Written by DVM (st.) Sara Castano
Make sure you read this article carefully because rabbits are very different to cats and dogs! Part of keeping your rabbit nice and clean includes understanding the biology of the rabbit. They are not to be frequently bathed in water and soap as it is harder for them to regulate their body temperature. Rabbits can become hypothermic if all of the necessary precautions for a safe bath are not taken into account.
Prior To Taking Bath
There are two main cases when you should bathe your rabbit. Apart from these two, you should try to avoid it, mainly because of the reasons mentioned above and you can also end up inducing severe stress and cause more damage than good. However, we do recommend using a cloth before considering a bath! 1. Because there are faeces stuck to its rear end, affecting the tail and the hind legs. 2. Because there is a sort of liquid or substance that has dried on the fur. Keep in mind that rabbits are animals that clean themselves. If you find them dirty, this might be a sign of sickness. If there are any other symptoms such as lethargy and a decreased appetite, you should visit the veterinarian as soon as possible. Find an adequate space at home where you know you will be able to bathe your rabbit comfortably. Use a rubber pad where it can stand and avoid falling over and getting hurt. Rabbits have a greater tendency to hurt their hind legs, as these are the ones that give stability when it comes to hopping from one side to another. Identify which part of your pet rabbit is dirty and needs cleaning. Try to make sure you only wet and shampoo that part and afterwards, use a blow dryer on the “cool” setting, making sure it never gets too cold or too hot.
Cleaning Dirt, Debris Or Others
If you find that your rabbit has dirt or another easy to clean debris, feel free to use a cloth and wipe it away. Avoid using your nails or other hard objects to clean the eyes as you can cause an injury and lead to an infection. From time to time, check your rabbit’s ears and make sure there are no funny smells or abnormal production of wax. This can indicate parasites, bacteria or fungal infections and lead to a bad case of otitis.
Dealing With Unpopular Mites
Do you hate mites? So do we! Make sure you are vigilant of the environment where your rabbit lives in and all of the objects that they interact with. If you buy hay, a good idea is to put it in the freezer for 3 days. During this period of time, bacteria and fungi tends to die, or it is less probable for it to survive and cause problems in your rabbit afterwards. Just make sure you defrost it properly. If you do see that your rabbit has mites large enough that you can see them, visit the veterinarian immediately. These mites can transmit microorganisms that can cause sickness in rabbits and some can be contagious to humans. Stay on the lookout for scratching or any injuries due to scratching.