Exercising Your Rabbit

Exercise is important for your rabbit.  It promotes good overall health and prevents obesity.  Providing your rabbit with exercise will ensure proper respiratory and cardiovascular function, as well as promote muscle development.  In addition, exercise aids in preventing boredom and unwanted behaviors.  Some experts recommend two hours a day of exercise time outside of the cage environment.  If your rabbit lives in a large cage, less exercise may be adequate.

Indoor versus outdoor exercise:

When exercising your rabbit indoors, ensure …

Rabbit Behavioral Problems: Biting

Introduction

Biting is an unwanted behavior that some rabbits display. Because rabbits naturally live in social groups, they have a need to establish a social hierarchy. In the wild, rabbits use many methods, such as biting, lunging, and snorting, to develop a dominance order. Domestic rabbits still have the tendency to exhibit this dominance behavior, but when it leads to the injury of a human companion, there are steps that can be taken to modify the behavior.

Although social behavior …

Housing Rabbits Together

Introduction

Rabbits are social animals and can be comforted by the presence of a companion. Owners who have a limited amount of time to interact with their rabbit may want to consider adding another rabbit to provide companionship. Rabbits may be particular in their choices of companions and may not always get along when introduced as adults. When introducing two rabbits, it is important to gradually acclimate the rabbits to each other to prevent an extreme reaction that could lead …

Why do rabbits eat their feces?

Though it seems like a strange practice, eating feces, or corprophagy, is an essential behavior for maintaining health in rabbits. Rabbits are hindgut fermenters, which means that a significant portion of digestion occurs in the cecum and large intestine or at the end of their digestive tract after nutrient absorption has already occurred. This is unlike humans, dogs, and cats who absorb most of their nutrients in the small intestine, or upper portion of the digestive tract.
Unlike ruminants such …

My rabbit keeps shaking his head and digging at his ears with his back feet. Why?

Your rabbit might have ear canker, which is caused by small parasites called ear mites (Psoroptes cuniculi). Check his ears for a brown discharge and crustiness. Ear canker can easily spread from one rabbit to another, so if you have other rabbits, check their ears also. Ear canker can be treated and cured by using chemical mitacide eardrops safe for use in rabbits or an injection obtained from your veterinarian. A few drops of light mineral oil used …

Hairballs in Rabbits

Read the following article to understand more about how hairball prevention and treatment can impact your rabbit’s health.

Introduction

Part of a rabbit’s normal behavior is regular grooming. Regardless of whether rabbits are allowed to mutually groom each other or themselves, their stomachs will usually contain hair. Normally, ingested hair is passed when a rabbit defecates. However, certain rabbits have difficulty passing hair through the digestive system. In the event that a rabbit is unable to pass ingested hair, a …

Rabbit Behavioral Problems: Kicking

Introduction

Rabbits are known for their powerful back legs, which allow them to move quickly over short distances. However, rabbits can also use their powerful back legs to kick their human companions, causing injury to the humans or themselves. Kicking in rabbits is a behavior that many rabbit owners observe. Owners should understand that kicking is an indication of how secure a rabbit feels when being held. Proper handling is the best option to help prevent this unwanted behavior.

rabbit long haired

Predisposing

Spaying and Neutering Your Rabbit

Introduction

Spaying or neutering your companion rabbit can have benefits for both the owner and the rabbit. Unwanted behaviors often develop in animals left intact. In addition, rabbits are at an increased risk of health conditions and decreased life span when not spayed or neutered.

rabbit and girl

Spaying or neutering

Neutering refers to the removal of the reproductive organs, which permanently prevents an animal from breeding. Technically, the term neuter refers to the procedure done in either a male or female animal, …

Rabbit Behavioral Problems: Barbering

rabbit ear tattoo2

Introduction

Grooming is a normal aspect of rabbit behavior, but occasionally rabbits may develop unwanted grooming habits. Barbering is a form of grooming in which a rabbit repeatedly plucks the hair off itself or another rabbit. Barbering may be caused by several factors, ranging from dominance issues to nutritional deficiencies. Barbering can escalate to the point where rabbits that are housed together may need to be separated.

Predisposing Factors

Barbering can be caused by a variety of factors:

  • Pregnant females

Head Tilt (Wry Neck) in Rabbits

Introduction

Some rabbits develop a condition that causes their heads to tilt to one side. This condition is also referred to as wry neck, or torticollis. Head tilt can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the most common causes of wry neck is inner ear disease caused by a parasitic or bacterial infection.

rabbit with boy

Causes

Ear mites are common external parasites of rabbits that irritate the lining of the ear and cause watery discharge. This discharge eventually …