DAILY LIFE, HEALTH
A bath for my rabbit?
Julie Lambert, Paris, France
November 14, 2020
All too often we hear or see owners bathing their rabbits like we can see a dog going to the groomer. Even if it starts from a good attention, this is absolutely not recommended and can even be harmful for your rabbit.
01 – General case
If it is well known that cats do not like water, it is much less well known that the same is true for rabbits. Bathing a rabbit is a source of intense stress for the rabbit and can even be considered by some as animal abuse.
The rabbit hardly ever needs to be washed. A rabbit is an animal that spends most of its time washing itself. If you have several rabbits you can even see them washing each other. Except on rare occasions, it is hardly ever necessary to wash it, so you should never forget to wash it.
02 – Some exceptions
If your rabbit has a disability, or if it is sick, it may be necessary to help it clean itself. But before doing so, it is essential to ask your vet for advice as soon as possible!
In my case, Pipine was suffering from an infection under her paw after an operation and the vet asked to soak her paws for a few minutes in warm water with a medicine to help her heal herself. But this kind of situation remains exceptional and should only be done on medical advice.
Pipine while caring for the paws.
Photographed by Julie Lambert.
03 – Other solutions
If your rabbit is dirty, you must first find the origin. Then, if you still want to help your rabbit to wash, it is best to use gentle methods. For example, use special animal wipes. You can also use a glove wet with warm water. In some cases, you can also use special rabbit soaps. Do not use the same soap as your own, as it will be far too irritating. Finally, to dry your rabbit, don’t use a hair dryer which, besides being stressful for your rabbit, can burn it.