Which is Better Home, a Rabbit Cage or a Rabbit Hutch?

What to Choosebunnieselfie
Are you trying to decide whether to get a cage or a hutch for your rabbit? If so, there are many things you should consider before making your decision. Let’s go over some things to help you make the best choice for little furry friend.

Benefits of Cages
The number one reason to get one is that you are putting the enclosure inside. This isn’t a steadfast rule, simply a good place to start. These usually wire-based enclosures won’t be an eyesore inside your house. In fact, they can look pretty great in the right location. The best part is you will be able to easily see your pet at all times.

bunnycageAnother advantage is that they’re relatively portable. If you think you will need to move your pet around a lot, or take them to other locations, it will be pretty easy to do. Not only are they easy to transport, they’re also quite sturdy as well. If cared for, they can last a very long time. Also, their open design allows for quick and easy cleaning. Some might even have a built-in litter box system that makes cleaning even simpler.

Disadvantages of Cages
Simply put, they don’t provide much actual shelter or protection for your pet. If you were to keep it outdoors, your pet would be vulnerable to inclement weather, animal attacks and other dangers. For example, it would be very easy for rain to get in or even a predator. You wouldn’t want them to become coyote food.

Think about how cold it can be in the winter. For safety reasons, you wouldn’t want to expose your pet to the cold winter air. Now think about how warm it can get in the summer. Inclement weather can arrive quickly. Will your pet be properly protected from the elements?

They usually are not considered to be permanent fixtures. Therefore, for ease of movement, they tend to be on the smaller side. This isn’t an ideal situation. Bunnies usually prefer to have as much extra space as possible and open space is important for their health as well.

Benefits of Hutcheshutch
A hutch will usually be the most obvious choice for your big-eared buddy’s shelter. They’re the most common choice for a rabbit home, especial one that will be located outdoors. One great thing about them is they can be made fairly large, and be customized to your liking. If you really wanted to, you could get some wood and add additional living space to the hutch, such as an extra area for them to run around.

Many of them also have flat bottoms, which is a lot better for your bunny’s feet than hard wires. If the floor still isn’t soft enough you could easily add something like cardboard or padding to make things more bunny-friendly. Consider adding a special warm and comfortable area to be their bed.

A hutch will usually be made from wood and other materials. When it comes to where your pet will be living, quality materials are important. The enclosure will act as a bed, litter box and playground for your little friend. They will even eat their food in there. You will want to make sure that everything is perfect for them.

Disadvantages of Hutches
Depending on how they’re designed, it can sometimes be hard to see your rabbit in action. They also tend to be quite closed in, allowing very little light to shine through. It may also be rare for your little friend to get a glimpse of the outside world.

Another disadvantage is that some of them simply aren’t that good. Naturally, some will be better than others, but there are some out there that are far from being sturdy. This can make things a little tricky when you’re shopping for one. Some might even be unsafe for your bunny, due to being too weak to offer proper protection. You obviously wouldn’t want them to be in danger due to a faulty enclosure. You may have to do a little research to know what problem areas to look for. After all, quality and safety are the most important aspects of your pet’s enclosure

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Binking and Other Pet Rabbit Behaviors Explained

cutestbunny“Run and play, little rabbit,” said the Fairy to the Velveteen Rabbit … but the real-live bunny did oh so much more than run and play. He binked, he nose-bonked, he flipped, and he flopped. He growled, thumped, nipped, and the adorable little guy even purred. The fact is that hares are intelligent, multifaceted little balls of fur that, though they may be quiet most of the time, exhibit all sorts of complex behaviors, and if you’re one of the lucky caretakers of a pet rabbit, you would do well to learn all about the etiquette of bunny behaviors.

Binking
Hares are renowned for their funny little demeanors, and binking is one the most notable ways they communicate jubilation. If your little lagomorph is performing a wild dance for you … leaping, twisting, and kicking her feet … she is trying to communicate how happy she is, and she may even be feeling a little mischievous. If she’s really excited, she’ll get even more wild, with multiple binks performed consecutively.

