Care and Maintenance - Rabbit

Care and Maintenance 

All pet rabbits need to be groomed despite how long their fur is. Grooming includes brushing the fur, cleaning around the eyes, and inside the ears and trimming the sharp nails your rabbit uses for digging. It is very important that you check and clean your rabbit’s back end and tail for excess droppings and urine, as this will attract flies which will lay their eggs there. 

 

Grooming should be done at least three times weekly, as not only does this help you to spot any issues with your bunny but it is also a great way to bond with your pet. Long-haired breeds such as the Angora will need more regular and intense grooming as their fur is very thick and will tangle frequently. 

 

Fur brushing

Brushing your rabbit at least every three days will help rid of the excess fur and loose hair that can cause furballs to form, blocking the digestive tract when swallowed. Brushing sessions will also help prepare your bunny for the multiple daily brushings they will need when they enter the moulting season. Every rabbit has a shedding schedule that can last from a few weeks to a month. You will notice a line on your rabbit’s back, separating the thicker and thinner coats and there may even be the occasional bald spot - this is nothing to worry about, as long as the skin underneath is pink and healthy. 

 

Grooming will help you to spot any issues with your rabbit’s skin and is important for you to make sure they’re free from parasites. Fleas, ticks and mites are the main pests that will feed on your bunny so parting the fur to look for signs of these should be incorporated into the grooming routine. 

 

Foot care

Those fluffy feet need looking after too! Racing through mud, grass and straw can cause mats to form so it's best to remove these, being careful when doing so. A rabbit’s feet are padded with fur to prevent injury to the delicate skin underneath and act as shock absorbers when running and jumping. Matted fur here can be uncomfortable and if there is any worn down or missing fur, exposed skin can easily become inflamed or infected. 

 

Rabbit nails can get sharp and long very quickly, especially if your rabbit is kept indoors or is elderly and doesn’t really dig or run around as much anymore. Rabbit nail clipping can be tricky so make sure you have someone to help you if you do attempt to trim the nails yourself. 

 

Eyes, ears and noses

Check your rabbit’s eyes for signs of redness, cloudiness, or any bumps and gently wipe away the debris that sticks to the fur around the eyes. Cleaning your rabbit's ears should be done very carefully as it is difficult to see down into the canal. Look for signs of wax build-up and if they are scratching or shaking their ears, it might be worth a trip to the vet. You don’t really need to clean your rabbit’s nose, they will take care of this themselves but do check for any signs of discharge as this can indicate a problem with their sinuses. 

 

Teeth and dental care

The teeth of your rabbit grow continuously, this is why they need so much hay in their diet - to help grind and wear them down. As part of your rabbit’s grooming routine, perform a weekly tooth check to make sure their teeth are not overgrowing. If you find that the area around the mouth is very wet, that you can feel bumps along the jawline or that your rabbit is dropping food from out of their mouths, you must get your bunny’s mouth checked by a vet as you won’t be able to see the far back teeth, and these can become overgrown too. Overgrown teeth will cut into the cheek and gums, causing discomfort and can prevent your rabbit from eating properly.  

 

Make bunny ownership as stress-free as possible by ordering online on the FirstVet shop where you will receive 2-5 weekday delivery, free delivery over £39 and our 30-day return policy when you buy through us!