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Rabbits are one of the most popular pets around. We’ll give you some tips on how to make your rabbit happy and keep him or her entertained.
It’s important to give rabbits the freedom to explore and play. Even if a well-fed rabbit is already a happy rabbit, don’t forget the “spirit”! When a rabbit is allowed to roam freely, it will exercise which is great for its physical health! They will also be able to explore their natural curiosities and learn about their environment and the people around them. This stimulation is essential for their mental health and overall wellbeing.
Rabbits make great pets for those who are looking for an animal that is playful and loves to cuddle. If you’re new to owning a rabbit, or just want to make sure your furry friend is as happy as possible, follow these tips! By providing your bunny with food, toys, exercise, and plenty of love, you can guarantee they will be one contented pet.
Bonding With Your Rabbit
When it comes to getting to know your little friend, there’s nothing like spending time with him and observing him. You’ll quickly come to appreciate his natural curiosity – he loves to explore! Locked up all day, a rabbit will quickly get bored. The best remedy is to stimulate him by playing with him. By doing so, you’ll not only help relieve his boredom but also bond with him in the process.
Teaching your rabbit to trust you is essential for a strong owner-pet relationship. As the days go by, your complicity will grow and he will quickly learn to rely on you. In turn, this will give him the confidence he needs to feel comfortable in new environments and situations.
Give Your Rabbit More Freedom
Rabbits are social creatures that enjoy being around people and other rabbits. They are also curious by nature and love to explore their surroundings. For these reasons, it is important to give your rabbit plenty of opportunities to exercise and play. A great way to do this is to allow him free range of the house.
Of course, you will need to Rabbit-proof your home first, but once you have done so, your rabbit will be able to roam freely and explore at his own pace. This will not only provide him with much-needed exercise, but it will also help to stimulate his mind and keep him from getting bored.
There are two milestones when it comes to letting your rabbit out of the cage:
Up to six months of age, it’s best to make do with short escapades in your presence before putting him back in his cage, which is his landmark and makes him feel secure.
From the age of six months, start by installing a pen around your rabbit’s cage. These modular pens allow you to enlarge your rabbit’s living space little by little, and to get him used to freedom without stress. Once this step is completed, you can open the pen and let your rabbit access the rest of the house.
Take Time To Train Your Rabbit
If your furry friend starts gnawing on something he’s not supposed to, it’s important to nip that behavior in the bud right away. Otherwise, he might develop some bad habits that will be hard to break later on. The good news is, it’s usually pretty easy to teach your bunny what’s allowed and what’s not.
To scold him, just tap your foot on the floor or clap your hands while saying “No!” firmly. He’ll soon associate those sounds with forbidden behavior. And be sure to reward him when he does something right, with a treat or some fresh hay to gnaw on.
Around one year old, the learning period is over. Well-educated, having integrated the prohibitions, your rabbit is ready to fully enjoy its freedom! Leave his cage open or remove it and set up his “corner” with a mat that will define his space, with a house to shelter in, his toys and his litter box. You can even take him out in the garden with a rabbit harness and a leash. No more fences, he’s ready for adventure! A well-trained rabbit is a happy rabbit, and there’s no limit to what you can achieve together once the training wheels are off.
What to Do When Your Rabbit Is Stressed?
Rabbits are social animals that enjoy interacting with their human companions, and they are relatively low maintenance when it comes to caring and feeding. However, rabbits can also be easily startled, and they can become anxious when they feel threatened. Fortunately, stress symptoms are easy to read:
Ears are pressed against his body
Breathing is very fast
Pulls out its hair
It is also possible that the rabbit stops certain natural behaviors, such as drinking, eating or even reingesting its caecotrophs
Sick or injured rabbits often seek out a quiet place to hide away from the rest of the world. If you notice your rabbit spending more time alone in their hutch or enclosure, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
Why Is Your Rabbit Stressed?
