When your rabbit licks you, they are either showing affection, asking for attention or food, apologizing, or even greeting and offering their happiness. When rabbits lick you, it means they love you!
If you find your rabbit with a licking problem, it’s not always a bad thing. Rabbits will lick you to show affection or to get attention. It could even be because they want a treat and know you can get it for them.
There are many reasons your rabbit might lick you. However, in certain circumstances, this may be a negative behavior. For example, if you feel your rabbit is trying to show dominance, you must correct the issue.
Rabbits use licking as a way to communicate. This article will discuss the common reasons rabbits lick their owners and some not-so-common reasons.
We hope this gives you a better understanding of why your rabbit might be showing you more attention than usual.
What You'll Learn
- 1 Why Do Rabbits Lick People?
- 2 Not So Common Reasons Why Rabbits Lick Their Owners
- 3 Is Bad For My Rabbit to Continually Lick Me?
- 4 Is It Safe for Rabbits to Lick Their Owners?
- 5 What Do I Do If My Rabbit is Showing Dominance With Licking?
- 6 Let Your Rabbit Show Some Love
Why Do Rabbits Lick People?
Every animal (including humans) has a unique way of communicating. For rabbits, one of the ways they communicate is through licking.
Humans primarily communicate through our voices. Since rabbits cannot speak to us (how cool would that be!), they must use body language when they need or want something.
Your rabbit may also lick you because they want to show appreciation and affection. Much like caring for a friend or their young, a rabbit will lick you to groom you, show that they love you, or even remind you that they care.
Asking For Attention
Occasionally, rabbits will lick you when they want attention. If you don’t pay attention to the rabbit for long periods of time, or if the rabbit wants to cuddle with you a little longer, it may lick you.
To Show Happiness
When rabbits are happy, they may express it through licking! If you’re playing with your rabbit and they lick you, this is a great sign that they are having fun.
Asking For Food or Water
Your rabbit may also lick if it wants food or water or simply because it wants a treat.
Not So Common Reasons Why Rabbits Lick Their Owners
We just went over the most common reasons rabbits lick their owners, but there are a few other reasons that aren’t talked about as much. Here are some lesser-known reasons why your rabbit might be licking you more often than usual.
One of the lesser-known reasons why rabbits lick their owners is because they want to apologize. Maybe they bit you, or they know that they did something wrong, and this is their way of saying sorry to you.
To Control You
As odd as this may sound, a rabbit may lick you in an attempt to control you. Although this is rare (meaning it’s probably NOT why your rabbit is licking you), it’s still possible.
To Show Dominance
One of the ways rabbits establish dominance is by licking repeatedly. To show that they are in charge, they will nip you a bit too hard and then lick you. So if your rabbit throws in a few nips along with the licking, they are trying to show dominance. It’s important to correct this behavior as soon as possible.
They Smell Something On You
Rabbits will also lick you if they smell something on you that is delicious or interesting to them. If you’ve been eating fruit such as an apple or banana or out in the garden planting flowers, the rabbit may be attracted to the scent.
Is Bad For My Rabbit to Continually Lick Me?
It is not a bad thing that your rabbit continually licks you! If anything, as long as it’s for the right reasons, it’s great! This could be their way of showing you they love you.
However, if you feel the licking is becoming too much, don’t be afraid to correct the issue. Your vet is a great resource when it comes to behavioral problems.
Is It Safe for Rabbits to Lick Their Owners?
Absolutely! Given the right level of hygiene and the absence of any cuts, scrapes, or beauty products on the body that contain unhealthy chemicals, it is entirely safe for the rabbit to lick their owner.
Always be mindful of using appropriate lotions and products that are bunny safe. That way, your rabbit can come up and show you affection whenever they want.
What Do I Do If My Rabbit is Showing Dominance With Licking?
If your rabbit is showing dominance through licking, the best thing to do would be to find out why they feel they need to control you.
You can ask your vet next time you see them or do a bit more research to find out if there are any ways to help mitigate this power struggle.
Most rabbits do not try to show dominance over their owners. However, this can happen, so it’s always good to be prepared, figure out why, and get to the bottom of it!
Let Your Rabbit Show Some Love
Ultimately, rabbits lick people continuously because they love them or because they smell something tasty on them. However, if you are concerned, don’t be afraid to ask your vet or do some research to discover what you believe might be the root cause of any negative behavior from your furry friend.