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Thread: Bunny Question

  1. #21
    Registered User MR Snakes's Avatar
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    Re: Bunny Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesenugget View Post
    Updated post - sorry for duplicate posts. My phone glitched

    Bunnies are NOT as resilient as people like to think.

    They do better in the cold than heat. They can do fine without heat at 50F. There should be NO drafts in the room. Supplemental heat can be some blankets of it won't chew them or small animal heat pads. They don't do well 80F and up. Either provide a fan in the summer or keep it in a cooler room.

    That hutch is way too small for bunnies unless it is use for a few hours a day. They usually spend the night foraging so while your daughter sleeps, it will need space to move. A minimum of space should be something that allows the bunny to hop 3 times its length, stand on its hind legs, and no bars for flooring as that can cause hock sores which are painful to your bunny. I use Wabbitat plus the extension which provide about 5-6 foot long of space, plus a puppy play pen, for my 3 lb bunny. This space is necessary as they need to exercise and move in order for their guts to function properly.

    Bunnies are closely related to deer. They are grass eaters and their sensitive gut rely heavily on the diet provided. So hay is a must and it is to be provided 24/7. Do not feed alfalfa for adults. Do not use those yogurt drops treats from pet stores. Bunnies can survive strictly on hay. Pellets can be supplemented in very small amounts, no more than a few teaspoons a day. I recommend Oxbow for pellets due to its high fiber content. Veggies should be no more than the size of its head per day, and fruits given very sparingly or in small amounts or not at all.

    Bunnies can do a lot of damage in less than 5 minutes, including but not limited to, chewing threw wires of all kinds, walls and carpets. I left my vacuum cleaner in my bunny's play pen for 3 min. I turn around to find its wire chewed half way through. Bunny proof your home prior to bringing it home.

    Litterbox train from day one. It is optional but recommended for easy cleaning. Place it where it starts to pee then move it slowly by inches to your desired location. Use paper bedding or paper pellets. Pine pellets are okay but can be messy. Place hay on one side of the box.

    Do not pick up your bunny unless 1. You know how to restrain it from hurting itself 2. You have to move the bunny 3. You earn its trust. Bunnies in general do not like being picked up. If picked up wrong, they can kick so hard to break its spine.

    Find an exotic bunny vet near you now for when you need one. Like I mentioned, it is important to maintain good gut flora. If not, your bunny can become very sick with what we call 'poopy butt', which is fatal and can kill your bunny within 24 hours if no emergency care is given.

    A bad diet, lack of exercise and stress can disturb its gut, thus kill your bunny. Your bunny will hide its symptoms until it can't anymore, that is when emergency intervention is needed. Your bunny must eat all the time and poop all the time in a good, solid dry poop. Its poop should not be mushy, watery or smelly. Bunnies don't have diarrhea like dogs and cats do. That is an emergency condition and needs care asap. That is why fiber like hay must be provided at all times. Hay also helps keep its teeth trimmed. You can provide wooden toys made for small animals and apple sticks (a favorite) as snacks and something to chew on.

    There is a reason why bunnies are #3 most surrendered pet in the US. People underestimate their level of care as easy. They are not beginner's pets and not meant for small children due to its delicate bone structure and easy tendency to be stressed out. An ideal home is one where it is quiet, with teen or older children, lots of space to roam even in a play pen and attention to detail for any signs of 'abnormal' behavior like not eating or pooping the right size, shape or amount.

    Besides its health I must stress that bunnies do bite and they bite HARD. Unlike dogs that have been domesticated and trained with bite inhibition, bunnies do not care about that and will with very little warning, charge and bite through skin. Some bunnies, especially dwarves, are known to be aggressive due to lack of socialization and trust of people when younger (like mine). Small children may misunderstand and not give it space thus pushing the bunny to bite. Some are very territorial and may bite (like mine).

    Lastly, please adopt a bonded pair if possible. They should be fixed by the rescue prior to adoption. Bunnies do better mentally and physically when kept together. They recover better from illnesses too. They can bond with its human though it takes a little longer.

