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Video:Grooming Pet Rabbits

with Linda Thibault

It is important to properly groom your pet rabbit following certain guidelines to prevent matting. Regular grooming on your pet rabbit's coat and nails will keep your pet rabbit happy and healthy. Here's a quick guide to rabbit grooming.See Transcript

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Transcript:Grooming Pet Rabbits

Hi! I'm Linda Tibault for About.com, and today, we're going to talk about how to groom pet rabbits. We're at Hop Along Hollow Rabbit Rescue in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Rabbits Need to Be Groomed Regularly

Rabbits are typically fastidiously clean animals, and spend a good deal of time grooming themselves. House rabbits don't need baths. Regular brushing will keep their coat in good condition and prevent hairballs. Short haired rabbits should be brushed at least once a week. You should use a bristle brush. Carrots is a rescue bunny, who we believe is half Angora and half Lionhead. He needs a daily brushing and grooming. He has, as you can see, very long and very soft hair. If you brush your bunny right from the very beginning, he'll get used to it and he'll learn to like it. Long haired rabbits are extremely prone to matting. But, if you have an Angora rabbit, it has to be brushed on a daily basis.

Carefully Pull Out Mats in Rabbit Hair

If you feel any small mats, you need to work them out with your fingers by gently separating the hair. And eventually, you will get to the base of the mat and just gradually pull the mat out, but very, very gently, because a rabbit's skin is very delicate and it rips very easily. A tiny, tiny nick in the skin can extend into a really good sized tear that you will need a vet to suture. If your rabbit manages to get into something sticky, occasionally you may have to do a little spot cleaning on his coat. An unscented baby wipe is perfect. You can also use corn starch. Now, you can't use talcum powder; you have to be very careful, it must be corn starch baby powder. Rub it into the spot and then brush it back out again. He has a little sticky area here where he's gotten into something, so I'm just removing it with a baby wipe and then just brushing gently over the area.

Clipping Nails When Grooming Rabbits

To clip a rabbit's nails, first you have to relax him so he feels comfortable. Then expose his nails; as you can see, his nails are a little on the dark side, so it's harder to see the vein. There is a vein just like a dog or a cat nail. It runs right through the center. So what we're going to do is just clip the tip without clipping the vein itself, there we go. If you clip it too close and it does bleed, you can just apply a little bit of flour and it will stop the bleeding almost immediately. Carrots is very cooperative. Not all rabbits are, so you need to be careful, go slowly. If you follow these guidelines, grooming your pet rabbit will be stress free and your rabbit will be healthy and happy.

To learn more about rabbits and other topics, please visit About.com, and thanks for watching.

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