❤ Binky Free Rocky ❤

IMG_3839Sadly on March 18th, 2015 our sweet and beautiful rabbit Rocky passed peacefully in my arms. Rocky had begun to show signs of stasis so we force fed him critical care, administered some simethicone drops and gave stomach massages in the hopes that he would improve. As this all happened in the wee hours of the morning, we anxiously waited for our vet to open so that we could take him in. As we drove to our veterinarian’s office, Rocky began to fade in my arms. Our worst fears were confirmed when our vet told us that Rocky’s stomach had flipped and his temperature and heart rate had dropped so much that his body had begun shutting down. He assured us that we had done everything right but that the kindest thing to do was to put him to sleep. As I held him warm and safe against my chest with Mr. Bb hugging us both, I told him how special he was and how much we loved him. I told him that it was okay to let go and I promised to take good care of Honey. I thanked him for everything that he taught me and for choosing me.

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My love for rabbits began by doing everything wrong. I wasn’t prepared and my knowledge on them was limited. Like so many others, I was suckered in during the Easter Bunny madness at a pet shop and wanted one of my very own! I had a look at the dozens of tiny baby fluff balls but none called out to me. Then I noticed one rabbit sitting off by himself and twice the size of the others. He was mostly black with some white on one side of his neck, mouth and on his one paw. He had been there for a few months and was now being passed up for the younger, smaller babies that had come in. I asked the associate if I could hold him. She placed him in my arms and he nuzzled in to my neck. At that moment I knew he was coming home with me. I carried him around the store while I picked out all of the wrong things including a bag of muesli mix and a horrendously small rabbit cage. I laughed at her when she recommended a small rattle and told me that rabbits liked to throw things but I bought it anyways. Later, I was glad that I did because that became my new little rabbit’s favourite toy.BundaySundayRocky

On the way home my husband and I threw names back and forth but nothing fit. Then Mr. Bb, being a big Rocky fan, suggested the name Rocky. I didn’t like it at all but I looked down at our new bundle of joy and said ‘Shoot, he does look like a Rocky.’

When we got home I set up his cage in one of our spare bedrooms, which was later to become the Pet Room. I put in his food and water dishes, set up his hay rack, filled his litter box and threw in a few toys only to realize there wasn’t any room to put Rocky! From that moment I quickly became a Bunny Slave.

In the coming months Rocky taught me how incredible, intelligent, gentle and loving rabbits are. He taught me that rabbits love to run and play and that a binky meant he was happy (the first time I saw him kick up his heels I was frightened something was wrong)! He greeted me when I came home from work by running up to me making happy little grunts and looking for snuggles. Before being neutered he would pee on my foot. Most people would find that disgusting I’m sure, and it was a little, but it was also endearing that he was marking me as his. Years later and with a WifeyBun to keep him company, Rocky always remained a Mama’s Boy and would pout when he felt I wasn’t giving him enough attention!

IMG_1277As I learnt more about Rocky, I wanted to give him more. I wanted him to have more space and lots of fun toys to keep him busy. I wanted him to have a companion to share his life with so he would never be lonely when I wasn’t there. I learnt that rabbits were the third most abandoned animals in shelters and that many end up there because people didn’t know how to care for them properly. They didn’t know that pet shop cages weren’t big enough. They didn’t know that spaying/neutering was essential for the well-being of their rabbit and also curbed a lot of hormonally driven behaviours. They didn’t know that when given the chance to thrive and the patience and dedication to tame, these animals are just as amazing as a cat or dog. As my knowledge on rabbits expanded, so did our household – from one rabbit to four – and eventually inspired me to begin BudgetBunny so that I could educate others about how incredible these animals are too.IMG_0851

Rocky was more than just an incredible rabbit. He gave me a purpose and provided direction in my life at a time when I was struggling with where I was headed. If I had never brought that sweet little rabbit home that day in March 2008, Ollie, Willow and Honey wouldn’t be living the great lives they have now and BudgetBunny wouldn’t exist. Knowing that he not only touched my life but has inspired so many of you has been so comforting to me during such a difficult time.

I find peace in knowing that Rocky began his life with us safe in my arms and surrounded by love and took his last breaths in the same spot, safe and warm, with those who loved him most. There is a beautiful symmetry in that. We miss you dearly, sweet boy.

If you would like to know a little about this incredible rabbit you can watch his Rabbit Profile video here.

You can watch a special tribute to Rocky here.

Binky Free. 2008-2015

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Bringing Home Bunny: Tips For A Smooth Transition To Your Home

You’ve just adopted a rabbit from your local rescue/shelter and you’re excited to bring bunny home! Here are some tips for a smooth transition to home living.


Set Up Bunny’s Living Quarters Ahead Of Time, If Possible.

