How to Handle a Rabbit
If you’re a new owner of a rabbit, then there are a few things that you need to know in order to provide the best care. Rabbits can be tricky animals and require special handling methods. In this guide, we’ll cover how to hold a rabbit, what to feed your bunny, and how often they should be handled.
As a General Rule The Safest way to handle your bunny slowly and calmly. Rabbits are delicate animals with the ability to feel pain. Handle them gently at all times and ensure one-hand support for their back/hindquarters so they do not fall over while holding on four feet – never pick up a rabbit by its ears because it would be a stressful likely injury. Hold them firmly so they don’t jump from your grasp and get hurt.
1) Know your Rabbit’s Personality
First, as with any animal, you need to know how your rabbit will respond before touching them. How do they react when being held? Do they struggle a lot or just want some head rubs and treats?
Handle a Rabbit – Each Rabbit has its own personality, and some may be more skittish than others. If your rabbit is really jumpy, it’s important to go slow with them.
If you’re not sure how they’ll respond, watch other people interact with the bunny for clues of what kind of personality they have. How does that affect their behavior? What can you do to make them feel more comfortable? How can you make sure that they stay safe during interactions with people?
No matter how well of a bunny parent you are, if your rabbit is too skittish to be held, then it’s just not the right time. You don’t want him or her to get injured because they got scared and tried to run away.
2) Build Trust With Your Bunny
Build trust with your bunny How can you build a bond of trust with your pet? Rabbits are prey animals, so they’re naturally wary around predators like humans and other pets. They need to know that you won’t hurt them or scare them in any way before they will be comfortable being held by you. If you’ve had a rabbit for a few weeks and he or she is still afraid of you, here are some ways to build trust. How often should your bunny be handled?
3) One Handling per Day
In most cases, rabbits should have at least one handling per day. It’s important that they get used to being held by a human just like any other pet would need time to adjust. How can you make sure that your bunny is ready to be held?
If they still struggle or try to nip at people, then it’s not time yet. If the rabbit isn’t struggling and seems like he/she wants attention, then start trying for just a few minutes every day. How do I know if my rabbit trusts me?
4) Rabbit Nuzzles or Kisses You
If your rabbit is used to being handled, then they will most likely respond by giving kisses or nuzzling you. How can I give my bunny some attention? How else do rabbits show affection?
Rabbits are very social animals and need lots of love from their owners. They enjoy cuddles, head rubs, playing, and eating treats. How can you handle a rabbit safely?
5) How To Pick up Your Bunny
First, hold the rabbit by placing one hand under its front legs and another at the back of its neck or hips. Make sure that they have enough room to breathe comfortably! If your bunny struggles, set them down immediately so no harm comes to either party. How do I know if I’m hurting my rabbit?
If your pet is struggling to breathe or clearly does not want to be held, then it’s time for them to rest and calm down. How can you pick up a rabbit safely? How do rabbits feel about being picked up and carried around? Rabbits generally don’t like being lifted off the ground because they feel more vulnerable and out of control.
How can I Pick up my Rabbit Safely?
Once your bunny trusts you, it’s time to start lifting them off the ground for a few minutes at a time as long as they seem comfortable with that kind of physical contact. How should I handle rabbits if they’re not used to people yet?
If your rabbit is not used to being handled and seems really shy, there are some ways that you can still give them attention without picking them up. How else can I show my bunny affection? How do rabbits feel about physical contact like head rubs
6) Petting Your Bunny
Rabbits enjoy physical contact with humans in the form of nuzzling, head rubs, and gentle pets. How can you show your rabbit affection? How do I know if my bunny is too scared to be held by people?
If the rabbit still struggles or tries to bite at any point during handling sessions, then it’s time for a break. How else should rabbits respond to being handled? If they seem happy, then it’s okay to continue. How else can you show your bunny affection? How do I know if my rabbit is too scared of me or people in general?
7) Rabbit Runs / Hides / Afraid
If the rabbit struggles, tries to nip at anyone, sprays urine on themself/yourself, hides under their bed for days after being handled, or any other signs of stress, then it’s time to take a step back. How can I handle my rabbit safely if they’re not used to being handled?
