WHAT BUNNIES DONíT LIKE !
by Christine Carter
If you want to have a good relationship with your bunny, to gain his trust, gentleness and appreciation be sure to find out what he does not like. Take heed in the corresponding advice to ensure a lovable pet to enjoy and admire rather than one who endures a life in sadness, stress and fear.
1. Poked or touched on the nose, this is a particularly sensitive area! Bunnies enjoy long slow strokes from their head to rump, ears massaged and gently caressed over the eyes.
2. Held for extensive periods. When he becomes restless and impatiently scratches or nibbles your clothes he needs a break! Usually itís a toilet break as he can only hang on for so long!
3. Car trips, especially in hot weather. Cover the carry cage with a wet towel and place a frozen cordial bottle of water next to him.
4. Visits to vets. Bring your own small carpet square or a clean rubber bath mat to provide a secure footing on the terrifyingly slippery table.
5. Not being able to get out and jump about, run around and enjoy the sunshine. Provide a safe exercise area, perhaps with a pipe, a log or a ramp for her to explore and have lots of fun.
6. Handled roughly, groomed harshly, disciplined with smacks or spraying water in their face. Bunnies take more notice of a stamping sound and a growling voice if you want them to know your displeasure.
7. Harassed or chased by barking aggressive dogs, stalking cats and being exposed to reptiles or disease carrying rodents. She knows she is prey to many and needs your caring protection.
8. Picked up or held incorrectly. It is cruel to lift a rabbit by the ears. He needs to feel secure and supported. Ask an experienced confident rabbit fancier for a demonstration. Rabbits are sensitive and will know if you are nervous so practice until you too are confident.
9. Living in a small hutch with a low roof or one that is overcrowded. Donít cramp his style, make sure his hutch is adequate in size and height.
10. Living in her own filth. Regularly clean out hutches for a healthier happier bunny. The most suitable bedding is a layer of wood shavings with straw or oaten hay on top. Other alternatives are carpet mats (if not consumed) and a litter tray.
11. Having to eat a boring diet of only pellets. Include nutritious hay, vegetables, grass and weeds on her menu .
12. Not being able to drink water when she is thirsty or forced to drink dirty water. She should always have water available in clean bowls or bottles.
13. Immersed in water or bathed. Like cats, rabbits prefer to clean themselves. If an area (such as feet or bottom) becomes particularly dirty run a tap of warm water, wet only the soiled area, soap with a mild shampoo, rinse and towel dry.
14. Loud unexpected noises, try not to startle him by suddenly rushing up to the hutch. If he canít see you coming and is totally unprepared he may take fright and cause serious injury to himself.
15. Cleaning or moving things about in her hutch may upset some territorial bunnies. It is far easier to place her in a carry cage whilst cleaning or sorting things around.