Helpful handouts for pet adopters, owners & educators
Pet Behavior and Health Handouts
Helpful Information for Rabbit Adopters
One of the single most frequent questions about rabbits as companions is: Are rabbits more like cats or dogs? The answer: neither. Dogs and cats have been bred for centuries to not be afraid of humans. Rabbits have been bred primarily for meat, fur and physical characteristics, which means that when you adopt a bunny, you adopt a lovely, domestic animal with the heart and spirit of a wild animal. It is much more challenging to win the trust of this sensitive, intelligent creature than it is to win the heart of a puppy or kitten, which has been bred to trust you from birth.
House Rabbit Toys
Toys are important because they provide mental stimulation. Without challenging activities to occupy your rabbit when you’re not home, your rabbit, especially a solitary rabbit, will get bored. This could lead to depression and/or excessive destruction. The creative use of toys can extend your rabbit’s life by keeping him interested in his surroundings, giving him the freedom to interact with those surroundings and allowing him to constantly learn and grow.
How to Build a Bunny Box
A bunny box is basically a large cardboard box with door holes and extras. Start with a large cardboard box about two feet by three feet and eighteen inches high. Then, add layers of flattened cardboard boxes to the bottom until the pile is about three inches thick. You can also put a smaller box inside the larger box.
House Rabbit Habitats
Rabbits are very social creatures and require as much attention and stimulation as a cat or dog. Because of this requirement, rabbits tend to be happier, healthier, better adjusted, and more affectionate if housed indoors. Rabbits also tend to live longer, happier and healthier lives in pairs or groups. Companionship is very important to bunnies.
Introducing House Rabbits
Taking the time, reading up and waiting for two spayed or neutered rabbits to be introduced will ensure you the best possible chance at a loving, bonded relationship.
House Rabbit Health
Rabbits may act as if they’re hardy creatures, but they are, in fact, extremely delicate – from their skin to their spines to their external systems. Care must be taken to maintain their good health, but a well- cared-for rabbit can live 12 to 15 years. The following basics are necessary to know in order to groom rabbits safely and to help keep them healthy.
House Rabbit Dietary Recommendations
A rabbit’s diet should be made up of high-quality pellets, fresh hay (alfalfa, timothy or oat), fresh water and fresh vegetables. Anything beyond that is a “treat” and should be given in limited quantities. Any food that is picked fresh must be thoroughly rinsed and cannot be fed if sprayed with herbicides or pesticides.
House Rabbit Behavior
It is easier to train rabbits if you understand that their behavior.
Private Consult Homework
After your private consult start working on conditioning your dog to the clicker.
Positive reinforcement is the presentation of something pleasant or rewarding immediately following a behavior. It makes that behavior more likely to occur in the future, and it is a powerful tool for shaping or changing your cat’s behavior.