    If you can handle such commitments, good luck!

    My wife wants to know how well bunnies get along with dogs? We have 2 older Australian Shepherds. She is also wondering if having the dogs eliminates the need for a pair of rabbits? Thanks

  2. #22
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    Re: Bunny Question

    Quote Originally Posted by MR Snakes View Post
    My wife wants to know how well bunnies get along with dogs? We have 2 older Australian Shepherds. She is also wondering if having the dogs eliminates the need for a pair of rabbits? Thanks
    I have 2 large dogs of my own: lab mix and pit bull mix. They sleep in the same room with the bunny separated by the play pen and always under supervision. My pittie passed her CGC and both know their voice commands. Regardless, I never allow my dogs or cats meet the bunny without some sort of barrier in between.

    Bunnies can get along great with other animals.
    However, this is NOT a common theme as bunnies are prey animals first and foremost, no matter how one socialize a cat or dog or ferret from an early age though that helps. Therefore, it is not recommended to allow close interaction between the two without supervision and strong control of your dog (physical AND voice command). That is still a very risky situation that one must be willing to take into deep consideration.

    I am not familiar with your breed of dog but most dogs reaction to things around them, like the bunny, are mostly instinctive and acts upon it if your wife or you are not stopping it on time. For example, lets say the bunny and your dogs are sleeping beside each other. Your daughter drops something and there is a sudden loud noise which spooked your bunny, causing it to sprint to safety. One of your dogs react instinctively to chase thinking it is prey, which may trigger the second dog to follow. Depending on your dogs' prey drive, it may be a short chase stopped by your voice command ("Leave it" is a must for all dog owners) or they will ignore you and either harm or kill your bunny. A dog can bite at least several times before stopping and for an animal with a fragile bone structure, in addition they can get a heart attack from scares, this is why it is way too risky to recommend.

    Secondly, no, the domesticated bunny is not a solitary animal like the American rabbit. They are actually a different species in Europe where they live in social groups. So while your bunny can bond with your dogs, it will not have the same benefits as having another bunny. Bonded bunnies groom each other, follow each other, eat with each other, and are almost always found touching their sides to keep each other company at all times. They are never far from their best friend and exhibit many social behaviors not seen with dogs, cats, or even with their own people. My bunny, Luna, was adopted as alone so while I am her only companion (She is very aggressive towards other animals and people), the most she would that counts as a social behavior is nudging my hand to 'lick' her head as a sign of her dominance (lol). For many other people, they get much more love than that, like my late bunny who would come running and give me kisses. But knowing that they can do much more socially, only another bunny can provide that.

    So why did I not get a 2nd bunny for Luna? Because pairing bunnies can be dangerous and it is a matter of luck and good matchmaking. Getting 2 bunnies to get along is much harder than getting 2 bunnies who already like each other. That is why I recommend a bonded pair from the start.

    Nonetheless, it is completely fine to adopt just one. I am opening up all options available to you. I just ask that you don't adopt one that is bonded to another and separate them. They get depressed and can stop eating.

    No matter what you choose, just make sure you do all your research. The Rabbit Society has really good info. They also have chapters in almost every state that rescues and adopts out bunnies.

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Cheesenugget For This Useful Post:

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  4. #23
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I had no idea how much there is to know about keeping a pet bunny, not that I'm looking for another pet...but thank you (!) Cheesenugget for such a
    thorough explanation. It's fascinating...and I bet there's as many clueless bunny-owners as there are clueless snake-owners... (what a frightful thought!)

  5. #24
    Registered User MR Snakes's Avatar
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    Re: Bunny Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I had no idea how much there is to know about keeping a pet bunny, not that I'm looking for another pet...but thank you (!) Cheesenugget for such a
    thorough explanation. It's fascinating...and I bet there's as many clueless bunny-owners as there are clueless snake-owners... (what a frightful thought!)
    Ya think? Glad Cheeseburger is on top of things!

