Saturday, 29 April 2017

Do Rabbits Smell? 4 Reasons That Might Have Caused The Stink

The short answer: No, rabbits absolutely do not smell. Besides grooming themselves frequently like cats, and they don't have the body odor that dogs tend to have. So, nopey-nope, rabbits don't smell at all.

The long answer: Rabbits groom themselves frequently and they don't have body odor - those are facts. Here are what fellow rabbit owners have had to say on the scent of their long-eared companions:

"Mine smell warm, sweet and soft!" - Maggie Allinson

"They smell like rainbows and sunshine." - Lisa Harder

"It's a fresh smell like fresh linen." - Colleen Fox

In general, rabbits have a mild, fresh smell. For me, I would describe my rabbits as soft, warm tufts of grass. ❤ 

But there are several reasons as to why people may have associated unpleasant odors with rabbits ...

1. Unhygienic housing: litter box ammonia
There was once when I accidentally took a deeper-than-usual breath when clearing my rabbits' litter box. And at that time, I forgot to wear a mask. Next thing I knew was that I almost passed out from the ammonia fumes.

The litter box should be cleared daily
  • A healthy rabbit's dry, round poop are nearly odorless. However, the soiled litter (Urine. Ammonia. NH3.) in a rabbit's litter box should be cleared daily. As long as a rabbit's housing - the cage, litter box, and play area - is kept clean, a rabbit should not cause any indoor odor at all.

2. Poor quality pellets
When we first brought D home, he smelled like musty chicken feed. Being horribly unaware of unethical pet shops, it was a while before we realized that the pellets we unknowingly bought from the same shop seemed to really be some sort of chicken feed. Our rabbits actually smelled like those stale things after eating them!

We soon change the pellets, and he no longer emanated such odor.

Goodbye, chicken feed and hello, normal pellets.

3. A poopy butt
  • A "poopy butt" is where a rabbit's bum is soiled with soft faeces or malformed cecotropes - these are literally being squashed underneath a rabbit's bum and end up accumulating into a smelly mess, giving off an unpleasant, pungent odor.
  • Abnormally formed poop and cecotropes are nearly always the result of an incorrect diet. With the correct foods, rabbits rarely have this issue. Ensure that your rabbit is given unlimited Timothy hay. 
  • Normal rabbit stools should be dry, round and odorless. Cecotropes are nutrient-rich (though admittedly, to humans, poop-like) products from a rabbit's cecum and these are usually ingested by the rabbit directly from the anus. 
Ah, beautifully-formed poop.

4. Ain't the rabbit's fault, you have a hyper sensitive nose
Ahh ... no offense intended! It's simply like how some people can't stand the smell of a dog. 

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