The Bunny Guy - How To Successfully Live Indoors With A Pet Rabbit.
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Chewing on furniture or carpeting
The area where your rabbit lives and plays should be thoroughly bunny-proofed to keep him safe and to protect your belongings. Bunny-proofing is done three ways; remove the item, create a barrier to it, or cover it with something rabbit proof. It also helps a lot to give them other things to chew on to divert their attention. My rabbits each get a toilet paper tubes stuffed with hay each day and it keeps them busy for hours chewing. Phone books, fruit wood sticks, and other chew toys will also work.
Rabbit shedding fur everywhere
To keep your rabbit healthy and to not have fur flying everywhere, you should practice regular grooming sessions with your bunny. It develops trust and socializes him and prevents him from ingesting his fur when he bathes. Rabbits cannot throw up fur balls like a cat and can cause obstructions inside their digestive system.
Rabbit runs away from you and hides
It takes time for a rabbit to develop the trust necessary for up close interactions. Give him time to get used to you being in his area by getting down on the floor without approaching him. Let him approach you when he is ready. The more time you spend on the floor, the quicker he will understand that you are his friend. It is best to mirror your rabbit's body language, so if he turns sideways to then do the same. This is how rabbits communicate and by not facing him directly head on, he will be more comfortable and feel less threatened.
My rabbit is making noise and keeping me awake at night
Rabbits are crepuscular, which means they are mostly active during the early morning and early evening. They are not nocturnal, so if your rabbit is up and awake late at night it is because he is not getting enough interaction and play time during the day. Usually a rabbit will make noise at when you are trying to sleep in order to get your attention. To get him to stop doing this, give him some quality play time and interaction during your normal waking hours. He will learn that this is the time to get your attention and to play and will stop keeping you up at night.
My rabbit will not eat his hay
Rabbits can become spoiled and have a tendency to eat the foods with the most dense nutrition first. If they are getting too many foods with too much nutrition, such as fruit, treats or pellets, they will not be hungry for their hay. Rabbit's diets should be 85-90 percent hay, so this is very bad. The high fiber in their hay is what keeps their digestive system working properly and prevents common ailments. By removing the sources of high nutrition (fruit, treats, carbohydrates and pellets) your rabbit will eventually become hungry enough to eat his hay. Make sure that his hay is very fresh and not dried out, or he may still reject it as being unpalatable.
Leaving cecotrophes around his living area
Rabbits normally will eat all of these and you should never see them laying around. If it happens occasionally (like once every couple weeks) then I would not worry, but if you are finding these daily then you have a problem. The first reason that a rabbit does not eat his cecotrophes (cecal pellets) is that he is getting too much nutrition from high calorie foods such as pellets, fruit and bad things like corn, beans, seeds, nuts and sweet foods like carrots. If removing these items from his diet does not correct the problem within a few days, then your rabbit needs to see a vet to see if he has some medical issue that needs attending to.
Eats his pellets but not his hay
He is getting too many pellets. Depending on the weight of your rabbit, he should get no more than 1/8 to 1/4 cups of pellets per day. Any more than that will be too much. Rabbits do not even need pellets once they are over six months old. Many rabbit experts do not give their bunnies any at all. Be careful to not give yours too many because theire are dire health consequences if you do.
My rabbit nips me with his teeth
Rabbits communicate with each other in many ways. One of the ways they do is by nipping. When your rabbit nips you, it is similar to a human giving someone an elbow, which means "Hey, pay attention to me" or "You are missing something and are clueless". Your rabbit nipping you is him trying to get your attention to tell you something.
My boy bunny is spraying pee all over the place
He needs to be neutered. You cannot train male rabbits to not mark their territory in this way. It is an instinct that is driven by his hormones. Within four to six weeks after neutering surgery, this behavior will usually go away. The longer your rabbit has been doing this behavior, sometimes the harder it is to get him to stop. It becomes a habit and so it is always best to neuter your boy bunny as soon as possible.
My rabbit is digging my carpet in the corners
Rabbits like to dig, especially females who dig burrows to prepare for their young. Unspayed females tend to dig a lot more than spayed ones do. Rabbits have an instinct to dig at the end of a tunnel. A corner looks like the end of a tunnel to a rabbit and so they will tend to dig there. They will also often do digging behavior in their hidey box which again is just like a tunnel to them. I cover the area that they dig with tile or carpet sample squares. It does not stop the behavior but it protects my carpeting. Sometimes barriers can be erected to keep them from the corner that they want to dig in. I check the material I cover the spot with regularly to insure that my rabbit has not chewed or moved it to create damage.
My rabbit has stopped eating and pooping
This is a serious emergency and your rabbit needs to see a rabbit specialist vet ASAP. Time is critical because your rabbit can die within 24 hours of not eating or pooping. A couple hours can be the difference between them surviving or not. Do not hesitate to take him to the vet if you notice this very common issue.
My dog or cat vet does not know much about rabbits
You should never take a bunny to anything but a rabbit specialist. There are many years of special study and experience that is required to successfully treat sick rabbits. Give your bunny the best chance of making it through an illness by always taking him to a rabbit specialist vet.
My rabbit boxes and bites other rabbits
Rabbits are extremely territorial and two unbonded rabbits should never be put together. In order to allow two rabbits to live and play together, you must perform a special procedure called "bonding". Once they are bonded, rabbits will get along without serious fighting. Rabbits who are fighting must be stopped immediately or they can seriously injure each other.
My rabbit chews computer and phone cords
You cannot train a rabbit to not chew cords. It is something that all rabbits will do. Just because a rabbit has never chewed cords before does not mean that one day he will not decide to do it. It is universal amongst rabbits to love chomping them. If you cannot remove a cord from his abode or play area, then I highly recommend covering it with store bought or homemade cord protectors. While cord protectors are not completely bunny-proof, they tend to discourage most rabbits from chewing them. They can still chew through them, but usually will not.
My rabbit does loud thumps
Rabbits have their own way of communicating and thumping is either a warning of perceived danger or an expression of dissatisfaction. If you put your rabbit inside his condo before he is ready, he may thump at you when you put him inside. He is telling you that he is not happy about it.
My rabbit runs at top speed and jumps crazily into the air
This is a rabbit dance and it is a sign that he is very happy and contented. These dances are also called "binkies" by bunny lovers and personally I think they are one of the most fun things about having a pet rabbit. If your rabbit never dances, chances are that you are not giving him a large enough exercise or run area to play in. As rabbits get older, they tend to not binky as often, but they are universal for happy rabbits and they all do it.
My rabbit makes grinding noises when I pet him
Rabbits purr just like cats when they are happy. They do this by grinding their teeth. This is not to be confused with teeth clicking which is much louder and a sign of pain or discomfort.
My rabbit is sitting hunched over and clicking his teeth
This is a sign that your rabbit is in pain and needs to see his vet immediately. Never hesitate when you realize that your rabbit is hurting. They have a tendency to mask their pain until it is so severe that they are in serious medical trouble. When you notice their discomfort is the time to get him directly to the vet.