Longhaired rabbits, such as Angoras, are irresistible adoption pets. These extra fluffy bunnies are extra cute. But, Floppy can’t keep up with all her fur. You’ll want to regularly groom your bunny. In this article, a local veterinarian provides some advice.
In the summer, bunnies need to stay dry and clean, or they can develop flystrike. Check Floppy’s skin and coat every day. Your veterinarian might also recommend a preventative for flystrike. And, it’s important to make sure that your furry friend drinks enough water so she doesn’t overheat!
Molting, or shedding old fur and growing a new coat, happens a few times a year for rabbits. Molting is a little more intense than typical shedding. Grooming is essential during these times. If your bunny swallows her fur, she can’t vomit it back up the same way a cat can. This is important to know, as hairballs can cause extremely dangerous, even life-threatening, intestinal blockages. Talk to your veterinarian about symptoms to be aware of during moltings.
When choosing your tools, be very cautious. Whether you choose a slicker brush, combs, a mat rake, or another brush, make sure they won’t pull too hard. Rabbits have extremely delicate skin that easily rips. For the most part, you’ll want to groom Floppy first with a special mat comb or wide-toothed comb. Then, you can finish with a tool with narrower teeth.
Longhaired bunnies often develop matts in their ‘armpits’ and the areas between their legs. Your local animal clinic might recommend clipping or even shaving these problem areas. Ask them for specific advice.
Never give a bunny a bath. Gently wash off any dirty areas if Floppy gets something spilled on her fur. One way to clean her is by gently submerging just the part of her that’s dirty into a sink or tub filled with lukewarm water, and swirling the water around. Never put your bunny’s head or whole body in the water. Bunnies are terrified of this, and they can actually go into shock.
Every bunny has a different reaction to being groomed. Pick a time when she is calm. While you’re brushing her, offer her treats, and praise her in a soft, gentle voice. Don’t groom your bunny for too long. About 10 or 15 minutes will do.
Call your local pet clinic for more information about rabbit care. We’re hoppy to help!