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Can Rabbits Get Wet? Is it Dangerous for Them? (What to Do!)

What if I told you I have the answer to can rabbits get wet? Hold on to your seat:

A wet rabbit is a no-no, so don’t let your bunny get wet!

Lucky for you, your bunny grooms itself, so you don’t have to worry about bathing it and getting it clean.

Now, of course, there are exceptions: I will discuss them in the next section (keep scrolling…)

Key Takeaways

  • Getting wet can harm your bunny, causing various infections, hypothermia, and even death (so don’t let it happen!)
  • Wettening causes your bunny’s skin to soften, leaving it vulnerable to cuts and bruises.
  • To combat wetting, dry your bunny’s skin quickly and use the appropriate methods (see below).

Is It Dangerous For My Pet Rabbit To Get Wet?

Yes, it can be! Occasionally, getting wet is nothing to worry about, but other times, getting wet could be fatal to your bunny.

rabbit looking wet but can rabbits get wet

Here’s the good news: If your bunny gets a little wet, its rabbit fur has the ability to repel these droplets, but don’t rely on this superpower entirely.

The fur absorbs water only partially.

As for water exposure, don’t let your bunny be covered in water. It’s true, bathing — unless dry– and swimming are bad practices. 

Once water covers their bodies, they can get sick. Even worse, they can panic when seeing water which will lead to shock.

As for staying clean, you don’t need to bathe your rabbits at all: they can keep themselves clean and dry themselves.

What’s more, your bunnies are natural groomers: they will lick themselves like cats until they’re spotless [1].

Don’t forget to check our guide on taking care of a rabbit.

Do Rabbits Get Sick If They Get Wet?

So, now that you know the short answer to can rabbits get wet will your bunny get sick?

Yes, rabbits will get sick from getting wet. A little wet will not harm them, but if their whole body gets wet, it could harm them.

wet rabbit looking sick but can rabbits get wet

They will freak out and try to get away from water at all costs, which can lead to horrible escape injuries.

Getting wet could lead to another horror: hypothermia. This is when the body tries to warm itself up but is unable to [2].

By this point, your bunny will go into shock after prolonged exposure and will eventually die.

But don’t be fooled: your bunny can also get hypothermic in warm weather. While giving them a bath during the summer may seem tempting, please don’t.

Rabbits get cold quickly, and their thick fur doesn’t help much. It actually does more harm by preventing drying.

When your bunny is wet, its soft and delicate skin will become softer, opening it to cuts, tears, and infections.

Also, don’t forget to check our guide on other facts about bunnies.

What Should You Do If Your Rabbit Gets Wet?

If your pet rabbit gets wet, dry it immediately. To achieve this, follow this super simple process:

1. Paper Towel

Use a dry towel and gently rub your rabbit’s fur. If the rabbit is extremely wet, it’s a good idea to use a couple of towels to dry the bunny faster.

You can use soft handcloths or paper towels as well. These are extra-gentle and would not damage its fur.

2. Blow Dryer

Once you get them dry enough, use a blow dryer to finish the job. Turn on the dryer to low heat and move it up and down the rabbit.

For a better effect, feel free to use your hand to massage its fur while blow-drying them.

3. Wrap Rabbit In a Blanket

Once the rabbit is dry, you may still need to provide them warmth. Place them on a soft blanket and wrap them around your bunny’s entire body.

rabbit on a blanket but can rabbits get wet

This will keep them warm and help your bunny’s body temperature return to normal.

Giving Rabbit A Bath

There are times you may need to bath your rabbit. If you do, don’t do a full-body one.

Why not? Because your bunny can stress out and end up in shock. What’s worse, such distress can kill them!

To avoid this outcome, I will give discuss some neat bathing tricks that your bunny will enjoy:

1. Rinse Baths

This method will require 2 people to give the rabbit a bath. You’ll also need a slip-free mat and a sink. A rabbit-safe shampoo is optional.