Bunny will need spacious housing – at least 6 times its out-stretched length and twice as tall in height, to hop abouIMG_9953t and live in. The more space the better! I recommend a condo or x-pen for rabbits which affords several advantages over other types of housing sold in pet stores. X-pens are spacious, sturdy, available in several heights and are cheaper. They are also portable, can be covered with binder-clipped sheets on top, and the 8 panels can be configured into whatever shape required.

Homemade custom-built condos made from wire shelving units also work well as housing.

You can learn how to build your very own rabbit condo here.

What I don’t recommend are most store bought rabbit cages which are far too small. Inside the x-pen or condo, place a litterbox with wood-stove pellets or other rabbit-safe litter as well as a large pile of hay to eat, a sturdy cardboard ‘hidey’ box with two openings and two heavy ceramic crocks: a smaller one for food and a larger one for fresh water. Provide sturdy, flooring such as vinyl/laminate flooring, foam or seagrass mats, fleece blankets/quilts/towels/rugs for traction. Toss in some toys for recreation and rotate chew toys frequently.

For more great and creative housing ideas make sure to check out our Facebook Album: House Rabbit Housing!

Don’t Fuss Over Bunny.

IMG_0430It’s tempting to hold and play with your new bunny straight away, but what it really needs is to be left alone for a while upon arrival. This will give it time to chin/scent and leave some territorial droppings in its new abode. This will make bunny feel more comfortable in your home, where nothing yet smells familiar. Try to leave bunny in its area without immediately forcing your attention on it. Sitting on the floor near the rabbit’s pen and quietly reading/ working is ideal. This allows your rabbit to observe you from a safe distance and encourages its natural sense of curiosity to investigate you and its new surroundings. Always allow your rabbit to exit/enter the pen on its own, rather than lifting/carrying the rabbit out of/into its enclosure.

 

Be Patient.

Building trust with your rabbit may take some time. As prey animals, rabbits are wary of anything larger than them,IMG_6020including people. Once bunny learns to associate you with positive things like food, toys, treats and playtime, bunny should gradually let down its guard. Every rabbit is unique, and has experienced different things during the course of its lifetime. Some may be quite confident, and some may be extremely fearful due to their nature and experience. However, even the most skittish rabbit can be made to feel more comfortable over time with patience and understanding on your part. Try placing a healthy treat just outside bunny’s enclosure to start, and then have it investigate a treat held in your hand or lap. Take it slowly at the bunny’s pace, and revel in the small successes when bunny approaches. You can learn more about taming your rabbit here.

Always Allow Bunny To Emerge From & Re-Enter Into Its Pen On Its Own.

IMG_2852Rabbits don’t like being handled as a general rule. Daily exercise time is very important and you want to aim for at least three hours of free run time daily. Be sure to rabbit-proof your home by hiding/blocking access to electrical cords and phone/computer rechargers etc., as bunny’s roaming space is enlarged. Anything left on the floor or elsewhere that your rabbit can reach may be nibbled. This includes clothing, shoes, briefcases/purses, books and furniture. Loud noises and quick movements will generally frighten your rabbit, so avoid them. If you have other animals at home, don’t introduce bunny to them right away. After bunny is feeling a bit more comfortable at home you can try meet and greets for short periods of time, slowly over a number of days/weeks — and always under close supervision. Always provide your rabbit with a designated space of its own and always remember that its safety and well-being is most important.

If Bunny Is Extremely Shy And Won’t Leave Its Pen, Try This:

‘Play dead’ on the floor near the rabbit by lying motionless until bunny approaches you. Expect bunny to nudge you
and perhaps even to hop up onto your back or stomach out of curiosity. When bunny is comfortable doing this, try to speak softly to your bunny and/or reward it with a healthy treat afterward. Positive reinforcement will help bunny associate you with good things!


Using these tips, even a very shy bunny should eventually feel more comfortable at home. Every rabbit is different, however, and some may take months to ‘settle in’ rather than a few days or weeks. Don’t give up on your rabbit! Be patient and bunny will reward your efforts. Feeling at an impasse in your relationship with bunny? Consult budgetbunny.ca and rabbit.org for ideas or ask to speak with a rabbit specialist from your local rabbit rescue organization/shelter. They’re happy to help!

Written By: The Bunderful Iris – Guest Blogger

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Rabbits & Easter Don’t Mix!

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With Easter just around the corner, I wanted to remind everyone about the time, care and dedication that pet rabbit’s require.

Every year thousands of rabbits, baby chicks, ducks and guinea pigs are purchased as adorable Easter pets only to be ditched weeks later at shelters or abandoned outdoors when the child they were purchased for tires of them. 