Nose bonking
Nose bonking is one of the funny little tools your pal uses to better understand his environment. Much the way a dog or other animals use it, a hare doing a little nudging, nose-bonking action with his nose and sniffing his surroundings nosebonkingis used as an investigative tool. It can also mean he is trying to get your attention. Beware, though, because if you see him nudging his little nose, he may even be trying to be boss over you!

Flopping
Your little cottontail is famous for his flipping and flopping. If you find your chum is doing a lot of flopping these days, be happy about it! He’s flopping around like that because he’s as content as he can be, feeling at ease with you and his life in general.

Growling
Growling isn’t something your lagomorph does when he’s just feeling a little mischievous. He does this when he’s getting stressed out and even territorial. There’s something on his turf, and he sure doesn’t like it. Grunting and growling are signs of aggression. If you’re seeing this behavior, something you’re doing is making him mad, and even feeling territorial, and you would do well to step off.

Thumping
Just like in the movie Bambi, when the typically care-free little Thumper can’t help but smack his tail on the ground, thumping is also a sign of stress. This time, however, it’s because your pal is perceiving possible peril on her turf. She’s afraid for herself, but she’s also signaling to all in the area that danger may be afoot.

Nipping
Nipping is just their way of seeking attention. They’re not trying to hurt you; they’re just trying to get you to pet them or pay them some attention, and they want it now. However, if the nipping is getting a little on the aggressive side, spaying or neutering can lessen the nipping conduct.

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Purring
Purring isn’t just for cats. It’s actually a teeth grinding that hares do when they’re showing how much they enjoy the fact that you’re petting or stroking them. However, they will also purr or grind their teeth when they’re in pain. You can tell the difference between purring from pain and purring from pleasure because the pain will make them grind their teeth loudly. Of course, if they’re showing signs of tension or aggression, they’re not purring from happiness.

Pet Rabbits As Gifts: The Good and The Bad

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Rabbits have always been a popular choice as an Easter surprise, but they’ve been increasingly popular lately as gifts for other occasions such as birthdays. Despite their fuzzy appeal, though, there are a lot of drawbacks to giving one as a present. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Potential Benefits of a Gift Bunny
With rabbit ownership up to about 5.3 million bunnies in the United States alone, it’s pretty clear that many people consider them to be a great companion. Bunnies come in a much wider variety of shapes and sizes than most people realize. There are over four dozen different breeds ranging from the tiny Netherland dwarf to the Flemish Giant, which can be over twenty pounds. They come in a range of coat lengths and colors, so there’s probably one out there to suit anyone’s idea of what’s cute.bunnyselfie

The physical appeal isn’t all bunnies have to offer, though. When properly socialized, they can be quite companionable and have a lot more personality than many people realize. They’re both affectionate and full of lively intelligence, displaying individual personalities and interesting behavior that often combines the social traits of a dog and the independence of a cat. Their intelligence allows bunnies to respond well to positive reinforcement. They can be taught to use a litter box, so they can be even be permitted free run of the home as long as chewable wires are picked up.

Bunnies are also pretty inexpensive and require fairly little maintenance. In addition to a generously-sized cage, they need food, fresh water, hay, and litter for the box. Basic health care is also needed, particularly when it comes to being sure the animal is spayed or neutered, and the cage or litter box will need to be cleaned regularly. Other than that, most of what they need is fun and social stimulation, which is the whole reason people want a companion animal around in the first place!

With all of these positive attributes, they can be a great idea for a gift as long as the potential owner is totally on-board. Just because it’s a present doesn’t mean it has to be a surprise, so let the recipient make the decision. That way they’ll be able to prepare, and you’ll be able to share the fun of picking out the perfect bunny.

