Bunnies need to be groomed. They molt four times
a year so you'll need to help them clear out the loose fur so they don't
injest it. They cannot cough it up the way cats can. The
fluffy breeds need that brushing every few days if not everyday.
Get a slicker brush from your local pet store or a Zoom Groom from
The other thing you'll need to do is clip their nails.
Be VERY careful not to clip too much. In lighter nails you can see
the vein, called the quick. In darker nails you can use a small
flashlight to shine against the nail and illuminate the quick that way.
Styptic powder or corn starch can stop bleeding if you cut too far.
Or just BE CAREFUL! Having a partner is helpful. You can
also take your bunn into many vets, groomers or pet stores where they
will clip them either for free or a nominal charge like $5.
Trancing bunnies. This is the bomb! Its
very helpful if you have a skittish bunn that doesn't want to be
handled. I like to get them into a cradled baby position in my
arms with their head tilted slightly down. Then stroke their nose.
I've never met a bunny I couldn't trance. Some will get more
relaxed than others but if you do it right you can clip their nails and
they'll be none the wiser. Below is a picture of one of our
previous fosters, Yoshi. She was extremely timid and did not like
to be held at all. But trancing her enabled us to clip her nails
without agitating her and afterwards, she was even relaxed enough to
allow a good brushing without trying to run away.
When bonded bunnies groom each other it is generally
centered around their eyes, nose and head. So perhaps its no
coincidence that it is exactly those areas where they love to be petted.
A good nose rub will have them grinding their teeth which shows you
they're thoroughly enjoying the attention. Most bunnies I've had
also like having their ears rubbed and stroked. They'll show you
what they like by leaning into your petting or grinding their teeth.
Its their way of saying you've got the spot and don't stop!
When your bunny wants to be groomed or petted they
will lower their head right to the ground with their ears back which is
called "presenting". Those new to bunnies may think it
looks like their bunn is frightened or angry. They will show those
emotions with their ears back also, but not with their head stretched
forward and down to the ground. You can find out if they want to
be petted by putting your hand on the floor in front of them. If
they come forward and present, they're welcoming you. If they
charge forward in an aggressive way, stay where they are or hop away,
they don't want to your affections right now.
Another way they will let you know they need some
attention is by digging at your feet or tugging on your pant legs,
hopefully not going too far and getting their teeth into your leg!
They can also nudge you or head butt you to get your attention.
Bunns are normally very careful with their teeth. They don't often
bite but when they do its usually an accident or warning. If its
more than a light bite there's a reason, they're upset or afraid.
Usually bunns are very gentle animals.
They will also lick and groom you to show their
affection. They will chin objects or even you to lay claim to
their territory. One of our fosters went right through our bed
sheets by licking. He would lick one spot for what seemed like
forever, not biting it, just licking.
Everything you ever wanted to know about
rabbits but were afraid to ask ...