Never Ever: Bathe Your Bunny
Rabbits have no oily scent glands on their bodies. Unlike our canine companions they don’t get that wet dog smell. Rabbits are always cleaning themselves, much like cats and don’t require any cleaning at all.
Hormones may cause your bunny to smell! Once male rabbits become hormonal they begin to leave pheromone-laced pee and poo. I often tell people it smells like extra buttery popcorn with garlic sprinkled on it. Some females may leave similar smelling poo’s but it’s generally not as intense. Having your boy bunny neutered is the only way to remove this smell and has other positive health benefits.
Rabbits can and do die from shock when their entire body is soaked from head to tail. Holland Lops have a thick undercoat, it will takes hours (2-3) to blow-dry. Failure to dry your bunny subjects them hypothermia, which sets in quickly and your bunny’s internal organs begin to shut down within hours of being wet.
Baby wipes are the safe alternative to bathing your bunny. Ideally getting alcohol-free and fragrance-free are the best wipes to use. Vitamin E is safe but it might make their coat look a little oily.
Diet may be the cause for a smelly bunny! I’ve purchased rabbits from other breeders and I have noticed some brands of pellets may cause your bunny to have a strange odor!! But once I put them on a pure hay diet the smell went away!
Only wash your bunny… if they have managed to get into something toxic like car oil, cooking oil, or a bucket of paint! If your bunny got into something oily only a mild dish soap will do the trick, my preference is Dawn dish soap. Blow dry your bunny thoroughly, you need to get that dense undercoat dry and it is no easy task. It will take you hours but its the only way to keep them from getting sick!
Never Ever: Hit Your Bunny
Rabbits are prey animals, they are naturally timid and nothing will betray their trust faster than physical discipline. Your hand should always be seen as a source of affection. Each rabbit has a different threshold for forgiveness, some forgive, other may never forget.
Some rabbits that are naturally dominate will fight back if you strike them, this is especially true with intact male rabbits.
Rabbits are capable of learning a great many human words and tricks, this also means teaching your rabbit “no!” Generally the older they get the better they become at understanding this command. If “no” doesn’t work then try giving your bunny a time out, put them back in their pen to show them you are displeased with their actions.
When a bunny starts to be naughty and won’t listen to words (mostly due to hormones) I prefer to put them in a time-out box. I’ve found many rabbits respond quickly to having their freedom taken away.
Never Ever: Leave Your Bunny Locked Up All Day
Rabbits need exercise to stay healthy. We understand that not all rabbits can be trusted to free roam the house all day, however leaving your bunny locked up in a cage or hutch for long periods of time is dangerous for their health. An immobile bunny increases bunny depression and increases the chance of Gastro intestinal-stasis (a life threatening condition) and sludge bladder. Getting an exercise pen is a great way to ensure your bunny always gets adequate exercise even when they can’t be supervised.
Rabbits need attention to remain happy. Rabbits are social and highly emotional creatures that need interaction to be happy. Rabbits have been known to die of heartbreak, they stop eating, effectively starving themselves to death when they feel ignored. This is especially true of our Cuddlebuns, as our bunnies are different, they are raised around humans and see themselves as members of your family. Getting your bunny a bond mate is a great way to ensure bunny depression doesn’t set in!