So last week we filled you in on everything you needed to know about a rabbit’s dietary needs, but a healthy bunny doesn’t automatically mean a happy bunny. This week we’ll take you through some quick and easy steps to help you meet your bunny’s welfare needs.
Bunnies are social animals - they like company, and a companion can be one of the best sources of mental stimulation. A bunny’s best match is a male/female mix. If you already have a bunny in your home, introducing a new friend is a tricky task, so make sure you do your research before hopping into a new partnership. And remember to neuter both rabbits - breeding rabbits is very complex and should only be done by an expert.
Rabbits are very loving, inquisitive and intelligent animals. They may come across as silent souls, but they are forever communicating with their subtle ear movements, teeth grinding, feet stamping (in stressful situations), and loveable licks. They even jump for joy to express how happy they are - it’s called a "binkey" and if you see your bunny do it, you know you must be doing something right.
When it comes to toys, there are plenty out there for your rabbit to enjoy and play with: bells, tunnels, gnawing blocks and many others provide great stimulation and keep them busy all day.
Home Is Where The Hop Is
In the wild, a bunny would cover a space of around 30 tennis courts every day, so when it comes to cages, the bigger the better. If you don’t feel comfortable letting your bunny roam free through your home all day, here are some helpful housing must-dos to keep your rabbit happy:
Think Big: Enclosures should be high enough for your bunny to stand upright on its back legs. They need as much space as possible to stretch, run, hop and dig.
Think Cool: Keep the enclosure away from extreme temperatures and draughts.
Think Shelter: Rabbits are prey animals - give them a place to hide and feel safe.
Think Litter: Rabbits CAN be litter-trained, but never use clumping litter - it sticks to their fur and isn’t edible. Choose woodchips or hay.
Think Safety: If you ever need to handle your bunny, picking it up by the ears, scruff or laying it on its back can cause serious injury... so NEVER do it! A rabbit’s spine is extremely delicate. Support your bunny with both hands under the chest and bottom and hold them close to your body.
Love... and other stuff too