Rabbit Mag

How to Safely Clean Your Rabbit’s Feet – Beginners Guide

If you have a rabbit, chances are you’ll eventually need to know how to clean their feet. Rabbits can get dirt and debris caught in their fur between their toes, which can cause skin irritation and even infection. Cleaning your rabbit’s feet regularly is an important part of maintaining their health and well-being.

Clean your rabbit’s feet every once in a while to keep them looking good and smelling fresh. It’s an easy process that only takes a few minutes. Here is a simple guide on how to clean your rabbit’s feet.

What Causes Dirty Feet in Rabbits?

There are a lot of reasons why a rabbit would have dirty feet. The biggest reason is that the bunny does not have access to a litter box or any other type of place where the bunny can go potty. Here are some of the common Reasons for dirty rabbit feet:

Playing/living Outdoors

Another possible cause of dirty feet would be if rabbits were housed in outdoor cages with wire flooring instead of solid bottomed cages. Wire floors provide no traction for piggies and causes them to get dirt and feces stuck between their toes, between their pads, and even underneath their legs.

This can lead to infections and fly strike if left untreated. Hoping on grass can also get dirt and other stuff onto their feet from outside.

If you let your rabbit outside where there is grass, make sure the grass isn’t kept cut short. If the grass is too short, it will get onto their feet and inside of their legs which causes more of a mess for your rabbit.

Bad litter Habbits

Another reason why rabbits would have dirty feet is because litter training is not working. If you are litter training your rabbits to use the bathroom in a specific area using bunny litter, then they will only go where the bunny litter is for as long as that rabbit has access to it. You can also use a Rabbit diaper in the start for training. I would recommend keeping their whole enclosure clean of any bunny litter and just giving them plenty of hay around the area so that if they do want to go potty, they can still do it on something soft like hay or even some nice grass patches.

health problems like arthritis

Sometimes when the rabbit has developed health problems like arthritis, it may be hard for a rabbit to reach their hind end. In order to prevent this from happening, you should try and see if the rabbit’s enclosure has something they can hop up on in order to get themselves somewhat high enough off of the ground where they can actually reach their butt with their paws.


Another common reason is urine scald! If you are using fleece as bedding, try switching to hay or another type of soft material that can absorb moisture.

Urine is very hard to get out of fur and it is just as difficult for a rabbit’s feet. In order to prevent your rabbit from being exposed to anything that they may have previously stepped in, you should try to keep your bunny’s cage clean by changing their litter box daily.

Unclean Cage

Rabbits that are kept in dirty cages or enclosures that aren’t cleaned frequently can develop infections on their feet if they keep walking around in the same stuff over and over again. Make sure to Put Absorbent materials on the bottom of the cage

Rabbits that are fed too much hay can develop poop stuck between their paws. This is because hay tends to get thrown everywhere when they eat it and then they step in it which causes the poop to stick onto their feet.

A very bad case of dirty feet was documented by myself where I actually saw pus coming out from under one of the bunny’s legs. If you have a rabbit with dirty feet and they are not getting better by themselves, it is probably best to take them to see a vet so he can prescribe some antibiotics or whatever else the doctor feels your rabbit needs in order feel better.

Steps on How to Clean Rabbits Feet – Complete Guide

Before you can clean your rabbit’s feet, you must first make sure that they do not have any injuries or infections. If their feet are in pain but they still keep walking around in it, they likely will not like you touching their feet for the sake of cleaning them. If your rabbit is constantly shaking his foot when you try to touch it, then I would recommend leaving him alone until he stops doing that because he might be hurting himself or worse pulling off skin just by constantly moving his leg back and forth.

Once your bunny’s feet look really dirty and he is constantly trying to shake his foot/legs while you are ordering to get them cleaned up, there are some steps on how to go about this so that everyone stays safe and happy.

