Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Holiday Travel with Bunny

The Christmas season is a time when there is lot of traveling. Unfortunately for rabbit owners, bunnies do not handle traveling well. They are not like a cat where you can hire somebody to come over once a day to feed and scoop the cat box, or a dog which is more easy to bring (or can easily have a dog sitter). Rabbits require special care, need to be able to hop around for exercise, and grooming. Because careful bunny sitters can be rather hard to find many people may need to opt to bring bun with them. Again, rabbits can die very easily from stress, so travel is not really a good option.

Bunny could handle this if it's not a very long car ride (meaning under 2 hours). But too long of a car ride can be quite traumatic for such a small animal! Things like bad air circulation, bumps, loud traffic, and/or inside care noise can contribute to bunny becoming sick or very stressed. If you have no choice but to travel with bunny in a car:

  1. Bunny needs to be in a secure animal crate with fresh water (in a bunny water bottle). (And some hay).
  2. Familiar things inside the crate like a few toys and comfy towel may help ease some of her anxiety. 
  3. Prepare to make frequent rest stops to give her a break from car sickness and road bumps (beware of taking her out to hop around even on a leash. Wild critters that have gone #1 and #2 on the grass can make bunny fatally sick if she eats it, or she can get ticks. So basically, do not take bunny out for a walk in a rest area! Open the trunk and let her sit there so she can get a breeze).
  4. Keep the air circulation good. Close windows if there is bad car exhaustion, loud noise, etc. If it is cold outside make the care warm but not too warm. Keep it on the more cool side of warm).
To be frank, air travel is never a very good idea for bunny. Only use air travel if you have absolutely no choice but to fly her. And I mean that you have gone from Plan A all the way to Plan Z with no other option. Air travel can be quite an ordeal. The noise from other animals, extreme changes in temperature, rough handling, and having to be in a cargo plane since most airlines will not let you fly with bunny, can be extremely terrifying. If the airline will allow you to fly with bunny then do so. If simply must fly with bunny:
  1. Keep her crate safe and secure. With some water, hay, and familiar things in it.
  2. Take two pieces of paper and laminate them and then tape them to the inside and outside of the crate (with good strong Duct Tape). That way if for whatever reason bunny ends up in San Francisco when she was supposed to be in New York it will have the necessary  info to find you and return her. (The info should have: bunny's name, basic health info, your name, cell number, email address)
  3. Try to keep the flight a short one. (Try to avoid those half-way around the world trips).
BUNNY BOARDING:Bunny boarding is good if you will be gone for an extended period of time with no way to keep care of bunny. Bunny will stay in special "animal hotel" and be cared for there. Some bunny boarding places are very good, while others are sketchy. Make sure that look for some good reviews. If you decide to bunny board: 

  1. Make sure that the place knows how to properly care for bunnies.
  2. Leave bunnies medical information and medicine she takes (if she takes it). Make suer they know how to care for special needs bunnies.
This is the best idea. Have someone you trust, is responsible, and is a stickler for rules to bunny sit. This person will have to come over to your house and feed bunny, clean her cage, and take her out of her cage to play. If you are having a bunny sitter;

  1. Give them your vet info and a list of emergency health issues.
  2. Medicine instructions and care for a special needs/elderly bunny
  3. Teach them how to pick up, groom, feed, and play with bunny.

Merry Christmas to you and your bunny!


Wishing you and bunny a safe holiday season. 
Hope that the coming year will be filled with lots of
happy times for you and bunny to share together.
Enjoy every moment with bunny and be "hoppy"!

"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room 
in  your heart." --Winnie-the-Pooh

*H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S*
F r o m   y o u r   f r i e n d s @ R a b b i t C a r e C o r n e r 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

First Aid for Heatstrokes

Heatstrokes unfortunately happen all too often in bunnies. In fact, heatstrokes kill more rabbits than illness does! A heatstroke is when bunny's internal body temperature gets extremely high. A fever is also an elevated internal body temperature, but a heatstroke is much higher and far more severe. It is very important that you are able to identify this so that you can help treat bunny in this emergency.

