When rabbits start to moult, you will know about it! You will probably find yourself saying ‘Where does it all come from?’ and ‘When is it going to end?’. It is very important we help rabbits stay healthy while they are moulting. A lot of brushing is needed, but not all bunnies like to be brushed, so what do you do? Don’t worry, we have put together some helpful tips which will make it much easier for your rabbit & for you too!
Help your rabbits stay healthy during a moult…
Rabbits shed their fur four times a year. The two heavy moults are at the end of winter and the end of summer. Then they have two lighter moults in-between.
Brush your rabbit every single day while they are moulting.
You need to try and stop your rabbits digesting as much fur as possible during their moult and brushing will help. If a rabbit digests too much fur it can contribute towards hairballs and Gi stasis. If you have bonded rabbits, keep a close eye on the rabbit that is cleaning their partner who is moulting.
Rabbits need to eat lots of hay during their moult to help keep their digestive system healthy. Increase their fresh hay amount and provide fun ways of providing their hay, to help encourage them to eat as much as possible.
Keep your rabbit well hydrated also. If your rabbit does not drink much water, try adding a thin slice of apple to a bowl of water. Whilst trying to retrieve the apple your bunny will take in some water also.
Natural enzymes found in papaya and pineapple are known to help the prevention of hairballs. Special tablets or dried fruits are available for rabbits to help keep their digestive system healthy and can be fed all year round.
Tips to help with brushing…
If your rabbit doesn’t like being brushed, try taking them into an unfamiliar room so they are not as confident and less likely to struggle.
Use a plant spray bottle on mist setting & spray your bunny lightly and start brushing until their fur is dry, or wet their brush/comb and brush your bunny until their fur is dry.
If your bunny does not like being brushed you can simply wipe a damp cloth over them.
Another technique is to wet your hands (not too much) and keep wiping them over your bunny to remove the loose fur. You will end up with lots of fur stuck to your hands, so have a damp cloth ready to help remove the fur from your hands afterwards.
Jersey gardening gloves which have a dotted rubber grip on the palms are very effective with moulting rabbits. Dampen your rabbits fur and wipe your hands (with the gloves on) gently over your rabbit several times. This is more effective than using your bare hands. To remove the fur from the gloves, just wipe on a surface in a circular motion and the fur forms into one lump.
You can also try the method of gently teasing the fur out with your hands. Never pull at the hair, always be gentle. It’s best to do this outside on a windy day.
PLEASE NOTE When your rabbit is not moulting you still need to brush your rabbits at least once a week. Long haired breeds will need grooming a lot more than once a week.
REMEMBER If you love your bunny, brush your bunny! And don’t forget to peg the fur you collect to a tree or washing line, for the birds. They will gladly use it to build their nests!