  6. #25
    Registered User Smaug's Avatar
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    Please don't use a heat mat with a rabbit or anything electrical really. Anything touching the outside of the cage will be inside the cage and thoroughly destroyed by morning. My mini-lop will seek and destroy cords when she roams the room.
    I wouldn't recommend dogs and rabbits mixing unsupervised. My buns and small dogs like to sit on the couch together and sniff each other but I'm always right there.
    If you want a pair of bunnies neutered males are usually the easiest to bond. Be careful with this un-bonded bunnies can have some really vicious fights. In my rabbit room i have: two neutered males bonded, and two intact sisters bonded, but i also have the third sister by herself because she is picked on by both her sisters and her mother. And then I have two intact male that are separated.
    Also, never bathe a rabbit. A sponge bath on a messy bottom is fine. Rabbits get heart attacks and chills when wet all over.
    0.1 Ball Python
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  8. #26
    Registered User MR Snakes's Avatar
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    Re: Bunny Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
    Please don't use a heat mat with a rabbit or anything electrical really. Anything touching the outside of the cage will be inside the cage and thoroughly destroyed by morning. My mini-lop will seek and destroy cords when she roams the room.
    I wouldn't recommend dogs and rabbits mixing unsupervised. My buns and small dogs like to sit on the couch together and sniff each other but I'm always right there.
    If you want a pair of bunnies neutered males are usually the easiest to bond. Be careful with this un-bonded bunnies can have some really vicious fights. In my rabbit room i have: two neutered males bonded, and two intact sisters bonded, but i also have the third sister by herself because she is picked on by both her sisters and her mother. And then I have two intact male that are separated.
    Also, never bathe a rabbit. A sponge bath on a messy bottom is fine. Rabbits get heart attacks and chills when wet all over.
    Good to know. Thanks

  9. #27
    Registered User Jellybeans's Avatar
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    Re: Bunny Question

    NO HEATING PAD. I totally agree
    I've had rabbit too. And I have to tell you that a little dachshund that we had at the same time ended up killing the rabbit.
    I personally do not trust dogs around rabbits unless perhaps they were raised together

    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk

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  11. #28
    Registered User MR Snakes's Avatar
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    Re: Bunny Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jellybeans View Post
    NO HEATING PAD. I totally agree
    I've had rabbit too. And I have to tell you that a little dachshund that we had at the same time ended up killing the rabbit.
    I personally do not trust dogs around rabbits unless perhaps they were raised together

    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk
    Scary. Our Aussies once herded up a bunch (6) of baby raccoons that had lost their mom until animal control arrived. It was quite cute.

  12. #29
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    Re: Bunny Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jellybeans View Post
    NO HEATING PAD. I totally agree
    I've had rabbit too. And I have to tell you that a little dachshund that we had at the same time ended up killing the rabbit.
    I personally do not trust dogs around rabbits unless perhaps they were raised together

    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk
    I should have more specific about the heat pad. Don't use the ones for reptiles. If you have to use one, it should not be inside the cage. I placed mine on the side of the outside of the cage bars and confirmed that the bunny cannot bite through the pad or any wires when she is locked in her Wabbitat during cold nights. However, unless the bunny room temp drops below 50F, you most likely won't need it and most other bunny owners prefer some fleece blankets (if it won't chew them) over a pad or you can always move your bunny to a warmer room. It is more important that there are no drafts in the room.

    Because of the way bunnies look and portray in the media, most people think that they are easier to care for than a dog or a cat. Mine was adopted at the shelter after being dumped at a local state park to fend for herself. Those who are surrendered at the shelters who do take them in are being put down more often than not due to lack of space. It is an all too common tragedy for these bunnies just because their owners were unprepared after they realized how big of a commitment they are. As long as you know what you are getting into and you are prepared, they are affectionate in their own terms and make great companions.

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  14. #30
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Like all pets...do your homework first! Don't assume...

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