All about Rabbits(bunnies), sounds and eating habits
My Dutch Rabbit
Rabbits are an all around great pet. Although they do require a decent amount of care and can become ill quite easily. They are a really inexpensive animal and they really do make a great first pet for any one.
They are a pray animal which means they are eaten out in the wild so their natural behavior will reflect that. They are always on the look out and always making sure the coast is clear before they continue on there merry way.
This all depends on your rabbit, some rabbits like to be held and cuddled with and some like to just play a lot. Bonding with your new friend can be a challenge but in the end is always worth it. When they feel close to you and trust you, you will know this by the way they act and respond to different situations. When starting out the best thing to do is introducing your friend to his/her new home. When you get them into their cage just simply open the door and let them explore on their own. When they feel comfortable they will move about without a care in the world. Another thing you can do is by feeding your new friend treats start off slow with a spoon, moving your hand closer each time until your hand is touching them while they are enjoying their treat. By doing this your rabbit now associates your hand and smell with care and treats.
There are a lot of different sounds your rabbit will make just letting you know how they feel.
- Grunting/growling- This is the rabbits way of saying they do not approve what you or another rabbit is doing. Translation "Back off, I really don't like that!"
- Honking-An almost an inaudible sound associated with courting. Translation, "I'm in love and I want you now!" This is also accompanied with circling.
- Tooth Clicking- This is a very light sound showing contentment. Translation, " Please don't stop loving me."
- Tooth Grinding- Indicates pain, stress or discomfort. Translation "please help me I'm in extreme pain!"
- Whimpering, Squeaks- Indicated pain and distress as well.
- Screaming- Indicates great fear or danger. Translation, "I think I might die please help me!"
Rabbits also use their bodies to tell you what's going on. They do a lot of things that will make you laugh or could cause concern.
- The Bunny 500- When your rabbit takes off and runs in crazy circles and sometimes throwing some binky means that your rabbit is happy and full of life. Translation- "life is good and I am having fun!'
- Binking- Your rabbit is jumping really high and twisting it's lower half while in mid-air, you rabbit is telling you they are happy and very excited.
- Flopping- To new owners, they seem concerned when their rabbit flops over on it's side. It is okay, they are just very relaxed.
- Chinning- When you first bring your new pet into your home, there is a lot of new sights and smells so your rabbit may run around putting their chin on everything. Translation "I have been here/this is mine!"
- Licking- A sign of affection, if your rabbit starts licking your face or fingers, be happy your friend is saying they love you!
- Nibbling- When you rabbit starts lightly nibbling on your fingers, your rabbit is just grooming you. Translation " You are alpha and I like you!"
You rabbit has it's very own personality, you may never get licked or groomed by your friend but never fear, there are many signs that says your rabbit is comfortable around you. The biggest one is when your rabbit is sitting next to you grooming itself, the reason this is a sign of trust is because the rabbit looses some line of sight while grooming.
If you have more than one rabbit you can tell whose the alpha by seeing whose whiskers are longer. Once rabbits decide who is alpha, the alpha will chew down the other rabbits whiskers. Don't worry this is a normal thing.
Yes, your rabbit can be trained. They will understand very simple commands like no and come. They will also learn their name just by repeating to them while you have them out. The first thing you want to do training wise is training them not to bite hard and going to the bathroom where you don't want them to. When they are still babies (kits) they will bite hard not meaning to. When they do tap them lightly on the nose and place them in their cage. It's as easy as that once you do that four or five times they will get the idea and that bad habit will stop. The same goes for potty training, just a light tap on the nose and back in the cage. It will take a couple of mistakes but it will be done. When it comes to the more detailed training make sure you have their favorite treat on hand. Having the a treat they like best will help with the training!
Food and health
Yes of course your rabbit needs food, but your rabbit also needs a lot of hay or vegetables. They reason they need more of these is because it helps keep their teeth down. The hay needs to be ground down for them to swallow it. So by using their back teeth they achieve a lot including keeping their teeth ground down. Unlike human teeth your rabbits teeth will keep growing until it can cause some serious medical problems. Their teeth can grow right through their gums which can cause them to stop eating altogether. For an average sized rabbit they should be eating less than 50g of dry food a day. Though it tastes better to them, they don't really need it the hay and vegetables provide them with everything they need.
What to do?
What should you do if your rabbit is not eating any hay. There is plenty of things you can do, hay much like apples have different tastes. So you have to find what your rabbit likes, they can be really picky at times. You can also add dry food to their hay so while they are looking for the good stuff they are more likely to eat some hay on the way. Another thing you can do is place hay where your rabbit likes to sit they are more likely to eat it when they are relaxed, it's like a lazy snack for them.
When should I take my rabbit to the Vet?
You should be taken him/her to the vet every year for check ups, only because they tend not no show signs of illness until it is to late. Most of them time there are some small signs that you can tell. Change of eating habits, changes in stool, crust on the eyes ears or nose. Discharge from the nose, eyes or ears, signs of mites, wheezing is a big one when you hear your rabbit start to wheeze you need to get them to vet A.S.A.P. this can be from their teeth all the way up to heart problems.
Every owners worst nightmare. I have avoided this topic but just getting our friend back made it a lot easier. Your going to be scared at first reading that paper saying what could possibly happen but don't worry! Even though your rabbit is a fragile critter 9 times out of 10 they come out just fine from anesthesia. The best thing to do is make sure your buddy feels welcomed back home. Signs to watch out for, depression is a big one, also watch for change any kind of change and report back to your vet A.S.A.P. Like mentioned before your friend will try not to show there is anything wrong but when coming back from surgery any change could be bad and or deadly so make sure you watch out for a couple days and follows the vets home orders to the T and your buddy should be just fine!
Death is uncontrollable some times sudden and painful experience. However it is a part of life we just recently lost our little friend that inspired this Hub. Mr. Oreo Bunny :). The question remains what did you want to do with the body, we opted for cremation to a trusted place I have always took my beloved pets. This process is entirely up to you, we choose this route because we often buy jewelry that we can place the ashes into. I personally like the rings and I have a little bit of each animal placed into it. Again this is entirely up to you, many people are happy with pet cemeteries.