For several months, I have been fostering bunnies, in addition to my personal bunnies. This is definitely not something that I expected but now I could never live without them. Throughout this adventure, I have learned a lot about these big -eared goofballs.
So here are 10 things I have learned about bunnies that I think you should know!
1. The first and most important thing to know is that bunnies have personalities. While they all have certain characteristics in common, they also have distinct personalities. Much like dogs and cats, they have similar traits but they are also unique. In general, they are curious, silly, inquistive, friendly, and mischief-loving. But, some are sillier, some are more shy, some like being held, and some will kick until you set them free (I’m looking at you, Sammy!)
2. Bunnies need space. The little cages that pet stores sell are completely inadequate. They either don’t know or don’t care but bunnies definitely need space. You should skip the cage and go for an x-pen, like a dog play pen. Sixteen square feet is a good size for a bunny. They need to be able to hop 3 feet in any direction, stretch out and just be bunnies.
3. Bunnies need hay. They need unlimited access to hay. Like absolutely unlimited access to hay. It helps keep their insides moving, Their little digestive tracts are sensitive and it’s important that they are in good shape.
4. Bunnies also need pellets and greens. (Oxbow is the best in pellets, in my opinion.) They need a minimum of 2 cups of chopped veggies per 6 pounds of body weight. They love fruit but they can only have a little due to the high sugar content. (No more than 2 tablespoons per 6 pounds of body weight.) There are a lot of greens that they can have but iceberg lettuce is definitely NOT one of them.
5. Bunnies weren’t built to drink from a water bottle. They are downward drinkers and it is not natural for them to crane their necks, just to get some water. It is also difficult to get a decent amount of water from the bottle which could lead to dehydration and also, just plain stinks for a thirsty bunny.
6. Bunnies can be litter trained. But much like cats, you have to keep their boxes clean to keep them using it. Because who would want to use a dirty litter box. (Well, I mean, I wouldn’t want to use a litter box at all but you get the point!) But yes, with the proper set-up, they can be good little litter box users.
7. Bunnies in pairs are generally happier. Bunnies are pack animals so they are not programmed to be alone. It is true that some bunnies are perfectly happy as single bunnies but as a general rule, bunnies with friends are happier bunnies.
8. Bunnies get bored easily and toys make them happy. They love to chew. If you don’t want them to chew your phone chargers, you might want to give them something safe to chew instead. Bunny safe toys, carboard and snuffle mats are some good options for keeping your bunny mentally stimulated. They also love to play with you. Which brings me to number 9!
9. Bunnies are smart. They can learn tricks and a very willing to do so when treats are involved. For example, my Sammy will give me “kisses” to earn a treat. A drawback to this trick is that he now loves to give me unsolicited kisses whenever he is hungry. But, the mental stimulation makes him a happier bunny so I can live with some extra kisses. When you give them the attention that they crave and deserve. This will prevent them from using their smarts to get into trouble.
10. Bunnies are fragile. They are sensitive to stress, sadness and boredom. These are things that could lead to Gastrointestinal Stasis, otherwise known as GI Stasis. It is fairly common in bunnies but it can also be deadly. Basically when in stasis, the digestive system slows down. This is also one of the reasons that it is crucial that they have constant access to hay.
Bunnies make fertilizer for your garden. This is definitely a bonus. Yes, bunny poop is great for your plants. I can attest to this. My garden has never looked better. If you use biodegradable litter like Pine Pellets, you can pour the whole litter box in your garden or compost it.
All in all, bunnies are the best! But, they are more complex pets than you might think. Like any other pet, it’s a commitment and it’s super important that you know what you are getting into. I 100% recommend adding a bunny to your life, after you have done your research. There is so much more to bunnies and it is so fun to get to know them!
For information on adoption or just more information on bunnies for your own personal knowledge bank, check out https://www.bebettesbunnyrescue.org/
One thought on “Ten Things You Should Know About Bunnies”
Now I am tempted to get a bunny for my own fertilizer…lol.