Best Rabbit Grooming Brushes
See files for Rabbits
While you won't see as many rabbit grooming salons in your local neighborhood as dog groomers, this doesn't mean we can neglect the former's grooming needs. In order to guarantee their well-being, we need to ensure we meet all of their care needs, including maintaining their coat. This doesn't mean just running a comb through their hair every once in a while. It means doing it correctly using the right brush.
To help you choose between the available types of grooming brushes for rabbits, in this AnimalWised article we review the best rabbit grooming brushes. We also provide pictures for you to know what they look like if you need to buy one.
The importance of grooming rabbits
Rabbits are very clean animals. Just like cats, they are very capable of grooming themselves. For this reason, unlike dogs, they do not need to be bathed as part of their regular hygiene routine. However, it is essential that we dedicate some time to brushing them.
If they have picked up obvious stains or clumps of dirt, we can clean them with baby wipes. Otherwise, we should only bathe them if they are particularly dirty and it poses a risk to their health. In general, it should not be done more than once or twice a year.
The best way to help the rabbit eliminate dead hair is regular brushing. Not only does this maintain their coat, but it prevents the formation of trichobezoars (i.e. hairballs in rabbits). Hairballs can often cause serious health problems and can even be fatal to some rabbits.
A coat that is left unbrushed ends up accumulating dirt, as well as forming tangles and knots. This is especially true in long-haired rabbit breeds such as the Angora rabbit. However, beyond brushing regularly, we should also know how to choose the most suitable type of brush for our rabbit. In some cases, a comb might even be the best option.
Rabbits should generally be brushed 2-3 times a week. However, they may only need as little as once a week if our rabbit has short fur or as much as once a day for those with long fur (e.g. Angora Rabbits). Brushing is especially important during molting, when hair is shed in greater quantity.
Therefore, and this is especially true of those with long hair, you should keep in mind that a rabbit fur requires times and attention. We will review the available brushes and combs in the following sections.
Before selecting the most suitable brush type for our rabbit, we should make sure we know how to carry out a good brushing. The aim is to remove a as much dead or excess hair as possible. To do this, the chosen brush has to be used over the whole body. Brushing should go both with and against the hair, taking care, of course, over the most sensitive body parts.
Animals that are not used to brushing may become nervous which can lead to stress. For this reason, we should try to get them used to it from an early age and then, when brushing, be patient and talk to them with affection. We should avoid using force or making sudden movements. Afterwards, we can gradually increase the brushing time so that they accept it willingly.
If they remain calm, we can reward them with a prize, such as their favorite food. This will reinforce the behavior we want them to repeat. It’s important to remember to be very careful because tugging too stongly on their hair could cause them pain, as their skin is very thin.
Slicker brush for rabbits
The slicker brush is one of the most common types of rabbit brushes. It is a great overall brush which uses metal pins with small plastic ends to both penetrate into the rabbit's fur and to collect any dead hair which might be in there. These brushes are one of the biggest rabbit grooming brushes with a wide head to cover large areas. For this reason, they may not be best on sensitive areas such as the face (especially because the rabbit may fear something large), but they can be used on the legs and tail.
De-shedding comb for rabbits
These combs also have straight, hard tines which vary in length. They can be very hard against the rabbit's skin, so they need to be used carefully. The reason for their different lengths is so they can get in between each hair and remove dead hair when they come in contact with the comb. It is especially useful for shedding season and may not need to be used for all grooming sessions.
Cushion brush for rabbits
These brushes for rabbits are similar to a slicker brush, but they have a soft pad in the middle and the bristles are not very long. When they are made from metal, they are tougher. However, they can also be made from nylon which are much softer. When we exert pressure on the brush, the soft pad prevents the brush from digging in too hard. However, the bristles are still effective for conditioning the rabbit's coat.
Soft brush for rabbits
This name refers to a type of soft brush for rabbits with natural bristles. Its action is more precise and delicate than other tougher brushes. It should be used at the end of a brushing session to both smooth the coat and to help the rabbit to feel calm. This is because the soft bristles act on the rabbit's skin like a massage.
These rabbit brushes are good for both the rabbit and their guardian as they have an ergonomic handle which facilitates a non-slip grip. We can also find very similar brushes called ‘mitten’ brushes which have a strap to facilitate holding it in the hand. These allow us to pass our hands over the rabbit as if we were petting them. Alternative synthetic fibers can be used to replace the natural bristles.
Finally, the undercoat brush (perhaps better known by the brand name Furminator) is another option which helps to remove all the dead hair. In this way, it is very useful during molting, and especially if our specimen is long-haired.
Characterized by very fine, hard, close-tipped bristles, it is highly effective. So effective, in fact, that we run the risk of leaving bald patches if we use it excessively. However, when used correctly along the back of the rabbit, they can find it very relaxing.
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