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Things To Know Before You Adopt A Rescued Rabbit

February 1, 2024

It’s Adopt A Rescued Rabbit Month! We’re always thrilled to give Floppy some time in the spotlight. While there’s certainly no bad time to adopt one of these adorable pets, it’s important to think carefully before adopting a bunny. Bunnies are very, very cute, but they require much care and attention. In this article, a local Unionville, ON veterinarian offers some tips on how to bring a bunny into your home. 

How Do I Prepare For Adopting A Rabbit? 

Do plenty of research! A bunny needs good food, clean water, and a comfortable environment, just like any other pet. Floppy will need lots of time outside of her cage. It is imperative that you petproof your home or the areas of your home where she will be allowed. 

Speaking of cages, you’ll need a good one. Pick one that allows your pet plenty of space to play and hop around. For furnishings, you’ll need toys, a hay rack, dishes, a hide, and, if you like, a litterbox.

The importance of finding a vet that works with rabbits cannot be overstated. Bunnies have some specific care needs!

How Do You Feed A Pet Rabbit?

Your rabbit’s diet should include mainly good grass hay, such as Timothy hay. This should make up the majority of his or her menu. In fact, making sure your rabbit has plenty of fresh hay at all times is one of the most important things you can do for her. 

You can supplement the hay with a commercial bunny food, as well as safe herbs and vegetables. Small amounts of fruit are fine, and are a great treat option, but you’ll have to be careful, as too much sugar isn’t good for your pet.

Not all fruits and veggies are safe, so you’ll need to consult your veterinarian for specific advice, including portions, feeding schedules, and, of course, treats.

It’s also crucial to be aware of what bunnies can and cannot safely consume. This can be challenging, as some seemingly harmless foods can actually be unsafe. For example, bread, biscuits, pasta, and bread may not be toxic, but can lead to stomach discomfort for your pet. Other unsafe options include iceberg lettuce, avocado, tomato and potato leaves, garlic and onions, oatmeal, coconut, chilis, cookies, candy, chocolate, junk food, as well as anything with seeds or pips. Additionally, certain foods, such as chard and broccoli, should only be given occasionally due to their potential for causing gas. For more information, contact your Unionville, ON veterinarian.

Do Bunnies Like To Snuggle?

Rabbits are all unique. In fact, these balls of fur have a lot of personality. Some are quite affectionate, while others are a bit shy. There are no  guarantees that Floppy will be a lap bunny. However, even if not, she can show her affection in other ways, such as rubbing her chin on you and grooming you.

If I Find A Dumped Rabbit, What Should I Do?

This is unfortunately not uncommon. Rabbits are one of the most frequently rehomed pets. They are often adopted on impulse without realizing how much care they require or how much they need. While some do surrender their bunnies or find other homes for them, others just release them. This is very sad! Pets aren’t equipped to fend for themselves, and often quickly succumb to weather, predators, illnesses, or injuries.

If you find an abandoned bunny, reach out to a bunny rescue or shelter 

How Do You Bond With A Rescue Rabbit?

Slow and steady is the name of the game. Because they are prey animals in the wild, rabbits can be quite timid. Before you can win Floppy’s love, you’ll have to earn her trust.

Here are a few tips:

Offer Snacks: Yummy treats can go a long way towards earning your pet’s trust. Here’s where Floppy’s sweet tooth comes in handy. Sliced apples, strawberries, dried bananas, and melons are great choices. Just stick to safe treats.

Give It Time: It may take your bunny some time to warm up to you. In fact, Floppy may not feel safe until several months have passed.

Talk To Your Bunny: It doesn’t matter what you say: the tone of your voice is more important. Use friendly, gentle tones. Pay attention to those cute ears, and watch for reactions.

See Things Eye-To-Eye: If you think about it, you’re a giant from your cute pet’s perspective. Sit or lay down on the floor, so you aren’t towering over your furry pal.

Don’t Frighten The Furball: Avoid making loud noises or sudden movements. Rabbits tend to be a bit nervous. You could accidentally scare Floppy!

Never Force Things: Don’t pick up or hold Floppy against her will. This will frighten her, which will do more harm than good in the long run. Always let your cute pet come to you. You can try holding out treats, or even grass. Love takes time.

Learn Bunny Body Language: Each of our animal companions speaks nonverbally in their own way. Rabbits are no exception. It’s important to recognize the signs of anxiety. The signs include freezing, sitting in a hunched position, acting aggressively, and flattening the ears.

You’ll want to learn about happy bunny behavior as well. It is common for cheerful bunnies to be playful and curious. Occasionally, they will give you binkies, which is an informal term for bunny happy dances. (As you can imagine, these are super cute.)

Before Adopting A Rabbit, What Should I Know?

We always advocate doing research before adopting any bunny. we’ll touch on the basics In this blog, but there’s a lot more to learn.

Here are some of the key points:

It’s Important For Bunnies To Chew

One of the most important things new bunny owners need to learn is that rabbits are tiny, adorable chewing machines. Floppy isn’t trying to be destructive; she’s trying to keep her teeth healthy. Wild bunnies eat a lot of tough roots and fibers. Their teeth are meant to withstand a beating: in fact, they never stop growing. Pet rabbits have much softer diets, so their choppers must be worn down with chew toys in order to prevent them from getting too long.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money here. Many cardboard, wood, and wicker items are fine. You can also provide cleaned fruit tree branches. Just don’t offer anything small or sharp. Ask your vet for more information.

You’ll Need To Bunnyproof Your Home

You’ll need to petproof your home so that your furry pal can play safely, and to protect your belongings from those little teeth. keep anything you don’t want Floppy gnawing on out of reach of those cute paws. That entails small or sharp objects, personal items, plastic bags and wrappers, wires and cords, and unsafe foods and plants. It’s also a good idea to cover furniture legs, baseboards, and wires with protective coverings.

Rabbits Are Social

Rabbits are often happiest when they are adopted with a friend. Consider adopting a bonded pair: you’ll get double the cuteness without doubling your costs.

Don’t Bathe Your Bunny

Rabbits are very scared of water, and can even go into shock from being submerged. While you should brush Floppy, it’s not a  good idea to bathe her. Ask your vet for more information.

In Conclusion: Rabbits are great pets. Just be sure to do plenty of research before getting Floppy, and make an informed choice before bringing him home. Rabbits make wonderful pets, but you need to look before you leap.

Get in touch with us, your local Unionville, ON veterinary clinic, if you have any questions about bunny care!

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