your Rabbit

Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 1

Step 1. Brush the rabbit to remove dirt from its fur

Many rabbits love to be brushed and this is a great way to keep their fur clean. Buy a special brush for rabbit fur (they often have finer teeth than dog brushes). About twice a week, gently hold your rabbit to brush it. Focus on the areas where the rabbit has a bit of dirt or knots. When you're done, clean the brush and dry it.

  • Be sure to gently handle the rabbit. Not all rabbits like to be groomed. If yours seems to be scared or bothered by brushing, stop and try again later.
  • Long-haired rabbits require more care with their fur. Trim your rabbit's fur to about three inches in length to prevent tangling. This will avoid leaving hairs all over while keeping the fur clean.
Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 2

Step 2. Clean some areas of the rabbit's fur if necessary

If your rabbit jumps in a puddle, you may be able to help him clean up. Fortunately, it is possible to clean it without using water. This technique is the one that is most often recommended, as many rabbits go into shock when they are wet. Sprinkle some cornstarch on the dirty spot on the rabbit's fur and use your brush to brush off the dirt. Continue brushing the rabbit until its fur is clean.

  • Even if the rabbit is completely covered in mud, it is better that you use this method of cleaning rather than giving it a bath. Working section after section, carefully break up the dried mud, brush the rabbit's fur, and use the cornstarch to remove any little leftover dirt.
  • If absolutely necessary, use water to clean small areas of fur. Soak a washcloth in warm water and use it to moisten the fur. Try not to let the water get to the rabbit's skin. When this area of ​​fur is clean, use a blow dryer set to the lowest temperature to gently dry the fur. The normal body temperature of a rabbit is between 38.3 ° C and 39.4 ° C. Since the rabbit's skin is very delicate and since rabbits are sensitive to heat, never use the hair dryer set to a temperature that is too hot and constantly monitor the temperature you apply to the rabbit's skin by putting your hair on it. hand.
Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 3

Step 3. Use a knot separator

If your rabbit has knots in the fur, you should use a knot separator to untie them. This comb gently breaks the knots without harming the rabbit. Avoid using scissors, as rabbits are animals that move easily and you could harm them if they move while you are using the scissors.

Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 4

Step 4. Trim the rabbit's claws

This grooming task is necessary for rabbits who spend most of their time indoors. When rabbits do not have the opportunity to use their claws while digging, they can grow and become too long and too sharp. Use a rabbit nail clipper to take care of your rabbit's claws, or ask your vet to do it the next time you make an appointment.

  • Do not have your rabbit's claws removed. Rabbits are very susceptible to infections. By having it remove its claws, you leave wounds that could become infected.
  • Make sure your rabbit's living space is always clean and dry to keep their paws healthy.
Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 5

Step 5. Do not immerse the rabbit in water

It bears repeating that you could cause your rabbit to hypothermia or go into shock if you immerse him in water, both of which can be fatal. Some unique rabbits don't mind contact with water, and some owners have been surprised to find that their rabbits even enjoy swimming. However, if your rabbit has never shown an affinity for water, you'd better not take the risk of getting him wet. Rabbits are very sensitive animals and even a single bath can cause irreversible damage.

Part 2 of 3: cleanse the scent glands

Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 6

Step 1. Clean the area around the anus with a cotton ball dipped in water

Rabbits have scent glands around their anus where these secretions can build up and start to smell bad. To clean this area, simply soak a cotton ball or swab in lukewarm water. Rub the area to remove traces of secretions. If you do this often enough, you won't need to go deep into cleaning your rabbit's glands.

  • Your rabbit might get nervous and restless while you are cleaning this area. Have someone help you by holding the bunny and stroking it while you clean the scent gland area.
  • Rabbits also have scent glands under their chin, but these don't produce bad smells and don't need to be cleaned.
Bathe a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 8

Step 2. Obtain some animal shampoo

This type of shampoo is suitable for your rabbit, you will find it in pet stores.

Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 7

Step 3. Use soap only if absolutely necessary

If the secretions have accumulated over a significant period of time, you are not going to be able to flush them out with water. Fill a small bowl with lukewarm water and add a few drops of baby shampoo or Castile soap to it. Dip a cotton ball in the solution and gently clean around the rabbit's anus, being careful to wet only the areas that need to be cleaned. Repeat until there are no more traces of secretions.

  • Make sure not to leave any traces of soap on the rabbit, as this may cause skin irritation.
  • Do not use cold water and make sure it is lukewarm enough. Otherwise, the rabbit may go into chills and go into shock.
Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 8

Step 4. Dry it with a hair dryer on the lowest temperature

You shouldn't let the rabbit's fur air dry, because the more you let the rabbit wet, the more you expose it to all kinds of trouble. Use a blow dryer on the lowest setting (not too cold or too hot) and wipe the wet areas of her fur on the hindquarters several times. Continue until the fur is completely dry.

