Thursday, December 29, 2016
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Bunnies, along with other animals, are all different. They each have their own personalities so they do have their own likes and dislikes. I have Gizmo & Ebony and they both don't necessarily like the same things. But the items I'm going to talk about here are things that we own and Gizmo and/or Ebony use.
I'm sure you have possibly seen the cute little beds a lot of bunnies have been photographed with on their Facebook pages or from some other source. The Ikea bed was originally designed for dolls but somewhere along the way the beds became a popular item for smaller/average sized bunnies. Gizmo uses the one we have here at times. Ebony, on the other hand, only likes to the pull the little blanket off it. So many bun buns enjoy this little bed.
|Gizmo enjoying the Ikea bed.|
You can buy a bed by clicking the link below.
|Ebony on the roof of the cottage.|
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Today's topic will be litterbox training. Yes, bunnies can and WILL use a litterbox! Training will go so much easier if your bun has been spayed or neutered. It generally takes anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks for hormones to level off after a spay/neuter, though. Until then, there will be accidents so don't get discouraged.
When Gizmo was a little guy he would spray me almost every time he sat in my lap. He was doing pretty well with his litterbox training but there still was the occasional accident - or spraying. This, however, is actually flattering when a bun sprays you or pees on you. It may not sound that way to us but they are just marking us as their territory when they do such things. They're saying "You are mine!" But once Gizmo was neutered he became - as I called it - "potty perfect". That is until we adopted Ebony. Oh, goodness, did Gizmo go on a territorial marking spree! He was letting the new bun know who this home belonged to! Ebony had been spayed about a week or so when I adopted her so she still had some of those raging hormones. At first it seemed as though she would not understand what the litterbox was for but she quickly got the hang of it. Now Ebony is "potty perfect".
I know you're most likely wondering how to get them trained to use a litterbox. It's actually quite easy, to be honest. Your bunny will let you know where they prefer to use the bathroom. They will always find one spot they like to use. Once they've shown you their favorite elimination spot, you can put a litterbox there. Always keep hay around the litterbox because bunnies absolutely love to eat while they do their business. So when they see hay around their litterbox, they'll automatically want to use the bathroom as they eat.
I do want to stress that you should never ever rub a bunny's nose in a spot where they have urinated. Being aggressive like that will not work with a bun bun. They are prey animals and will only fear you when you do something like that. Plus, it's just mean! If your bunny does pee outside of the litterbox, the best course of action is to just pick them up (if yor bun will allow that) and place them gently in the litterbox. Also a good way to do it is to soak up the spot where they have used the bathroom on the floor and place the paper towel in their litterbox. This will also help them to know where they should eliminate themselves. Just keep an eye on your bunny and make sure they don't chew on that paper towel. And make sure you cover the towel with litter so they don't get urine on their paws or bottoms. That can lead to urine scald. If your bun is leaving stray poo pellets then that's a territorial thing. Just pick those fecal droppings up and place them in the litterbox. If your bun bun leaves you a lovely pile of poos then that means they need more litterbox training. Even if a bunny is litterbox trained they will still leave a few stray poos around the house for you. Bunnies can produce 200 to 300 fecal pellet droppings per day so there's bound to be a few that don't make it in the litterbox!
When you are choosing a litterbox, you do have choices. You can go with a regular cat litterbox, a high-back litterbox made just for bunnies and other small animals or you can get creative and use the bottom plastic pan of an old cage. Just don't ever use clay or any other type of litter like you would use for a cat. There are several reasons for this, such as too much dust for a bunny's delicate respiratory system and the clay litter getting on bunny's fur and then they can possibly ingest that during cleaning which can quickly lead to gastrointestinal trouble for the complex bunny digestive system. The best bet for litter is to use paper bedding. Wood shavings of any kind can cause respiratory issues and certain kinds can be toxic. A lot of people like to use horse pellets in bunny litterboxes. It's cheap, absorbant and you can always place a thin layer of paper bedding on top because most buns like their feet on something soft. If you do choose paper bedding, please stay away from the scented varities and make sure they contain absolutely no baking soda.
When you're in the early stages of litterbox training a bunny, you can clean their litterbox, but don't clean it too well. Bunnies need to be able to smell their scent on that litterbox when they're still learning. But it does need to be clean so the scent doesn't overwhelm your bunny's respiratory system. If you can smell it then the scent is much more powerful to them, so that's never good. But once your bun has been using the litterbox for a while, I recommend cleaning the litterbox with a little white vinegar and hot water. The vinegar really does a great job cleaning. Just be sure you rinse all that vinegar scent out so your bunny isn't overwhelmed by the odor. We all know strong the smell of vinegar can be!
Hopefully you have found these litterbox training tips useful and can quickly get your bun to be "potty perfect". Good luck!