1) Find a way to keep bunny still

You need to find a way to keep your bunny still in one place for at least 5 minutes in order for you to clean his feet without him struggling the whole time. This may sound like an easy thing to do but when your rabbit is under all that stress, he will definitely try and get away from anything that is happening around him even if it is something that he used to enjoy doing. Some ways of keeping bunnies still are:

a. Using treats – this method works best with bunnies who are not sick or injured so they can move their heads freely otherwise you cannot give them the treat due to the head injury

b. Holding your rabbit down on its back/side – oftentimes rabbits will kick their back feet up in the air when you pick them up, this gives you the opportunity to grab one of their legs and hold it down while someone else can clean the other.

c. Using a towel – wrapping your rabbit up securely so they cannot run away is another way of holding your rabbit down for at least 5 minutes. If you wrap them up too tight though, you will suffocate them so only do this if you are knowledgeable about picking your rabbit up properly or if someone inexperienced is helping you that day.

2) Scrub dirt off

To clean dirty paws, use cotton balls soaked in warm water with either some dog shampoo or just plain dish soap to scrub out any excess dirt until all visible signs of poop/pee are gone.

Dogs and cats have a very good sense of smell and rabbits do as well, the soap can often times be too strong for their sensitive feet so make sure to keep the steepness down.

If the dirt is light and there is not too much of it, you may be able to just rinse them off with water and a wash cloth instead of giving them a full on soap treatment.

If the dirt is heavier, you can use vinegar and water mix. It is very easy to do – just mix one part vinegar with 1-2 parts water. You can use a spray bottle or you can pour it into a bowl for them to soak/wash their feet in.

Vinegar is also good for cleaning dirt out of the cracks on your rabbit’s foot, make sure to scrub gently though because even though vinegar is harmless to rabbits, scabs can still be fragile and you do not want to cause any injury while cleaning.

After scrubbing out all of the dirt with soapy water, rinse off your rabbit’s feet and pat them dry with a towel or paper towels.

3) Apply Vaseline on paws

Make sure that you apply plain petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on your rabbit’s feet every month because brand new bunnies without fur do not know how to wipe their tears away from their eyes and they will end up getting it into their eyes which is extremely painful and may even cause permanent blindness if left untreated.

Rabbits tend to get ear mites as well, after cleaning those out with a Q-tip, apply some petroleum jelly on the end of the cotton bud and gently swab it around your bunny’s ear holes to kill any mites that may be lurking.

There are many Benefits of Vaseline such as:

  • Prevents water from getting into their foot holes
  • Keeps feet moist which is especially helpful during the summer when rabbits’ feet dry out very quickly
  • Keeps fur/feathers intact on their feet just like paw wax does for dogs and cats
  • It helps with keeping fur/feathers split ends at bay so that they do not hurt or tangle up in anything, making it easy to clean

4) Dry Bath using corn starch for Urine Stains

Before you can start drying your rabbit’s feet, make sure to remove the excess urine out of their feet. If they have just come in from outside or if they are wet for some other reason, give them a chance to drip dry then use corn starch to get rid of any dampness left behind.

Pouring plain cornstarch directly onto their fur will not dissolve the urine so it is important that you mix it with a bit of warm water first. You can either dip a paper towel or a wash cloth into a bowl of warm tap water with some cornstarch mixed in and rub it onto their feet until all yellow/green stains are gone from their paws.

You do not want to leave your rabbit’s paws soaking wet because they have poor circulation and will easily become frostbitten if you do not take care of this.

5) Last Step is to clean the area where rabbit lives

After you are done with the whole cleaning process, make sure to clean your rabbit’s living area where they can get their paws on pee or poop. You do not want them getting sick by stepping in it and licking it later on after you were nice enough to clean up their feet earlier.

There are two ways of doing this – one is by using vinegar water or just plain water if there is no visible feces that needs to be cleaned out. Vinegar water works great because the smell of vinegar both scares away rabbits but also gets rid of any leftover odor that can attract other wild animals back to your home/yard.

Another option is bleach – lightly spray down areas where bunnies have been relieving themselves with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Make sure that the area you are cleaning is well ventilated because breathing in too much bleach can cause respiratory problems if done too often.

