Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Choking Bunny

One thing I fear, as well as most bunny owners, is a choking incident. I will say that when I first adopted Ebony she would inhale her food like she wouldn't eat again. She's still a fast nommer but not as bad as she was at first. During her first few months here she almost choked on three separate occasions! The first time it happened with some banana, next it occurred with a raspberry and the third time it happened while she was eating a seedless grape, which had been cut in half! Luckily she didn't completely choke but I still worry about choking incidents.

There is something you can do to help your bun bun in that dreaded situation. The Bunny Heimlich has saved the lives of many bunnies. Our friend Suzie over at The Bossy Bunny had a choking experience recently. Her mom remembered what she had read on the Bunny Heimlich and was able to save sweet Suzie's life. There have been other bunnies, who, unfortunately, were not as lucky and crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Please study the information here to know how to save your bunny if they suddenly start choking. The information in the link also advises on what to look for to know that your bunny is choking. Keep in mind that bunnies are great at hiding when something is wrong so you do need to be very observant when they exhibit clues that something just isn't right. Remember that bunnies are super fragile, so be sure to support them properly when performing this method. And always take your bun bun to the vet after a choking occurrence. They can quickly develop pneumonia or have another issue from the horrific experience.

I do my best to tear up Gizmo & Ebony's veggies when I make their salads and I cut their fruits into small pieces to reduce the risk of choking. But they can still choke on pellets or other foods. As much as I reduce the chances, it doesn't mean it can't happen. Sometimes we can do everything right and bad things still happen. It's best to prepared for the worst case scenario.









** This information is for educational purposes and is not meant to replace exotic veterinary care. This information is intended only as information. We are not responsible for anything that may happen to your bunny. Bunnies are misunderstood animals and their care gets neglected due to lack of information. We want to break that chain and inform others of the proper needs and care of bunnies.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bunny Christmas List

We have gotten so behind in posting and we sincerely apologize! Since it tis the season, we're posting some of the awesome toys you can buy for your bun bun for the holidays! We hope you enjoy!

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. 



Another fun thing that most bunnies seem to enjoy is the Cottontail Cottage. It's three stories with ramps between the floors. The roof provides a great lounge area! Gizmo & Ebony use their cottage on a regular basis. We place tunnels near it so they can have extra fun. The cottage is made of cardboard, so a bunny will nibble on it, so don't expect it to look pretty the whole time you own it! Just make sure your bunny isn't eating the cardboard. Want to learn more about the cottage? Check it out on Cats and Rabbits and More

Ebony on the roof of the cottage.


Something that I have been using a lot more lately for Gizmo & Ebony is their treat balls. I feel as though they both think every day is lazy Sunday Bunday. So their treats go in the balls now in order to get them moving around. You can find these cute little carrot decorated treat balls at Bunny Approved. Here is a photo of my babies enjoying their treat balls.


Treat Time!


Ebony recently celebrated her second Gotcha Day on November 29. As a present, I ordered the Teach N Treat. She made quick work of figuring out how to get the treats. Gizmo, on the other hand, became aggressive, flipping the whole thing over to get the yummies. He's silly like that! But it really is a neat toy that offers three different "puzzles" for your bun to solve in order to get those delicious goodies. I've only used two of the three puzzles so far for Giz and Ebs. I do love it, though. If you're interested in this toy for your sweet little cotton bottomed baby, you can buy one by clicking the image below.




Now the next items I would like to talk about haven't been given to Gizmo and Ebony just yet. These items are their Christmas presents, so I can't really discuss them yet in full detail. One item ordered was the Hopper Hideaway which is like two small little houses connected by a tunnel. Everything is made from cardboard and it looks so cute! We currently have a similar, homemade setup but it is getting old and in need of an upgrade. So we can tell you more about that item after Christmas but I am very excited to see them playing in the Hopper Hideaway! Order one here from Binky Bunny

