Are rabbits meant for me?

images

I love when people tell me that they’re interested in owning a bunny! And I’m especially excited when they actually ask questions as to whether or not owning a rabbit would be a good idea for them! If you are sure you aren’t allergic to the fur or saliva of rabbits that’s great! Here are a few more things you might want to think about:

Rabbits aren’t as “easy” of a pet as you think they are. There are somethings that rabbits just do because well… they’re just rabbits. They have their own quirky set of characteristics that just belong to their species and though not all buns are similar there definitely are somethings that they will do that makes a rabbit a rabbit.  :)

Rabbits are chewers!  This is because their teeth are constantly growing and they need to wear them down by chewing- not only that but they’re also kinda just curious. So keep in mind that if you have a rabbit they might chew on your furniture, your sofa, your hardwood floor, your baseboards, your carpets, your cables (especially phone, laptop, ipod chargers) they may chew the buttons of your remote control, the straps off your flips flops- typically anything that may cause interest to rabbits will be chinned on and then, well chewed off.

You have to understand that them being a chewer isn’t a bad trait or something they need to be disciplined on because thats just what rabbits do. I have lost more then $150 dollars worth of macbook and phone chargers :( so keep that in mind. Be prepared for the worst and also try preventing things before they happen by using wire protectors or keeping all the cables out of reach.

Rabbits do not like being picked up! This doesn’t mean they aren’t cuddlers it just means that all cuddling should be done on the ground or surfaces where they feel safe. Most rabbits, if not all, like being on a sturdy surface where all four feet of theirs are stable. They fear being picked up off the ground because they don’t feel secure. So yeah, picking them up and cuddling them may not always work and may even end up with scratches. But if you’re okay with that and would rather pet, cuddle, and observe them where they feel safe then you’re good to go! If you want an animal that would jump into your arms and let you carry them around you may want to get a cat or dog instead.

Expenses may become an issue for you. The bare necessities each month would consist of hay, litter, and fresh veggies. You probably would need to purchase veggies at least once a week (if not more) which can be very expensive at the end ofeach month. And then you have to add up the cost of vet visits which can become pricey because they’re considered exotic animals, not to mention how expensive neutering/spaying them are! You will also need to buy the things listed here .

Living enclosures- rabbits are more social when they live with you indoors.  Being indoors protects them from the wild animals or insects that may harm them, prevents them from facing too hot or too cold temperatures, and allows them to form a closer bond with you. You also need to plan out where your rabbit is going to live- are they going to be caged or free ranged? If they are going to be enclosed in an area, are you sure the cage is big enough? A typical pet store cage will certainly not cut it.

If all of these things are no big deal for you-  then yes a rabbit would be a great pet! Keep in mind this post wasn’t made to deter you away from owning a rabbit. Although the stuff may seem very serious it’s not too big of a deal or change to your lifestyle. You just need to be aware and prepared for any addition just like when your welcoming any new pet or family member to your home!

Where to Get a rabbit?

AdoptMeBunnyThe first place that probably comes into everyones mind is a pet shop! In reality you might want to reconsider that. There are many places where you can get a bunny- pet shops, animal shelters, farms, breeders, craigslist ads etc. When looking to get a rabbit you want to make sure the rabbit you get is healthy and free from any diseases.

Getting a rabbit from pet shops or craigslist posts could be quite iffy because you really don’t know if the rabbit is healthy or not. Rabbits are prey animals and tend to hide their sicknesses till the last moment. Pet shops get their pets from different places and some places might be cruel mass breeding facilities. Craigslist rabbits are also a bit tricky as you never know if the rabbit is healthy or not. However if you ever see a rabbit in a pet shop or a craiglist post that really needs a home and you are sure you can take care of them and get them vet checked I say go for it because yes, every rabbit needs a home.

I always recommend getting pets from shelters and rescue groups as they are definitely vet checked before listing them up for adoption. Most shelters have already spayed/neutered the rabbit and because the rabbit is always handled they will be socialized. The shelter can also tell you about the rabbits personality and preferences so that you may choose a rabbit more suitable to you. So definitely check shelters out as you will be giving a rabbit a second chance!

If you are going to get a rabbit from a breeder PLEASE make sure the breeder is a reputable one. Get to know the breeder and go see where the rabbits are living and if the living conditions are clean and well maintained. A good breeder doesn’t just breed for the money!! The breeder should be able to explain common genetic problems and should actually ask lots of questions to you before giving you a rabbit, this way you know they actually care for the well being of the animal.

