Understanding your bunny (bunderstanding!)
I'm sure we all think we know our pets quite well but how much do we really know about them and how can we spot when something isnt quite right? In this entry I'm going to cover off normal rabbit behaviours and then later on in this blog we can look at when things aren't right.
It's a really great idea to complete a weekly health check on your bunny (or any pet for that matter) and a good place to start is understanding what's normal behaviour and what's not.
Like us humans all bunnies are different but there are some common "relaxed behaviours" we can all look out for. The Rabbit House on Facebook is a great resource and this page is regularly updated with interesting graphics showing you examples of different behaviours. This one is one of my favourites as it shows some great relaxed bunnies.. and let's face it who hasn't had a small panic when they see the dead bunny flop!
As a prey animal we know that naturally rabbits depend on staying alert for survival so any of these poses shows the rabbit is content and relaxed with you. Here's one of mine relaxing under the sofa.
Other natural behaviours include "chinning" where the rabbit will run its scent glands across anything it wishes to claim (the dustpan is a firm favourite in my house!) and getting involved in what you're up to is another happy bunny sign.. rabbits really are great fun animals with proper personalities!
A rabbit that is super happy will perform what's called a Binky- a high spirited jump in the air with maybe a kick or twist or two! A Zoomy may also occur, my rabbit Stampy will run at break neck speeds around the lounge with little to no care as to where he ends up! Both these are great to see and even harder to take the perfect picture of!
If you are lucky enough to have two or more rabbits you will also notice cleaning and grooming between them, not only does this keep them clean it's also important for thier bond and relationship too. Sometimes a bunny will try and lick you and this is part of the same ritual.
..I was giving Snoop a cuddle and Stampy came over to give him a kiss too!
Rabbits will stamp thier feet to warn the whole group of danger. This can often seem over nothing to us humans but in the wild it's a warning to run for cover! It is a surprisingly loud sound especially when you consider all the fluff on those feet!
Once you understand your bunnies normal behaviours it is much easier to spot when something has changed. As a boarding facility it is obviously a new and strange enviroment for your pet and they might seem a little nervous on the way- if you want to bring a favourite toy or blanket to help them feel more at home please feel free but rest assured rabbits will settle in quickly so try not to worry!