Rabbits are an 8-10 year commitment.  They require at least 3-6 hours of free range exercise time daily.  Store bought cages are not large enough to house your rabbit and provide all of the necessities he/she needs to be happy and healthy.  Rabbits love to chew and dig so if you don’t properly rabbit proof your house cords, carpet, clothing, bedding and furniture can all become victims to what is a natural instinct.  When they reach their teenager years (usually starting around 4-6 months of age) they will develop some nasty habits like lunging, growling, humping and marking their territory if you don’t have them spayed or neutered.  Rabbits are social animals who require constant interaction with you or preferably another fixed rabbit.  Rabbits need a constant supply of hay as well as pellets and fresh veggies fed daily and should see a vet at least once a year for a check-up.

If you are seriously considering adding a rabbit to your family, please do your research and consider visiting your local rescue about a month after Easter has passed. This will be when those cute and cuddly Easter rabbits start showing up on their doorstep.

I would like to also remind everyone that rabbits are the third most abandoned animal at shelters after cats and dogs.

So this year, resist the temptation and opt for a chocolate or stuffed Easter bunny instead!

For more sweet rabbit photos check us out on Facebook!

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Bunday Sunday!

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Submitted By: Moe

This Netherland Dwarf is 1 1/2 year old Snowball! Snowball loves head pets, is very playful and sweet but does love to get in to trouble every once in a while! Moe says that her cuteness makes up for her naughtiness! Moe tells us that her striking eyes always catch people’s attention and that coming home from work or school is always exciting because Snowball is there waiting to play!

Thanks Moe!

For more sweet rabbit photos check us out on Facebook!

Want your rabbit to be Bunday Sunday’s featured Bun?  E-mail your pics to info@budgetbunny.ca!

Please read our disclaimer under Submissions before sending us your photos!

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Bunday Sunday!

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Submitted By: Christine

This Lop is Mugsy! A 3 year old boy with a very sweet temperament and who Christmas has bonded quickly with!

Thanks Christine!

For more sweet rabbit photos check us out on Facebook!

Want your rabbit to be Bunday Sunday’s featured Bun?  E-mail your pics to info@budgetbunny.ca!

Please read our disclaimer under Submissions before sending us your photos!

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Bunday Sunday!

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Submitted By: BellsBunnies

This little black and white speckled girl is Lulu! An adorable lop who loves cuddles, foot massages and is always waiting at her cage door, ready for her next adventure!

Thanks BellsBunnie!

For more sweet rabbit photos check us out on Facebook!

Want your rabbit to be Bunday Sunday’s featured Bun?  E-mail your pics to info@budgetbunny.ca!

Please read our disclaimer under Submissions before sending us your photos!

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Bunday Sunday!

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Submitted By: Hallie

This cute Dutch rabbit is Cupcake! Cupcake was a little timid at first but with some coaxing and his favourite treats he has really come out of his shell! Cupcake has a lot of spunk and loves bedtime snuggles and kisses! Hallie says their bond is very strong and she is incredibly lucky to have Cupcake in her life!

Thanks Hallie!

For more sweet rabbit photos check us out on Facebook!

Want your rabbit to be Bunday Sunday’s featured Bun?  E-mail your pics to info@budgetbunny.ca!

Please read our disclaimer under Submissions before sending us your photos!

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Bunday Sunday!

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Submitted By: Elliana

Meet the adorable Houdini! Houdini loves to run and binky and is the ultimate escape artist! This sweet rescue hates being brushed and will do anything for a treat! He also loves taking naps under Elliana’s bed after a long day of playing and showing off how high he can jump!

Thanks Elliana!

For more sweet rabbit photos check us out on Facebook!

Want your rabbit to be Bunday Sunday’s featured Bun?  E-mail your pics to info@budgetbunny.ca!

Please read our disclaimer under Submissions before sending us your photos!

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Bunday Sunday!

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Submitted By: Abby

This 3 year old rescue Dutch rabbit is Oscar! Oscar lives with 4 year old companion Lop Tia, who is also a rescue. Oscar is incredibly athletic and is a member of Rabbit Jumping UK! He loves to jump and has equalled the British high jump record of 70cm!

You can find Oscar on Twitter @onlywayisoscar and YouTube Abbybunniespiggies!

Thanks Abby!

For more sweet rabbit photos check us out on Facebook!

Want your rabbit to be Bunday Sunday’s featured Bun?  E-mail your pics to info@budgetbunny.ca!

Please read our disclaimer under Submissions before sending us your photos!

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BudgetBunny Published In This Month’s Bunnyzine!

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Bunnyzine was very kind to include our DIY Hay Box tutorial in this month’s issue! Bunnyzine is a monthly magazine that focuses on all things bunny!

Click on the photo to be taken to their website where you can download the issue for free or choose to make a donation.

Thank you so much to Dustin at Bunnyzine for including Bb in this month’s issue!

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