Some pet owners who have recently adopted a pet rabbit ask, “do rabbits shed”? Well, the answer to this question should be, when do they not? If you don’t do the math, it may appear to you that rabbits shed throughout the year! But that’s just an oversimplification. Rabbits typically shed twice a year heavily, in the summer and in the spring.
Apart from this heavy shedding, there’s also a phenomenon called molting when rabbits shed a little, as well. That’s why you may notice shedding from your pet every three months.
However, if you notice the shedding frequency is getting really higher, it’s legitimate to ask – why is my rabbit shedding so much! Apart from natural reasons, rabbits can shed because of skin problems, stress, and boredom.
Let’s find out more!
What is Shedding?
When your rabbit starts to get rid of the fur of its body, it’s known as shedding. This is done pretty naturally without any human intervention. You will notice that whenever your pet moves from a place, it will leave some fur on that place. This will indicate that the bunny is shedding.
Is it Okay to Shed?
Well, of course, it is. Shedding is a natural process in rabbits. It’s a default physiological system in rabbits that prepare their bodies to adjust to their surrounding environment. For example, you will see that the rabbit is growing its fur thicker when winter is approaching. This is to keep it warm in the winter.
As winter passes, it will heavily shed its thick fur and grow light fur to keep it comfortable in the hot summer. So, basically, the rabbit regulates its body temperature by controlling the shedding process.
Is it Normal for My Rabbit?
To identify if your rabbit is shedding normally, you need to understand the process of shedding. Rabbits usually go through two big seasons of shedding. They tend to shed their winter and summer coats in these two processes.
Now, between these two big shedding seasons, most rabbits go through two smaller shedding seasons, known as molting. This is done to keep the body temperature under control. So, if the season is getting hotter, you may notice that the rabbit is shedding when it’s not supposed to shed.
On the other hand, if the season is getting cooler, the bunny may stop shedding and tend to grow thicker fur to prevent hypothermia. These small shedding seasons usually last for 4 to 6 weeks with 3 months intervals. So, it’s safe to say that rabbits will shed at least every three months in a year.
Why Is My Rabbit Shedding So Much?
So, here are some common major reasons why your rabbit is shedding so much.
It’s The Major Shedding Season
The key reason for the excessive shedding is it’s your rabbits’ shedding season. The winter is just finished, and your furry bunny has been thick with its fur all over it. It will now shed most of its shed and prepare for the summer. So, it’s nothing to worry about. We have mentioned how to track the pattern of shedding. So, if you can track the shedding pattern, it’s nothing that you should be worried about.
Your Rabbit is Pretty Stressed
Rabbits are pretty friendly animals. That’s true, but sometimes it’s not going to act so cuddly. Why? Well, if your pet is stressed or scared for some reason, it will act differently. A common way to show its fear or stress is shedding its own fur by its own paw. Another reason can be loneliness. If you are putting your pet alone in its cage, it may get frustrated at some point and hurt itself by shedding its own fur.
Your Pet Is Simply Bored
Well, we all know that rabbits are pretty playful animals. It needs every single reason to play around all day. But what if you limit its options to be playful enough? Sometimes, if there’s no option to play or you have limited the toys to play with, the rabbit has nothing to do except sitting alone in the cage. This way, it may get pretty bored, and out of boredom, it will pull off its fur.
It has a Skin Disease
One worrying reason is that your pet is undergoing some skin problems. This is highly likely if you see it shedding fur in patches. If that’s the case, you can pretty much assume that it’s because of its skin disease. Usually, regular shedding won’t make it shed in patches. As soon as you can find out that the rabbit is shedding in patches, take it immediately to the vet.
It May Have Parasite
Another similar reason is that your pet has some parasite on its body which is causing it to shed its fur. Parasites live on the skin of rabbits and take energy and sustenance from its body. While it feeds on the rabbit’s body, the parasite can easily tear off its fur. If that’s the case, you will notice that your pet is scratching its body pretty frequently. So, if you notice something like this, check the skin of the bunny and contact the vet.
How to Know Rabbits Shedding Pattern?
Now, how to know if your rabbit is shedding its fur? Of course, you can tell it by the residue it leaves from wherever it is moving. But there’s a definitive way to understand the shedding pattern.
If your pet is growing thick fur in the late fall, you can be sure that during the summer, the rabbit will shed its major portion of fur. It will become less furry at the start of summer to keep it cool.
Usually, the shedding seasons come at a pattern of three months apart. However, depending on the breed, the timing and the intensity of shedding may vary. A very easy way to determine the time of shedding is to understand when it gets warming up around your area.
If you can pinpoint the time of the year when it begins to warm up around you, it’s the shedding season of your pet. You can start tracking the period from that time, and the pattern will be easily detected.
How to Make Molting a Comfortable Process for Your Rabbit
To make it comfortable for your rabbit to shed, you can try out some grooming techniques. You can use a brush to conveniently take off the fur from its body. You can use a flea comb, fur-buster, glove brush, lint roller, etc., to do this.
Another way you can wipe off the fur is using a wet hand. Simply drench your hands in water and shake off the water. Then gently wipe your hands over the far, and you can see that the fur will be on your hands.
Control Your Rabbit’s Shedding
Apart from making it easy for your furry friend while shedding, you can also take the following steps to make sure it doesn’t shed excessively.
- Regularly groom your pet with a brush
- Ensure that your rabbit has day and night sessions on a regular basis
- Provide a balanced-diet to your pet
- Regularly visit the vet to keep it healthy
- Don’t keep it alone, and make sure it doesn’t get scared
- Learn about shedding pattern and take immediate action if it is shedding out of schedule
As you can see, shedding is a regular phenomenon in a rabbit’s life. If you have a good grip on the shedding pattern, you can immediately notice a breach in the schedule and can take necessary actions. We hope we have clarified the ins and outs of rabbits shedding on a regular basis. If you can detect an unusual shedding, you may take proper measurements yourself!
Have a great day with your bunny!