Rabbits are adorable animals and good pets. They are not too hard to look after, but pet owners should regularly take care of their rabbits’ hygiene. If you are a new bunny owner and are unsure how to clean your rabbit, keep reading to find out everything about it.
Do Rabbits Clean Themselves?
If you don’t have previous experience having a pet rabbit, you may be wondering if rabbits clean themselves or if it’s entirely up to you to keep them nice-smelling and fresh. The good news is that bunnies clean themselves, just like cats do!
They do this multiple times a day, so rabbits are generally pretty clean most of the time. The trouble may arise if they step in mud or get dirty in their litter box, and that’s when you need to help them a bit.
How To Clean A Rabbit Using Wipes
If your rabbit gets dirty or you notice that it starts to smell, one of the ways to wash it is using wet wipes. This is a safe way to clean your rabbit, and you don’t have to worry about it being stressful for your bunny.
You should buy chemical-free wet wipes because they are safe to use on fur. The wet wipes should be fragrance-free because certain artificial fragrances can irritate your bunny’s skin.
Once you have the wipes, put your bunny in a comfortable position. If it is not too dirty, it can sit on your lap as well – in case your pet loves to do that. Take one wet wipe and start using it on your bunny. Make gentle movements so it doesn’t get frightened, and make sure to go through every inch of its fur. You should repeat the process until your rabbit is clean and smell-free.
How To Clean A Rabbit Using Water
If using wet wipes is not something you can do at the moment, or if you prefer water over wipes, this method is more suitable for you and your pet bunny. The first thing you should know is that rabbits shouldn’t be dipped in water. It can be too stressful for them, and it can lead to injuries to both you and your lovely pet.
Now that you know that, you should prepare some warm water and a clean towel. Place your rabbit in a cozy position and pet it for a little while to make your rabbit more relaxed. Dip an edge of a towel into warm water and squeeze it to remove the excess water.
Gently stroke your rabbit’s fur using the damp towel, and make sure to cover your pet’s whole body. Don’t forget to dip the towel into the water once every couple of minutes, so it doesn’t get cold. If needed, replace the water with a fresh, warm stream.
How To Clean Rabbit’s Scent Glands
If you are a new bunny owner, you may not have heard about scent glands in rabbits. These glands located around their anus need to be cleaned approximately once every month. This is crucial because these glands can become infected if there is too much wax or if you don’t clean it regularly.
This can cause many problems for your bunny and, therefore, yourself. Apart from health problems, the build-up in these glands can smell badly – if there is an inexplicable smell coming from your rabbit, check the scent glands.
To spare yourself from torture, you will need only up to half an hour per month and a few q-tips. You will need to be gentle during this process as scent glands are a sensitive spot for your little rabbit.
Locate the scent glands – you will see them around the anus. Dip a q-tip into warm water and very carefully remove the wax build-up on each side of your rabbit’s anus. You may need someone to help you and keep your bunny calm because they can get squirmy.
Switch to a different q-tip a few times, so you don’t push the wax around with the same one. Ensure that the q-tips are warm and not cold.
How To Clean Rabbit’s Ears
Cleaning your rabbit’s ears is as important as cleaning their scent glands. If there is too much wax inside their ears, they can get infected and cause a myriad of problems for your little pet. You should clean your bunny’s ears approximately once a month, although you should check for wax build-up every week and clean the ears more often if necessary.
You will need a few q-tips, cotton swabs, a small towel, and warm water. You won’t need anything else if you regularly clean your rabbit’s ears. However, if the wax hardens, you will need a cleaning solution to soften it. In this case, you need to consult a veterinarian on what exactly to use.
First, make your rabbit comfortable and cozy. Your pet can scratch and get pretty aggressive if it is not relaxed when you clean the ears. Next, carefully look into their ears and locate the wax you need to remove. Use a flashlight from your phone, but make sure you don’t direct it to your pet’s eyes.
When you locate the wax, take a q-tip, dip it into warm water, and gently pull the wax towards you. Repeat this until there is no more wax in your rabbit’s ears. If you see a hardened piece, you can sterilize your tweezers with a few drops of alcohol and take the hardened piece using them.
Once there is no more wax, damp the towel with some warm water and gently stroke your rabbit’s ears using it. That’s it! This process usually lasts for a few minutes and up to an hour, depending on how calm your rabbit is. You should be patient and gentle, and if you are unsure whether or not you can do it correctly, take your bunny to a veterinarian and let them show you the way.
How To Clean Rabbit’s Feet
If you let your rabbit run around outside or if it simply got its feet dirty in a litter box, the solution is to spot clean the feet. As mentioned, it’s not good to place rabbits in water, so spot cleaning is the safest choice you have.
The process is similar to the previous methods we described. You will need a clean towel and a bowl of warm water. Place your bunny in a comfortable position to access your pet’s feet easily. Make sure that the rabbit is calm and not irritated or annoyed.
Dip a corner of a towel in warm water and gently use it to clean the dirt from your bunny’s feet. Repeat several times until the feet are nice and clean. If the dirt is too stubborn or there is too much of it, you can mix some rabbit shampoo with water and wash your pet with the solution.
If you do it, make sure to rinse your bunny’s feet afterward because they tend to lick their body, and the chemicals from shampoo can make them sick or unwell.
How To Clean Rabbit’s Litter Box
If you don’t take care of cleaning your rabbit’s litter box often enough, your pet may get dirty more often. Since rabbits use the litter box multiple times a day, they can get dirty from their feces and urine in the process. Not only that, but a dirty litter box can pose a problem with diseases and illnesses for your little bunny. This is why it’s crucial to clean it regularly.
The material of a litter box is quite important – it’s easier to clean plastic than wood. Once a day, take a dustpan and use it to remove a pad and feces residues from a litter box. Have a solution of white vinegar and water at hand.
Before putting another pad in the box, spray it with the vinegar solution and clean it thoroughly. You should do this at least every other day, but it is preferable if you can do it every night or every morning, whichever suits you more.
Brush Your Rabbit Regularly
Apart from cleaning your rabbit’s ears, scent glands, and feet, you should brush your pet regularly. One reason to do this is cleanliness – the more hair your bunny has, the more likely it is your bunny will catch dirt and “bring” it with him. Another reason is health – bunnies lick themselves, and if they swallow too much of their hair, it can cause gastrointestinal problems.
Buy a brush that is made explicitly for bunnies. They have delicate skin, so the brush needs to be specially designed. Avoid using a regular, human hairbrush because it can be quite uncomfortable for your sensitive bunny.
Start brushing them at least every other day since they are young so that they can get used to the feeling – this way, they are less likely to protest against being brushed, making the job much easier for you.
Taking care of rabbits implies cleaning them regularly – fur, scent glands, ears, and feet since it prevents unpleasant smells and health problems that may arise from poor bunny hygiene. Set apart a few minutes at least every other day, and your pet will be happy you look after them.