Why Do Rabbits Roll In Dirt? Bunny Dust Baths Facts – Rabbit Pros

Why Do Rabbits Roll In Dirt? Bunny Dust Baths Facts

Having had bunny rabbits for decades, we’ve seen bunnies do everything, including seeing rabbits roll in the dirt. But why would your cute bunny feel the need to roll in soil? Let’s dig in. 😅 😂 🤣

Rabbits roll in the dirt as their primary way of getting clean. Rolling in dry soil absorbs excess skin oils and helps prevent countless skin conditions and diseases. In addition, the fine dust from a bunny rolling in the dirt helps control mites and fleas that often infest a rabbits’ hair.

Now you know that your rabbit loves dust baths — Let’s explore some more details about this dusty behavior…

In this article, I will talk about why rabbits enjoy rolling in dry soil and how you can facilitate their dust baths.


What is Dust Bathing and How Do Rabbits Do It?

A rabbit dust bath is when a bunny rolls in the dirt to clean themselves of skin oil and perisites. The rolling behavior of a dust bath often also includes digging, flip-flopping, rolling, stretching, and turning over-and-over in the dry dirt.

Caretaking and raising bunnies at home can be easy and fun if you know the needs and solutions to your little pets’ problems. Dust bathing is a need for rabbits, and you should be aware of it.

So what things does a rabbit need to take a dust bath?

First of all, Bunnies don’t need a luxurious spa to take dust baths. Moreover, they don’t need antibacterial soaps to kill their germs. The only thing they need is a place full of dry dirt.

If your home has a tidy and well-mowed garden, make a pit by removing grass. 

Let them move freely in the garden — They can have baths on their own. Your rabbit is smart enough; don’t underestimate him.

Don’t have a garden? Not a problem. You can make an indoor bathing spa for your little bunnies.

Do Indoor Bunny Rabbits Need Dust Baths?

Indoor bunny rabbits need periodic access to a dust bath. Dust baths are essential for all rabbits to maintain the health of their skin and fur. Indoor rabbits should be given time in a dust bath at least once a week.

All rabbits need a dust bath now and then. If you ever have a chance to go in the wilderness, you might even have the chance to see wild rabbits taking a dust bath.

In the wild, nature provides rabbits with countless places to take dust baths. Any exposed and dry piece of dirt is a potential dust bath as long as the wild rabbit feels safe there.

But for pet rabbits, it is your responsibility to give them access to a dust bath either outside or indoors.

Even though you strive to provide a clean environment for your rabbits, dust bathing is necessary for their skin and fur health.

~Stacey

DIY Indoor Dust Bath For Rabbits

An indoor bunny dust bath can be as simple or complex as you prefer.

A Simple DIY Indoor Dust Bath

The simplest dust bath is a box of dirt placed in an area where you don’t mind a little dirt and dust on the floor. An enclosed porch is a great location.

You can use lots of different kinds of containers as a rabbit dust bath containers.

  • Cardboard Box
  • Wooden Box
  • Plastic Tote
  • A Bucket

Choose a container that is as tall as your bunny can easily hop up and into. The higher the walls the less mess your rabbit is going to make during their baths.

A More Complex But Cleaner DIY Bunny Dust Bath

A fancier and cleaner version of a rabbit dust bath uses two containers to contain the dust and dirt inside your home.

The first container is the small dust bath box as described above. The second container is a larger box that the first box sits inside of.

Ideally, that second box is large enough that your bunny can easily stand beside their dust bath inside of the larger container.

A small entrance hole in the outer container allows your bunny to get to the dust bath and ideally a piece of deep carpet is also in that box to help clean your bunny’s feet as they exit the dust bath.


What Is The Best Kind Of Dirt For A Rabbit Dust Bath?

The best dirt dirt for a bunny dust bath is simply clean organic dirt. Avoid dirt that has been treated with any chemicals.

Dust for rabbits must have the following characteristics;

  • Loamy soil from the garden can be used for dust baths.
  • Make sure dirt is trash-free.
  • Dirt should not be wet or sticky. It should be completely dry.
  • Remove the large lumps of soil and rocks from the dirt. 
  • Dirt must be cool. Hot dirt can cause redness and rashes on rabbits’ skin.

You can dig some dirt out of your garden or backyard (assuming you don’t spray your yard) or you can buy a bag of organic top soil at your local garden center.

If you are going to buy soil, avoid any soil that contains fertilizers or any other additives. You just want plain dirt.

The dust bath that is offered on Amazon and in other stores that is commonly used for chickens and chinchillas might not be good for rabbits. So, avoid using it for your rabbits.


Can Rabbits Take A Bath In Sand?

Although rabbits like to play in the sand, they can’t take a bath in the sand without risking developing breathing problems. Since bathing in the sand can cause serious health problems to rabbits, it’s not advised for your bunny to bathe in the sand.

Some people do mix a little sand with the soil of their dust bath. This makes the soil less likely to compact and the soil will help keep the sand dust from getting into the air where your bunny could be breathing it in.


How Long Should Rabbits Take A Dust Bath?

Most rabbits take a dust bath for 20 to 30 minutes, but they can spend as much time as they want in the dust. They take baths in a discontinuous manner. At one time you see them taking bath and other times you see they are just running around. 

If they are in the mood, they will bask, stretch, dig and roll in the dirt for a long time.


How Often Should Rabbits Take Dust Baths?

Rabbits should take a dust bath at least once a week to maintain their skin and fur health. Unlike chickens and chinchillas, rabbits do not need a dust bath daily.


Can I Dust Off My Bunny After A Dust Bath?

After a dust bath, most rabbits will clean off the excess dirt by themselves. If your rabbit needs a little help, you can dust them off with a small dry towel or brush their fur with a fine-toothed hair comb. Mostly, bunnies dust off themselves after every bath. 

Check out our recommended bunny gear to see the fine tooth brush we recommend.

Bunnies are very clean animals. They groom themselves throughout the day, but weekly dust baths will help them stay clean and healthy.

~Stacey

Can You Reuse Dirth For Rabbit Dust Bathing?

The dust bath that you made for your bunnies can be reused several times. Whether your bunny bath in the garden or made an indoor dust bath inside a box, the dirt can be used again and again. However, It’s best to discard the soil when it begins to have too much rabbit poop in it.

One thing to be remembered, if the dirt gets damp and clumpy, do not use it again.

However, don’t throw that dirt away; bunny poop is awesome fertilizer. You can use this dirt in your garden or even for potted plants indoor for the healthiest plants ever!


I hope this article helps you help your bunny. Let me know if you have any questions or ideas that should be added to this article for our rabbit friends.

~Stacey

Stacey

My name is Stacey Davis and my family has kept rabbits for decades. Here on RabbitPros.com we share our love of rabbits, our experience, and lots of research to help you enjoy your pet bunny even more.

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