Problems with Giving a Rabbit as a Present
Despite the good things about bunnies, giving a live animal as a gift is always tricky, so don’t buy one on impulse. A new pet comes with an obligation to take care of it. In this case, that obligation can last ten years or more. While the maintenance required is not as intense as, for example, a dog, busy people or travelers may feel encumbered by the need to give food and water, refill hay, and clean the cage, and lack of time for playing will lead to a bored rabbit that could develop behavior problems like excessive chewing.cleancage

The expense of health care may also be a concern for some people, particularly in areas where small animal veterinarians are pricier. If the recipient cannot afford to have their new pet spayed or neutered, they could end up with an animal that is territorial and aggressive or one that sprays urine on the walls. The concern around flea bites comes up. Just make sure you have the flea facts when it comes to rabbits.

The biggest potential danger in giving someone a bunny is that the person simply might not want it in the home. An unappreciated gift is fine when it can just be tossed in a closet, but when it’s a living creature, it can end very badly. The worst-case scenario is a neglected animal that winds up being sent to a humane shelter and possibly even euthanized.

In the long run, giving a companion animal to someone that cannot or does not want to take care of it is a recipe for disaster for both the animal and the reluctant owner. Don’t risk a surprise; instead, be sure that the pet is wanted before going ahead with the gift to make sure it will be welcome and loved.

House Bunny: The Joys of a Rabbit Companion

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People who are considering bringing rabbits into their homes for the first time should learn about the habits and behavior of these beautiful, spunky animals. When adopting one or more bunnies, you are taking on a responsibility as well as enlivening your home’s environment. Remember that these animals are delightful, but willful animals.

Bunnies sometimes perplex their new owners by sitting quietly, passively one moment and then chewing holes in the wall-to-wall carpeting a few seconds later. These intriguing creatures also have a knack for creative carpentry and will sometimes shave off the bottom corners of your home’s woodwork with their teeth. Your new furry friend may nip your ankles or bite your hand affectionately. He or she may even grab a magazine or book out of your hand and bite off the edges as a part of the normal daily routine. However, once you and your new hare get fully acquainted and understand one another, you will agree that bunnies can be extremely warm and endearing home companions.

How to Decide Whether to Adopt a Hare Companion
First of all, to be the happy owner of a home that includes a hare as part of the household, you must be patient and have a hearty sense of humor. In general, it is helpful to bonding if you are not overly upset when home furnishings or personal effects are chewed or damaged. However, the key is to hare-proof your home before adopting. Once you have done this, even if your hare does occasionally bite off the ends of the curtains or gnaw holes in your couch cushions, you will be able to laugh at these mishaps as minor inconveniences.questions

To truly enjoy the benefits of having a hare in the home, you need a daily schedule that allows you to spend much of your time at home. The alternative, of course, is to have another family member or housekeeper in your home while you are away. One important requirement for having a contented animal at home is learning to spend a great deal of time on the floor interacting with your furry friend. The best hare owners are willing to learn a new code of response, body language and communication. They are also people who have strong respect for their bunnies as well as great affection.

The True Joys of Having a Hare at Home
Once you get to know and understand your home bunny, you will realize that if your animal attempts to chew bunnyeatthrough the telephone cord while you are making a phone call, he or she is not objecting to your call or even trying to distract you. You have just drawn your animal’s attentions to an interesting object for exploration and possible alterations. Bunnies can be quite cuddly and affectionate at times, and when sitting quietly, they like to have their fur stroked. They usually relate well to children as long as each child shows respect for them, and they are calmer when spayed. The House Rabbit Society focuses on educating all potential hare owners to understand that bunnies are not “pets” in the traditional sense. Although hares can be trained to some extent, owners must accept bunnies as equal inhabitants of the home environment, respecting temperament and behavioral differences between them and humans.

