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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Tips for smelly buns!

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    • Charlotte
      Participant
      9 posts Send Private Message

      Although my buns are generally very clean and I change the litter tray regularly, at times (especially in hot weather) the hay and litter box can leave an odour.

      I know that air fresheners generally contain harmful chemicals that aren’t safe to use around bunnies. I have in the past made natural air fresheners using essential oils. Does anyone know which essential oils are safe to use around rabbits? I’ve found quite conflicting information online.

      Obviously none of the oils would be used on the rabbits or in their bedding area/litter box, but as they are free roam I don’t want to put them at risk of coming into contact with something harmful.

      Any advice would be much appreciated!


    • Bunstar
      Participant
      26 posts Send Private Message

      Hi there! So, first off, I wouldn’t use essential oils as a first step. Bunnies shouldn’t smell so let’s have a look at some possible causes.

      • What kind of enclosure/living arrangement do they have?
      • What kind of litter tray are they using?
      • How specifically often do you swap their litter?
      • What other cleaning is going on?
      • Are any of your bunnies having difficulty with the litter trays?
      • Are they all fixed?
      • What does their diet consist of?
      • When were they last looked at by a vet? / how old? body score?

       

      Having kept rabbits for approximately 14 years I have experienced smelly rabbits and clean rabbits. What I have been able to determine, and it’s backed up by almost every keeper and vet, is that smelly bunnies are not well bunnies. Excess weight, mobility issues, injury, and age can make a normally scent-free bunny space smell bad. This is due to their inability to fully clean themselves and they end up unable to groom their sanitary areas leading to a buildup (smell) and infection (possibly). If you think this might be a cause, have them examined by a vet asap so you can learn wellness care.

      If the odour is coming from the heat, I’d be concerned with the materials you’re using. Urine-soaked accessories/toys/blankets will smell awful if it’s warm/wet. You can clean with vinegar to neutralise odours. I soak my litter trays in norwex laundry solution (unscented and no harsh chemicals) once a week and then rinse with vinegar- I dump their litter twice a week into the green compost bin. I use regular old newspapers for their medium and top it with straw hay for moisture capturing. I also sweep their room every morning and steam clean their carpets once a week because I have a senior bun and she cannot groom her unders.

      I’ve outlined a number of cleaning measures in the hopes something there is the cause of smelly bunnies. Remember, a little bit of smell if normal AS they’re pooping because it’s fresh but lingering smells might indicate a cleaning issue either for the bunnies or their environment.

       

      Good luck!


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      6028 posts Send Private Message

      We’ve had a few threads on essential oils over the years on the forum and the consensus (backed up by vets consulted) has been that it isn’t considered safe to use oil diffusers around rabbits (or cats or dogs as well). If you use the forum search function and look for “essential oils” you will find a few threads on this.

      What do you mean by “regularly”, and what type of litter do you use? I use pine pellet litter and clean the box every other day, and there isn’t really a urine odor to speak of. Cleaning every day helps even more.  I with Bunstar agree that there shouldn’t be much odor (unless a bun is not neutered/spayed… then they stink!), so their questions should help get to the bottom of things.

       

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • Cinnimon&Ollie
      Participant
      122 posts Send Private Message

      They have scent glades that need to be cleaned about once a month

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Tips for smelly buns!