Another thing I bought the buns for Christmas is the Tunnel Haven, which is a Binky Bunny exclusive item. My boyfriend also bought them one so they will have two of these amazing tunnels! My boyfriend actually let Gizmo and Ebony play with the tunnel he bought them for about an hour and then took it away, telling them they could have it on Christmas. I told him it wasn't nice to tease them because they really did seem to enjoy it! The Tunnel Haven is an absolutely amazing toy for bunnies. It is completely made of cardboard and is flexible. The tunnel can be stretched out to four or five feet. I seriously can't wait to see them running through TWO of those tunnels! They are going to have so much fun! Can you just imagine the Tunnel Havens connecting to the Hopper Hideaway and their Cottontail Cottage?! Oh my bun, what fun!! 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Potty Over Here, Potty Over There

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

To Chew or Not to Chew

Having items to chew is great for a bun's teeth as well as for their enjoyment. If a bunny has the proper items to chew then he/she will be able to keep their teeth trim (along with good quality hay) and it will keep them from getting bored. A bored bun is a destructive bun! Always keep wires out of reach because they WILL be chewed! Your bunny thinks wires are "vines" that are covering their home so they chew them to clear the way. Of course, a bunny has no idea how dangerous those particular "vines" can be so it's up to you to make sure they're safe. It will take some trial and error. You will think you have certain areas blocked off from bunny but they will most certainly let you know if there is a weakness in your barricade. Once a bunny is allowed to enter a certain area and are suddenly unable to enter, they will do everything in their bunny power to get back in there! They're persistent that way! So when you first create a barricade to prevent your bun from getting to wires, or say, behind the sofa, your bunny will try, try, try to get through. Just watch your furry friend carefully and see if there is a weakness anywhere. This way you can quickly stop your bun from entering once a weakness is found and you can quickly address the issue by fixing the weakness. You can always buy tubing to cover wires to keep your buns safe. Here, we just block off specific areas because they contain way too many wires to cover.

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

What's Up, Doc?

Today we'll be talking about bunny medical care. Not every vet is qualified to care for our little hippity hoppers. Why does it matter, you say? Well, bunnies are quite complex in their digestive systems. Bunnies, also, in general are very fragile beings. So in order for them to live their lives to the fullest, the proper vet needs to be selected. And before you even get a bunny is the time to find that vet. Emergencies can happen in the blink of an eye.

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

Cotton Bottom Shop

Gizmo & Ebony now have their own store! Before we get into the details, we do have to say that all the money made from the products goes to help other animals in need. We will be adding more items as we go along, too. We so often see animals in desperate need of donations, or a rescue that needs to raise a certain amount of money to help get some of the furry residents spayed, neutered or to buy food. And we rarely can donate and we surely can't donate to them all. So we would like to help out even if it is in some small way.

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:

Canada: www.zazzle.ca/bunny_emporium

UK: www.zazzle.co.uk/bunny_emporium

Germany:  www.zazzle.de/bunny_emporium


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

Let-tuce eat!

Noms!! Most bunnies love to eat...and eat...and eat!! And that's a good thing, because if your bunny isn't eating there is a serious problem! So in this post we will be discussing all the yum yums for bunny tum tums!!

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

video


Apologies!

Skipping blog entries is not something we had planned to do. The goal was to do at least one entry per week. But circumstances prevented us from doing so. There had been so many of Gizmo & Ebony's bunny friends passing away during a span of a week or two and it was just absolutely heartbreaking. Then I got sick, so so sick and had no concentration at all to write on the blog. But we are ready to get back to all the bunny info!! We will have a new "full" entry up soon so please stay tuned!! And again, we sincerely apologize for our absence!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Remembering Ocean

On Facebook, we meet so many new friends that become a part of our lives. One bunny in particular stole the hearts of people around the world. She had captivating blue eyes, resembling the sea with a wave on the right side of her face. Her name? Ocean. Almost everyone knew that name. Ocean had so many adventures from walking in on her mom and dad in the "hoomin litter box" or finding one of them in the bath, which made her shiver, to trying to help her friends hide from Monday. There are so many things Ocean did and said that left a lasting impression. But on Tuesday, June 7th the world lost a shining star. Sweet Ocean suddenly passed away, which left her parents and the bunny community absolutely devastated. Instead of mouring her loss, we SHOULD be celebrating her life, but it's hard to find a smile when such an amazing, beautiful life was taken far too soon.




