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Do Bunnies Need To Take A Bath?

Updated on October 11, 2010

Do bunnies and rabbits need baths? The short answer is no. Unless a rabbit is in very, very bad condition it should never be bathed.

This is because rabbits are terrified of water, mostly due to the fact that in the wild water in a burrow can mean that a bunny is about to drown, so most rabbits have an instinctual fear response to water that makes them panic if you try to bath them. They can be so scared that they die, so really baths should only be reserved for extreme situations and should probably be conducted by someone experienced if they are done at all.

Most short haired rabbits should never need bathing at any stage in their lives. Regular light grooming should be more than enough for them However long hair rabbits can sometimes get into sticky messes, which are complicated by their long hair.

If you MUST bathe your rabbit, try a dry bath first. A dry bath is given by taking baby cornstarch and gently massaging it into the dirty areas. The cornstarch should dry out any messiness and help dirt slide off the fur. This should always be the first line of defense for a dirty bunny.

If the mess is so bad that cornstarch just won't work, then you may have to use water. A shallow bath of no more than a couple of inches can be used, along with a gentle pet shampoo. Lower the rabbit's rear end into the water (it will usually be the rear end that gets filthy if a rabbit has an upset tummy and runny poo) wash the bunny gently, wetting only the areas that absolutely need to be wet and rinse very thoroughly before drying the rabbit well. Expect your rabbit to hate this more than he or she has hated anything in his or her life. I've had to do a wet bath once or twice in the life of a long haired bunny and I can tell you it is a situation very much best avoided.

Though rabbits are household pets much like dogs, they have very different needs to other household pets and they shouldn't be treated as if they are the same. Though your dog will get smelly and awful after a few weeks without a bath, your rabbit is a very fastidious animal that loves to keep itself clean. All you need to do is gently groom it on a regular basis and your rabbit should stay healthy and clean its whole life.

For expert, step by step advice on how to bathe bunnies in extreme circumstances, go here.


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    • profile image

      No one 3 years ago

      Thank you I did not know that about bunnys LMAO

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      Ella 5 years ago

      My rabbit lovveeesssss bathes

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      lolgirl 5 years ago

      lol my rabbits r cute

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      Bunny Bath 6 years ago

      Ur Able to give them bathes if they have fecies on themselves all u have to do is put 2in of luke warm water in a bathtub and have rabbit shampoo *find at petco* and put like a couple drops in the water. then wash off the rabbit *if the rabbit satarts to freak out talk to it or feed it treats or play like classical music so it knows everything is ok. then drie off ur rabbit and blow drie them off or they can get a cold.

    • natsuhi profile image

      natsuhi 6 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Hmm he is reeking with urine smell though, still not ok to give it a bath?

      also i heard that is when u give rabbit a bathwater must never enter the ear?

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      rorshak sobchak 6 years ago

      wow I didn't know this! great tips. Awesome hub!

      rorshak sobchak

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      Rabbit Breeders 6 years ago

      Believe me rabbits look terrible after being bathed! I once knew a rabbit breeder that made the mistake of bathing a rabbit before a show, wasn't a pretty site :(

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      corey 7 years ago

      what if they are covered in stick trash and mud? then is it okay to bathe them??

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 7 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      None of my rabbits were fond of water, either. I didn't think about water running into a burrow.

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      bumbleleg 7 years ago

      my rabbit loves the bath it les there and paddels around and loves the hair dryer x

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      Reese 7 years ago

      I agree, rabbits are not born to be swimmers either. That's why I kept my bunnies away from pool. I always keep my eyes on them when at home. And when I go to work, I make sure that they are all safe in their rabbit hutches.

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      Matt 7 years ago

      haha i thought my bunny liked baths ide take it into the bath and it started to relax and float like it was laying on the his side as i held his front up his butt end floated seemed very relax but HATED getting dried out lol so funny looking when there wet and my other bunny would sit in the shower with me and stare up i honestly think ive gotten them use to the water or maybe there just submiting and waiting for what evers happening to happen

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      SpaceAge 7 years ago

      It's a good idea 2 @ least wipe them down w/ moist pet wipes. U get pet wipes anywhere pet supp.ies r sold. Btw, cute bunny. My LL said if I pay $25 x-tra, I could have a small pet if inwere under his lease & not sect 8. If I could, i'd get a bunny like that.