Regular rabbit grooming makes a real difference to your pet’s coat, and is a great bonding exercise too!
Your rabbit needs to be groomed regularly. Regular brushing keeps your bunny’s coat in great condition, preventing the formation of matts which can irritate the skin and lead to infections or the deadly disease flystrike. Although rabbits regularly groom themselves, grooming removes excess fur that might be ingested otherwise, and cause problems with the hairballs. Lastly a good brush helps your pet get used to being handled and allows you to check for lumps or bumps that shouldn’t be there.
More about grooming your rabbit
Place your rabbit on a towel and check them from head to toe – look for anything out of the ordinary, particularly a dirty bottom. Once you are happy they look normal, get your brush and stroke gently in the direction of hair growth. Rabbit skin is delicate, so take care. A moistened cotton wool ball can be used to clean around the eyes. For tough matts use a wide comb, or if you’re worried make an appointment at your local Companion Care.
The right tool for the job will depend on the coat of your rabbit. Some useful tools however include:
- A wide toothed comb to gently tease out any
- A soft bristled brush designed for rabbits
- A furminator is a great tool for rabbits who shed a lot of hair
- Cotton balls for cleaning around the eyes
Some rabbits may prefer being groomed with a grooming glove.
If your rabbit’s claws are getting long you can either clip them yourself with nail clippers or ask Companion Care to give you a hand. The ‘quick’ (the bundle of blood vessels and nerves within the nail) can often be seen in pale nails – make sure to cut beyond the end of this. Nicked nails can bleed, but don’t panic if you see this. Use flour or styptic powder to stop the bleeding, or pop down to your local surgery if you are worried.
Flystrike is a deadly disease that occurs when flies lay their eggs on damp or dirty fur. These eggs hatch into maggots which feed on the living rabbit. Flystrike can develop in under twenty four hours and is sadly often fatal. Regular checking of your rabbit, frequent grooming, a clean pen and using flystrike preventative treatments on your rabbit will provide the best protection.