More Time and get acquainted session until they become less fearful
Rabbits will most likely give kisses or nuzzle their owner when they trust them fully.
8) Create a Bunny-Proofed Area
Create a safe space where you and your bunny can get to know each other. How can I create a safe space for my bunny?
Give them plenty of toys to play with and their own place to rest without being disturbed by children, cats, or dogs. How do rabbits feel about being picked up and carried around?
You can enter his space and let him become accustomed to your scent How do rabbits show affection? How should I handle a rabbit if they’re not used to being handled?
If he comes towards you and accepts your touch, then it’s okay to try picking him up.
If he runs away and hides, then that’s okay.
9) Understand their Body Language
a Rabbit’s body language How do I know if my rabbit is too scared of me or people in general? How can you show your bunny affection How to pick up a rabbit safely How else should rabbits respond to being handled
Relaxed and Calm
A relaxed and calm rabbit will likely have an upright body posture with its ears slightly back. – If they seem nervous, then the ears might be pinned back How do I know if my rabbit is too scared of me or people in general? How does a rabbit’s body language look like? How can you show your bunny affection How to pick up a rabbit safely How else should rabbits respond to being handled
Rabbit Thumps his Back legs
They might thump their tail on the ground when they feel threatened. – If they’re running away How else should rabbits respond to being handled How do I know if my rabbit is too scared of me or people in general? How does a rabbit’s body language look like? How can you show your bunny affection How to pick up a rabbit safely
Rabbit Shows Teeth
– If they’re standing with their teeth bared – They might be hissing as well How else should rabbits respond to being handled How do I know if my rabbit is too scared of me or people in general? How does a rabbit’s body language look like? How can you show your bunny affection How to pick up a rabbit safely
10) How to Hold your Rabbit
On Your Lap
Once your Rabbit is comfortable gently put him in your lap How do rabbits feel about physical contact like head rubs How do a rabbits body language look like How to pick up a rabbit safely How else should rabbits respond to being handled
On Your Chest
Placing him on your chest with his back legs closest to you. How can I show my bunny affection? How do rabbits show affection? Where is the safest place for your rabbit to be How can you pick up a rabbit safely How do I know if my bunny is too scared of me or people in general?
Support under his front and Back Legs
By putting your hands under his front and back legs. How else should rabbits respond to being handled How do I know if my bunny is too scared of me or people in general? How does a rabbit’s body language look like How can you show your bunny affection How to pick up a rabbit safely?
By holding him under his back legs. How do rabbits feel about physical contact like head rubs How does a rabbits body language look like How to pick up a rabbit safely
11) Make sure they have access to Fresh Water and Hay at all times
Make sure your bunny has access to fresh water and hay at all times.
Place food in a bowl that can’t be tipped over, like a heavy ceramic/metal plate or non-tip cat litter tray (a plastic one will get chewed). Change the dish daily to prevent it from getting soggy. Also, make sure your rabbit has enough space to eat their food without it being soiled by other rabbits or animals in the household.
12) Rabbits Love to Play
Provide them with toys to play with, such as carrots or apple branches for chewing on. Some of the toys can be found in the yard, while others can be bought at a pet store. You should also have an exercise pen or room for them to run around in so that they are not confined all day long.
13) Give them a safe place to run around in the house
Make sure it is small enough that they can’t get out of it but big enough that they don’t feel cramped. For example, a baby or young rabbit may be only allowed to have a playpen.
Do not let them loose in the house unless they are litterbox trained and you want an extra pair of eyes with your child around since rabbits can get into trouble very quickly if left unattended for too long. Put some toys that they like inside of the cage with them to keep their attention off of chewing everything in sight.
14) Always watch the Health of Your Bunny
Know when your rabbit needs medical attention by observing its behavior or looking for signs like diarrhea, weight loss, lethargy, etc., and take them to the vet if you notice any of these symptoms!
- Hold them Short Periods Every Day
- Talk Gently and Hold calmly
- Give it time to get accustome to you
- Give it Treats and Toys
- Keep it safe from Dogs, cats
- Keep it safe from Little children
- Provide Clean, fresh bedding and litter box