One of the best things you can do for your pet rabbit is give him a massage. Daily, several times a week, or weekly, it doesn’t really matter. The main thing is he gets massages often enough that he’ll learn to look forward to them, and so will you. If you don’t know how to give your rabbit a massage, don’t worry, it’s easy. Just follow these five steps and you’ll be the proud owner of a relaxed, well-massaged bunny in no time.
Step One – Begin your rabbit’s massage with your rabbit sitting in his normal position. Start with stroking his nose, from tip towards his head, for a minute or so, to get him relaxed.
Step Two – Now, moving behind him and using both of your hands, begin to massage his shoulders and neck area. I always move my hands backwards and forwards, pressing in a rolling motion, making sure my rabbits get a deep, yet calming massage all around their neck area.
Step Three – While still massaging his neck area, slowly move your hands backwards so you’re beginning to massage his back and down towards his bottom. The secret to a good rabbit massage is to keep it flowing and continual with no choppy stops and starts, as those tend to startle your bunny awake when he’s just getting himself ready for a nice snooze.
Step Four – Keep massaging your rabbits back and bottom for around five minutes, until you can feel the muscles under his skin begin to loosen and relax.
Step Five – Now, very carefully, pick your rabbit up and flip him over on his back so he’s lying down. You’ll find at this point, he’ll be so relaxed he’ll probably just flop over and wait for what’s next.
Step Six – Using the same kneading and rolling movements with your hands, start massaging your rabbit’s tummy and keep moving backwards and forwards over his whole tummy area. Press gently but firmly.
Step Seven – Don’t forget your bunny’s paws too. Pick up each paw carefully and rub the paw between your middle finger and thumb, pressing gently. This is also a good time to check his paws for any cuts, scrapes or any foreign material lodged between his toes.
Step Eight – Finish off your rabbit’s massage with another long massage on his tummy (the area most rabbit’s like being touched the most) and then stop. At the end of the massage, which I normally do for about 20 minutes, you’ll probably find your bunny so relaxed, he might just stay on his back and have a nice long snooze.
To make your rabbit’s massage even more effective, you can also introduce small items to use as massage tools. I’ve used tennis balls (they’re soft and springy) and small facial massage tools that a human might use. My rabbits love them and now, as soon as they see the massage tools come out, I can already see them begin to slump down and relax as they know what’s coming next.
Don’t forget too, if you learn how to give a good rabbit massage, not only will your bunny’s health benefit but yours will too. (See the article listed below, for the benefits of a good rabbit massage for both bunny and you).
The benefits of giving your rabbit a weekly massage – Cassandra James (Associated Content)