The sound of the hair dryer can frighten your companion! If this is the case, take it easy and use a very absorbent and soft towel to dry your friend off

Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 9

Step 5. Also use this method to clean dried urine

Some rabbits suffer from incontinence, which means they cannot hold their urine properly. Older rabbits and rabbits who have an underlying medical problem often suffer from this problem. Dried urine can build up on their fur, causing bad odors to appear and making the rabbit uncomfortable. If this happens to your bunny, here's what to do.

  • Clean the area with a cotton ball dipped in water.
  • Dry the area with a hairdryer on a low temperature.

    Here too, your friend may be scared, if so, use a soft towel instead

  • Take your rabbit to the vet to find treatment for the underlying problem causing incontinence.
Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 10

Step 6. Trim the rabbit's fur short to keep it from getting wet

Long hairs around the anus and on the sides of the rabbit can trap moisture near the rabbit's body. Keeping their fur short and well-groomed in these areas will help them dry faster and stay clean. Ask your vet about the best way to take care of your rabbit's fur depending on its breed.

Part 3 of 3: dealing with fleas

Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 11

Step 1. Choose an anti-flea solution specially designed for rabbits

If you notice your rabbit has fleas, talk to your vet to recommend a special solution. Advantage, Program and Revolution are specially designed to eliminate fleas on rabbits without damaging their delicate skin or compromising their health.

  • Do not use a solution designed for dogs and cats, even though it says you can use it for your rabbit. It is better that you use a solution specially designed for rabbits.
  • Never immerse your rabbit in a flea solution of any kind, even if it says on the package that it is safe to do so.
Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 12

Step 2. Apply the suggested dose of product between the shoulder blades of the rabbit

Follow the directions given by your veterinarian or noted on the package to apply a small amount of the liquid solution between your rabbit's shoulder blades. This is the safest place to apply it, as the rabbit cannot reach this area and therefore will not be able to scratch or lick it.

  • Most flea solutions require several applications over a month.
  • If you are unsure of how to apply it, talk to your vet before doing so.
Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 13

Step 3. Use a flea comb to remove fleas and nits

If you prefer to use a natural method, you can do this with a good old flea comb. To use this method, it is important to have a good relationship with your rabbit, as it will take some time to comb your rabbit and remove the fleas. Find yourself a partner to hold the bunny while you comb it thoroughly to remove fleas and nits from its fur. Make sure you don't miss any areas of the rabbit's body.

  • Check your rabbit again after several days. In most cases, you will need to repeat the same steps two to three times to remove any nits that have hatched in the meantime. After a few weeks, all the fleas and nits should be gone.
  • Between groomings, disinfect the comb by boiling it in water for five minutes.
Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 14

Step 4. Clean the living area of ​​the rabbit

If you found fleas on the rabbit, they probably infested its space and yours as well. Disinfect the rabbit's cage and change its litter several times during the treatment period. Boil the rabbit's bowls and toys for five minutes to rid them of fleas, and wash their blankets in hot water. If fleas have also infested your carpet, here's what to do.

  • Cover the carpet with a layer of diatomaceous earth or baking soda. Leave on for eight hours or overnight. This allows the flea eggs to dry out.
  • Vacuum the powder and discard the vacuum bag.
  • Repeat this process every two or three days until no more fleas are left.
  • When your rabbit is safely in his cage, you can also catch fleas on the floor with night lights. Place a bowl of soapy water near each nightlight and the fleas will jump in. Remove the bowls before letting the rabbit out.
Bathe Your Pet Rabbit Step 15

Step 5. Do not use flea spray or other chemicals

Rabbits are fairly sensitive animals to chemicals and the heavy pesticides used in sprays could harm them. Avoid using any type of chemical near your rabbit. If you think a spray bottle is the only way to get rid of fleas, put your rabbit in a safe place while you spray the flea spray. Clean the room well with water and white vinegar to remove traces of chemicals before letting your rabbit in again.


  • If for some reason your rabbit is soaked to the skin, it is important to dry it off as quickly as possible to avoid hypothermia. You can use your hair dryer, but you need to keep it on a low setting and move it constantly so that you don't concentrate the heat on just one part of your body for too long. Check the heat you are using by putting your hand in front of the hair dryer. Rabbits are extremely heat sensitive, so prolonged exposure to too much heat could result in heat stroke and death.
  • Talk to your rabbit in a calm, happy voice as you clean it up.
  • Only bathe your rabbit when absolutely necessary. Rabbits, like cats, lick their fur and swallow their hair, allowing them to be groomed less often.

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