How to Make Your Rabbit Happy
Is your rabbit a happy bunny? Of course, any pet parent only wants their beloved furry friend to be happy and healthy, so how exactly can you fulfil your rabbit’s needs? Here are our top tips for how to make your rabbit happy!
Good Diet and Fresh Water
First and foremost to ensure your rabbit is happy, they’ll need a good, balanced diet and a constant supply of fresh water. Just as we feel our best when we’re eating well and staying hydrated, so do our pet rabbits! In fact, a large cause of illness in these animals can be traced back to dangerous or wrongly proportioned feeding.
Therefore, a rabbit’s diet should consist of around 80% high-quality hay, and they should always have an unlimited supply available to them. However, hay alone will not provide your pet with all of the nutrients they require. They should also then be given pellet food with ideally a 20-25% fibre content. Muesli style foods should be avoided when choosing a feed for your pet rabbit. This can unfortunately lead to complications with a rabbit’s digestive system and cause issues with a rabbit’s ever-growing teeth.
Your fluffy friend should also be supplied with greens as part of their diet. However, just be mindful that leafy green vegetables such as spinach, chard and cabbage, whilst nutritious, must be given in moderation. To find out more about the best diet for your rabbit, read our previous blog What Should Rabbits Eat? which will tell you everything your rabbit needs to consume to stay happy and healthy!
Water Bottle or Bowl?
When it comes to giving your rabbits water, there are two options – a bottle or a bowl. Fortunately, Omlet has both to choose from! Ultimately, what it comes down to is that giving your rabbit water from a bowl is a more natural way for a rabbit to drink. Bowls, however, can be knocked over and wet your rabbit’s bedding. On the flip side, a water bottle helps to reduce water waste and helps to keep your rabbit’s water supply at one temperature.
Give Your Rabbit Yummy Treats
As well as providing your rabbit with a healthy, balanced diet, giving your rabbit a few yummy treats will go a long way too! Most rabbits also love fresh vegetables so you can even offer these as a treat too. To find a list of what vegetables are suitable for your rabbit to remain happy and healthy, read our blog Which Fruit and Vegetables Can I Feed my Rabbit? for some further clarification.
Protection From Illness, Injury and Disease
None of us like feeling under the weather, including our floppy-eared friends! Your rabbit’s health is paramount to keeping them happy! It’s important that as a responsible owner, you stay on top of everything they need to protect them from illness, injury and disease.
If you are concerned that your rabbit’s normal behaviour has changed, or you suspect they are unwell at all, do not hesitate to take them to their vet.
They Need Somewhere Suitable to Live
There’s no place like home! Rabbits need a secure and suitable place to live, whether you’re keeping a rabbit inside your house, or they are in a hutch like Omlet’s Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch outside. The Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch is a great choice for pet rabbits, perfect for all year round and suitable to house up to two happy rabbits.
Rabbits also of course need rabbit bedding to stay happy! Dirty bedding increase the chances of them developing horrible conditions such as myiasis, also known as flystrike for a start. Also, your rabbit won’t be happy staying in an unclean environment. In general, these pets like to stay clean and will look after themselves by licking away dirt.
Your Omlet Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch can also easily be extended to offer your rabbit more outside space. Rabbits need to be kept on their toes and with such powerful hind legs that can reach 50 miles per hour, they need space to run! The Omlet Zippi Playpen is ideal for making sure your rabbit has enough room to hop around to their heart’s content, whilst keeping safe. Similarly, the Outdoor Rabbit Run will keep rabbits secure when exploring, and since it’s extendable in width, length and height, it’s suitable for rabbits of all sizes!
House Rabbits Too!
If you opt to keep domestic rabbits as house pets, then the same applies in that your rabbit’s home still needs to be somewhere they feel safe and comfortable. You’ll need to rabbit proof your home for one, if you do decide to go down this route. This means that you will need to consider all potential hazards e.g. electrical cables, furniture, and house plants to ensure your home is suitable. Furthermore, if you are planning on litter training your rabbit, might want to consider neutering them. Neutered rabbits are a lot easier to litter train. In fact, an unneutered rabbit is almost impossible to litter train completely!
Give Your Rabbit Lots of Attention
Rabbits love attention from their owners once they’re comfortable. And just like any other pet, you should interact with your bunny to continue building a long-lasting bond. You can do this via play, training, or simply speaking to them! Talk to your rabbit in a soft tone, and they’ll soon get used to your voice. You should be able to tell if your rabbit is enjoying your company with a few tell-tale signs that we’ll go into shortly.
