3 Tips to Massage Your Rabbit

There are around 10 Reasons Why You Should Choose A Rabbit As Your Pet, and by taking rabbit as your pet, you have obligation to make them happy and keep healthy, one of it by giving them a massage.

Not only human, and other pet like cat and dog, rabbit pet also love to be massaged. By giving a massage, it will help your rabbit to feel relaxed and may improve certain medical conditions. Additionally, should you haven’t bonded with your rabbit or your rabbit become distrustful for any reason, massage can help you to socialize and be bonded with your fluffy pet.

The work of massage specifically works to soften tissues of the body like muscles and connective tissue. Massage also works to increase the circulation of blood, lymph, and the nervous system. There are many ways in which rabbit will benefit from the work of massage. But please be advised, massage is not for every condition, hence please use it with caution.

The Benefit of Massage for Rabbit:

  1. Increase the range of motion in the joints
  2. Keeping the rabbit gut moving, hence improving peristalsis
  3. Provide exercise for ill or disabled rabbit
  4. Increase the circulation of blood and lymph
  5. giving temporary relief from physical discomfort caused by selective breeding, usually for lop’s ear, it will give a relief because of the weight of its ear that pulling on the head and neck muscles.
  6. Grow each other trust, hence bonding.
  7. Relieve the stress from traveling, changes in the household like meeting new people or new anime/pet.
  8. One of possible recovery should your rabbit suffer head tilt if caught very early.
  9. Provide comfort for a deaf and blind rabbit.
  10. Provide familiarity with the owner toward rabbit body and health.

While massage provides many health benefits, please also keep your rabbit clean as it also will improve their health. Please read this  Safe Ways to Bathe Your Pet Rabbit at Home for Beginners and Tips to Clean Your Rabbit’s Dirty Feet articles to keep our rabbit healthy and clean.

When to Use Caution When Massaging Your Rabbit

Please keep in mind, Your rabbit is not recommended to have a massage after undergoes all types of surgery, and not when the rabbit has suffered an infection or disease. It is because massage can let the pathogen spread through blood and lymph system because of the effect of easier circulation after massaging. Let your rabbit have some rest or consult your veterinarian before doing a massage.

Your rabbit also should not massage when the rabbit have a digestive problem. Please let your rabbit treated by an expert veterinarian as giving massage when they have digestive upset will make your rabbit suffer more. Should your rabbit get sick and can’t reach any veterinarian, you can help your pet by reading this “6 Effective Ways to Treat a Sick Rabbit with Home Remedies” article to look for temporary relief, after that please always visit your veterinarian for further help.

Don’t Massage Your Rabbit

Should your rabbit show this symptom, your should not massage your rabbit. Details below:

  1. Don’t massage your rabbit when they have a high fever. A fever is the body’s natural reaction to warding off infection. Massage can increases circulation, raise it to dangerous levels and interfere with the body’s natural process.
  2. A Rabbit who is hypothermia should not get massage because the rabbit could go into shock. For emergency procedures, giving it a resting position, holding, or energy work with the focus/intention on getting the rabbit warmed up are best.
  3. A Rabbit who suffer an obesity is not recommended to get a massage. it because massagge can be difficult to because of fat to the muscle. Massaging the fatty tissue can cause pain and stress for the rabbit. It’s recommended to bring your rabbit to its healthy weight before giving your rabbit a massage. Instead, Simply put gently or light strokes on your rabbit fur should be more appropriate to show affection and reducing stress while the bunny is dieting.

Giving Your Rabbit a Massage

Please keep in mind that you will massage your rabbit by entering your rabbit personal space. try to be patient and give a chance for your rabbit should the rabbit move away from should the massage make them uncomfortable and get stress. Keep practicing and eventually, both you and your rabbit will come to enjoy it.

  1. Put your hand gently on the rabbit’s back, slowly and gently nudge the rabbit body from one side to another side in rhythmic motion without pushing the rabbit body back into position.
  2. Next, start long gliding stroke (effleurage) down from the rabbit head, to its neck then to its back. Repeat it few times as your rabbit might really enjoy this move the most.
  3. Start with long passes down the length of the body, from the nose, over the top of the head, down either side of the spine, and ending at the tail. Make the strokes complete, all the way to the tip of the tail, because that affects something called proprioception, which is how nerve endings tell where we are in space. The rabbit will feel most relaxed should be done correctly.
  4. Go SLOWLY. See how your rabbit reacts. Does your rabbit seem really like the massage? try to massage it slower to notice it. Repeat to do several of these strokes, and increase the pressure slightly each time. Try to add some circle strokes around cheek and temples, a light kneads around your rabbit neck and massaging your rabbit ear base and down to to the length of its ear.

Things to Keep in Mind When Massage Your Rabbit.

Please keep in mind when Massage your rabbit, Rabbit has a delicate body and can’t tolerate pain well. Please be mindful of the amount of pressure you give when massaging your rabbit. Like humans, some rabbits might only want a light pressure when massaged; others else are fine a slightly deeper pressure. Gently, try to find where your rabbit feels not like some deep pressure to the point that feels tense and where your rabbit feel relaxed even if you apply a slightly strong pressure. Observe your rabbit feedback.

Should your rabbit enjoy the massage, you will see positive signs like:

  1. Your rabbit starts to close its eyes.
  2. slowly dozing off.
  3. Having a slow and even breathing, sighs, or yawns.
  4. Showing submissive chin,
  5. Purring tooth.
  6. Lick you.
  7. Do stretching
  8. Do a happy bunny flop.

Should your bunny get uncomfortable or feel threatened by your massage, you will see a negative sign like:

  1. Tensing muscles when pressure is applied,
  2. Flattening the ears in a defensive posture,
  3. Lunging or boxing, nipping or biting,
  4. Tail twitching,
  5. Feet flicking,
  6. Showing the whites of the eyes,
  7. Hopping away.

Try to do massage daily toward your rabbit, so you will grow familiarity toward your rabbit preference. You and your rabbit will grow closer and be bonded with this daily relaxation massage.

I hope this article will give you some insight on how to give massage to your rabbit with the additional in-depth explanation of when is the good right time to massage your rabbit.