Remember that the price of actually adopting a rabbit isn’t the only expensive part as you will need to spay or neuter them afterwards which can be very expensive depending where you live.  And yes its crucial in getting them fixed as rabbits will become very very aggressive and hormonal when they reach maturity and female rabbits are at a very high risk of many reproductive cancers. So really think about all your options before purchasing a rabbit on a whim.

 

Bottles Vs. Bowls

Every rabbit owner has different opinions on whats better for rabbits. We all want whats best for our furry little friends. Because of this there are many different views on several things tied to the bunny community which some people seem as dangerous or unacceptable. A topic that’s been popping up a lot lately was arguments between owners for and against rabbit water bottles

Rabbit-Bowl lg_31623_41233PI’d love to share my opinion on the subject and hopefully clear some misconceptions some owners seem to have thinking that water bottles are unacceptable for rabbits. I, as a bunny parent, have two different rabbits with two very different personalities. Ive tried several types of water bottles and several types of water bowls for each bun. In the end Oreo prefers to drink from a bottle whereas Linkin ultimately prefers the water bowl.

Now whats the difference between the bowl and the bottle? And whats more useful? Well honestly, its up to you- as an owner-  to decide what to use.

Water Bowl

 Many owners find water bowls more practical. It’s easy to change the water everyday and it also doesn’t “leak” the way bottles do. They’re easy to clean and if broken, are easy to be replaced. However there is also a downside to water bowls. If you live in places where the climate is very hot, water in water bowls tend to evaporate very quickly and if you leave your rabbit at home unattended for a while its possible that by the time you get back the water has evaporated and your bunny was left dehydrated or thirsty. Or if your bunny is an outdoor bunny (i don’t recommend keeping them outdoors) in the winter, your rabbits water would freeze to ice which would also be a problem.  You definitely need to take the surrounding temperature into consideration when deciding whether to use a water bowl. Another problem with water bowls is that some bunnies, being the naughty fellas they are, love to tip, chuck, and knock over their water bowls. This again can cause problems if you leave your bunny home when going to work or school as your rabbit may become dehydrated when you aren’t around- not to mention the nuisance it would be to keep soaking up the mess and refilling the bowl. However you can stop your rabbit from doing this if you have a heavy enough bowl or you secure your bowl down with something. Lastly with water bowls you need to make sure your cleaning and refilling the bowl regularly. You should refill the bowl at least twice a day to ensure the water is fresh and doesn’t have any stray dust or fur in it.

If the temperature where you live is moderate,  you have a sturdy enough bowl, and you can make sure to refill the bowl twice a day-  a water bowl is perfect for you.

Water Bottle

If you aren’t home often and water bowls seem like too much work,  you may prefer to use a water bottle. Water bottles only need to be refilled once per day and you have the benefit of not getting any fur or debris into the water. In hot climates its much more practical to be using a water bowl. If you are a traveler and frequently take your bunnies in cars and trains its much easier to hook a bottle to your rabbits carrier than it is to leave a water bowl in there with them. The downside to water bottles is that it takes longer to unscrew, pour out, and refill the bottle. Its also harder to clean it out as you’d need to scrub it down with a bottle cleaner. The biggest problem i’d say with a water bottle is that some of them drip, so you’d have to monitor it everyday and make sure its functioning properly.

No matter what you choose however its ultimately up do the rabbit to decide what to use. More likely than not your rabbit would prefer to drink from the water bowl as its a more natural position to drink, but some rabbits- like Oreo-  prefer after a long time spent grazing hay to guzzle down water through the bottle. You can easily teach your rabbit to drink from a water bottle but that’s another topic itself..

Hope I gave you relevant information on deciding whats better for your pet bun and cleared a few misconceptions. Hugs and bunny kisses from us! :*

Vegetables

I-heart-veggiesThese foods should make up about 75% of the fresh portion of your rabbit’s diet (about 1 packed cup per 2 lbs of body weight per day). There are three types of veggies: low in oxalic acid, which should make the most of your rabbits salad, high in oxalic acid which shouldn’t be the main part of your rabbits salad, and non-leafy green vegetables.

