How to groom your rabbit correctly

While rabbits are fastidious groomers, sometimes it’s best for them if you give them a helping hand. Here’s how to groom your rabbit correctly.

Like cats, rabbits are fastidious groomers, spending a large portion of their day making sure their fur sits just right. But this doesn’t mean that it’s not worth you helping them out once in a while, and it can actually benefit their health if you groom them regularly. And it’s a great way for you and your rabbit to bond.

Here’s are some top tips on how to groom your rabbit correctly.

Brushing Your Rabbit

Rabbits moult – sometimes quite a lot depending on their breed and the seasons. As part of their grooming, rabbits lick their fur to clean it and remove any dirt and loose hair. Too much hair though can lead to digestive problems, so it’s worth brushing them regularly as this helps prevent them from swallowing too much hair.

How often you should brush your rabbit depends on their coat. Short-haired rabbits can be brushed just once a week, but if you have a long-haired rabbit it’s worth brushing them every day. Just be aware that a rabbit’s skin is quite fragile, so use a brush specially designed for rabbits, and brush gently in the direction of the fur.

Clipping Your Rabbit's Nails

In the wild, a rabbit’s nails would naturally wear down from hopping around and digging. In confined spaces usually found in a domestic environment, however, a rabbit’s nails may not wear down as much. So, whenever you brush your rabbit, take a moment to check their nails and see if they’ve grown too long. A good guide to decide whether the nails need to be trimmed is when they’ve grown past the foot’s fur.

Unless your rabbit is very relaxed, you’ll likely need someone to help you by holding your rabbit while you clip their nails. Or, you can gently wrap them in a towel to restrict their movement. Before clipping, take note of where the ‘quick’ is to avoid cutting into it, as this will hurt the rabbit and cause bleeding.

Grooming Your Rabbit's Ears and Eyes

Part of your grooming routine should also be to check and clean your rabbit’s eyes and ears. Dust and gunk can easily build up in these areas and cause discomfort or lead to infection. Gently wipe away any gunk from their eyes and ears, and check for any signs of parasites or infection. If there’s redness or swelling, it may be worth a quick visit to the vet to get them checked over.

As well as providing care for your rabbit and ensuring their good health, regular grooming is a great opportunity for you to spend time and bond with your rabbit. It also helps them get used to being handled, which will make any trips to the vet a lot easier too.