Preventing Heatstroke:
It is not very wise to let bunny play outside on a very hot day. 80+ degrees (or even lower) with high humidity is a recipe for a heatstroke. Bunny should also not be playing in direct sunlight. Not that bunny can't play in the sun, but she should have a nice place of shade to rest in.
But hot outdoor weather isn't just where bunny can get heatstroke. A bunny cage in direct sunlight, no air conditioning on a hot day, or her cage sitting to close to a heater in the winter can all make bunny get overheated. Always give bunny plenty of water (with ice cubes if it's hot), a nice cool, shady place to be in, or a small, simple fan can help keep him cool. (Bunny can also get heatstroke from sitting in a hot car. Bunnies are far more sensitive to heat then we are).

Recognizing Heatstroke:
.Rapid/labored breathing
.Panting/gasping/raspy sounds
.Laying flat (This does not always mean bunny has heatstroke. Sometimes bunny will do this to cool  off)
.Slow/no heartbeat OR fast heartbeat (again, does not always mean heatstroke. Rabbits do have a      naturally higher heart rate than people)
.Elevated body temperature (bunnies do, however, have a higher body temperature than people as  well)

First Aid for Bunny:
Get bunny indoors to air conditioning, or shade ASAP. Keep a small fan by her blowing cool air on a low, delicate setting. If she is conscious give her some cool water. Take a small hand towel, dampen it (not soak it wet!) with cold water, and wrap the towel around the tips of her ears. If bunny is not conscious or does not seem to be responding to your first aid within 15 minutes take bunny to the vet immediately.

Do not ever dump water on bunny as if it were the Ice Bucket Challenge, spray her with a hose, put her in a pool, or wrap her whole body in a wet towel. This will not work in cooling her down and may shock her body.  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Bunny Cages 101

A cage for bunny is her own little private space. Whether she spends only short amounts of time in it or is in it for longer, you need to know somethings about cages for bun.

Bunny Cages:
.It doesn't matter if bunny is a Flemish Giant or a Netherland Dwarf, she's gonna need a pretty decent sized cage. With at least 3 levels, 3 feet wide and longways, and 3inches of room above her head when she sits up. Some great ideas for a large cage for bunny is to make a bunny condo (great ideas on the internet), or an indoor bunny pen (also great ideas on the internet). 
.Never get a cage with wire flooring. Wire flooring can cause sore hocks (very painful), torn nails, and just a very uncomfortable place to be. (Would you be comfortable walking around your house on wire flooring)?
.Just because you have a big cage for bunny does not mean she lives in it all day. Bunny proof your house so that bunny can have some playtime outside her cage. (Don't you like to leave your house every now and then)?
.As bunny gets older you may want to add ramps so she can get to other levels more easily. Also, make sure the flooring is not super slick. 

Below are pictures of a bunny condo I made. Mind you, I lived in a very small condo when I first made this. So you can still have a bunny condo even in a small space. 

The green litter box on the bottom is the base to
Snowberry's old cage.

This is the bunny condo I now use for Rhosgobel.
I do not have pics of him in it yet.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tips for Adopting a Bunny: First Time Bunny Owners

Getting a bunny is one of the most exciting things ever! And owning a bunny is one of the best things ever! Maybe your parents have decided on letting you have a bunny.  Or maybe you're still learning about bunnies. Either way here are some good things to know as you look into getting a bunny or are now considering adopting one.

What Size is best?
If you are young kiddo and you and your family are getting ready to adopt a bunny for the first time you may want to look into a medium sized breed or a large breed. Although you may want a small or dwarf bunny because they look so cute and babyish it might not be so wise. Dwarf and small breeds generally have more dental and respiratory issues. They can also be quite skittish (and sometimes aggressive, trust me, I know). They also do not have as much tolerance in being patient with a young child who just wants to cuddle them. Not to say that small/dwarf breeds are bad, I'm just saying that they are probably not the best choice to make for first time bunny owners. Medium, large, and Flemish giants (although big), are generally more calm, tolerant, and less aggressive. They are more likely to cuddle up with you and they can hop more freely around the house since they will be more easily seen, and therefore not stepped on! They do eat a lot and need a bigger cage and place to play, but they are great bunnies! (And they are more likely to be welcomed by a cat or dog since they are bigger and don't look like a toy like a small/dwarf bunny would).

