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2016-08-13
Grooming your Rabbit


Rabbits change their coats (moult) between seasons to accommodate weather changes. Moulting happens in spring (August/September) and autumn (March/April). Rabbits generally groom themselves or each other – lone rabbits take a bit of strain sometimes though. As flexible as rabbits are, they can’t reach every spot, and if the rabbit is a long-hair breed it will struggle to keep the tangles out of its coat. This is where the owners help.

Long-hair rabbits need to be regularly groomed. When rabbits groom themselves, they ingest a lot of the hair that they moult. It may cause hair balls and constipation. Since it is impossible for rabbits to throw up, the hair can only exit through the back door, which sometimes gets clogged.  If your rabbit is constipated, you’ll see few or no droppings for about 20 hours, at which point you need to step in. Feed your rabbit a lot of fibre in the form of grass (Teff) if your rabbit is constipated or prone to constipation. The grass acts as roughage and clears the digestive tract allowing your rabbit to drop presents once again.

Due to the risk of constipation long-hair rabbits need to be groomed at least once a week. I speak from experience when I say it is better to groom them more often because that way, it doesn’t take as long the next time you have to groom them. Your grooming kit should consist of the following:

  • [round brush]
  • [deep comb]
  • [regular brush]
  • Scissor – this is to cut stubborn knots out of your rabbit’s fur
    • Note: be careful when you use the scissor. Rabbits only have one layer of skin, so even a small cut can cause them to bleed a lot.

Long hair breeds include the angora and Jersey woolly among others.

Short hair rabbits are rarely groomed out of necessity. When there are two rabbits, they groom one another and make the load on the owner a bit lighter (not that it was heavy to begin with). Lone rabbits do need a little bit of owner assistance though (but they only really need to be brushed once a month to look neat).With short hair rabbits you can come right with just the one brush (the [regular brush]).

Short hair breeds include the dwarf rabbit and Rex Rabbit among others.

Grooming could also be a bonding exercise between the rabbit and the owner. If you groom them often enough, they will associate the feelings of comfort and relaxation they have when you groom them with you. When the see you, they will seek your attention.

Maybe your rabbit decides to treat you to a grooming session too ^.^


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