Good Grooming Habits for Rabbits
Besides for being an important part of your pet's care and maintenance, this is a great bonding opportunity!
Rabbits in general have a very similar attitude towards cleanliness as cats do. For this reason it is relatively simple to train them in the use of the litter box. Rabbits spend a good deal of time cleaning themselves, maintaining their skin and fur to keep it in excellent condition. However, their personal upkeep by no means exempts pet owners from dedicating some time and effort to this task. Like most other pets, rabbits rely on their owner for an efficient maintenance plan that looks into all areas of hygiene.
One of the most important tasks in rabbit grooming is brushing the coat thoroughly. The more time you spend at this chore, the better his fur will look and feel and the healthier he will be. Another great benefit of the extra time spent brushing your rabbit's fur, will be the opportunity to strengthen and grow the bond between you and your pet. Another advantage of brushing your rabbit's hair besides the obvious aesthetics, is removing debris and any dead strings of hair your pet would otherwise swallow. Just as it happens with cats, swallowing hair will form a hairball in his throat that could prove dangerous to his health, and may even cause him to strangle. Hairballs can even block the digestive system, which may require that the pet owner submit the rabbit to a surgical procedure costing hundreds of dollars.
When choosing a schedule for brushing the rabbit, consider that their fur replaces itself approximately every three months. Be prepared to broom and vacuum all the dead hair left around the house. You will be amazed at how much hair can come out of just one small creature. When choosing a brush, remember not to get a brush with hard bristles that may hurt the rabbit’s skin. Their skin is rather delicate; some people prefer wide angle plastic brushes to make the task easier and also to be gentler to the rabbit.
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As with most other pets, when properly taken care off, your rabbit will not only be healthier, but will look absolutely beautiful. You must be committed to brushing hair regularly year round, especially for the long-haired breeds. As an alternative you may choose to trim the rabbit’s hair to about one inch in length. This will help make your job of maintaining your rabbits fur considerably easier. If you have little or no experience trimming your rabbit’s hair, don’t be afraid of spending a few dollars to take them to a professional groomer; it may save you time and expense later on. You may even want to take you rabbit to a professional groomer one time, watching carefully to make note of exactly what he does every step. Pay close attention to how the groomer handles themselves with the scissors around your rabbit.
A rabbit living in open space and on warm climates will be prone to a lot more physical activity. This activity will generate sweat, which will get cold and dry on the rabbit, causing mats of tangled hair to form which will be an added challenge to remove. For these specific cases try removing the tangled hair with a comb first, before going for the scissors. As a manner of prevention, bathing your rabbit is a must.
Every few weeks your rabbits nails will need to be checked also, and trimmed if necessary. This task, as with many others can easily be done by your veterinarian in case are too apprehensive about injuring your pet. Remember to have fun and enjoy the time you spend with your rabbit. Try making the grooming task a game, rather than thinking of it as a gruesome chore.