Respect Your Rabbit’s Boundaries
As with any animal, it’s important to respect a rabbit’s boundaries to ensure they live a happy life. Whilst rabbits are sociable animals who love showing their owners affection and make for great pets, the average rabbit is also naturally nervous, being prey animals.
One way to respect your rabbit’s boundaries is by reading their body language and responding based on this. For example, a happy rabbit will do ‘the bunny flop’ when they’re feeling happy and relaxed, whereby they will roll on their back with their legs in the air. However, a nose nudge could mean your rabbit wants to be left alone. If you’re new to keeping rabbits, you might be a bit unfamiliar with reading this language. Take a read of our Learn to Read your Rabbit’s Body Language so that you are able to identify when your rabbit is, or isn’t, in the mood to play”
What Noise Do Rabbits Make When They Are Happy?
A rabbit will also communicate vocally to let you know how they’re feeling. The sound of low grunting and grinding of teeth means that the rabbit is content and relaxed. However, if your rabbit lets out a scream, this is their way of telling you that they’re scared or in a lot of pain. As you develop a bond with your bunny, it will become easier to identify how they’re feeling and their likes.
Do Bunnies Like Being Held?
Generally speaking, rabbits do not like being held. Even more so if they have not become accustomed to it from a young age. Therefore, for this reason, some rabbit breeds don’t fit in well with households with small children. This being said, breeds like the French Lops and Dutch Rabbits are renowned for getting on well with young children who will be tempted to touch the new pet! For a bit more breed information on what would work best, read Omlet’s rabbit breed guide.
Create Fun Play Areas
Healthy rabbits need to be kept entertained to remain happy and in the best condition they can be! You can do this by creating lots of fun play areas in their outdoor run space or make your house rabbit happy by introducing accessories to the home. Outdoors, the Zippi Rabbit Playtunnel and Zippi Rabbit Run Platforms are great ways to make sure that your rabbit is mentally stimulated. Platforms also prevent the risk of obesity and injury. Both of this are to be avoided if you want to keep your rabbit happy!
Omlet’s Zippi Rabbit Shelter is also brilliant to add to your rabbit’s environment. Since rabbits have a natural instinct to seek a hidey hole, the Zippi Rabbit Shelter provides this desired protection from the outside elements, as well as being somewhere your pet can sit safely in, whilst observing their surroundings.
Likewise, a Zippi Rabbit Tunnel also encourages a rabbit’s natural instinct to burrow, and a tunnel provides them with a sense of safety and shelter. You can give your bunny rabbits their own warren by connecting their rabbit hutch.
Give Your Rabbit Massages
Did you know that rabbits love massages?! So much so, that rabbits who have regular massages are said to be calmer and less stressed than pet rabbits that don’t! You should always be gentle and move slowly when massaging your rabbit and use a long gliding stroke. Start from down your rabbit’s head, following on to their neck and back. Eventually, end at the top of your rabbit’s tail. It goes without saying that you should gauge how your rabbit is reacting and of course stop if you sense that they’re not relaxed or enjoying the massage. However, if they are, continue to gently massage around their neck and ear base.
Introduce Your Rabbit to a Companion
Whilst your pet rabbit can live a happy life as an ‘only rabbit’, they’ll also appreciate another rabbit friend for them to live with. Getting companion rabbits is a good idea because whilst this desire for having a friend can partially be met with their human pal i.e. you, rabbits can potentially get lonely without a rabbit companion of their own.
Again, because rabbits are a prey species, they enjoy the presence of and find comfort in a friend. One reason for this is because it means not having to look out for predators by themselves. This can then cause a rabbit to be anxious. However, do note that if you do get rabbits of the opposite sex, you will need to spay or neuter them to prevent baby bunnies. There are also other advantages to this, such as reducing the chances of female rabbits developing uterine cancer for example.
Use Positive Reinforcement Training
Whilst training a rabbit might not exactly be the same as training a dog, rabbits do require mental stimulation. Training is a great way of doing this! You can even train a rabbit to do a few tricks like how to give you a high 5! Find out how with this How to Teach Your Guinea Pigs and Rabbits Tricks blog, but the key here is to praise your pet when they’ve demonstrated the behaviour that you have asked for and never to shout at them when they have done something you don’t want.
Give Them a Variety of Toys
Finally, give your rabbit a variety of rabbit toys to play with! There’s a wide range of rabbit toys available, designed to enrich your pets’ environment! As a rabbit owner, it’s your job to find out what your rabbit likes best.
Don’t forget that getting a rabbit is a long term commitment. It’s essential to do your research to ensure you can offer them a fulfilled happy life! If you have a rabbit already, hopefully, after these top tips, you can get the spring back in their step!
This entry was posted in Rabbits