Grooming isn’t just for dogs and cats, you know! Regular brushing will help keep your rabbit’s fur in healthy condition and can also be a very enjoyable activity for you and your rabbit. When you settle down to brush your bunny, be patient and give her praise and a special treat. Begin by just petting her, then, let her gradually get used to the brush.
After your rabbit gets used to brushing, begin a weekly brushing routine. This will not only remove loose fur on a regular basis but will help prepare your rabbit (and you) for those times of the year when she sheds her fur and daily or twice daily brushing is required. Remember that rabbits have extremely delicate skin. Use a gentle touch when brushing and combing or plucking out debris. We like to use rubber brushes or dampened hands for regular weekly grooming. During heavier seasonal sheds, you may need to use a sturdier (plastic or metal) comb or brush to remove loose fur. When using these tools, avoid brushing too deeply or forcefully. Keep one hand on your rabbit to avoid pulling the skin.
We don’t recommend using Furminator-type brushes, as these have been known to cause skin abrasions on rabbits. Be sure to use great care when removing matted fur. Never remove a mat by cutting it unless you are 100 percent certain that it’s just fur that you are cutting. Quite often, skin can be folded up within the mat and is difficult to detect. The safest way to eliminate a mat is to work the end of a rat-tailed comb gently into the coat to create a small opening that can then be picked apart using your fingers. Don't try to get it all at once, as it often takes several tries to remove the matted fur completely. Do what your rabbit can comfortably tolerate.
If you want to learn more about rabbit grooming, including the basics of nail trimming, ear cleaning and scent gland cleaning, join us for the Bunny Grooming Workshop at Animal Friends!
Reserve your spot by registering online at www.ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org, or calling 412-847-7035. We request a $5 donation for our homeless residents.