Bunny Care Guide: The Importance Of Handling Your Bunny
At one time it was considered perfectly okay to have your rabbit in a little hutch down the back of the garden, poke carrot at it occasionally, and that was about it. Times have changed dramatically since the 'bad old days' however, and rabbit owners have come forward in leaps and bounds when it comes to how they care for and look after their bunnies. However a great deal of misinformation still abounds when it comes to rabbits, and one of them concerns handling.
Many people don't handle their rabbits nearly enough. They may have been bitten or scratched in the past, or perhaps they just haven't found it necessary to handle their rabbit, however handling your rabbit is very important for the following reasons.
Your rabbit needs to be groomed regularly, even if it is short haired. It also needs it's nails clipped on a regular basis. If you don't handle your bunny regularly, then a fairly simple operation like nail clipping can turn into a nightmare.
If you are familiar with your rabbit and handle it regularly, then you will have a much better idea of how healthy it is. You will be able to see any cuts, scratches, or matts that can build up in the fur, see the condition of it's eyes and ears, and generally have a better sense.
There are times when you are going to have to handle your rabbit, as was mentioned before with regards to nail clipping, or taking your rabbit to the vet. Rabbits that have not been well handled will find such events amazingly stressful, and may even harm themselves whilst struggling to get away. Regular handling ensures that your rabbit is able to be picked up and touched when it is necessary.
Be aware that even if your rabbit is handled, it may not like it. That is okay. With time, patience, treats (and various other forms of bribery and corruption) your rabbit may come around, or it may not. Many rabbits never really like to be handled, but that isn't really the point. The point is doing it so that they will at least accept it, even if they would rather be somewhere else. Gentle and regular petting sessions, picking your rabbit up gently and making sure it is well supported under it's chest and hind legs are very helpful. You should also practice turning your rabbit over onto it's back so that you can examine its belly and the area under its tail for signs of dirt or other problems. It should go without saying that you should NEVER pick a rabbit up by it's ears. Doing so causes extreme pain to the rabbit, and may lead to serious injury for the bunny.
Learn how to handle your bunny HERE.
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