Bathing rabbits – wabbitwiki gas questions

• Bathing with water can upset or stress a rabbit, causing him to panic and inadvertently injure himself. Any time you take a rabbit out of his comfort zone, your bun may go into shock which is potentially deadly. Rabbits can die from stress-induced heart attacks. [2] Sudden death has been reported during or after bathing rabbits. [3]

• Use a hypoallergenic, non-medicated shampoo to wash your rabbit with. Dana Krempels writes, [1] Most popular shampoos for humans–including baby shampoos–are not recommended for use on rabbits, as they can contain harsh ingredients that are rough on delicate rabbit skin. Pet shampoos containing pyrethrins and other "herbal" or "natural" insect-killing ingredients are not recommended, either. Plants make toxic compounds to kill their herbivore pests, and just because something is "herbal" or "all natural" doesn’t mean it’s safe for a bunny! The best shampoo (for you or your bunny) is an organic, environmentally-friendly (and cruelty-free) product with emollients to soothe the skin, with as few additives as possible. (Bunny-safe shampoos are easy to find at natural food stores or other vendors that sell environmentally friendly products. Read the label and be a smart consumer.)

• Use a small sink with around 2.5 inches of lukewarm water to bathe a bun. Have the water ready before placing the rabbit in so that he will not have to deal with the additional stress of seeing or hearing the water run with nowhere to go. If the bottom of the sink is smooth and slippery, place a towel so that the rabbit has some grip to stand on.

• Being firm and gentle so that the bunny cannot jump and injure himself, lower his rear end into the lukewarm shampoo and water mixture, and gently lave the solution onto the soiled areas until they are clean. If the bunny is very messy, you may have to change the water and do this a few times. Do not get water on their heads or in their ears. Rabbits are not going to get dirty on their face to the point that you can not wipe it off with a damp paper towel, and ear infections are a serious danger that may permanently affect your rabbit.

• Use a hair dryer on low to medium heat so you do not overheat the bunny, and keep it at least 12 inches from its body. Do not use the hair dryer on the head, ears or privates. [4] Having a hand close to your rabbit‘s skin will let you easily know if the airflow is too hot. Use a fine-toothed flea comb or a soft brush to separate the hairs and make drying time shorter. [1] Continue drying until the undercoat is completely dry and fluffy.

• After the rabbit is dry, carefully use blunt-tipped scissors to trim away any leftover areas where the fur is matted as well as areas where the skin is irritated. If you cannot see the skin or are doubtful where skin ends and fur begins, then do not clip! Rabbit skin is very thin and stretchy and a small wound can easily tear into a more serious wound. [1]

Try to keep the baths as short as possible to minimize stress. If your rabbit seems abnormally stressed by the experience, stop the process and do not continue. As Dana Krempels writes, [1] Whenever you handle a bunny, it’s important to be firm, gentle and ready to release the bunny at ground level if she starts to struggle violently. As you probably know, one good kick can subluxate or even fracture the spine. Always keep the bunny’s safety first in mind if you attempt a project like this. Further reading