What Breed is good (especially for kids)?
The Dutch rabbit is a good breed (medium sized), any Flemish giant breed (large), Californian (large), Palomino (medium), French Lop (large and very cute), and the Silver Fox (large). Florida White (medium) is also a good breed, but some children don't like it because it has red eyes (silly). Keep in mind that popular rabbit breeds may not be the best for your family because many people will buy small or dwarf rabbits. Remember, dwarf/small breed are not always best for kids. Some small/dwarf breed exceptions are the Harlequin Rabbit (around 5-6lbs), Mini Lop (5lbs), and the Chinchilla Rabbit (5-8lbs). If I had to recommend the best one (in my opinion) for any first time bunny owner I would say the Dutch rabbit or Chinchilla rabbit. Be sure to look into these breeds online and in detail and see what might be best for you and your family.

What about age?
 A young adult or adult is probably best. (8 months or older). They are already past their "teen" stage and don't have as much "attitude". They will also adjust pretty well to your family. A baby bunny is never a good option. Yes they look cute, but they can be difficult to train and you wont have the right experience to take good care of of it. I did get SB as a baby, but there were many challenges I faced, so I don't recommend it. Rescues and shelters probably will not give you a baby anyway. A senior bunny is nice but will likely have many medical issues and may not live very long if they are really old and need special care as they are, well, old. But if you have a heart for old bunnies or (special needs rabbits) then go for it! Just make sure you have the knowledge and patience for them as you don't want to cause more problems for them. Keep in mind though, they also need very special housing and care which you may not be able to give them. Older bunnies (as well as special needs rabbits) are probably better left to the more experienced rabbit owner. They are good bunnies though. Loyal and loving. SB was the best little old lady bun ever. 

One or two?
One is better to start with, as you can always adopt another bunny and introduce them to your current bunny later. Unless you have the money and space and time to own two bunnies I wouldn't get two.  (Of course if they are best friends at the shelter how could you not get both)? Bunnies need a lot of care so one may be enough of a job! 

Look around and see what rabbit shelters and rescues need good homes for bunnies. Maybe consider fostering a bunny for a while. Help out at the shelters. And most important, be good, loving rabbit owner! 

Please never try and catch a wild rabbit and keep them. They are WILD rabbits, not DOMESTIC rabbits and cannot be kept as pets! 

Friday, August 5, 2016

What You Need to Know BEFORE You Adopt a Bunny

Rhosgobel was a dumped bunny. And finding him has prompted me to write this post just for parents.

At only 5 months old he was probably born in March and then adopted at a 1 month in April. A cute, tiny, baby bunny. Hundreds of bunnies (especially baby bunnies) across the nation are adopted during the Easter season. Kids get a kick out of all the adorable bunnies plastered all over Easter decorations, and TV shows. Then they get an idea that it would be so much fun having their own bunny. To hold and snuggle. To show off to friends. And I don't blame kids for wanting a bunny. I was a young kid who wanted a bunny. But too many children whine, complain, and beg their parents into getting them a bunny. They get a bunny (usually a cute, small baby) and then after 2 or 3 months they soon realize that bunnies are ton of work and usually the kid loses interest in the rabbit. So 1 of 3 things happens. One, they take the bunny back to the shelter or rescue. Two, they leave the bunny abandoned in a forest preserve or park (usually a sure death sentence for a domestic rabbit). Or three, the bunny dies of neglect or malnutrition from not being properly cared for. This is the reality for many bunnies during the Easter season and even after. And rabbit shelters are bursting with an overload of unwanted rabbits. The poor bunnies are sometimes euthanized, adopted only to be abandoned again, or live their whole life in a shelter. It is a sad reality for bunnies.

Five of the Biggest Myths About Rabbits:
. Myth #1: Bunnies only live for 2 years so they aren't a long-term commitment.
 Reality:The average lifespan of a bunny is 7-10 years. Although some can live longer. They are a long-term commitment.

.  Myth #2:Bunnies are great pets because they are so low-maintenance and don't need much. 
   Reality:Bunnies may be small but they are NOT low-maintenance. They are one of the most high-maintenance pets you could get for yourself! As exotic pets they require a lot of special vet care, home care,food needs, and living spaces. Bunnies need a lot of care, and time.

