Rabbits are adorable, but to keep them safe and happy as pets, they require utmost care and attention. Domesticated rabbits are fragile. This is why pet owners need to be proactive in making sure that they stay out of harm's way.
One of the best ways to do this, believe it or not, is through grooming. Cleaning and proper grooming your pet rabbit will ensure that they do not get accidentally injured or sick. When done right, grooming can keep your pet healthy, safe, and comfortably happy.
Here are some basic grooming tips you can follow:
Brush their fur
Having a thick fur can be dangerous to rabbits. While rabbits usually clean their own fur as a way to maintain themselves, this habit can also be highly dangerous as rabbits always end up ingesting their own fur.
The ingested fur can make its way to the rabbit's system and cause intestinal blockage. Rabbit pet owners are therefore advised to brush their pet's fur to remove excess fur and prevent it from clumping. Brushing is especially important if your pet has long hair.
Here are some brushing tools you’ll need:
Pin Brush - to remove loose hair
Flea Comb - to remove parasites and feces from the coat
Wide-tooth comb - to avoid matting
Bristle brush - to remove excess hair
Scissors - to remove matted hair (should only be used after receiving proper training on how to remove matted fur on rabbits)
Cut their nails
Another important part of rabbit grooming is making sure that your pet’s nails are kept short. Overgrown nails can be uncomfortable for rabbits as it can inhibit movement and may even cause nail or foot injuries.
Trim your pet’s nails every few weeks. For this part of your grooming routine, you may need to work with an assistant to secure your pet while you focus on clipping the nails. Use a flashlight and animal nail clippers.
It’s important to be as gentle as possible while clipping your pet’s nails. Hold them on your assistant’s lap or gently wrap them in a towel to avoid swift movements. Make sure that they are in a comfortable position while you do the trimming.
Check for abnormalities and fleas
Even when kept indoors, rabbits can still sometimes get fleas and ticks from other animals or even your own footwear and clothing. A parasite infestation can lead to scratching, itching and skin issues.
A routinary fleas check is important to spot early signs of discomfort, find an effective remedy, and prevent possible fleas infestation. Check for swelling or discharge on the eye area, and look for signs of infection on the ears.
A fleas check is also a great time to search for surface abnormalities. Be cautious of sores and lumps on your pet. If you suspect a potentially serious infestation of fleas or ticks, or spot an abnormality, visit your local veterinarian immediately for professional assistance.
Grooming as part of creating a bond
Aside from ensuring that your pet rabbit gets all the cleaning and care, they need to stay healthy, grooming is also a great way to bond with them. It’s a way to socialize with your pet and a great opportunity to establish trust in your relationship with them.
Create a grooming routine that’s thorough but comfortable for them. Pair this with a nutritional diet and clean surroundings, and you’re sure to have a happy healthy bunny for a pet.
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