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Good Bunny, Bad Bunny: Advanced Bunny Grooming

Updated on October 25, 2008

The Moult

If you have a long haired rabbit, you may one day be shocked to find that his or her hair is coming out in large clumps with just the slightest of pulls. As long as the skin or fur underneath is healthy and not scaly in any fashion, this is simply a moult.

Rabbits generally molt once or twice a year, though rabbits kept indoors can have their molting schedules go haywire and molt almost all year round. If this happens it is a strong indication that your rabbit is not getting enough natural sunlight. Otherwise, this is a perfectly natural and healthy thing for your bunny to be doing. Make sure you groom out the loose fur daily, or even twice daily if your rabbit is in a very heavy moult. Some rabbits 'blow' their coats all at once, and you can spend hours just removing the loose fur.

Bathing A Bunny

Ordinarily, your bunny will not need a bath. The only time a bunny should ever be bathed is when wet sticky fecal matter has stuck to its fur, resulting in a disgusting mess. This can happen to the best of us, though if you follow the rules in the food guide section, it is less likely to happen to you.

If you do need to bathe your bunny's butt, you can either give it a dry bath, or a wet bath. Dry baths are preferable to wet ones, so unless your rabbit is a total mess, try this method first.

The Dry Bath

The dry bath is given with cornstarch powder, and simply involves sprinkling the cornstarch onto the messy area and gently working it down to the skin. The cornstarch helps dry out the wet fecal mess, and helps it come away from the fur.

The Wet Bath

If your rabbit is very messy, then you may need to give it a wet bath. Fill a tub with a couple of inches of water, and obtain a pet safe shampoo. People shampoos are not okay for rabbits, who react to chemicals very easily. Hold your rabbit firmly and gently lower its bottom into the bath. Using the shampoo, massage the dirt out of the bunny's fur. If the water becomes filthy, empty the tub and start again.

When the rabbit's fur is clean, rinse it thoroughly and dry gently with a towel. If your rabbit will allow you, a hairdryer set on low finishes off the process nicely. It is important you do not return a wet bottomed rabbit to an outside cage. If you cannot determine what caused the soft poo, consult your veterinarian, as this condition can be indicative of other health concerns.

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