Rabbits groom each other and you, if you are lucky!
They groom each other for cleanliness and also to show affection. Grooming your rabbit is a wonderful time to bond and is also necessary for your rabbit's health and wellbeing. There are four different types of grooming to consider.
Bunnies shed just as all animals with fur do and will typically go through a few major sheds each year. Your rabbit is going to need brushing just like cats and dogs and the more hair that ends up in the brush, the less hair that will end up on the floor and in your rabbit's stomach. A slicker brush is generally used with rabbits. A flea comb is also a wonderful way to groom your rabbit and they seem to love it. When you first bring your rabbit home, start brushing or combing him, starting with the least threatening areas on his body. Start with a upper head areas and back and don't move down to the lower face and chin area until bunny has had a few weeks of grooming already and trusts you enough to relax and enjoy her beauty time.
Even the best-groomed rabbit, if allowed outdoors for any amount of time, will eventually get fleas.
Many different flea and mite products are available that can be powdered, sprayed, bombed or given orally. Many flea preventatives have the potential of being harmful to your rabbit. Check with your vet to help you decide on a flea prevention program that works best for you and your rabbit. Flee dips and baths are never recommended for rabbits.
There are times when your bunny may get soiled and need a spot cleaning. You can use safe products that are designed for rabbits, a mild dishwashing detergent or non-medical puppy shampoo to clean small dirty spots on your rabbit. These products can also be used to clean off your bunny's hindquarters, if soiled. If the hindquarters are soiled, it may be due to a medical condition or improper diet and you will need to consult your veterinarian.
Your rabbit will need her toenails clipped on a regular basis to keep her from getting snagged in the carpeting or in the cage. You may need a helper to hold your rabbit while you trim her nails. Clip her nails and avoid cutting into the veins by using a flashlight to see through darker toenails. Declawing your rabbit is never recommended and can lead to serious infections. Instead, keep their nails trimmed and give them a large hay box to dig. You will both be happier in the long run.
If you would like to talk to an Anti-Cruelty Society behaviorist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.