Without Ocean, quite a few Facebook pages wouldn't exist, especially the pages of my bunnies. I loved her antics and how she did so much good through her page. Ocean was stuck in a rescue for quite some time until Sue & Rob came along in 2013. With them, she found a fur-ever home full of love that she could never have imagined existed. And because of that she always helped raise money for the rescue she came from, The Littlest Rescue. She and her mom did such amazing work helping other preloved bunnies.





Facebook is not the same without this precious girl who had a heart of gold and the true attitude of a bunny. Ocean touched so many hearts during her short time on Earth. She will always be remembered by those who knew and loved her. She brought so much joy to everyone through her page.We'll miss her threats on Mr. Sofa, gathering her army, the way she threatened her parents with "retwainings",  the way Ocean would help her daddy with his "dees eyes whys" and the sweet way she always made sure to tell her friends goodnight each and every single night. And who could forget her hate for Star Wars, her feud with Baggins and all her "redecorating". Whatever she was doing, she always did it in true Ocean fashion.

Always being the kindhearted soul, Ocean made sure to give her Rainbow Bridge friends a final salute on Bunny Butt Friday. It was a sweet way to remember her friends who had left this world during the week. When Friday, June 10th approached, it was time for a salute no one thought would happen anytime soon. It was time to give Ocean her final salute.







It's difficult to describe Ocean to those who didn't know her because she was such a one of a kind bunny. She had a unique spirit that really translated well on her page. And even though she lived in the UK, she was an international celebrity. She appeared in Bunnyzine magazine (Vol. 1 Issue 5), was in a local newspaper and even appeared on television. She really took Facebook by storm and became a true celebrity.




Ocean, in every sense of the word, was a star. And as she shone here on Earth, she will shine brightly as an angel at the Rainbow Bridge. So, binky free, sweet girl. The world will absolutely not be the same without you.



Please,  if you are able to do so, donate to your favorite rescue or to Ocean's rescue, The Littlest Rescue, here through PayPal in her honor. (You will have to choose your amount in British pounds for the Littlest Rescue.) Put "In Memory of Ocean" in the Notes section if you can. Ocean's rescue also has an Amazon Wish List.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Hay, You!

Hay isn't just for horses! Bun buns are all about the hay! Well, most are but some need a little help getting the taste for it. Usually it's because of possible dental issues or maybe their past, but some bunnies just don't seem to want hay. In this post we'll be focusing on those who do love the stuff!!

Bunnies need hay and lots of it. As I mentioned briefly in a previous post (Want a Bunny? Here's What You Need to Know), hay is crucial for their digestive health and keeps their continuously growing teeth trim and healthy. Hay should be available in unlimited amounts, but if you can't do that the general rule of thumb is that a bunny should eat a ball of hay as big as he/she is daily. For Gizmo & Ebony we buy a 60 lb. box of timothy hay every few months, sometimes 2.5 months. They ALWAYS have hay available to them.

Timothy hay should be the main type of hay but there are other hays that you can mix in with it such as orchard grass, oat and Bermuda grass. Just be sure to introduce any type of new food (hay included) to your bun slowly. Their digestive systems need time to adjust to something new. Stay away from alfalfa hay UNLESS your bun is young or has a medical condition (diagnosed by your bunny savvy vet, of course). If you have a bunny younger than 6 months and doesn't need his/her mother for nutrition anymore, then feeding alfalfa hay is fine. Once your bun has reached 6 months of age then it will be time to transition him/her to timothy hay. Start mixing the two hays, just make sure you do this slowly so you don't upset bunny's digestive system. If you think your bunny may be too difficult when it comes to switching from alfalfa to timothy, then it is safe to feed young bunnies timothy instead of alfalfa, just make sure they have alfalfa based pellets.

Why shouldn't adult bunnies (6 months or older) have alfalfa? Well the answer is simple. Alfalfa is high in calcium and protein, which can lead to bladder issues as well as obesity in adult buns. Alfalfa is also lower in fiber, which is not suited for adult buns.

Always choose good quality hay. Make sure the hay is nice and green and has a good aroma. Don't choose brown hay or moldy hay.

