Do rabbits need to be groomed? Yes, but not necessarily as professionally groomed as cats and dogs require.
Watch this video to know how Dr. Laurie Hess keeps Reggie, her pet bunny, well-groomed.
Hi, I’m Dr. Laurie Hess, exotic animal veterinarian, and today, I’m going to talk to you a little bit about grooming your bunny. And this is Reggie and he’s a very well-groomed bunny. Most people don’t think about grooming when they think about their bunnies. They don’t need to be professionally groomed like cats and dogs do, but rabbits do need some grooming care.
Typically, they need their nails trimmed and that happens every few weeks to a few months, something that you can do at home. You should know that rabbits have a quicker blood supply in the middle of their nails and if they have clear nails, it’s easy to see that little blood supply. And the idea is, you want to use a nail trimmer. There’s a lot of different kinds. This is the one I prefer. It’s like a little scissors. Reggie’s very excited. And if you can do it, if you have someone to help you at home, that’s great. If you don’t, then you can kind of hug your bunny just like this, keep them close to you, and then lift up one little paw at a time and then just go to the base of the nail and you can push the hair back and then you can just clip the base, clip the nail at the very tip and just stay away from that blood vessel that runs down the middle of the nail. If you clip that, the bunny may bleed. Certainly, if that happens, you can put a little pressure on it and that usually will make it stop. If you have styptic powder, you can always do that, too. Now, if you have a bunny that has a pigmented nail like a black nail, it’s very hard to see the quick so you want to stick to the very tip of the nail when you trim it so that you don’t hit that quick and cause bleeding.
The other part of grooming for bunnies is brushing the hair. Now, bunnies will vary in terms of how much they need to be brushed. Longer haired bunnies like angora bunnies may need to be brushed every week. Some of the shorter haired bunnies like this guy, maybe it’s just every, you know, couple of weeks and more so in the spring or in fall when they shed a lot of hair. Bunnies will normally ingest some hair when they shed and they will normally have some hair in their intestinal tract.
You’ve heard people talk about hairballs in bunnies. That’s more of a term if they really ingest a lot of hair that it can technically form an obstruction in their intestinal tract. That’s not common. And one thing you can try to prevent, if you use a brush and brush your bunny. And there are lots of different brushes you can use. I like a fine-toothed comb brush like this one. Honestly, this little guy doesn’t mind it at all. In fact, many rabbits like it and it can really lessen the amount that they’re shedding all over your house and that they’re lessening the amount of hair that they ingest.
So those are the simple things to do. Again, if you have someone to help you, that’s great. If not, put a towel down, hug your bunny close and you can groom your bunny by yourself.