Rabbit Grooming

Brushing your hare.

Want to help Peter Cottontail let his hair down? A good, regular brushing will do wonders for everything, from matting to shedding.

Just be aware that rabbit skin is sensitive, so gently using a brush just for Bugsy will make grooming a warm and fuzzy experience for you both. Funny enough, many cat grooming tools are also suitable for hares, such as the Cat Bristle Brush. You’ll just want to double-check the label to make sure it won’t hurt Snowflake’s skin.

Just how often you brush your rabbit’s fur will depend on the length of it.

Short-haired rabbits need brushing at least once a week, and daily if they’re shedding. A bristle brush or a fine-toothed comb works well on Shorty, and if you rub a damp (not dripping) washcloth over his coat afterward, you can nab all the loose fur.

Long-haired rabbits require daily grooming and regular trimming, folks, as their coats are very prone to matting and hairballs. Be careful when practicing your hairdressing pipe-dream on Bunny Foo Foo – that, is trimming his hair, especially over the hock area. Rabbit skin is quite thin, but not in an ‘angry bunny’ way. We just mean it can easily get sores or be cut accidentally, during grooming. That said, if your French Angora’s coat goes a bit matty, never try to remove the knots using scissors. Instead, gradually tackle each tangle by gently separating and combing hair out from it – just a tiny bit at a time. Of course, you’ll want to be careful not to pull on your bunny’s skin. It may take several grooming sessions to undo a mat, but just remember, you can always take your Giant to a groomer. They can get those big knots out, in one swoop of the electric clippers.

Doing Jessica Rabbit’s nails.

Trimming your bunny’s nails should be made a regular part of his grooming schedule – whether he’s Roger or Jessica Rabbit. Check the cuddler’s claws once a week while grooming, and just trim them whenever they get a bit long. This will prevent your Florida White’s nails from snagging and help reduce painful scratches. (Besides, the Dragon Lady look is out, anyway.) Be careful not to cut the nail too short, however, as it will bleed and cause your English Spot a bit of pain, by George. If this becomes a problem, hop on over to a vet, groomer, or experienced pet store staff – especially if Nugget’s had it up to hare.

P.S. Masterpet’s Cat Nail Clipper is generally the cat’s meow, even for our rabbit friends.

How to wash a wabbit.

Good news down the bunny trail: Unless your rabbit smells, has fleas or mites, he doesn’t need a dunk in the tub. Actually, bunnies find the whole bathing caper overrated and stressful, so you’re better off doing a ‘spot cleaning’ of the dirty area, if possible. But if there really is much more than a hare out of place and you need to bathe your rabbit, keep in mind his double-coat doesn’t dry easily. So, try using a blow dryer (on a warm, never hot, setting) to speed up the process. Just be careful, pet-lovers, as bunnies are prone to overheating. Just sayin’.

Checking for Bugs.

As with any pet, grooming your jumping Jackrabbit gives you the chance to check ­for any signs of illness. Things to sniff for: skin irritation and balding, which can be caused by mites and ringworm; broken skin; and discharge from the eyes or nose. If you’re unsure of something you spot, take your special somebunny into the vet, as treatment may be necessary.

Open up and say, ‘squeak’.

Dental care is a big carrot when it comes to rabbits, because their teeth continually grow. They don’t stop for nobunny, know what we’re sayin’? So, checking Leo the Lop’s teeth during his regularly scheduled grooming helps to prevent his incisors (front teeth) and molars (cheek teeth) from getting too long. (The Dracula look is out, too.)

One more thing to chew on: Overgrown teeth can form spurs on the molars, if they’re not worn down naturally by chewing hard surfaces. So, giving Hoppity a block of bark-convered wood to gnaw on is a great way to keep his teeth trimmed.

So you see, grooming is about much more than making your bunny look like Jessica Rabbit. By ticking all of your Tan’s necessary care, he’ll live a much hoppier life.