Have you thought about, maybe looked into, buying a longhaired rabbit, like an Angora? Super fluffy, super cute — these bunnies will make you smile. But, Fluffy Floppy can’t keep up with all the grooming of all that fur herself. So, you’ll have to do it for her regularly. A veterinarian offers 6 tips for grooming a longhaired bunny below.
In the summer, you’ll want to be super careful that you keep Floppy clean and dry. If you don’t, she could get flystrike. Check her skin and coat everyday. Your veterinarian might also recommend a flystrike preventative medicine. Lastly, be sure that your furry friend is hydrated and doesn’t overheat!
Choose your tools wisely. Whether you get a slicker brush, combs, a mat rake, or another brush, be careful that your equipment doesn’t pull too hard. Rabbits have very delicate skin that tears easily. For the most part, you’ll want to begin with a special mat comb or wide-toothed comb. Then, you put the finishing touches with a narrow-toothed tool.
Molting, shedding old fur and growing a new coat, happens a few times a year for rabbits. It’s a little more excessive than normal shedding. Grooming is especially critical during these times. If Floppy swallows her fur, she can’t vomit it back up the way a kitty can. Those hairballs can cause intestinal blockages, which are very dangerous, and can even be life-threatening. Talk to your veterinarian for signs to watch out for.
Floppy should absolutely never be bathed! If she gets something spilled on her fur, you can softly clean the dirty area. One thing you can do is hold your bunny carefully and, if possible, put just the part or her that’s dirty into a lukewarm tub or sink, and swirl the water around. Never put your pet’s head or whole body under the water. This is terrifying for rabbits, and may cause them to go into shock.
The ‘armpits’ and areas between bunnies’ legs often mat the most. Your veterinarian might recommend clipping or even shaving these problem areas. Talk to your vet about how to groom these parts of your rabbit.
Every bunny’s reaction to being groomed is different. Choose a time when your rabbit feels relaxed. Talk to her gently as you brush her, offering her treats and praise at the same time. Don’t try to do long sessions. Floppy can only take 10 to 15 minutes.
If you want more information on how to care for a bunny, contact your local animal clinic!