Grooming a Longhaired Bunny

Have you recently adopted a longhaired rabbit, such as an Angora? Congratulations! These super fluffy bunnies are almost impossibly cute. However, Floppy won’t be able to keep up with all that fur herself. You’ll need to give her a helping hand with her beauty sessions. A vet offers some advice on this below.

Summer

In summer, you’ll need to be extra careful to keep Floppy dry and clean. Otherwise, she could develop flystrike. Check her skin and coat daily, and make sure her bottom isn’t wet or dirty. Your vet may also recommend a flystrike preventative. 

Molting

A few times a year, your rabbit will shed her old coat and grow in a new one. This is called molting, as it’s a bit more intense than regular shedding. Grooming your pet will be especially crucial at these times. If Floppy swallows her fur, she can’t vomit it back up the way a cat would. Therefore, hairballs can cause very dangerous—and even life-threatening—intestinal blockages. Ask your vet for what to look for.

Tools

Be very careful when selecting tools. Whether you choose combs, a slicker brush, a mat rake, or another brush, don’t pull too hard. Bunnies have extremely delicate skin, which rips easily. Generally, you’ll want to start with a wide-toothed comb or a special mat comb. Then, finish up with a tool that has narrower teeth. Ask your vet for more information. 

Problem Areas

With longhaired bunnies, their ‘armpits’ and the spots between their legs often get the most mats. Your vet might recommend clipping or even shaving these trouble spots. If you do, be very gentle and use round-edged scissors. Ask for specific advice.

Bathing

You should never bathe a bunny. If Floppy gets something spilled on her fur, you can gently clean off the dirty area. One option is hold your furry pal carefully and, if possible, submerge just the part or her that’s dirty into a tub or sink of lukewarm water. Lightly swish the water around. Never submerge your rabbit’s head or whole body. This is extremely scary for bunnies, and they can actually go into shock from it.

Convincing Floppy

Bunnies are very opinionated, and they can vary greatly in how they react to being groomed. Pick a time when Floppy feels relaxed. As you brush her, talk to her gently, and offer her treats and praise. Don’t try your pet’s patience with long sessions. About 10 or 15 minutes is fine.

Please contact us for more information about rabbit care. We’re ‘hoppy’ to help!

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