. Myth #3:Bunnies are great pets for kids.
  Reality:In all honesty, generally rabbits are not great pets for kids. Bunnies are very delicate and get stressed easily. (Stress actually kills bunnies). Most kids are not responsible or careful enough to to own one. The majority of bunny experts recommend a pet rabbit for kids ages 12+. Not to say that all young kids will be awful rabbit owners, but it is a notable child that will be diligent enough to have one and do a good job. 

. Myth #4:Bunnies love to be held and cuddled.
  Realty:Most bunnies do not like to be held and cuddled a lot. They don't mind a short cuddle time, but bunnies like to keep all four feet on the floor. They also need to be held in a special way because their spines are very delicate. They also cannot be picked up by the ears.

. Myth #5:Bunnies need only a small cage space.
  Reality:All bunnies (even small ones) need a big cage space. They also need a safe place to play outside the cage. Too many bunnies stay cooped up in small cages all their life. Rabbits were never meant to be crammed up in the corner of someones house and life.

Parents, it is CRUCIAL that you seriously consider all the things involved in getting a bunny. No matter how much your kid begs to you, complains to you, and whines to you, do not get them one. A bunny should be a reward for a hardworking, responsible, gentle kid.

Your child should not get a bunny just when they "want one". I wanted a bunny when I was five. I begged and whined. But my parents made it very clear that I could not have a bunny until I showed that I was going to be responsible, hardworking, and gentle to animals. So for the next four years until I was nine I helped with house chores without being asked , read all I could to learn about the proper care for bunnies, and learned to be kind and gentle to the cats I already had and the people in my life. This showed my parents that this wanting a bunny wasn't just a faze, but a real passion for these little creatures, and that I really, truly wanted one bad enough. If any child really wants a bunny bad enough they will prove it to you by obeying the standards you give to them. If they are not respectful to you, your expectations before they can get a bunny, and other animals, then what makes you think they will love and care for a special bunny? A bunny should NEVER, NEVER, NEVER,  be given to a child to try and force them to be responsible and/or good with animals. A child should already have showed you that they are responsible and love all animals. And the good behavior should continue even after your child gets a bunny. It is unfair and cruel to any rabbit to get one when they will likely be ignored, and neglected. Rabbits die from improper care. So your child needs to know (and you too) how to love and care for a bunny.

Your Child Can Get a Bunny When:
1).They are regularly being responsible and taking initiative. This means they do their part in helping with household chores. They need do do their chores without being asked too. They need to do them without complaining and fighting you on it. Remember, how bad do they want it? If they really want a bunny they will show you.

2).They are reasonably knowledgeable about bunny care.  Children who want a rabbit need to learn about rabbits. Parents, you also need to learn about them. If your child is sick or away on a school field trip, then you will need to care for the bunny. There are a lot of books on bunnies and bunny blogs. Your kids can read this blog as it has been made specifically for children.

3).You see that they are kind to animals and treat people (including you) with respect. Kids need to learn that bunnies (and all animals) must be treated with respect. They have to be taught to be kind and loving. You should also see that they are being kind to other people. Not bullying or being rude. If they are being rude and unkind to other kids and you then they will likely be limited in respect for bunny.

Also, you should get a bunny when finances are good, you have a good "bunny-living space", and you are sure no one has allergies to rabbits. There are many other things to consider.

Never be a part of the problem of abandoned, neglected, and mistreated rabbits. Rabbits are a wonderful family member. But they deserve all the love and respect we give one another.

Welcome to the Family Rhosgobel!

2 weeks and 4 days after my precious little Snowberry died, we found little Rhosgobel abandoned in a parking lot at 9pm . My older sister spotted him. I carefully approached him and scooped him up.

Rhogobel is a Mini Lop, about 5 months old, and very friendly. He is a very healthy boy other than the fact he has a tick infestation! (Don't worry, the vet gave him special tick medicine)! Thankfully, we still had SnowB's cage and hay and litter that I hadn't donated yet! We just had to get him new toys and a new litter box.
(If you're wondering, the name Rhosgobel comes from the movie "The Hobbit". In the movie, a group of characters are trying to get away from some evil wolf/dog things. A good wizard helps the group to escape by distracting the wolf/dogs by riding past them on a sleigh of "Rhosgobel Rabbits". They escape unharmed. I'm a big Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit fan)!

Welcome to the family my little Rhosgobel Rabbit! 


Lucky I didn't take apart SB's cage yet!