Below is the process of giving them a rinse bath:

  • Set the slip-proof mat in the sink. One person holds the rabbit, while the other person holds the spray nozzle or faucet (don’t wet the bunny’s entire body!).
  • Spray some water onto its fur and massage gently until the area appears clean. If you see dirt, apply some shampoo on the area and rub until the dirt is loose.
  • After you’ve bathed it, give your bunny a nice rub until it’s dry.

Now that you’re a master at rinse baths let me tell you about soak baths…

2. Soak Baths

This method should be used if your bunny is dirty and will take a long time for you to clean. Do you know what’s great? You’ll only need one person to use this method:

  • Fill the bathtub or tub with lukewarm water about 2 inches high. 
  • Place a slip-proof mat into the bathtub.
  • Bring your rabbit into the water. (Is your bunny relaxed? If it tries escaping, don’t force it into the water. It’s better to try later when the bunny’s calm and less rattled.)
  • Place the rabbit with its rear down first, soaking its feet. Then move the water up to the area of its body.
  • If you have to use shampoo, use rabbit-safe shampoo only. Shampoo made for humans will not work for rabbits and will irritate their skin.
  • Massage the shampoo and water gently into its fur.
  • Spray water gently onto its fur to remove the shampoo.
  • Once done, dry your bunny immediately and place it into a blanket.

Here you have it: Soak baths. Quite fancy, right? Now, what about dry baths…

3. Dry Baths

Dry baths are the most popular method to bathe your bunny. This is due to no water being involved. Rabbits prefer this method to the other 2 listed above.

To give your rabbit a dry bath, follow the simple steps below:

  • Place a slip-proof mat onto the floor, table, or surface you’re planning to use.
  • Grab a cornstarch-based baby powder. The powder should be talc-free and contain no fragrance.
  • Lay the bunny onto its back with its belly facing upward.
  • Apply the baby powder to the area that is soiled.
  • Massage the powder into the soiled area, and it should begin to come loose.
  • You can use a vacuum to suck up the baby powder. If your rabbit is scared of the vacuum, use a brush with a soft bristle and comb the powder out.
  • If there is fur that’s tangled, use a pair of scissors and cut the area off. Try to cut as small of a piece as possible.
  • Once you’re done with the dry bath, brush the powder completely off the rabbit.

FAQs

Can A Rabbit Die From Getting Wet?

rabbit died due to getting wet

Sadly, if you get your rabbit wet, it might die. This is usually due to hypothermia or shock.
For that reason, avoid giving them baths. If the rabbits are outdoors, make sure they are sheltered.

Can Rabbits Go Out On Wet Grass?

Yes, but check that the grass is only a little wet and not covering its entire body in water.

Conclusion

If you like paddling in a pool this summer, let me ask you this: can rabbits get wet? If you said ‘no,’ you’ve read this article, but let me wrap it all up:

A rabbit isn’t one of those animals that can get wet. They don’t need a bath to keep themselves clean and will seek shelter when it rains.

If your rabbit is dirty from playing outside, it’s best not to give it a bath. Instead, do a dry bath if possible.

If they get too wet, they might get various infections (like skin infections) or hypothermia and eventually die.

Should your bunny be outdoors, always make sure there is a shelter for them to go under when it rains.

rabbit on a park but can rabbits get wet

So, did you find the guide helpful? Let us know in the comments section!

Resources

  • 1. Grooming [Internet]. House Rabbit Society. [cited 2022 Dec 13]. Available from: https://rabbit.org/care/grooming/#:~:text=Rabbits%20are%20fastidious%20groomers.
  • 2. Caring For Your Rabbit In Winter [Internet]. Medivet.UK. [cited 2022 Dec 13]. Available from: https://www.medivet.co.uk/pet-care/pet-advice/cold-weather-care-for-rabbits/
Andreea Juganaru
Andreea Juganaru

Andreea is a very passionate content creator and her purpose is to provide you with the most interesting articles, while constantly discovering new facts. She’s been freelance writing for the past five years and has created numerous articles and educational materials while managing her own mom blog.
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