Friday, August 5, 2016
Now, for the stuff your bun can chew! It's always a great idea to look around at different bunny stores online to find a wide variety of things your bun can chew. I have found that Gizmo & Ebony love apple sticks. It's a bit difficult sometimes to find something they both like to chew. Buying hay balls is another good option, too. I just received one today that I ordered online. It's a ball of Meadow hay and both seem to enjoy it quite a bit! If you have trees in your yard and would like to use some parts of that, just make sure that type of tree is safe for bunnies, while also making sure the tree has not been treated with chemicals of any kind.
Cardboard is another great option! Buns love to "bunstruct" and cardboard will give them the option to do so. Most bunnies won't eat the cardboard, they just like to tear it and throw the pieces down. But it's always a good idea to keep an eye on your bun for a while just to make sure they aren't eating any of it.
Toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls free of glue also make great chew toys for buns. So when you use all the paper, don't throw out the roll! Check it for any glue residue and if it's safe, then let bunny have it as a toy. They can toss them around and chew them! Stuffing some hay inside a toilet paper roll is a great way to get your bun interested in playing with this new toy.
Especially make sure your bunny has something safe to chew at night, while you're sleeping or during the day while you're at work. If you keep your bunny in any enclosed area, whether it's a pen or a cage, they are more susceptible to getting bored. How would you like it if someone locked you in a room and said "You stay here for six hours but you can't do anything but sleep and eat"? You would be bored out of your mind! And if your bunny is a free roaming bunny who has access to most areas of your home, then a bored bunny without anything to chew on will start "bunstruction" work on your furniture and all aspects of your home. They can dig into your sofa, removing the stuffing inside, which would pose a danger to them if ingested. They will also strip away any wallpaper or chew on the drywall. This behavior is related to their wild cousins. Buns in the great outdoors will use their teeth to remove bark from trees so your wall will become a tree to them if they aren't occupied properly. Now sometimes, buns will just be buns and be mischievous. They may decide one day they want to tear into your sofa just because it's fun. Or they can be like Gizmo and tear a chunk of drywall out! Sometimes they just like to do what they're not supposed to do. But, hey! Have you ALWAYS followed the rules? ;)
Just keep all this in mind and if at any point you think your bun may have chewed a wire and gotten shocked or burned, please check him/her over thoroughly. I know it's almost impossible to check the inside of a bunny's mouth, but in this case you will have to watch for clues. Any decrease in eating when your bunny clearly wants to eat, could be a sign they have a burn on the inside of their mouth. If this is the case or you can clearly see something doesn't look normal during an overall inspection, then please get your bun to a bunny savvy vet immediately. Bunnies that don't eat or who are in pain can quickly go into Stasis, which can be deadly. The same goes for the sofa, wallpaper, drywall or anything that's not safe for your bunny. If you think your bunny may have ingested anything harmful, please get them to a bunny savvy vet as quickly as possible. With such delicate digestive systems, buns can take a turn for the worse when the normal balance of their gut is disrupted.
To keep your bun happy and entertained while keeping them healthy and safe at the same time is a big responsibility for a bunny parent. You have to think like a bunny and determine what dangers they would see as fun, while deciding what a bun would find fun that is safe for them.
**DISCLAIMER** This is for informational purposes only. We do not claim to be experts nor are we responsible for any actions that may harm your bun(s). We always recommend a trip to a bunny savvy vet if anything is wrong with your bunny. This blog is to provide you with some helpful tips as a new bunny owner and is not a complete guide to being a new bunny parent. Always research and speak to a bunny savvy vet.
Friday, July 29, 2016
Let's talk about when Gizmo first came into my life. He had only been with me for a week, maybe not even that long, but he got stopped pooping. And when a bunny stops dropping their fecal pellets, that's a serious problem. BUT he was still eating and drinking, so I kept an eye on him just in case it was just something temporary. Unfortunately, Gizmo still didn't use the bathroom. It was time to get him to the vet. I had just moved to this city and was not comfortable driving here, but my baby needed immediate attention. Since I was too nervous to drive much here, I took Giz to a vet location that was easier to get to and had less traffic. Once I got there, the vet saw Gizmo, prescribed some Metacam (for pain), in pill form, and some liquid Reglan (gut motility) as well as some Critical Care in case he stopped eating. That vet also informed me that Gizmo was a lady bun.
Feeling better, I took my boy home, gave him his meds, which was difficult since one was a pill. The next day Gizmo had not gotten better, but I knew he wouldn't miraculously recover in an instant. But the day after that, he was worse. I could hear him loudly grinding his teeth all the way across the room. He stayed in a hunched up position and barely moved. At this point, he had stopped eating and stopped drinking. In a panic, I called the vet and was told that he would need to be hospitalized. Being a new bunny mom, I had done a lot of bunny research and I knew that Gizmo was in Stasis and knew it could be treated. My doubts set in about the first vet.
