Today someone asked me for advice on how to wash their bunny. After I shared information, I realized that there may be others who may have a similar question. So I decided to share it with the rest of my friends.
There is actually no need to wash bunnies, as they are pretty good at grooming and keeping themselves clean. However, there are obviously occasions when our bunnies, especially white ones can get pretty dirty and we may have to come to their rescue.
If you wish to help our bunnies a little with staying clean, you may soak the facecloth in warm water, squeeze it out and just gently wash the areas that are dirty.
However, if you really want to give your bunny a little bath, it should be OK to do so, as long as you are gentle and bunnies don’t get scared by the experience. Remember, bunnies are fragile and can get worked up quite easily, so the experience has to be as calm and smooth smooth as possible.
Make sure there are no drafts in the area and the room temperature is comfortably warm. Get a little Rubber-made tub. If you don’t have a shower head that is attached to a long hose than get a separate large container as well. Fill Rubber-made tub with enough luke warm water so that it will reach up to bunny’s shoulders. Place the Rubber-made tub into your bath tub, than put some baby no-tears shampoo or special pet shampoo and swoosh it around so it dissolves in water and creates some bubbles. Don’t make it too bubbly.
Fill the other container with clean water that is warmer than water that is in the Rubber-made tub, because it will have to stand there for a a little while. Get your bunny, put one hand on the chest under the arms and with the other hand support the bum and the feet, than gently lower bunny into water. Make sure the water is not too cold, but also not too hot.
Talk calmly, softly and gently to your bunny while you are doing this. “That’s a good boy/girl!”, “Isn’t this nice!”, “Yes, what a good bunny!”, etc. Gently rub with your fingers/hands any areas that need to be cleaned while they are submerged under water, scoop some water in your capped hand and pour over the areas of the body that are not submerged in water. Always support your bunny with one hand and be prepared that it may try to escape. Also be prepared to get wet ☺ Your bunny may try to stand up on the hind legs. That’s OK, you can still pour water over it with your scooped hand or a small cup.
Make sure you don’t pour water over it’s head, eyes and ears. For that you will need a little face cloth. Wet it, than squeeze the excess water out and gently move it over the top of the head, cheeks and under the chin starting at the front towards the back. Do this only if it’s really needed. Make sure you start far away from the eyes and watch that no water drops or rolls down in the eyes. You may even place either your hand or another rolled up facecloth just above the eyes to stop the water from getting in. Don’t wash the ears and make sure no water gets in them to avoid any infection later on. Also keep watching that bunny doesn’t get water in it’s nose and mouth. I really wouldn’t do the head unless absolutely necessary.
When done washing with shampoo, lift bunny a little with one hand, holding it under the chest, tilt the container and let the soapy water run out. Place bunny down again and with the other container that has clean water in it pour it gently and slowly over the body making sure you don’t get the eyes and ears. Remember to keep talking to your bunny in a calm gentle voice.
When done, lift bunny with one hand and with the other gently squish the water out of it’s body, arms, legs and tail. Wrap them in a towel and gently rub them dry. Than wrap them in another, dry towel and just sit with them for a while petting them and talking gently, so that they may relax and get dry, so that they would avoid catching a cold from any drafts.
Now, no one knows your bunny’s personality better than you. So you would be the one who will need to decide whether your bunny is ready for a bath or not. Some bunnies are very laid back and will not struggle at all. In this case just make sure you keep them relaxed throughout the procedure. However, some bunnies may be “fighters”. You many have to hold them a little firmer at first until they calm down, but making sure you are not hurting them. However, if you see them getting really scared and excited, I would not go through with this, as you don’t want to risk scaring them too much. Always keep in mind, bunnies scare easily and have fragile hearts. Their safety should always be your number one priority.
The same bathing technique can be used on cats, small dogs and other small pets like guinea pigs, etc.