Rabbits like to clean themselves, but they do hop around a lot. It is then natural for their feet to get dirty. So how can you clean your pet rabbit’s feet?
When cleaning your rabbit’s feet, always be gentle. Place your rabbit, belly-up on your lap, and then carefully take a baby wipe to clean off dirt and debris. For urine stains, rub cornstarch powder into the dirty areas, use a rabbit comb, and when clean, gently wipe off the excess powder.
We have included a step-by-step guide you can use to clean your bunny’s feet. We also look at why their feet get dirty, and how you can prevent their feet from being stained by urine.
What Causes Dirty Feet in Rabbits?
There are many reasons why pet rabbits’ feet get dirty.
If your bunny lives outside, then playtime or exercise time may be in your yard. So your rabbit hops on grass and even soil, and from there, ground, dirt, and debris may stick to their feet.
Another cause of dirty rabbit feet in urine. Some rabbits stay in their litter boxes for a while after they’ve urinated, and so the urine soaks into their fur and feet. In this case, you will see that Ms. Fluffels’ feet are urine-stained and they will be yellow.
If you have a buck (male rabbit) that is unneutered, then the bunny will spray while urinating. It will even spray on other rabbits to show dominance, and this can result in yellow fur and feet.
Rabbits are very clean animals. Older rabbits, bunnies that are ill, or disabled bunnies may have trouble cleaning themselves.
Even healthy rabbits aren’t 100% clean all the time. This is where you come in – to help them take care of themselves by gently cleaning them when it is needed.
Steps on How to Clean Rabbits Feet
Follow these steps to clean your rabbit’s feet.
If your rabbit has been playing outside, then you can simply remove this dirt with a baby wipe.
For tougher stains, follow the steps below:
Gently place your rabbit on your lap. Hold the rabbit in a belly-up position. From this position, you can easily access their feet and fur.
You may also want to place a soft pillow on your lap to make your bunny more comfortable.
Beware that unless your bunny trusts you and is very familiar with you, they won’t like this position. Rabbits are prey animals, and while laying on their back, they have no means to defend themselves.
So be gentle with your bunny and build trust whenever you can.
Take some cornstarch powder that is designed for babies. Sprinkle some of the cornstarch onto the soiled area. Gently work this into your rabbit’s fur and on the stained feet.
The powder will soak up the urine, remove stains, and take away the ammonia smell that accompanies a rabbit’s urine.
If the stains are particularly bad, then use a rabbit-friendly comb with the cornstarch powder and gently work this through their fur.
Remember that a rabbit’s skin is very delicate, so you need to comb very gently so as not to hurt your bunny or their skin.
If you see your bunny’s fur and feet looking clean, then pat or dry wipe the excess cornstarch powder away.
Other Rabbit Feet Cleaning Tips
Sometimes just using cornstarch powder is not enough. In this case, you can try the following spot cleaning treatments:
- Mix a ¼ cup of white vinegar with a teaspoon of baking soda. Adding a few drops of orange essential oil can help with the urine odor. Spray this solution on your rabbit, gently rub it in, and once dry, wipe the stained area with a soft cloth.
- Mix cornstarch with white vinegar and make a paste. Rub this into the stains, let their fur and feet dry, and brush it out.
- Create an equal part mixture with hydrogen peroxide and witch hazel. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and gently rub this onto your bunny’s feet and fur. Don’t overuse this solution as it can cause hair breakage.
- Spray lemon juice onto your bunny and let them groom themselves.
- Dampen your bunny’s fur with a damp cloth. Wipe blue Listerine onto a kitchen towel and wipe this onto your bunny’s damp fur and feet. The stains disappear as the fur dries.
- You can also try Miracle Groom. Ensure you follow the label and instructions.
How to Prevent Stains on Your Rabbit’s Feet
If you don’t regularly check and clean your rabbit’s feet and fur, especially if there are yellow urine stains, then your rabbit could develop a flystrike. And this is fatal.
Flystrike happens when your rabbit’s fur is damp and smelly, so flies are easily attracted. These flies then lay their eggs. The eggs hatch, and then maggots start feasting on your bunny’s flesh.
Prevention is better than cure, so prevent stains by:
Neutering male rabbits so they don’t spray everywhere and on their rabbit friends. This also makes bucks easier to litter train.
Encourage your rabbit to not spend time in the litter box, except to use it for doing their business. This takes patience and using rewards to reinforce positive behavior.
Ensure your bunny has a constant supply of clean, drinking water. This improves their overall urinary health.
Make sure your rabbit’s hutch is big enough so your bunny can roam around freely. This will also prevent Mr. Fluffles from staying in the litter box for long.
Can I Use Baby Wipes to Clean My Rabbit?
Yes, you can use baby wipes to gently clean your rabbit. Ensure the wipes you are using are hypoallergenic and fragrance and alcohol-free.
Having a pet rabbit is a big responsibility, and to ensure your rabbit thrives, you need to understand how to care for Ms or Mr. Fluffles.
Always be gentle as rabbits scare easily, and they can just as easily get a heart attack and die.
Your rabbit’s skin is also very sensitive, so be gentle and only use products that are rabbit-friendly.