So I went to the House Rabbit Society's website and found a vet qualified to give care to bunnies. I immediately called them and told them my baby was knocking on Death's door. They said they would see him as soon as I got him there. The vet carefully looked Gizmo over, gave me liquid form of Metacam and also gave him some Sub-Q fluids. They also took the time to show me how to do the "bunny burrito" so I could give him the Critical Care. I was informed I would need to bring him back the following day for another shot of Sub-Q fluids. And guess what?! My baby boy got better, and better, and better! It took a while for him to get back to himself, but he did finally get there.
This instance goes to show that you should have a bunny vet selected ahead of time and be ready for emergencies. To find a qualified bunny vet you can go here to the House Rabbit Society to find a great bunny savvy vet near you. Being a first time bun parent, it's easy to make a mistake, but I want to warn everyone with the scary incident with Gizmo so maybe a bun's life can be saved with this information. If I would have taken Gizmo to the proper vet in the first place, his recovery wouldn't have taken as long and he most likely would not have been in so much pain. He was still eating and drinking when I took him to the first vet, but if I would have taken him to a bunny savvy vet the first time, he would have gotten treatment before he got worse. I still feel absolutely horrible to this day because he had to experience that.
And, of course, the first vet got his weight and his gender wrong! So, beware of vets say they will see bunnies in their offices. It doesn't mean they know what they're doing!
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
The store is located on Zazzle but we have found out, thanks to some experimentation by our lovely overseas friends, that one link for the store does not work for every region. For us here in the United States, the link is www.zazzle.com/bunny_emporium so just remember to change the .com extension to your region's URL extension. Our helpful overseas friends also informed us that sometimes clicking on the .com link will re-direct to the correct website and sometimes it doesn't.
Here's just a few of the links for other regions:
We love that anywhere in the world with a Zazzle shop can order from the store and not have to pay for hefty overseas shipping!
We really "hop" to see you stopping by the shop!!
Sunday, July 10, 2016
First let's discuss the DO NOT's when it comes to food for your bunny. Please skip all the brightly colored foods in the pet stores. Most have seeds, nuts and other things that bunnies just shouldn't have. If you're buying pellets, just make sure they are pellets and ONLY pellets with 18% minimum fiber. Treats are also sold to be "catchy" to the human eye. Those colors that pop are for our visual pleasure alone and have no nutritional value for buns. Yogurt drops are a big no no. Bunnies shouldn't have any dairy products at all. When looking for treats in the pet store, Oxbow is the best bet. Just remember that treats are just that - treats, and should only be given in minimal amounts. And also remember that just because something is sold in a store, doesn't mean it's good for bunnies.
Now we can move on to the good stuff!! GREENS!! Gizmo & Ebony love salad time, Ebony more so than Gizmo but she's just "food crazy"! There are lots of greens you can feed to a bunny and there are some that just are absolutely no good. Pennyroyal mint for example is toxic, so please avoid that. I'm not sure how popular that type of mint is to be sold in stores, but just keep that in mind. Mint such as Peppermint and Spearmint is fine to feed to your bun. If you are buying greens and fruits from a store, organic is always best. If you decide to grow your own, just be sure you use no chemicals.
Instead of going over each and every little thing you can feed to a bunny, I'm going to direct you here to the House Rabbit Society so you can read a bit more about a bunny's diet and which greens are best. Some greens are higher in acid so feed those less often. Remember to introduce your bun to new food slowly so their digestive system doesn't get upset.
Now with fruit, I feed Gizmo and Ebony a bit of fruit daily, but I put it at the bottom of their salad so they have dessert with their food. Banana is usually the favorite of most bunnies (some absolutely hate it) and Gizmo & Ebony are no exception. They love banana. I cut a small slice and chop it up. I always remove the peel first because the peeling can contain things you don't want your bun to have. Everyone is different, but personally, I prefer not to give them any portion of the peeling. Keep in mind that fruit is full of natural sugar so feed very little to your cotton bottomed baby!
Here is a video I made today of preparing Gizmo & Ebony's salads. I always rinse the veggies thoroughly when making the salads. I don't do it ahead of time. And you may notice how I cut up the banana slices and tear most of the veggies into smaller pieces. That is only for Ebony's sake. When I first adopted her she would eat so fast that she almost choked on more than one occasion. She does seem to be eating slower now but she still eats pretty fast so I still choose to feed her smaller bites, just to be on the safe side. And I do the same for Gizmo, just in case Ebony steals some of his noms!! ;)
I did speed this video up to save some viewing time, so enjoy and have a bunderful day!! <3