Rabbits are loving and interesting animals to keep. Different breeds of rabbits often attempt to clean themselves by licking their bodies. But one of the challenges of rabbit owners is how to clean a rabbit. You must have heard that you have to be careful when you want to clean a rabbit.

Yes, this is true. The method you use to clean a rabbit could make them look healthy or subject them to risk. Yet, some safe cleaning methods will take care of fleas without submerging your pet in water.

Are you confused about how to clean a rabbit without any issues? Check out this article for more information on how to clean a rabbit.

Is it safe to bathe rabbits with water?

Do Rabbits Need to Be Bathed?

Many pet owners attempt different cleaning methods in a bid to make their pets look neat and healthy. Well, it is unsafe for you to submerge your rabbit underwater. Though some people believe that warm water is better than cold when you want to bathe your rabbit, the risk of bathing a rabbit with water is the same whether you use warm or cold water.

In most cases, rabbits get panicked when they are in the water. This will stress your pets or they get hypothermia. There are also cases of death caused by the method of bathing. Moreover, it will take time to dry the fur of your pet when it is submerged in water. When the fur is wet, they are subjected to different types of illness.

Yet, there are few cases when the vet would recommend how to clean a rabbit, especially when the behind is very dirty. In such instances, it is usually recommended that you spot-clean the dirty places. Your vet would recommend the type of cleaning material you will use. If it is ever recommended that you bathe your bunny, make sure you have someone that could assist you. 

Moreover, some rabbits love to swim. If yours hasn’t exhibited such behavior, you should not attempt to bathe it with water. Keeping the rabbit in water for a longer duration is risky. Ensure that you empty the bowl often.

how to clean a rabbit
How to clean a rabbit

How to Dry a Rabbit After Cleaning 

Your pet could get wet for different reasons. In this situation, the fur will cluster and this will make drying it a task. The bunny is in a risky situation if this happens when the weather is cold and you leave the rabbit to air dry.

Drying a wet rabbit is another technique on how to clean a rabbit. A dry towel is an effective way of getting trapped water away from your pet. You need to be gentle and careful when you use a towel to clean a rabbit. This is because you could be removing the fur when you do this rashly.

Alternatively, you can also use a hair dryer. However, make sure the dryer is in a warm setting. You also need to be careful when you do this to avoid burning the rabbit’s skin. To avoid unwanted situations, you should periodically check the temperature of the dryer and also use it for a few minutes.

How to Clean a Rabbit by Grooming

Grooming is an effective way to clean a rabbit. Most rabbits love it when you brush them. It is even an effective way to remove dirt from the fur. You can groom your rabbit at least once a week. You can concentrate more on places where there is a concentration of dirt. However, make sure you use only specially-made brushes for grooming. Here are some steps on how to clean a rabbit by grooming. 

Step 1

Gently hold your rabbit in your hand or place it on your lap. While some enjoy it, some do not. Make sure yours is cooperative before you start the process. You can postpone till a later date if your rabbit is not cooperative. 

Step 2

You can gently apply the brush to the pet’s fur if the bunny cooperates. You can start from the head and gently proceed to the other parts of the body. You need to be careful so that the fur will not tangle. You should give it a break when your rabbit shows signs of discomfort.

Step 3

You should clean the brush once you are through. If possible, you should clean it with soap and water. You can then dry it and keep it safe for future use.

How to Clean a Rabbit by Spot-Cleaning

It has been stated earlier that submerging rabbits in water could subject them to danger. Spot-cleaning is an effective way to clean a rabbit without exposing them to any danger. You can spot-clean a rabbit when the fur is trapped in mud or dirt. Spot cleaning means you are only cleaning some parts of the rabbit’s body. You can follow the steps below for how to clean a rabbit by spot cleaning

Step 1

You should start by placing your pet in the bathing tub. No matter how dirty your rabbit is, it is safer to spot-clean a rabbit than to bathe it in water. Make sure you frequently empty the water so that your pet will not sit for a longer duration in water. When the rabbit stays in the water for a longer duration, it might be difficult to dry the fur when you are through. If you do not have a bathing tub, make sure your alternative can also drain water. 

Step 2

You can then begin to spot-clean the dirty part of the rabbit’s body. You can use a damp towel for this. You dry the part of the rabbit’s body with another towel when you are through. A blow dryer is another alternative. But make sure the temperature is not too high. Make sure the water is running gently. The rabbit could be disturbed by a loud noise from running water. 

How to Clean a Rabbit by Dry Bathing

Dry Bathing

You can also clean a rabbit by dry bathing it. This technique does not require the use of water. You will need a cornstarch rabbit shampoo or baby powder, towel, and comb. The dirt around the furs will be removed with ease without the risk of wetting them. This technique is better adopted when you want to remove fresh stains. Here are a few steps you can follow on how to clean a rabbit by dry bathing. 

