Rabbits as Pets
Bunny Basics

This is the ADD pet. If you really want to know how a rabbit behaves then look up the symptoms of ADD. They will tear around the house like a tornado, dart off without any warning and take death defying leaps. Yet with a little training they can become loving and cuddly pets.

Do you already own one of these fluffy little critters, then why not share with us. We would love to hear about life with a bunny. It is really easy to do just click on the bunny blog and start writing.

Keeping rabbits as pets can become a joyful and rewarding experience but, take note, if they are well cared for they can live up to 10 years so you must be prepared.

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
~Dr. Seuss


Requirements for Keeping Rabbits as Pets

  • Rabbit House:
    This can be in the form of a cage or an outside hutch. Careful attention must be paid to the positioning as rabbits do not like too much sunshine, and remember they take naps and are most active early in the morning so there will be a lot of clattering and clambering going on, distance from the sleeping areas of the house is preferable. We need you to be bright and fresh and calm for training sessions.
  • A nesting box to sleep in:
    They love to hide and plus it gives them a way of escaping any prying fingers that find their way into the cage.
  • Food Bowl:
    Remember rabbits will chew so whatever you get it must be unchewable.
  • Water Bottle:
    Water in open bowls can become contaminated by waste and food debris. A water bottle that contains a vacuum valve is best, somehow, I don’t know how, these release water when the bunny moves the tip.
  • Litter Tray:
    You can use cat litter, just don’t expect your bunny to meow.
  • Toiletries:
    A small wire or bristle brush and nail clippers – these both help with the wear and tear of your clothes and your skin.

Preparing Your Home for Your Pet Rabbit

This is the before to do list, for keeping a rabbits as pets, you can always wait and see what happens if you don’t, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  • Bunny rabbits love to chew, a particular delicacy for them is electrical cords. These must be taped and moved about a foot off the ground. In areas where it is not possible to raise the wires up do some creative redecorating and close up access to those areas. Time to get on your hands and knees and think rabbit.

Pet Rabbits like to chew electical wires

  • Any green plant looks like food to your bunny so poisonous plants must be moved out of reach of nibbling teeth.

Pet Rabbits chew anything

  • Keeping rabbits as pets means spending some time with them every day, your rabbit will need to spend some time out of the cage, so prepare a nice safe area for it to explore, something like a spare room that can be closed off.

    Once he is trained and knows his way around he can wander more freely but remember they are small and able to fit into and under most furniture.

  • Get a box of carpet tiles and place one in each corner of the room so that the bunny can do his business and stake out his claim.

Handling Your Bunny

  • Pick the rabbit up by the scruff of his neck, never by the ears, those are long enough already without you trying to stretch them out more.

    Place your other hand under his bum now you can bring him into the crook of your arm. Make sure to hold the bunny firmly because they are a bit like firecrackers and have a tendency to explode into action, remain calm and don’t panic and for goodness sake don’t drop the bunny.

Neutering

  • The responsible part of keeping rabbits as pets. Both bucks and does need to be fixed. I am sure I do not have to tell you why, you have all heard the saying and if you haven’t tuff, I am way to polite to repeat it, save to say get them fixed.

    A good time is when they are about one year old, if you forget they will soon remind you, when they start shagging everything in sight you know the time is right.

Training

  • This is the part that will make your keeping a pet rabbit the most rewarding. From the first day you bring your rabbit home you must set the tone for training. The bunny needs to know that it can trust you so, for the first few days, give him time to adjust to his new surroundings and as hard as it may be don’t smoother or mollycoddle him with attention.
  • Let him wander around a safe area so that he can acclimatize himself to his new surroundings before you start with training. Always leave the cage door open so that he can return if he gets skittish.
  • During these exploration times get down to his level and talk to your bunny so that he can get used to your voice. After you feel he is comfortable with you and your family you can get down to business with training.
  • You will find that the bunny likes to do his you know what in one place so keep the litter tray in one place and they will naturally gravitate there.
  • Getting him back into the cage – when you first begin this procedure put some greens in the cage and gently place him in the cage using the word you choose for the cage, 'cage','in','home' whatever followed by his name, 'Skippy', 'Flops' whatever, so you would say ‘Cage Skippy’ and place him in the cage.

    Do not close the door, this sends them a negative message and if he wants to come out let him, keep repeating the procedure a couple of times a day after his exploration time, but don’t loom over him like a great big intimidating giant, get down to his level.

  • You can use the same procedure for other commands such as up, down, no, repetition seems to be the key to this.

Trancing

There is a lot of controversy regarding the ethics of this practice but what I have found is that some bunnies respond well to it and others don’t. So read your bunny and if he don’t like it don’t do it.

  • It involves almost hypnotising the rabbit into a trance like state, which can make it easier to control when you are clipping his nails or for a vet examination. Don’t use the procedure to often only when necessary.
  • Turn your bunny onto its back, legs in the air and then gently stroke it from the tip of its nose to the ears, this should be enough to put the bunny into a trance, some will naturally come out of the state by themselves but you just stroke his tummy he will wake up again.


There will be times when you wonder if your rabbit has tranced himself, he will just sit there staring into space, lights on nobody home type thing, these crazy critters have two eyelids and so they sometimes sleep with their eyes open, very freaky to see.

Keeping rabbits as pets can be rewarding and having a small fluffy bunny to cuddle will benefit you in so many ways.



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