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!

Easter-messageOllie

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!

houdinibundaysunday

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!

OscarBundaySunday

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!

bunnyzine

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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Bunday Sunday!

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Submitted By: Nyima

Sweet and beautiful Dori was surrendered because her first home bought her as a gift for their four year old and quickly realized a rabbit is not a children’s pet! Dori now has a wonderful forever home with Nyima and enjoys cuddles and giving kisses!

Thanks Nyima!

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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