Bunnies as Pets: Improving Your Bunny's Hygiene

by Mladen

Bunnies are pretty clean animals, but some basic hygiene must be done by the owner. Learn what you as a bunny owner should do to improve his hygiene.

Bunnies As Pets: Gary the Bunny
Bunnies As Pets: Gary the Bunny

Are Bunnies Clean Animals?

Bunnies are like cats. They are constantly grooming themselves to maintain the fur clean and scent free. When I was looking for a bunny to buy, everyone was telling me that rabbits need clean space to live in, and that I need to clean litter box and rabbit hutch every day. And, of course I was doing it. But really fast I have found out that I am owner of little trouble who loves to get dirty. Going under the sofa, rolling in the litter box after doing his thing, sneaking behind the toilet bowl and other naughty things are every-day-experiences for me as bunny owner. 

Story About Filthy Bunny Called Gary

My Gary is just the opposite from what they told me about rabbits. He just hates clean places.

Most of you know my pet Gary The Bunny from my other Bunies as Pets articles.

He would groom himself whole day, but after every his activity there would be some marks left. From time to time fur would begin to smell. Remember, clean rabbit doesn't have any scent. At least not the one human nose could detect. 

Every time I feed my rabbit with salad or parsleys, his fur around mouth, and on the legs becomes green. He can lick it for days, but color wouldn't disappear. Since they love to be around you what ever you do, it is possible they get filthy by your clumsy actions. I remember dropping one tinny bit of tomato sauce on his fur while I was cooking lunch. Sometimes I feel as he is choosing to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

If you think fur is the only part of bunny that need hygiene improvement, you are wrong. If you love to cuddle with your pets, and if you enjoy they playing in your arms, then you should learn to use nail clipper for pets. Bunny nails can cause quite a lot of pain if he gets nervous in your arms. Bunny trying to get out from your arms can accidentally, non-intentionally scratch you. Also, long nails in rabbits will cause problems in everyday's life of your pet. 

I will mention proper diet program for you bunny as one of the thing that belong under hygiene improvement. As a medical worker, I strongly believe that regulation of body weight should be part of everyday hygiene just as teeth brushing and washing your hands. 

An other hygiene issue in bunnies is need for constant teeth wearing. Their teeth need to be checked as ofter as you can. To respect the policy of writing only original content, i won't write about Bunny teeth care here, but you can read it in my other article. Follow link bellow.

Read About Bunny Teeth Care in This Article of Mine:

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Improving Your Bunny's Hygiene

What are the actions you have to undertake to improve your bunny's hygiene?

In the text above I have explained some of the situations your pet can get filthy in, and I have also given some examples of my personal experience with my Gary. Now I will write more about the actions needed to keep your loving pet clean. 

Giving Your Bunny a Bath:

Is it allowed to bathe rabbits? Is it going to harm him? Are rabbits afraid of water?

In many articles I have written about rabbits, I was writing that bathing your rabbit is out of the question. But why now am I saying differently. Well, in some cases, they can not groom themselves sufficiently to clean the fur. It will leave marks such as color, scent on the fur. Animals can;t stand alien scents on them, so it can make them nervous, or even aggressive. It is rare to see one animal being aggressive for this case, but it can lead to anxiety at least. In short workds: bunnies should not be given bath as other pets, but in rare cases, it is not going to harm them if you follow instructions in this article.

Bath your pet bunny only when it is really needed. Don;t do it too often, or they will get sick. They have lots of hair, and it can hold lots of water within after bathing. This can harm your bunny by dropping his body temperature, or in the other ways. 

  • Make sure water is not too hot or too cold.
  • Don't shower your rabbit! and keep the head dry.
  • Use only animal shampoos. Don't use head and shoulders just because it smells good. It is not for pets!
  • Use towels to dry the bunny. NEVER use hair dryer. It can cause heat stroke. 

Giving Your Bunny Quality Nail Clipping:

What is the proper way to clip nails in rabbits? Can everyone do that? Can I hurt bunny by clipping his nails?

Clipping the nails to your pet is quite simple. It looks tricky, but it is not that tricky after couple of times. You can use nail clippers we, humans use, but it would be ideal if you could buy nail clipper for bunnies or dogs. 

Cut only the translucent tip of the nail. About 3 mm from the edge, there ae vascular and nervous components. Hurting there structures will cause pain to your rabbit, as much as bleeding. 

This procedure requires immobilization of bunny. Use towel or any cloth to wrap him into and immobilize him that way.

Bunny Teeth Care:

"Well, in order to keep their teeth at a constant length, your have to provide various things for them to chew. Giving them hay, vegetables and other fiber rich food is a good way to prevent teeth overgrowth. But they have a constant need to chew things."

For more information on this subject read about it in my article: All About Bunnies: Teeth Care.

Bunny Diet Program in Improving His Hygiene:

"The main food, your bunny should always have on menu, is hay. Timothy and meadow hay should always be there for you bunny. They can eat it in unlimited quantity."

For more information on this subject read about it  on my blog: Bunnies as Pets: What Kind of Food to Feed Your Bunny With?

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Updated: 04/05/2012, Mladen
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ChrisHugh on 07/07/2012

What a fun article! I have little experience with bunnies so it was great to live vicariously as I read your article. What cuties!

Mladen on 04/14/2012

Oh, they are lot of fun, Moonbeam973! I am sorry to hear that you cannot own a pet. I wish the situation changes for you soon. Cheers!

Mladen on 04/10/2012

Oh, I could talk about bunnies as pets forever.
They are perfect! :) Thank you, Brenda!

BrendaReeves on 04/09/2012

I've had bunnies before and they do make good pets. This is a great article explaining bunny hygiene.

Mladen on 04/05/2012

Thank you, 2uesday, for your kind comment! I am not 'an expert' in keeping Guinea pigs, but I can say bunnies are just perfect pets. They easily become part of you family.

Mladen on 04/03/2012

Bizilady, I have a blog about house bunnies, and you can find the link to it in this article, or in my profile page. If you need anything more to know about bunnies, just ask!

Guest on 04/02/2012

Well I learned a few things about rabbits. I was at an Amish animal auction this weekend and almost bought one but I wanted to research more.Good tips to consider!

Mladen on 04/02/2012

I was thinking of buying cat and dog too to make him company, while I am not there to play with his. But it is just huge obligation, and I don't think I could go trough it.
But I know from earlier experience, all the animals can live together as a family. I had cat and dog while I was child. I even had friend with can and hamster.
In this case cat and bunnies both love to play and cuddle. They would go along just perfectly!

katiem2 on 04/02/2012

Miaden, I had no idea, the last thing I would ever want to do is create a hostile environment for any animal and yet bunnies and cats do seem as though they'd get along. This is a good time of year to find a really nice young baby bunny to raise and bring into the family. :)

Mladen on 04/02/2012

Both cats and bonnies are friendly animals. And they would love each other, I am sure of that. I have friend who has dog and bunny in appartment, and the dog is so much prtective toward the bun. I was surprise to see this kind of bound.
And thank you for this great idea for one of the future articles, Katie.

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