Grooming Your Pet Rabbit

Like cats, rabbits pride themselves on cleanliness. This is why it is so easy to teach them to use the litter box, and why they spend several hours a day keeping grooming themselves, maintaining the quality of their skin and coat. However, just because your pet rabbit spends a large amount of its day grooming itself, this doesn’t mean that you are absolved from pet grooming. Rabbits, like all pets, rely on their owners to set a grooming plan and then stick with it.

One of the most important things to do is to brush your rabbit at least once a day. The time you spend brushing your pet bunny will go a long way in establishing a lifelong bond. The health benefits of brushing your pet rabbit include the removal of any dead hairs that your rabbit might other wise swallow. Once swallowed these hairs could form a hairball that can compromise your rabbit’s digestive system. If a hairball creates a blockage, your pet rabbit will have to go to the veterinarian where the resulting surgery could cost several hundred dollars. When you are brushing your rabbit bear in mind that the average rabbit sheds its old coat approximately once every three months. During this period of time, increase the frequency of your brushing, and prepare to vacuum your house more often. You’ll be amazed at how much hair comes off of one tiny rabbit. Rabbits have very delicate skin so look for a brush that has soft bristles and won’t harm your pet bunny’s skin. Some rabbit owners prefer a plastic wide toothed comb for their grooming.

When properly groomed and cared for, long haired rabbits, like Angoras, are simply gorgeous. The problem is that keeping all that hair combed, clean, and free of mats is quite a chore. If a rabbit owner isn’t showing their long haired rabbit competitively, they typically trim the hair so that it is only about one inch long. This helps to keep the rabbit’s coat clean and free of mats while keeping the rabbit more comfortable during the hot summer months. If you have never trimmed a rabbit’s long hair before, you might want to take your rabbit to a professional pet groomer and watch how it’s done before you try it yourself. When using the clippers or scissors, be very careful that you don’t damage the rabbits skin.

If you find a spot where the rabbit’s hair has become so tangled that it has turned into a mat, refrain from using a pair of scissors to remove the mat. It is better if you use a comb and patiently work the mat loose, a few hairs at a time. If you find that this is too trying on your patience, you might want to take your pet rabbit to a professional pet groomer and have them remove the mat with a pair of electric clippers.

Every few weeks, check and make sure that your rabbit’s nails haven’t gotten too long. If you think they are looking long, or notice that they are starting to catch on your carpeting, it is time to trim them. If you have never done this before, take your rabbit to a pet groomer or veterinarian and watch how it is done first. If you are comfortable on your own be careful that you don’t trim the nails so short that you cut the wick and cause injury.

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