Should I Bathe My Bunny?
Photo by Sandy Millar
Rabbits are considered clean animals, and bunny owners don't bathe them. Rabbits have natural oil in their fur that helps keep them dry and comfortable, but bathing removes it from their coat—which can lead to problems such as flystrike (the larvae of house flies burrowing into the skin of your rabbit) and other skin diseases) or skin diseases.
Bunnies do not like being bathed because it's not for them since they are clean animals. But videos on social media show some owners bathing their rabbits, which is incorrect.
Bunnies can clean themselves regularly by licking their fur. The rabbit's fur is like a waterproof coat, protecting the animal from cold or water drizzle.
Should You Bathe Your Pet Rabbit?
You should clean your bunny when necessary. There is a proper way of helping bunnies to clean themselves but not bathing them. Bunnies poop dry round pellets daily, followed by cecotropes, the softer ones. The bunny usually licks its bottom to get the rich nutrients from the cecotropes.
If bunnies cannot clean their bottom, the softer feces will dry. That's the time you have to help your bunny clean its dried poop. Here's how you will do it:
1. Get a basin and spread the towel in it.
2. Gently put the bunny inside, then carefully wash its bottom with lukewarm water.
3. Get the bunny out from the basin, then gently towel dry its bottom.
Remember to be gentle when washing your bunny. Hold it properly so it will not freak out and don't splash the water.
What Happens If You Bathe Bunnies?
It could become painful for bunnies to handle the sensation of being submerged in water. Rabbits can have hypothermia when their bodies are in extremely cold temperatures. Not only that, but they can also die from shock because of water. Keep your place dry and cozy, so your bunnies stay comfortable.
Check your bunnies' water bowls because the water might splash on them when tossing or playing with them in their enclosure.
When a bunny's skin is exposed to moisture, it can become thinner and more fragile. This starts the breaking of the skin and many more complicated skin issues, so be careful in washing your bunny bottoms.
Other Rabbit Skin Diseases
The skin will have severe irritations if a bunny's fur is not dried immediately. Another problem would be parasites. Parasites mostly lay their eggs in a damp or moist area, and there is a possibility they will do that in a bunny's wet coat. Parasites like flystrike are very dangerous for your bunny. Flystrikes' eggs can hatch into maggots and will feed on the bunny's skin.
Ensure no damp parts are in your rabbit's fur to avoid these skin problems.
Disclaimer: We are not professional veterinarians or medical doctors. We created this blog based on our experiences with pet rabbits, volunteered hours in the rabbit shelter, extensive pet product research, and experienced peers. The purpose of this blog is to provide information about properly taking care of rabbits. Please know that it is still best to visit the vet regularly. For medical emergencies, contact a rabbit-savvy vet. Always observe your rabbits around new products or environmental changes.
Final Thoughts on Bathing a Bunny
You cannot bathe a bunny but you can clean its bottom to remove dried cecotropes. Do not let your pet rabbit stay outside while raining or while you are experiencing cold weather because it can become a cause of death to your pet.
Keep bunnies cozy, comfortable, and dry all the time.