Leafy Greens (low in oxalic acid)

Arugula

Carrot tops

Cucumber leaves

Endive

Ecarole

Frisee Lettuce

Kale (all types)

Mache

Red or green lettuce

Romaine lettuce

Spring greens

Turnip greens

Dandelion greens

Mint (any variety)

Basil (any variety)

Watercress

Wheatgrass

Chicory

Raspberry leaves

Cilantro

Radicchio

Bok Choy

Fennel (the leafy tops as well as the base)

Borage leaves

Dill leaves

Yu choy

Leafy Greens (high in oxalic acid) (need to be rotated due to oxalic acid content and only 1 out of three varieties of greens a day should be from this list)

Parsley

Spinach

Mustard greens

Beet greens

Swiss chard

Radish tops

Sprouts (from 1 to 6 days after sprouting, sprouts have higher levels of alkaloids)

Non-leafy Veggies

These should be no more than about 15 % of their fresh diet (About 1 tablespoon per 2 lbs of body weight per day

Carrots

Broccoli (leaves and stems)

Edible flowers (roses, nasturtiums, pansies, hibiscus)

Celery

Bell peppers (any color)

Chinese pea pods (the flat kind without large peas)

Brussel sprouts

Cabbage (any type)

Broccolini

Summer squash

Zucchini squash

Hay

3144001_origRabbits should always have an unlimited amount of hay to eat at all times! Hay is the most important part of a rabbits diet and is essential for keeping your bunnies healthy. It provides:

*roughage, which reduces the danger of hairballs and other blockages.

* Hay keeps the gut moving and helps with digestion

*Helps wear down your rabbit’s constantly growing teeth

*Helps with litter training when placed in your rabbit’s litter box

They best type of hay for rabbits is definitely Timothy Hay. Till 3 months of age they should be getting Alfalfa Hay, once they hit 3 months + they should be getting Timothy hay.

Best brands of hay that I have personally tried out:

-All living things Natural timothy hay: My bunnies love this from all brands

-Oxbow Timothy hay

You can also buy hay from a farm, as it is cheaper, however you have to be careful because farm hay might not be as clean and can contain dirt or even fleas, tics, and other diseases. So only purchase farm hay from well trusted farmers!

Litter Training Rabbits

Yes, its possible to litter train your rabbit. A litter trained rabbit can help reduce your clean up time, decreases smell, and gives your bun a more cleaner and hygienic living space.

By nature, rabbits choose one or a few places (usually corners) to go to the bathroom. Here are a few tips to help you train your rabbit to use the litter box.

First have a proper litter substrate. vbfI prefer to use compressed saw dust pellets (wood stove pellets) as they are inexpensive and effective.

Find an area that your rabbit tends to pee/poop in most. Scattered poo is your rabbit’s territory droppings so you need to find the area where your rabbit actually has most of its poo piled up. Place the litter box in that area.

Put your rabbit’s hay in the litter box, or hang the hay rack right above litter box- I personally use a ceramic bowl placed in the corner of the litter box and stuff it with hay. Just like in the wild, where rabbits eat grass and poo, rabbits will tend to eat hay and do their business. So leaving the hay near the litter box helps A LOT in litter training.

If your rabbit pees outside the litter box pick up the urine with a tissue and place that back into the litter box, same with rabbit poo, always place it back into litter box so your rabbit will know that is where it is supposed to go.

Does age make a difference?

Older rabbits are easier to train than younger rabbits, especially babies. A rabbit’s attention span and knack for learning increases as they grow up. If you have a baby, chances are you have to stick with it pooping everywhere. And if you are deciding to litter train your older rabbit, go for it!

Does spaying/neutering make a difference?

Yes! This is often the most important factor. When rabbits reach the age of 4-6 months, their hormones become active and they usually begin marking their territory, making them pee and poop all over the place. By spaying or neutering your rabbit, he or she will be more likely to use his/her litter box.

*Remember rabbits are rabbits, and although they can be litter trained you can expect a few droppings of poop outside of the litter box or maybe an accident sometime or another- so don’t lose hope or be very frustrated with your bun.