Stress is a very real concern for rabbits, as they are easily prone to it. Their delicate nature means that even the smallest change can cause them a great deal of stress. As prey animals, they are constantly on the lookout for predators and anything that seems out of the ordinary can send them into a panic. For this reason, it’s important to give them plenty of space to roam and explore. A small cage that is not designed for their specific needs can be a major source of stress. Letting them out to roam around freely is crucial for their well-being.
Domestic rabbits are animals of habit. Any change, no matter how small, will be a source of stress for them. As a result, it’s important to make sure that their environment remains as consistent as possible. If you need to make a change, do so gradually to give your rabbit time to adjust.
Here are some things that might stress your rabbit:
Introduction to a new rabbit/pet
Change can be difficult for animals. They like predictability and routine, and sudden changes can cause stress and anxiety. Therefore, it’s important to introduce any new element to your pet’s environment gradually and carefully.
If you’re moving to a new home, for example, start by letting your pet explore one room at a time. If you’re adding a new pet to the family, introduce them slowly, giving each animal plenty of time to adjust. By taking things slowly, you can help your pet transition smoothly to any new situation.
Can Your Rabbit Die Because Of Stress?
Stress can be fatal for rabbits since they are cardiac animals. More changes can make their hearts more tired, and they will be more likely to go into sudden cardiac arrest.
The best way to keep your rabbit healthy and reduce the chances of this happening is to provide them with a stable environment, free from too much change. Give them plenty of space to run around and play and offer them a variety of toys and chew toys to keep them occupied. Make sure to handle them gently and often so they get used to being picked up and being around people.
In addition, to do the right thing and soothe him, you will tend to hug him. In panic, the rabbit will struggle violently even if it means injuring itself to escape what it considers to be a threat or an intrusion into its living space. It can thus cripple itself, especially the spine.
Finally, a stressed rabbit will be more fragile to bacteria and other diseases. It will also digest more poorly, and all this can, unfortunately, make it more fragile. All of this can be very difficult for you as an owner to see, but fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your furry friend feel better.
How To Calm Your Rabbit?
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your rabbit safe, healthy, and relaxed:
Respecting The Cage
Give Him A “Favorite” Toy
Take Him Out Regularly
Get Your Rabbit Used To Noises And Humans
1. Respecting The Cage
A domestic rabbit’s cage is its burrow, a place where it should feel good, quiet and protected at all times. It’s crucial to keep the cage in a calm environment, away from any noisy distractions or extensive movement.
If you have children, it’s important to teach them early on about the need to respect an animal’s tranquility and personal space. Let them know that the rabbit cage is not a play area and show them how to handle the rabbit gently and with care.
2. Give Him A “Favorite” Toy
There are a few simple things you can do to help your rabbit feel more at ease. For example, if your rabbit is used to having a stuffed animal or toy nearby, be sure to take it along everywhere the rabbit goes. This will provide your rabbit with a sense of security and help it feel more relaxed in unfamiliar surroundings.
3. Take Him Out Regularly
Don’t forget that the rabbit, even a domestic one, needs to go out every day. Let him roam quietly and if possible in the open air, so that he can get his fill of fresh air and come back soothed. To leave your rabbit in the open air in complete peace, choose a rabbit or rodent enclosure. These are secured to prevent escape attempts and predator attacks.
Make sure to read our articles “How Long Should Rabbits Be Out Of Their Cage?” and “How Often Should You Let Your Rabbit Out of Its Cage?“.
4. Get Your Rabbit Used To Noises And Humans
Handling a rabbit from a young age is important in order to get the rabbit used to your touch. Handle it gently a few times a day so that it learns to relax in your presence and doesn’t associate you with a threat. Do the same for everyone in the house and the rabbit will be much more relaxed when handling time comes around.
When handling, be sure to support the rabbit’s back end and never pick it up by its ears. Gently petting the rabbit on its head is usually best, and always look for signs of stress such as thumping or grunting so that you know when to stop.