Other Methods

If you do not want to go through all those steps every time your rabbit gets dirty feet, you can always purchase some “waterless pet cleaner” which is similar to baby wipes but for pets, they will get rid of any dirt and grime without getting their fur wet.

If your rabbit has filthy and smelly feet and you cannot clean them due to his head injury or if he just does not like having his feet touched in general then what you can do is place him into a very large dog crate or kennel and put some paper towels inside of it to absorb any poops that he may not be able to reach, the petroleum jelly will help as well.

7 Easy Ways to Prevent Stains on Your Rabbit’s Feet

If you do not want to go through the whole entire process of cleaning and scrubbing your rabbit’s feet every day, there is a cheaper and easier way: prevention. Yes it sounds like a far-fetched idea but by doing these easy steps you can prevent dirt/stains from getting onto your rabbit’s paws.

1) Make sure that they always have clean living space: It does not matter if your bunny has the cleanest feet in the world, if his living quarters are dirty then he will just end up with dirty/muddy feet once he gets home. Cleanup any poop from their living space as soon as possible because it has been proven that rabbits do not like going over a spot where there was a previous mess so if you clean up any poops right away, they may just continue using the same area and avoid dirtying up their own feet in the process.

2) Give them lots of hay: Hay is very beneficial for rabbits because it helps keep their digestive system healthy so that they poop easily without much strain. If your rabbit does not like eating hay then you can always give them some Timothy style hay cubes (not the alfalfa kind, it is too rich and will only make them sick).

3) Purchase rubber mats for their cages. This will help to prevent dirt/stains from sticking on to your bunny’s feet.

4) Get a pair of socks and put it on his paws so that he cannot go out into the wild and get dirty.

5) Spay or dust your bunny’s cage with “poultry powder” which helps keep their bodies’ dry as well as preventing any mites from attacking their skin.

6) Neuter your rabbit: This is the most important step. If you neuter your bunny then he will not be as territorial which means that he will not go out of his way to mark his territory with pee/poo which can cause stains on their feet.

7) Liter train your bunny or have a litterbox in his cage. This is an excellent way to cut down on messes because it will help him be able to easily poop without having to go out into the wild which can get his feet dirty/stains.

Can I Use Baby Wipes to Clean My Rabbit?

No. You should never use baby wipes to clean your rabbit’s feet because most of the ingredients in it will make their paws more moist and they can get sick if you remove too much of their natural oils from their feet (they actually need those oils on their feet).

However, some rabbits do not mind being wiped down with a wet towel/wet paper towels but just be sure that you have a clean cloth so that you are not spreading around any dirt/germs from one spot to the other. And also remember that rabbits love having their fur stroked so by doing this every once in a while, they will know that you still care for them despite needing to clean up certain spots.

What will Happen if i dont Clean my Rabbit’s Feet? – Possible Complications

If you do not clean your rabbits feet, the following may happen:

– Your rabbit’s paws may develop infections. This can put them at risk for arthritis, respiratory disease and it will be harder to clean their feet with little cuts on them.

– Their feet are more prone to being chewed by another animal if the smell of feces/urine is around their feet all the time. Plus, they are also very stinky now.

– They can get sick because parasites will breed in their messy fur which brings about various worms/bugs that attack the stomach slowly over time (worms).

How Long Does it Take to Clean Rabbit Feet? – My personal experience

Well, since my rabbits are all litter trained, I only have to clean their feet once every week because there aren’t that many poops inside the cage (yes, they always go in one area of their cage).

So by cleaning once a week, it takes me around 30 minutes which includes me grabbing the broom and sweeping away any excess hay/poop (and also wipe down anything that got dirty while I was doing other things like cleaning out the litterbox). On an average day when I am cleaning their cages, I spend about 40 minutes total on each bunny.

The way you clean your rabbit’s foot will depend on how much dirt is on it. If you simply need to wipe off some mud then take a wet paper towel and gently wipe them down. This should only take 5 minutes to do thoroughly (but remember that rabbits like to be petted too while you are doing this).