Step 1

Gently place your rabbit in an empty bathing tub or another alternative where there is no water. Ensure that your pet is comfortable before you begin the cleaning process.

Step 2

You can then proceed to sprinkle the powder on the affected part of the rabbit’s body. Make sure you sprinkle enough powder on the pet. You should, however, be careful when you are applying the powder. The rabbit could be affected if it inhales the substance.

Step 3

If you are sure that the powder has been spread evenly, you can then gently massage the powder in the dirty portion of the rabbit’s body. You need to do this continuously until the powder is settled in the fur. 

Step 4

Once the powder is settled, you will likely notice some trapped clumps in the fur. You can gently remove the trapped dirt with a brush.

Step 5

Wipe excess powder away from the rabbit with a clean cloth. Once the dirt has been removed and you are sure that your rabbit is clean, you can then proceed to brush off the residual from the fur. You should be careful when you do this to prevent the rabbit from ingesting it.

How to Get Rid of Rabbit Smell


Rabbits are adorable but you might not be able to withstand them when they smell. At times, your pet could be smelling, especially if you have not cleaned them in recent times. You need to learn how to clean a rabbit. Here are some of the steps you can follow to get rid of the unwanted smell from your rabbit.

Step 1

Apply cornstarch to the body. You should ensure that the power spreads to all the parts of the body. However, ensure that the rabbit does not have difficulty breathing due to the powder. Leave the powder on the rabbit’s body for a few minutes. You can then remove and check whether the odor is gone. 

Step 2

It might be time to clean a rabbit’s scent gland if the odor persists. The scent gland is located around the bottom of the rabbit. This could release some undesirable smells when they are not properly discharged. You can clean these glands with a cotton swab. 

Step 3

The step above technique on how to clean a rabbit is enough to remove the odor. At times, you might have to work on the shelter of the rabbit before you completely eradicate the odor. Make sure you clean the cage. You can also get a new cage for your rabbit.

How to Clean a Rabbit by Trimming its Nail

Another crucial way to clean a rabbit is by trimming its nails. This is needed to keep them healthy and the nail short. Rabbits could inflict injuries on one another when the nail is too long. Moreover, the nail is part of the rabbit’s body that helps with mobility. It is recommended that you check them regularly.

However, trimming the nail requires specialty. It requires a specially made trimmer. If you don’t know how to handle the trimmer, you should consult a vet. A mistake could affect the claw. This could result in bacterial infection.

How to Clean Other Important Parts

Other parts of the body should not be neglected when you clean a rabbit. The eyes and ears are some other parts of the rabbit’s body you should consider. Here are a few tips on how to clean a rabbit’s sensitive parts. 

The ear

You can use a cotton swab to gently get rid of ear wax from the rabbit’s ear.


You can remove any dirt in the rabbit’s eyes with a tissue. You must be careful when you do this.


There could be excretion build-up around the rabbit’s anus. There is a high chance of smell when you neglect this place. You should dip a cotton swab in warm water, then apply it. 

What you Should Avoid While Cleaning your Rabbit

Many techniques on how to clean a rabbit have been highlighted in this article. Any of the methods is safe but how you do it is also important. Here are some mistakes you should avoid when you want to clean a rabbit.

Avoid shower

You should avoid a shower and a full bathing tub when you clean a rabbit. No matter how dirty the rabbit is, you should not submerge it in water. If you soak the rabbit in water, it will likely have a respiratory problem. Moreover, it will be difficult to dry the fur later. There is also the risk of shock. The earlier tips on how to clean a rabbit will guide you. 

Dry as soon as you can

If you must ever use water to clean a rabbit, make sure you do not leave the furs wet for a longer duration. You should dry it as soon as possible.

Be mindful of the cleaning material

Most of the cleaning materials in the market contain chemicals that are not safe for your pet. You must get the recommendation of a vet for the type of material you will use to clean a rabbit. 

Clean when necessary

Most rabbits clean themselves. If you must clean a rabbit, make sure it is dirty. Some of the techniques on how to clean a rabbit have been stated earlier.

rabbit bladder sludge


This article has reviewed some tips on how to clean a rabbit. For overall hygiene, the shelter must always be clean. You can also consult your vet for professional guidance on the best way to clean your rabbit.

About the Author

Anoop Nain

I am Anoop Nain, proud father of four rescued dogs and two Flemish giant rabbits. I have a degree in Animal Behavior and Welfare. Besides being a full-time dog father, I am an NGO worker and content writer and an educationist, with more than 6 years of experience. It is while working with the NGO I got an opportunity to educate people on animal rights, pet healthcare, animal welfare and various other issues pertaining to animals.

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