Not only is hay good for bunnies for many reasons, but it also helps them with their litter box training. Bunnies LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to eat hay while they use the bathroom. So if you have hay near or in the litter boxes that really helps them learn where they are supposed to use the bathroom. Gizmo & Ebony have a rack of hay on each side of their corner litter boxes in the living room.


The picture above is of Gizmo's space, but Ebony always likes to hop in and share Giz's hay! But as you can see, there's a hay rack in the front and back for them. Ebony's area is set up exactly the same way. The green portion you see is the top of the litter box. Of course, neither of them are in the litter box in the above picture! They're just having a snack, not doing their business!! ;)


And the other litter box, placed in their play room, is a large pan from the bottom of an old cage. I always line the entire bottom with the litter (paper bedding) and then place hay in the front and leave the backside uncovered with hay. I'm paranoid about them eliminating themselves on the hay and then eating it, so I only do the giant litter box with half and half.

You may have noticed lots of hay in the floor in the pictures. It's impossible to keep the floor vacuumed with bunnies running around that CONSTANTLY eat hay!! But I wouldn't have it any other way! I love them so much!

I hope this post about hay has been helpful!! We're still getting the hang of things here in Blogville and hope we can post more soon!! Thanks for visiting!!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Bun Fun

Binky binky binky!! I know most people associate that word with a pacifier, but in the bunny community it's a bunny's "happy dance". A bunny will jump into the air and twist his/her body. Most of the time when you see this cute dance it follows some running but sometimes they will do a binky from a still position. My sweet girl, Ebony, demonstrates her binky ability all the time. It's almost like she's the binky princess!! An example of a binky from a still position comes from this YouTube video of my Ebony.



Gizmo isn't much of a binky bun, but he does like to do them early in the morning sometimes. He is more known for his head shakes. He loves to shake his head when he THINKS he's being defiant. Gizmo will hop onto the sofa and he'll sit there and stare at my boyfriend until he gets his attention. Playfully, my boyfriend will say "You better get down!" while pointing to the floor. At this point, Giz gets excited and starts hopping a bit while shaking his head. I think that translates to "I'll do what I want"! But Gizmo loves that little game.


Bunnies love treats! And if you can make treat time a workout too then that's even BETTER!! Now I will have to admit that Gizmo & Ebony don't always play with their treat balls but they do sometimes. Ebony will more than Gizmo because she will do just about anything for some noms! Gizmo is a bit more spoiled and doesn't want to work for his food. Silly bunnies!




Monday, May 23, 2016

Want a Bunny? Here's What You Need to Know

If you want to become a first time bunny parent or just brought a bunny into your home then this is for you. Bunnies are such complex animals and any information you know about them is great to have on hand, even if it may seem trivial now.

Rabbits, contrary to what most people think, are NOT rodents. A rabbit is actually a lagomorph, which is a Greek word meaning "hare-shaped". The difference between a rodent and a lagomorph is in their diet and their teeth. With that said, let's make teeth our next topic.

Bunnies have 28 teeth that never stop growing, which is why they constantly need to chew. This is one reason why hay is so important in a rabbit's diet. It keeps their teeth trim and healthy. Issues with teeth can develop depending on genetics, age and a bunny's previous care. Early detection of any dental issues can make it easier to treat before the problem gets out of control.

Another reason hay is essential in a bunny's diet is for their digestive health. Like cats, rabbits do get hairballs, the difference being that bunnies cannot vomit, so they can't cough up the hairballs like a cat. Hay keeps the bunny digestive system in working order. They should always have unlimited hay available to them. Always give them hay and never ever feed them food with seeds or nuts. Pet stores do sell those items, but that doesn't make them healthy. You can walk into a grocery store and buy a box of doughnuts, but that doesn't mean they're healthy for you. Nuts and seeds are something that a bun just can't handle in their gut.The digestive system of a rabbit is quite complex and they can develop gut issues very quickly and if not treated by the proper veterinarian, it can be fatal. Having some dye-free infant gas drops in your bun's medicine cabinet can be extremely helpful for tummy issues. Depending on the area where you're located, will determine what these drops are called. In the United States we call it Simethicone, while in other parts of the world, it's referred to as Infacol. Please do NOT think gas drops will be a cure for whatever is making your bunny's tummy uncomfortable. The drops can ease the discomfort of built up gas and ONLY that. To know for sure what the issue is, you will need to consult with a rabbit savvy veterinarian. When I say rabbit savvy, I mean an exotics veterinarian. Many veterinarians will tell you they can treat bunnies in their office, but rabbits are nothing like cats and dogs when it comes to their medical treatment. To ensure your sweet bunny gets the proper medical care, please do some research to find an exotics vet closest to you.

