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How To Give Your Rabbits A Bath

Like most small mammals, rabbits don’t actually need to bathe like us humans. In fact, the warm, soapy baths that we all love wouldn’t be very pleasant for your rabbit at all. They are very averse to being submerged even partially in water, and their body temperatures can drop very quickly between finishing the bath and becoming dry.

A rabbit can happily go through life without ever having a bath, but some pets will need a bit of help from time to time, especially as they reach older age. There are two main times that you will need to intervene in your pets’ hygiene routines: when they get a substance on them that they shouldn’t try to clean off themselves, or when they have a build up of excrement on their rear.

Lop-eared rex Rabbit
Rabbits don't need, or like, baths!

In both of these cases, an actual bath should be the very last resort. Spot cleaning will be much more pleasant for your rabbit. Spot cleaning is a method where the owners simply wets a cloth or a kitchen towel and dabs the affected area, drying it off thoroughly afterwards. If the substance is a little hard to get out, for example an oil based issue, then your best bet will be a rabbit shampoo (these are readily available in most pet stores).

If your rabbit has managed to get themselves truly filthy, and you have no other options, you may need to give them a bath. Try your best to only wet the part of the rabbit that needs cleaning. Sit your pet on your lap then work a rabbit shampoo into the dirty area and finally rinse the appendage very thoroughly. If any soap is left over, it can irritate the skin, so be sure to fully wash it off.

Once you are sure that all of the shampoo has been fully rinsed out, gently dry off your rabbit with a clean towel. If your hair dryer has a cool (but not cold) setting, you can try and use this. Make sure to keep moving the hair dryer so that it doesn’t chill or heat up their skin too much. It’s advised to keep a bathed rabbit in the house overnight so that they aren’t exposed to any chilly weather that could pose a risk of hypothermia.

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