Rabbit Supplies Checklist ☑

Necessary:
Cage/Area to keep your rabbit
Food Bowl
Water Bottle or Bowl
Hay
Safe veggies
Good quality Timothy Based Pellets
Bedding/ Fleece Blankets
Litter Box
Litter Substrate
Chew toys or safe twigs to wear down teeth
Hidey House (For rabbit to retreat to when feeling scared)

Useful:
Woodstove pellets, Newspaper pellets (litter)
Aspen shavings or care fresh (no pine or cedar shavings!!)
Grooming Brush
Furminator
Hay Rack
First Aid box
Nail Clippers
Spraybottle
White Vinegar
Sponges/ Rags
Dustpan and Brush

Fun stuff for your bun:
Clicker for clicker training
Jingly balls
Baby links or other hard plastic baby toys
Cardboard box for playing
Chews and Wood Kabobs
Cat tunnels

Things New Rabbit Owners Should Know

3DS-knowledge-base-300x199Allergies- When it comes to rabbits, most people are allergic to a protein in their saliva or dander (skin cells)- not their fur! As the rabbit grooms itself, the saliva is spread over its body. Handling your rabbit and then touching your face will spread these proteins to sensitive areas such as your nose and eyes. If you do not have allergies, nothing will happen. But, if you’re allergic to a particular protein, your body will try to fight it off, which will make you feel as if you have a cold. You can also be allergic to the type of hay your rabbit needs to eat. Make sure you are aware of this before taking on a pet rabbit, there are many steps you can take to prevent the allergy from getting too harsh on you but you need to keep this in mind because its not fair for your rabbit to settle down into a new environment only to be re-homed again.

Feeding- Depending on where you live, and the stores around you, feeding a rabbit alone can be quite expensive. Your rabbit needs fresh unlimited hay all day. Timothy Hay is the most recommended hay for adult rabbits over 3 months and Alfalfa Hay is recommended for babies. You will also need to provide a variety of fresh greens everyday for your rabbit as well as a rationed portion of pellets.

Handling-  As ground-loving creatures, rabbits are not fond of being held or carried as adults. They are not good pets for small children. They are most active at dawn and dusk, and need their quiet sleep time during the day. Instead of picking your rabbit up when you want to play with it try getting down to their level.

Housing- House your bunny in a cage at least six times the size of him as an adult (no fish tanks or cages too small where he cannot sit up and groom comfortably – 3 feet by 2 feet by 18 inches high is adequate). Choose a cage that doesnt have wire bottom flooring as that can cause sore hocks (blisters) on your rabbits sensitive feet.  Put fleece, towels and mats down for you rabbit so that they will be comfortable. Provide a large litter box inside the cage with a good litter substrate.

Supervision- When your rabbits out playing make sure you are supervising them carefully. Rabbits are trouble makers when they are bored and most bunnies are diggers and chewers. A lot of rabbits like to chew through all electrical wires- which if plugged in can be deadly! Let your rabbit out in a bunny safe area where electric cords are out of sight and areas that they aren’t allowed in are blocked off.

Veterinarians- Have the names of several rabbit-savvy veterinarians by your phone. Rabbits will hide their symptoms for as long as possible.   In the wild, looking sick is a bad idea as it means you will be the one picked on by any predators lurking around. However, as long as you get to know your rabbit properly, you can usually tell when something isn’t quite right. Some good indications are the number and size of their poop, and the amount of food or water they are consuming. If your rabbit is sat hunched up in the corner looking miserable and grinding his teeth, then get to a vet straight away!

Indoor Life is best- House your bunny indoors for ultimate safety. Many rabbits escape out of backyards, are stolen, or are killed by predators, even in their own cages. Illnesses often go unnoticed in outdoor rabbits until it is too late.

Environment-  Be aware of temperature changes. When temperatures get too hot, outdoor rabbits and rabbits in homes without air conditioning need extra help. The rabbit’s body is designed to live outside in all weathers, so they have a very nicely insulating coat to keep them warm. In the summer months they can always escape down into their cool burrow. Unfortunately, pet rabbits don’t have that luxury, and can get very hot in the summer. You can help them keep cool in several ways: Have someone put on the fans, stop home to check on your bunny during the day, provide frozen water bottles in the cage and make sure your bunny is in the coolest part of your home.

Spaying/Neutering- Rabbits can live 10+ years if they are spayed and neutered after they reach sexual maturity. Unspayed females have a high risk of uterine cancer. Altering your rabbits will settle both males and females down and improve their health dramatically. It will also prevent contributing to pet overpopulation, saving many bunnies from certain death at the shelters.

 

Welcome!

Oreo

Oreo

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 3.36.53 PM

Linkin

Welcome to our blog! Oreo is a female dutch dwarf bun and Linkin is a male single-mane Lionhead rabbit. We’re from Canada. This site is made to help educate and provide information to other bun parents or soon to be bun parents! :) We hope you find the information useful.