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Tips For Adopting A Rescue Bunny

February 1, 2024

Are you thinking about adopting a bunny? This may be the perfect time.  It’s Adopt A Rescued Rabbit Month! We’re always ‘hoppy’ to give Floppy a turn in the spotlight. Whether you’re adopting a bunny or just considering it, you’ll want to do a lot of research before making a final decision. Read on for tips from a Carteret County, NC veterinarian on adopting a rescue bunny.

Start With A Great Bunny Cage Setup

Cages sold as bunny habitats are often too small for Floppy. Rabbits are very curious and energetic, so being cooped up too much can make them very unhappy. Your adorable pet will need plenty of room to hop around, stand, sit, and play in her cage without touching its sides or top.

Make sure the habitat has a solid floor. Mesh ones don’t hold bedding, and can cause paw and leg injuries. (They’re also not very comfortable.) When choosing bedding, avoid hardwoods like pine and cedar: their oils can cause respiratory problems.

The cage should be spot-cleaned every day, and given more thorough cleanings regularly. You’ll also need to furnish it properly. 

Here are some things to include:

  • Toys
  • A Hide Box
  • Hay Rack
  • Water bottles
  • Litterbox (optional)

Ask your vet for specific tips on this. 

Know What You Can And Can’t Feed Your Pet Rabbit

Floppy should always have plenty of fresh hay available. In fact, your rabbit’s diet should primarily consist of grass hay, such as Timothy hay. You can supplement this with commercial bunny food and safe herbs and vegetables. Many fruits are also fine, but be careful not to feed your pet too much sugar.

You’ll also need to know what’s on the ‘don’t’ list. Familiarizing yourself with the list of safe and unsafe foods for rabbits can be a daunting task. It’s not always obvious which items could potentially harm your furry companion. For instance, seemingly harmless products, like biscuits and pasta, may cause digestive problems. Other items to steer clear of include iceberg lettuce, avocado, tomato and potato leaves, garlic and onions, oatmeal, coconut, chilis, cookies, candy, chocolate, junk food, and any seeds or pips. Additionally, certain foods like chard and broccoli should only be given in moderation.

Contact your Carteret County, NC veterinarians for further guidance.

Bunnies All Have Individual Personalities

Each bunny has its own personality, just like any other animal. Some bunnies are very affectionate. Others? Not so much. Floppy may prefer to sit beside you rather than curl up on your lap. That’s fine! She may also show affection by rubbing her chin on you or grooming you.

Be Ready To Commit! 

Sadly, rabbits are frequently bought on a whim. People get charmed by Floppy’s adorable appearance and make the impulsive decision to bring her home, without fully understanding how much care she requires.

It doesn’t help that rabbits are frequently gifted to children … who often quickly lose interest in them. This happens a lot around Easter. Every year, by the end of April, there is a new batch of bunnies being rehomed or given up to shelters. Tragically, some are even abandoned in the wild. This is heart-wrenching, because pets are not equipped to thrive on their own. Dumped bunnies face danger from weather conditions, predators, sickness, and accidents, and often don’t last very long.

If you find an abandoned bunny, contact a local shelter or bunny rescue. Also, make sure you won’t contribute to the issue. Before adopting a bunny of your own, do lots of research, and be sure you’re ready to commit. 

Learn How To Bond With A Rescue Rabbit

In order to win Floppy’s heart, you must start by earning her trust. Good TLC will go a long way, as will being gentle and friendly. Remember, rabbits are prey animals in the wild, and they are easily frightened. Don’t force attention on Floppy, or expect to feel comfortable with you right away.

Here are some tips:

  • Strike up a conversation. Use a friendly, gentle tone when talking to your pet. The tone of your voice is more important than what you’re saying.
  • Make sure not to scare your pet by making loud noises or sudden movements. Rabbits can be very nervous, so sudden sounds or commotions may frighten them.
  • Never pick up or hold Floppy against her will. That could scare her and may very well do more harm than good. Hold treats or grass out to her, and softly call her to her.
  • Go ahead and offer treats. Your pet’s sweet tooth can come in handy here. Floppy might love apples, strawberries, dried bananas, and melons. Make sure to stick to safe treats.
  • Sit or lie down on the floor so you don’t tower over your little buddy. We’re pretty big and imposing from Floppy’s perspective! 
  • Get to know bunny body language. Happy bunnies are generally playful and curious. They may even give you binkies, which are bunny happy dances. You should also be aware of the signs of anxiety. These include freezing, sitting hunched, acting aggressively, and flattening the ears.

Don’t Let Floppy Get Lonely

Bunnies tend to be happier with friends. You may want to consider getting a bonded pair. Your furry pals can share many of their things, so you’ll get double the cuteness without the double the cost.

Understand Your Bunny’s Need To Chew

Chewing is essential for bunnies. Floppy isn’t trying to destroy your things, but rather trying to keep her teeth healthy. Wild bunnies eat a lot of tough roots and fibers. Their teeth have adapted to this, and never stop growing. Pet rabbits eat much softer foods, though, so it’s important for them to wear their teeth down in other ways. Otherwise, they may grow too long, which can result in painful dental issues.

Floppy will require a pretty endless supply of chew toys. You don’t have to break the bank here: many cardboard, wood, and wicker toys are fine. There are plenty of options for easy DIY toys you can make for your furry friend. You can also offer fruit tree branches, as long as they have been cleaned. Any products with small parts or decorative substances, such as glitter or dye, should be avoided. Ask your veterinarian for specific advice.

Don’t Skip The Bunnyproofing

You’ll need to thoroughly petproof your home, both to make it safe for your furry friend and to protect your belongings from those little teeth. Keep anything you don’t want Floppy gnawing on out of paws’ reach. That list includes small or sharp objects, personal items like phones, shoes, and purses, cords and wires, and plastic bags. In addition, you’ll need to cover furniture legs, baseboards, and wires with protective coverings. It’s also good to block off holes behind and beneath furniture. Contact your Carteret County, NC veterinarian for more information.

In Conclusion: Bunnies are adorable pets, but they require a lot of care and attention. Before adopting one, consider your options carefully and do plenty of research.

Our Carteret County, NC veterinary clinic is here to help with questions about bunny care, and we are dedicated to providing the best possible care. Please contact us for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.

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