You thought I had forgotten all about you, didn’t you?
But I haven’t. Every Bunny-Day, I return!
(I have, however, forgotten how to center text and images, so you have to live with left-side alignment. Oops. )
Given how the world is currently not a safe place, I have a very, very good announcement for you all!
Bunnies are not only the cutest, best and most amazing animals in the whole world, but they are also safe and healthy to cuddle, watch and play with! No social distancing from bunnies, ever!
Since I last year posted a lot of general bunny facts, I’ll post bunny health facts this time to make sure that your bunnies stay fine, though! For some reason, even bunnies haven’t figured out immortality yet (just to be nice to us to avoid making us feel inferior), so here you go! And if you just came here for the cute gifs, that’s okay, too - I love you anyway and so do the bunnies!
- Most important fact first: Pet bunnies are not the same as the hares that live in your yard (but both are super-cute!). Pets don’t know how to protect themselves from predators or how to find food. They will die if left outside without food or shelter and some people don’t realize this and simply release pet bunnies (especially after Easter) back into “nature”. Unwanted bunnies should be rehomed or donated to shelters! Never, ever release a bunny into the wild! Why would you do that, anyway? Bunnies are the best!
(This is an unrelated gif of a wild bunny kicking noodly snake-butt. I just felt I should include it.)
- Bunnies can’t go a day without eating because unlike for us, their bowels don’t move on their own, they need to push the food through their body with eating more food. Hence, a bunny that stops eating will die soon! If it stops eating even just for a day, regardless of the cause, it’ll get a life threatening condition called gastrointestinal (GI) stasis in which the normal bacteria that help digest food in the GI tract are overtaken by gas-producing bacteria, and the gas produced makes it more uncomfortable and not wanting to eat, thereby perpetuating the cycle. So if a bunny stops eating, rush to the vet immediately!
- Bunnies need preemptive healthcare, just like humans! They should have stool samples checked for intestinal parasites that can be easily treated if they are found. On top of that, all female bunnies should be spayed after 6 months of age so that they do not develop uterine cancer (which over 50-60% do if they are not spayed by age 3). Male bunnies may spray urine to mark their territory and may “hump” everything in sight – your legs, your furniture, your other pets – when they become sexually mature. That can be eliminated by neutering them. Bunnies are a lot like dogs and cats, just with moving noses and longer ears (which makes them cuter, but I don’t dare to write that out of brackets because some people here are still confused and love dogs and cats more. Which are also awesome animals, but they just aren’t bunnies)!
- 80% or more of a bunny’s diet needs to be hay, with around 15% being fresh greens. Treats like fruit should only been given in very, very small amounts! This means that all the cartoons of bunnies eating carrots are very wrong! To a bunny, a carrot is like ice-cream is to us - tasty, awesome, but nothing we should eat all day long! Pellets from the pet store were only meant to promote weight gain and growth for those who dare to use bunnies as food or fur source, so those are evil. Don’t give them to your bunny! There are special, healthy pellets these days which aren’t your “normal” pet store food, but even those should only be fed in moderation. Fresh food and hay are the most important things for a bunny!
- Some people say that bunnies smell, but that’s because they don’t know how to take care of them. Bunnies poop a lot because they eat all day, but they are also very smart and can be potty-trained like a cat, so providing them a litterbox is enough to make owner and bunny happy. It’s also normal that bunnies eat their poop - they produce two different kinds and the ones you don’t see because they eat them immediately are called cecotropes and have lots of nutritients inside. So bunnies digest things twice because they’re just cool like that.
(This is another unrelated gif. I couldn’t find one of a bunny in a litterbox and ‘letter’ and ‘litter’ are only one letter apart, so here’s a bunny opening a letter.)
- Don’t ever give baths to bunnies! They’re not meant to have them and can make them gravely ill because of hypothermia. Bunnies are really clean by nature and groom themselves, each other and you (awww!) with passion, so they don’t need baths. The only thing you should do is brush your bunny if/when they shed because they’re not meant to eat too much of their fur and some breeds were bred to shed a ton.
- Bunnies need a LOT of space and they need company. A really healthy, happy rabbit should have no less than 2m² of space for itself and since you need a second rabbit since they are social animals, you’re looking at twice that, at least. Keeping bunnies in small cages and alone is animal abuse, but thankfully, people have started to realize that and often have free-roaming rabbits now who have the run of the apartments. And that’s the right thing to do - give the bunny your apartment, your bed and everything you own, you can sleep in the bathtub if you need to!
- Bunnies cannot vomit, so everything they eat stays in their bodies. If they eat spoilt food, food they should not have or things that are not food, rush them to the vet, please!
- Bunnies can get heart attacks just from being scared, so don’t scare your bunnies with loud noises or let them play with things that may startle them too badly (like a balloon that could pop). As they are prey animals, they also don’t like to be picked up because they then think a bird is grabbing them. If you want to pick up your rabbit, make sure to support it from below so that its paws always have something to stand on to avoid stressing and frightening your bunny! If picked up wrongly, bunnies may struggle and break their spines that way! That’s why you should also help a bunny to roll around if it rolled onto its back!
- Never flip a bunny onto its back by yourself! People did this years ago and thought it was a good thing. “Trancing” rabbits is the action of placing rabbits on their back to induce a paralysis known as tonic immobility. Contrary to what people assumed, bunnies in a state of tonic immobility are not relaxed, hypnotized, or insensitive to pain. It’s a defense mechanism happening when a bunny has already been ‘caught’ by a predator. If it appears dead, the predator may release its grip momentarily and allows the bunny to escape. Research has shown that bunnies in this state have an increased heart and respiratory rate because of fear-induced stress. And yes, bunnies have died from being in this state for too long. So don’t ever do it to groom your bunny!
And there you have it, ten random bunny health facts to keep the greatest creatures on earth happy!
I hope you all have a great and safe Easter, stay healthy, inside and cuddle all the bunnies you hopefully own! And always remember: Your toilet paper belongs to the bunnies, too!
See you next year!