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How To Groom Your Rabbit -- Fur Coat Brushing 101
by Andrea Austin, Rabbits-n-Bunnies.com


Rabbits are naturally clean creatures, but your job as a pet owner is to help them out by doing the grooming they canít do on their own. This section is all about the essentials of getting your rabbit to look as great and as healthy as he feels!

Brushing Your Rabbitís Coat

Rabbits do self-groom to keep themselves nice and clean, but you must play your part, too. Especially if your pet has a long coat of fur, you need to brush him regularly, perhaps once or a couple times a week.

Make sure that you have the necessary grooming tools on hand. This includes a soft brush, available at pet shops or online, and perhaps a wire-toothed comb with rounded ends, so that you donít risk scraping or cutting your animalís delicate skin, if your rabbit has longer hair.

You may also need some small scissors to cut out knots in very long rabbit furóbut more on this in just a moment.

Give your rabbit a nice, gentle brushing, being careful not to pull, scratch or hurt. This will get rid of the excess hair that rabbits naturally shed, preventing your little guy from chewing on and ingesting fur, a habit which can cause dangerous hairballs.

Matting

Mats can occur on most rabbits, but they tend to happen most on long-haired rabbits, for obvious reasons. They also generally occur in one or several places on the body: on the belly, under the feet, at the tail, around the bottom of the body, and between the pairs of legs. Why? These areas get rubbed together or rubbed against the floor more so than other parts, so that they wind up getting tangled.

Getting rid of matting is important because rabbits need to be able to shed hair naturallyóand you need to be able to brush their hair easily.

When you see a mat, try to comb it out with a wire comb with rounded tines, as described above. Itís best to try and get the mat between two of your fingers, so that you can work it out without hurting or tugging on the rabbitís coat or skin. Comb gently, making sure to hold onto the fur between the skin and the mat itself.

If the mat is too much to comb out, you may want to simply cut it out of the coat with small scissors. Be very if you do so, to avoid cutting the delicate skin. You can also try removing the mat with your fingers alone.

You can also take your rabbit to a vet or a groomer if the matting situation is too much for you to do on your own. Then, after he has been all fixed up, make a commitment to brushing his coat regularly to avoid future mats.

Remember, long-haired rabbits need more regularly grooming than those with short hair!

Should You Bathe Your Rabbit?

Rabbits do not like being washed, and they may even suffer anxiety or get upset if you put them into a bath. So do not bathe your rabbit unless you really must (if he is covered in dirt or has had an accident).

In the case that you do need to wash your bunny, there are several things to do in order to make him feel as comfortable as possible.

Fill a bathing tub or sink up, but only with about an inch or wateróno more! It can help to lay a washcloth or hand towel along the bottom so that your bunny doesnít slip or lose his grip.

The water should be neither too cold nor too warmóremember, extreme temperatures will shock your bunnyís delicate constitution!

Use a gentle soap and be careful to be equally gentle with your actual bathing techniques. Try and keep a hand on the rabbitís body to keep him relatively still, but donít use too much pressure. Run your soapy, wet hands over his coat to loosen any grime. Then, when youíre done, get rid of the dirty water and refill the basin with clean water, for rinsing.

As far as drying goes, your rabbit may want to take care of this on his own. If you want to help, however, you can use a hair dryer set on a low temperature, but donít aim it directly at your pet or he could get burned or overheat. Always be careful and remain responsive to any discomfort to your pet.

by Andrea Austin, Rabbits-n-Bunnies.com
"Give us 7 days, and we will teach you how to give your special rabbit companion a longer, healthier, and happier life!"


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