Look at your rabbit's ears. First and foremost: get on your rabbit’s level — compared to a human, rabbits are small. Learning how to read your rabbit's body language and give him what he needs will help your rabbit learn to trust you and deepen the bond between human and pet. They need more than one drop at a time. Be sure to keep the room your rabbit lives in at a comfortable temperature. ", girls and the bunnies. Play areas should be rabbit-proofed. Ensure that your rabbit has constant access to fresh, clean drinking water, either from a rabbit bottle or a sturdy bowl that won't be easily tipped over. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. Understanding rabbits’ unique language is helpful when building a bond with your pet rabbit for the long term. Don't force your rabbit to interact with you. If your rabbit exposes his inner eyelid (in the corner of his eye) while being handled, it means he is very anxious or frightened. If your rabbit grinds his teeth, you may be holding him wrong in a way that causes discomfort, or he may be sick and in need of veterinary care. Make sure to support his feet. ", being my first experience with bunnies, I was shocked and nervous to find 8 tiny babies under a nest of fur! In the short term, cover the bed with a thick towel to prevent further damage to bedding. Such devotion is far from apparent at first meetings, which may be marked by aggressive behavior. On the odd occasion that your rabbit will not bond, you need to make sure that they are getting plenty of human interaction and mental stimulation so they do not become lonely and depressed. This could frighten him and send him running back into his cage. I want her to love. Next, offer the rabbit some of its favorite treats and wait for it to approach you rather than lunge for it. If you are quiet and patient she will come over and inspect you. I also like the idea of giving him toys. Don't pick your rabbit up if they don't like being picked up; some prefer to be stroked. With painful paws, the rabbit may become too frightened to move, and, with the lack of eating, this could be very serious. But if you are still worried, spend time with him without pestering him too much. Play with toys together. Perhaps something you've done has scared him, or perhaps something in your home environment is putting him on edge. This article helps me know how to treat it kindly and develop trust. Every pairing is different, as there is not a set path to take. When I first got her, she didn't want to come near me. Make sure that you lift your rabbit in such a way that his legs are all supported, including his back legs. Bonding needs to be done gradually and the rabbits must always be supervised. Although they don’t like to be picked up, most rabbits do desire physical affection. My rabbit is nearly four years old, and he was my first pet, so I wasn't very experienced. Rabbits are a prey species, and their default action is to hide if they feel threatened. Bonding can take time and patience. Give your rabbit time to get used to its surroundings. What should I do if my bunny goes to the bathroom on my bed? He licks me very frequently. Give a few small treats as you are getting to know each other. Give your rabbit a pellet food formula with a minimum of 15 to 19% protein content and 18% fiber content. Let him out of his cage sometimes, and give him treats. If your rabbit's ears are back flat against his body, it means he's letting down his guard and feels safe. Be Patient, don’t rush. If both the rabbits are dominant, a fight or a bite is possible. All it takes is one look from a dog, or a few moments spent with a cat, to know animals are capable of bonding with humans. Rabbits over six months old should be given between 1/8 and 1/4 cup of pellet food per five pounds of body weight daily. ", if it'd be OK to separate them. Thank you! But go gently and very slowly, and watch carefully. Never punish your rabbit for doing something bad. The rabbit now might think that your bed is an appropriate toilet area. A rabbit's natural reaction to pain is to stop eating. It can take time for a rabbit to get used to you so be patient! Use a soothing voice to calm your rabbit. Bonding can take a considerable amount of your time and effort in order to be successful. Declawing is painful surgery, and it is likely to be too traumatic for a rabbit to cope with. In order to bond a rabbit with a cat, you will have to be patient and follow the steps I have discussed here >>> Do cats and rabbits live together? Those big ears are good at conveying sound! She used to, she now bites me HARD.". This is a good opportunity to learn about rabbit body language, and how rabbits communicate. As a precaution, you should have a veterinarian examine your rabbit if he starts to scream. Rabbits are very social animals. This article has been viewed 477,828 times. This article was very helpful! Make this a daily practice until your rabbit gets comfortable being around you. Rabbit bonding means the gradual build-up of friendship among rabbits. To build a relationship with your rabbit you’ve got to get on the same level. As humans have been a direct predator on rabbits for centuries, we need to make friends with our bunny and reassure them they won't become dinner. Unfortunately, this causes the gut to shut down, which can be life-threatening. Make sure to put out several piles of greens, so your rabbits can start with some distance and work up to eating from the same pile. ", the time you have put into preparing and presenting it all so clearly. Make sure that your bunny eats timothy hay, and not alfalfa hay. That tells me how to bond with my two rabbits. Last Updated: March 31, 2020 To build a relationship with your rabbit you’ve got to get on the same level. These deeply emotional creatures crave the companionship of their own kind. A rabbit won’t ever be a cat or a dog. Screaming indicates extreme pain or fear of death. A good diet will keep your rabbit healthy and bonding with him will be much easier as … So far, sounds like my little bunny likes me. Try to stop it by shouting or clapping and ‘saying stop it’ On the other hand, if it is to show affectionate, mounting will be meaning, ‘I love you’, ‘I want you’ or ‘I want to play with you’ and it is part of rabbit bonding. Once bonded, a rabbit will recognize its owner by smell, sound, and sight. Failing to take the time to develop a good relationship can result in unintentional neglect. In addition to sounds and body language, some rabbits will communicate their needs or dislikes by acting in response to human touch. Never yell at your rabbit. Entire rabbits are more territorial so if they aren't already neutered get this done. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. It goes on to say that “coerced closeness” may result in positive memories despite them coming from a stressful situation. ), Feed your rabbit fresh leafy greens. I think it will be helpful for my relationship with my rabbit. If you believe your rabbit is snorting because of a respiratory infection, it's best to have a veterinarian examine him to rule out any illness. Lifting and holding should be kept to a minimum. Always give them their favorite treats, and if your rabbit is still young, try to train him/her drink on a dispenser. Respect your bunny and don't force them to sit and be cuddled. It takes deliberate action on your part to build trust and mutual understanding with these sensitive, intelligent prey animals. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 477,828 times. There, "This article has helped enormously to answer my questions on breeding and caring for my rabbits. Now I know what I can and cannot do and what might help aid in the process of him settling in. What is the purpose of rabbit bonding? The most difficult part of the whole bonding process, according to Edie Sayeg of the Georgia House Rabbit Society, is helping the humans remain patient and learn to think like a rabbit. Most of the time it’s our feet and legs in their field of view. One of the most important relationships a rabbit will ever have is with his caregiver. Make sure your rabbit has a hiding house. Anything higher or lower than that range could prove fatal for your rabbit. If you have a rabbit, it would be best to introduce him to a new friend in a neutral space. But it may not be love at first sight for the two bunnies. Thankfully, they’ll quickly apologize and patch up any differences. One ear forward and one ear back usually means your rabbit has noticed something going on around him, but hasn't quite decided whether that activity is alarming or not. This could take weeks or months but persist and she will accept your presence as a good thing. Speak softly. We recommend it is done at a rescue centre, or by someone very experienced. My sister and I were just trying to bond with, "I rescued 2 rabbits, a male and female. For more tips on spending quality time with your rabbit, read on! It will be much harder to bond with a bunny who is scared of you. (So, for example, a ten pound rabbit should be given between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of food every day. Bonding rabbits, even rabbits who like each other, can take a long time and much patience. In general, rabbits … Eating greens is a happy thing, and leaves the impression that bonding is fun! Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. Rabbits are social animals! Bonding with your rabbit will help you learn about and appreciate your rabbit’s unique personality. ", tip about sitting on the floor and not touching the rabbit, she actually came to me. I believe, "Just adopted a bonded pair of buns who've been in foster care for the last year. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. Once bonded the rabbits should be housed together in a space large enough to accommodate them both comfortably. The article was very helpful, thank you. And if you're concerned about your rabbit's behaviour, seek veterinary advice. ", and what kind of toys to give him. ", "Thank you for all your advice. Just like human siblings or best friends, bonded rabbit pairings can squabble. Licking a person is a sign of great affection. Speak to her when you give her food so she associates you with good things. Stacking cups, plastic baby keys, and wooden blocks are fun for tossing and knocking over. subscribe! This bonded pair is in an enclosed area with their human. A rabbit may start out as shy, afraid, very independent, or hesitant to trust you. Won’t it just happen, like with a puppy or kitten? For more tips on spending quality time with your rabbit, read on! If your rabbit has his hind legs stretched out behind his body, it indicates that he is relaxed and comfortable. When your rabbit feels brave enough to come out for a look around, sit quietly (on the floor is best) and let your rabbit come to you. Train your rabbit. Chewing on wires and cords could lead to electrocution and death. Slowly rebuild your trust if you've had trust issues in the past. Wait 2-4 weeks after the surgery before attempting introductions. I grab her gently off of the cage floor instead of grabbing, "Just got a 5-year-old rabbit. If your rabbit whimpers or squeals when you pick him up, you could be handling him wrong, or it's possible that you haven't earned his trust yet. A second bunny can provide years of joy, fun and contentment for both you and your rabbit. Like humans, not every rabbit falls in love at first sight. They like to move bowls, toys and blankets to where they feel comfortable. Make sure that your rabbit cannot chew on electrical cords. Rabbits can be left alone together safely once they're showing positive behaviours towards one another. When I pick him up his ears go back and his teeth always chatter. This doesn't mean children shouldn't keep rabbits, but adult supervision and guidance are necessary to raise a rabbit right.". 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