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Frequently Asked Questions About Adopting A Rescued Rabbit

February 1, 2024

Did you know that February is Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month? This is a great time to adopt one of these adorable little pets. However, you’ll need to think carefully before adopting one of them. While bunnies are adorable, they require a lot of care and attention. A local Glen Ellyn, IL veterinarian gives you advice on adopting Floppy in this article. 

What Should I Feed My Pet Rabbit?

Your rabbit’s diet should consist primarily of hay. You’ll need to provide your pet with plenty of good grass hay, such as Timothy hay. You can supplement this with commercial bunny food, as well as safe fruits and vegetables. Many fruits are fine, as well. In fact, Floppy loves sweets. Just be careful, as too much sugar isn’t good for your pet. Check with your veterinarian for specific instructions.

It’s important to know what is and isn’t safe. Learning about safe foods for bunnies can be difficult, as there are some items that may seem harmless but actually aren’t. For instance, while bread, biscuits, and pasta are not toxic, they can upset your bunny’s stomach. This can be dangerous, as rabbits can’t vomit. 

Some of the foods to avoid include iceberg lettuce, avocado, tomato and potato leaves, garlic, onions, oatmeal, coconut, chilis, cookies, candy, chocolate and any foods with seeds or pips. Research any new foods thoroughly and ask your Glen Ellyn, IL veterinarian for specific recommendations.

How Do I Set Up My Bunny’s Cage?

First and foremost: make sure you offer a roomy, comfortable cage. Many bunny cages are actually too small for Floppy! Rabbits are extremely active and will become very unhappy if they are cooped up too long. Your cute pet should have plenty of space to jump, stand, sit, and play without touching the top or sides of her cage.

Choose something that has a solid floor. Mesh floors do not hold bedding, and can cause paw and leg injuries. Also, they aren’t very comfortable. hardwood oils can cause respiratory issues in small animals, so steer clear of bedding made of pine or cedar. As far as cleaning, you’ll need to spot clean Floppy’s cage daily, and follow up with more thorough cleanings on a regular basis.

Why Do Pet Rabbits Chew So Much?

A rabbit is basically a tiny, adorable chewing machine. Floppy isn’t trying to destroy anything; she’s just trying to keep her teeth healthy. Wild rabbits eat lots of tough roots and fibers, so their teeth are constantly growing. Your pet rabbit’s choppers won’t get worn down that way, as they eat softer foods. You’ll need a pretty endless supply of chew toys. You can use cardboard, wood, and wicker items. Just avoid anything with small parts, as well as anything covered in glitter or dye.

Floppy will need lots of time outside her cage, so you will need to petproof your home or the areas where she will be allowed. Petproofing is also crucial. You must make your home safe for your pet … and protect your belongings from those little teeth. You’ll need to keep anything you don’t want Floppy gnawing on out of reach of those cute paws. That list includes small or sharp; personal items, like phones, shoes, and purses; wires and cords; and plastic bags. You’ll also need to cover furniture legs, baseboards, and wires with protective covers.

Be sure to ask your Glen Ellyn, IL veterinary clinic for more bunny care and bunnyproofing tips.

How Can I Bond With A Rescued Rabbit?

Rabbits are naturally timid because they are prey animals.You have to earn Floppy’s trust before you can earn her love. Your bunny may take some time to warm up to you. That’s fine! Love takes time!

Here are a few tips:

  • Never pick Floppy up or hold her against her will. Doing so may scare her, which will end up doing more harm than good.
  • Sit or lay down, so you’re at Floppy’s level. If you think about it, you’re pretty much a giant to your furry friend!
  • Be calm and quiet, and avoid loud noises and sudden movements. Otherwise, you might inadvertently scare Floppy.
  • Take time to learn bunny body language. Happy bunnies tend to be playful and curious. A really happy bunny might reward you with binkies, or bunny happy dances. Knowing the signs of anxiety is also important. The symptoms include freezing, sitting in a hunched position, acting aggressively, and flattening the ears.
  • Talk to your pet. It does not matter what you say: the tone of your voice is more important when talking to Floppy.
  • Offer yummy snacks. Treats are an excellent tool for bonding and training. Floppy’s sweet tooth often comes in handy here. Only offer things you know are safe, such as sliced apples, strawberries, dried bananas, and melons. Don’t go overboard with sugar, either!
  • Play with your pet. Bunnies are pretty playful, which is of course always adorable. You can try rolling a ball to your pet, or playing ‘tag’ with her. 

Are Bunnies Happier With Friends?

Bunnies actually are quite sociable, and are often happier with playmates. You may want to adopt a bonded pair. You’ll get double the cuteness, but not necessarily at double the cost: the two of them will be able to share many of their belongings.

Are Bunnies Cuddly?

Many of these cute furballs are very affectionate, but this isn’t universal: there are also plenty of more timid bunnies out there, who prefer to sit beside you rather than curl up on your lap. Rabbits may also show affection in other ways, such as rubbing your chin or grooming you.

Why Are There So Many Adoptable Rabbits?

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to adopt rabbits on impulse, often without realizing how much care they need. Some rabbits are rehomed or surrendered to shelters, while others are released into nature. This is very sad, as pet bunnies are unable to survive on their own. Many of them succumb to weather, predators, illnesses, or injuries. Contact your local shelter or bunny rescue if you find an abandoned bunny.

How Do I Entertain My Bunny? 

Boredom is no more fun for rabbits than it is for us. In addition to providing chew toys, you’ll also need to offer entertainment options. Food-dispensing toys are great options. There are plenty of cute and easy options for this. Crumple up a piece of paper around a small snack, or hang leafy greens from twine strung between two chairs. Things like apple sticks, willow balls, and safe fruit branches are also fun for rabbits.

Dig boxes are also popular with bunnies. These allow Floppy to mimic behaviors she would naturally do in the wild, such as digging and foraging. You’ll want to get a cardboard box or a plastic storage tote, and fill it with safe things like shredded paper, children’s blocks, and pine cones. 

In Conclusion: Make sure that you do plenty of research before bringing a rabbit into your home. A bunny needs food, water, and a comfortable home, just like any other pet. Rabbits make wonderful pets, but they need a lot of care. 

In this blog, we discussed some basic bunny care, but there’s a lot more to learn. Contact us, your local Glen Ellyn, IL veterinary clinic, if you have any questions. We’re here to help.