In the video, bunny Cloody is getting a bath. He seems to be completely relaxed as he lets the water wash over him, and it's enough to make me book a day at the spa.
It should be noted, there is a lot of controversy over this video. Generally speaking, bunnies are meticulous self-groomers and do not need baths. Moreover, fully submerging a rabbit in water can be dangerous. Like cats, most bunnies will struggle against being put into the water, which could result in injury. Getting their fur completely wet can also pose a danger of hypothermia if the bunny is not well dried and kept in a warm place to prevent a sudden drop in body temperature. If necessary, spot cleaning is recommended. Even while cautioning against bathing bunnies, WikiHow does acknowledge that some bunnies inexplicably seem to enjoy the water. Even still, precaution must be taken to avoid serious injury or death.
Some have also said Cloody only looks relaxed because he is in a state of shock. There is a common reaction that many prey animals have called tonic immobility. Some have called it "trancing" when applied to bunnies. By putting a bunny on its back, with his head level or below their backs, they can be put into an induced state of relaxation. In the past it had been used as a means of keeping bunnies calm while clipping nails or during veterinary examinations, but recent studies showing elevated heart rates in bunnies after being tranced suggest that the process poses some trauma for them.
In response so some of these points, Cloody's mom noted that baths are not very frequent, but necessary because he cannot reach his back for self grooming. She claims that he enjoys the water, and is bathed only when he gets very dirty, and is dried off immediately afterwards. Watching the video carefully, it does seem like Cloody is able to come out of that position if desired, and does not fight or run from the water even when upright. Towards the end of the video, when his mother attempts to lay him down again, he rolls over to indicate that he is finished.
What did you think of this video? Do you have any additional information about bunnies for anyone looking to have one as a pet? Please share them with SF Globe by commenting below.