All about Rabbit Shampoo or Bunny Shampoo - PET SKINCARE FOR ITCH, PAW LICKING, TEAR STAINS & MORE

All about Rabbit Shampoo or Bunny Shampoo


Can I wash my rabbit?

Rabbit fur takes a very long time to dry & as a result rabbits have a higher chance of dying from hypothermia in cold weather. They also get stressed very easily which can cause heart attacks if moved or handled in a way that they panic. Not withstanding that, some rabbits do actually like the rain and are well equipped to deal with being wet. Also, as part of the grooming routine is necessary to wash of any urine which is acidic and faeces that have coated your rabbits fur off. The PDSA have demonstrated a safe way of washing/ spot cleaning your rabbit with out startling or alarming them. The link is here: How to clean your Rabbit.

What is a caecotroph?

Caecotrophs are soft, nutrient-rich fecal pellets produced by rabbits, rodents, and some other herbivores. These pellets are typically consumed directly from the anus by the animal, allowing for the reabsorption of essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals that were not fully digested during the initial pass through the digestive system. 

What happens when caecotrophs become stuck on my rabbits bottom?

When your rabbit's bottom is encrusted with caecotrophs (faecal matter), it can cause discomfort and potential infection. Cracked skin and fur loss may occur, making it essential to maintain cleanliness in the area. However, only wash the affected area as necessary and ensure thorough drying to prevent further irritation. Your veterinarian might recommend a protective cream for the skin, along with pain relief and antibiotics if infection is present. Addressing the root cause of your rabbit's dirty bottom is crucial to prevent worsening of the issue. We recommend using the multipurpose balm on your rabbits bottom as a protective cream and the furbabies shampoo for sensitive skin for a gentle wash.

Can I use dog shampoo for my rabbit?

Many pet parent’s ask what the best rabbit shampoo is and whether they can use human or dog shampoo to wash rabbits. We don’t recommend using human shampoo or dog shampoo for your rabbit and explain why in the next section. Unfortunately, we have found that many shampoos marketed for use in Rabbits have very harsh chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulphate, acrylates etc which can destroy their already delicate skin so we recommend investing in a good quality shampoo that washes off easily and cleans effectively. The active foam formula in the FurBabies Botanicals pet shampoo has been carefully calculated using data collated from veterinary dermatology scientific literature and contains as few ingredients that are not only natural, biodegradable but also offer calming aromatherapy benefits whilst leaving the skin hydrated, the coat smelling clean and looking radiant.

How do I groom my rabbit?

Like cats and other small pets, rabbits groom themselves regularly and swallow a lot of fur. However unlike cats they can not vomit out hairballs. This means that the fur can cause their digestion to slow down, reduce their appetite and cause constipation which can lead to gut problems. Ideally we want to be using a gentle brush to groom our rabbit furbaby everyday. Spot wash any caked areas that have been stain by urine or faeces paying particular attention to their backside and paws. Dry gently with a dry towel and for long haired rabbits use a hairdryer on a low setting.

A good point to remember is that Rabbit skin is even more thin than cat or dog skin (who also have very delicate skin compared to humans 5 x thinner). Rabbit skin is also loosely connected to the deeper layer of the skin which explains why rabbits are more sensitive to skin irritants.

The image below gives us an idea of how different Rabbit skin is to human skin & yet we are seeing shampoos for rabbits (containing very harsh chemicals) being marketed for rabbit use. 

Comparison of structural characteristics and molecular markers of rabbit skin, pig skin, and reconstructed human epidermis for an ex vivo human skin model (click on the title to access the article)

Uhm, C., Jeong, H., Lee, S.H. et al. Comparison of structural characteristics and molecular markers of rabbit skin, pig skin, and reconstructed human epidermis for an ex vivo human skin model. Toxicol Res. 39, 477–484 (2023).

Do rabbits get fleas? 

Domestic rabbits frequently encounter fleas when residing in households alongside dogs or cats, whereas pet rabbits living outside exposed to wild rabbits are infested with a different species of flea which also bites cats and dogs. Fipronil is not recommended for use in rabbits and is known to cause fatalities. Imidacloprid (Advantage®: Bayer) is licensed in the UK for flea control in rabbits and works to kill adult fleas as it has been shown to be safe and effective.

Why is my rabbit itching? 

Whilst fleas or other ectoparasites may be a cause of itching in many pets, residue of strong cleaning agents used to clean cages have been found to cause skin irritation or itching. There are some reports of chemicals in wood shavings that have also lead to skin issues in Rabbits. 

Whilst grooming your pet, ee advise getting your rabbit checked by your veterinarian if you find any bald spots, lumps and bumps, change in behaviour, unusual moulting, change in poo habits or bald spots.

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