Monday, August 29, 2016

Do Pet Rabbits Like to be Held?

   Pet rabbits make wonderful additions to your family, as long as you understand that bunnies are different as pets than dogs or cats. There is a right way and a wrong way to interact with a pet rabbit, and keep in mind that they are very social animals that really want to spend time with their pet parents and family. Small children are not the best to mix with pet rabbits, and most pet rabbits do not like to be scooped up, cuddled or held. Instinctively, rabbits are prey animals so this behavior is just a natural reaction to escape.

   The best way to play and interact with your pet rabbit is explained by

  "It’s important to remember that rabbits are prey animals. Prey animals interact with their environment very differently than predators like cats and dogs. In general, rabbits do not like to be picked up. The act of bending over them and grabbing them by their ribs to pick them up is very similar to being picked up by a hawk – scary!!

  The best way to interact with your rabbit is on the floor. Sit in the room while bunny is out to play and she will soon come investigate you. She will like to be petted sitting next to you, but not necessarily while being carried in your arms! If you choose a cage or pen with a sideopening door and put it on the floor or provide a ramp to a taller cage, you can let bunny in and out for playtime without ever picking her up!

  If you are going to pick up your rabbit, make sure you do it correctly. The best way is to place one hand under her rib cage and the other under her bottom, scooping her back legs so she can’t kick. This method will protect her fragile backbone while protecting you from those strong kicking back legs and sharp nails. It is also important to wear an appropriate shirt when handling a rabbit to avoid being scratched by nails as bunny tries to get away! Or just encourage or herd bunny into a pet carrier or box and move him that way.

  Keep in mind your rabbit will likely be easier to interact with and handle once spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering reduces hormone-driven behaviors like lunging, mounting, spraying, and boxing. Spaying also protects female bunnies from uterine cancer, which can be quite common in older unspayed rabbits."

Read the entire article: What Is It Like to Have a Pet Rabbit?

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