Bunnies often like to be nearby when you or other members of your family are engaged in activities at home. During quiet times, your furry friend will enjoy sitting close beside you while you read, watch television or spend time on your computer. When a baby or children play games on the floor, bunnies like to be close by, either resting peacefully or moving around the playing area and bonding. Bunnies are very beautiful animals, and they also can be quite inspiring to humans because of their need to be busy with an activity or project during their waking hours. When you recognize this need and give your bunnies a constant supply of working materials like chewable and moveable items, they will be happy. The best working supplies for hares are wooden items, old towels or rugs, cardboard, pine cones, twigs and straw.

Similarities Between Hare and Human Habits and Actionsmypetbunny
Both human beings and bunnies need their own space. Just as you need your own room or area for time to yourself, so does your hare. Bunnies need cages or enclosed space for resting and sleeping. It is also helpful to allow them a designated running space indoors. Hares in the home should never be treated harshly even if they have damaged major home furnishings. Be aware that bunnies may retaliate with harsh behavior like biting or additional destructiveness if treated harshly.

Litter Training Your Pet Rabbit: 3 Tips For Success

bunnyearsCaring for a rabbit and building a relationship with your furry friend can be just as fulfilling as owning a larger animal. Many people are surprised to learn that, with proper commitment, they can be fairly easily litter trained, allowing them the freedom to play outside of their cage more, if you feel comfortable doing so. Below are some tips and tricks for the successful training of your animal, helping to aid you toward the right path to owning a well-behaved companion.

Initiating Litter Training
If you decided to start training your house rabbit, you will need to start the process by placing one box in the corner of her cage. You can then carefully watch her when she is outside of her cage, waiting for signs that she is about to urinate, such as her lifting her tail. When you see any possible signs, it would then be appropriate to encourage her to use her designated box.

As you expand your sweet pet’s play area, you will need additional boxes, at least for a period of time. These should be strategically placed on both levels of the home. You may want to keep in mind that you will need to expand her exercise and play space rather slowly. If you give her the run of the house during the first week, she may not be able to make her way back to her cage, and nobody wants a lost pet.

litterboxPlace three or more boxes on each level, especially in places she is already apt to urinate or pass pills (feces). Eventually, you will be able to remove rarely used boxes, making the number of boxes you have to clean more manageable. In addition, placing a small amount of pills from the box in the cage in the other boxes will signal that they are correct places to eliminate.

Choosing a Litter
There is a great deal of conflicting information about which products are the best to use for your house rabbit. Some products run the risk of being ingested, some are toxic, others can mold, some don’t have a fresh scent, etc. If you want something that will not harm your rabbit, but is also not overly expensive, newspaper and other natural alternatives may be the best choices.
Newspaper with soy-based ink is certainly appropriate to use, but keep in mind that there are other factors to consider and options to choose from.

A thick layer of newspaper may be enough to absorb your animal’s urine, but if not changed frequently, it could leave the house smelling less than fresh. In general, veterinarians will probably want you to stay away from clay, deodorant crystals, anything that clumps, pine and cedar shavings, and corn cob products, as they could pose health problems.

A great suggestion is wood pellets that you would use in a wood pellet stove. Always stay away from wood pellets that are covered in any type of lighter fluid or accelerant. A good indication of this is if the pellets say “fast lighting.” In addition, a natural option made from Aspen bark is safe to use.

Regression and How to Reteach the Basics
Sometimes, it’s possible for you indoor rabbit to maintain great habits for years, but suddenly, she is urinating outside of the box. Two possible reasons for the abrupt change in habits are health issues or external stressors. If you can first make an appointment with your veterinarian, it would be very helpful.

Some possible health reasons for a sudden lack of designated box use include urinary tract infections, E. cuniculi, arthritis, or sludge found in the bladder. If your pet is found to be in good health, turning to the changes at home is a good next step.

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It may take some extra reassurance, time, and treats to bring the animal’s stress level down. Unfortunately, it does not take rabbits more than a few days to unlearn good habits, so disruptions in the home may mean a few weeks of work in order to retrain. A suggestion to aid in helping your little guy learn again is to use a new box in a new location, filled with some hay and treats.