Bunnies are prey animals. They have this instinct which makes them fearful of almost everything. Even though they're safe inside your home that doesn't stop them from thinking a predator is just around the corner. Being prey animals means they try to hide any sickness or injury they may develop. In the wild bunnies are vulnerable to any carnivorous animal, but a sick bunny in the wild is even easier prey, so they try to conceal any health issues, even from you. If you suspect your bunny is sick or injured, listen for extremely loud grinding of the teeth (soft grinding is okay as that is equivalent to a cat's purr), look for decreased water intake, decreased appetite or no appetite at all, any change in the shape, consistency and amount of fecal pellets, and sitting in a hunched position for extended periods of time or if your bunny doesn't move much. All are signs that your bunny needs to be seen by a rabbit savvy vet immediately. So always make sure you have a pet carrier to transport your bunny because you never know when an emergency will happen. Bunnies are so fragile. They can be healthy one minute and knocking on death's door the next.

Rabbits love to be clean so they will bathe themselves like a cat. There may be times when your bunny will need some assistance in keeping clean. If your bun has a messy bottom then ONLY that area should be cleaned. Bunnies should NEVER be given a bath where they are completely submersed in water. I will say now that you will hear varying opinions on this topic but I advise you to never give your bun a complete bath. It's not worth risking your bunny's life. If they get a messy bottom just give them a butt bath. Even a butt bath can carry risks if you don't know what you're doing.

Please choose adoption when you're thinking of bringing a bunny into your home. There are many moral reasons as to why you should adopt but I will not get into those just now. If you adopt, you will be getting a bun who is already spayed or neutered. More than likely they will have already had a thorough veterinary examination and if not, some adoption centers will allow you to adopt and take the bunny to the vet yourself  but they will cover the cost of the vet visit.

I would like to add one more piece of info before I finish this post. Bunnies need 3-4 hours of run time each day. That means 3-4 hours outside of their cage or pen, if you're not letting them run free in your home. Younger bunnies will need more run time, of course. Just be sure the area they're running around in has been bunnyproofed. I'll go into more detail on this, as well as other bits of info provided here, in later posts.

Bunnies are not the low maintenance pet most believe them to be. I do hope with all this information you now have a better understanding of these majestic animals. I think I've more than likely overwhelmed you with this particular post so I'll give your brains and my hands a rest for now! ;)

As always feel free to email me with any questions you'd like covered in a post at cottonbottomtales@gmail.com


**** DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is just that...information. I am not a rabbit savvy veterinarian, but I do have years of experience with bunny care. This is only information to help you with your new bunny. This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any illnesses or injuries. Always consult your bunny's vet for medical issues. ****

My Introduction

Hello to all!! This is my first blog post so I thought it would only be natural to introduce myself before we get down to business. I am the mom to 2 gorgeous bunnies. They are spoiled beyond belief and have me wrapped around their cute, furry paws. Gizmo is my male Chinchilla bun who is very laid back but by no means lacks bunnitude!
Visit Gizmo on Facebook and Instagram

Ebony is my feisty, female Mini Rex who is the complete opposite of Gizmo. She loves to run Bunny 500's and do her binkies! 
Visit Ebony on Facebook and YouTube


With bunnies being the third most popular pet, I want to get all the information I can out there about their care. Spoiler alert....they're not as low maintenance as people think they are!! Here you will find educational bunny posts, as well as lighthearted bunny posts, along with a few tales about Gizmo & Ebony's cotton bottoms! So welcome to Cotton Bottom Tales!!