On the other hand, if your bunny’s feet got into a mess and you need to clean up their paws with soap and water so that they don’t get sick from anything unwanted on their paws then expect it to take around 20 minutes or so.

How often should you clean your rabbit’s feet?

My bunnies stay in my house all day long which means that everyday I have to spend about 1 hour cleaning their cage because they eat hay/water/food there and sometimes go potty in one area of the cage no matter how many litter boxes I have in there.

So basically, I clean their cage everyday which involves taking out the old hay/food and replacing it with new hay/food then also cleaning out any poops that are stuck onto the bottom of the cage.

Then once a week, I spend another 30 minutes cleaning their feet because they get dirty from time to time when they go outside or if something got spilled on them.

How old should your rabbit be before you start cleaning his feet?

I started cleaning my bunnies’ feet when they were 6 months old so that by the time they turned one, they already knew this was normal for me to do every now and then even though I only clean them once a week.

But you also have to keep in mind that if your rabbit is scared of water, then this may take a while for him/her to get used to (it did for my rabbits).

So always remember to be gentle when cleaning their feet with wet paper towels or if it gets into the shower then just let them stand there until they feel comfortable enough that they won’t shake off any excess water from their fur afterwards.

What should you do if your rabbit’s foot looks infected?

Once I noticed that one of my older bunnies had super duper sharp claws and he kept on trying to dig in his crate so I decided to move his litter box outside of his cage so that he can use it more freely instead of being stuck in a tiny crate all day long.

So one time, I noticed that on one of his feet, there was this whitish greenish part inside where there is usually some yellow looking stuff beneath the light grey fur on top which ultimately made me think his foot was infected with something dangerous.

But don’t worry! I took him to the vet right away who said to just clean it with some salt water every now and then then dry it off afterwards because rabbits’ feet are pretty good at fighting off an infection if your rabbit hasn’t been having diarrhea or anything like that lately (and vomiting).

Things to consider While Cleaning Rabbits feet’s

  • Rabbits don’t like having their feet touched or held down. If your bunny does not cooperate, do not force him to let you clean it.
  • If the dirt is wet, I would recommend using a paper towel to remove it instead of water because if there is too much dirt on the rabbit’s foot, they will most likely shake off most of the excess water from their fur afterwards which can make them cold and vulnerable to other illnesses.
  • While cleaning rabbits’ feet: patience is key! The more time you spend trying to convince your rabbit that this should be done every week, the easier it will get for you in the future when he/she becomes older and starts accepting all of these things as normal (this took my rabbits 2 months to get used to).
  • Another thing to keep in mind is to gently comb through your rabbit’s fur with a clean comb after you’ve cleaned his/her feet because there may be some dirt which got caught up in their fur and can make them itch.
  • If you want to trim the excess fur on the bottom of your rabbits’ feet as well, that is fine as long as you do not take off too much; I only cut the really sharp parts (not all over) then let it grow back to normal which takes around 2-3 days depending on how fast your rabbit’s fur grows.

Can You Bath A Rabbit?

Since this is related to the topic, I thought this would be appropriate to add.

If your rabbit is too dirty to just clean with a paper towel, then you can use water but do not put them in the shower for too long because they will shake off all of the excess water from their fur which can make them cold and vulnerable to other illnesses.


Rabbits’ feet should be cleaned once every week to take away all of the dirt that has accumulated under their fur. Be gentle when cleaning their feet with wet paper towels or if it gets into the shower then just let them stand there until they feel comfortable enough that they won’t shake off any excess water from their fur afterwards.

If your rabbit’s foot looks infected, always remember to bring him/her to the vet immediately because rabbits’ feet are pretty good at fighting off an infection if your rabbit hasn’t been having diarrhea or anything like that lately (and vomiting).

Patience is key! The more time you spend trying to convince your rabbit that this should be done every week, the easier it will get for you in the future when he/she becomes older and starts accepting all of these things as normal (this took my rabbits 2 months to get used to).

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