You may notice your pets acting strangely. They look awkward, unsure, and very wary of their environment. In humans, these actions are tantamount to being nervous. Can rabbits really get nervous?
Rabbits are pets that are not exempt from being nervous. As a loving owner, there are a number of things that can be done to make them feel at ease. In this article, we have rounded up some effective tips on how to identify and help the nervousness of your pets.
One of the very first things that you can observe when you have a rabbit is how nervous they can actually get. In fact, you may see them getting startled even at the smallest movement or noise. They do not like getting surprised, and even hate getting picked up. They need to be handled with care.
All of these things are particularly relevant if there are children in your house, aside from your pets. This is because some rabbits may even feel more nervous than others. However, if you notice that your rabbit is scared constantly, it is best to follow some tips and expect that your rabbit will feel more secure in no time.
Identifying a Nervous Rabbit
Just by observing and familiarizing the behavior of rabbits, it is quite easy to tell if your pet is scared or nervous. You can see your rabbit sitting with their ears held back, sitting rounded up like a huge ball. They may also be seen always beneath something. They also tend to get startled even at the smallest noise.
If your rabbit is really nervous, scared, or hears a noise that they do not understand, they usually thumb quite loudly using their back feet on the floor. This serves as a warning to other rabbits that danger is near. The rabbits will then thump continuously until the supposed danger is gone. Despite being small animals, they can still make a lot of thumping noise.
Making Your Rabbit Feel Safe
Making your rabbit feel safe is not a completely impossible task. If you notice your pets sitting out in the open, rather than under tables, boxes or chairs, it means that they feel secure and safe. This will also prove true if you notice them lying with legs spread out or splayed out from behind.
This means that they are comfortable, not even caring about other elements in their surroundings. The moment that your rabbit starts to relax in their abode, laying out in a position similar to somebody enjoying a good sunbath, you know that you have a secure and happy rabbit.
What Can You Do
As an owner, it is very important to know your rabbit well. In doing so, you can quickly figure out what makes your pet scared. Some have the tendency to be scared and nervous of sudden, quick movement. Others, on the other hand, are afraid of noise. In general, rabbits hate being picked up, most particularly by children who do not know how to pick them up securely. If you notice your bunny getting nervous and edgy, there are tips that you can do in order to look after their welfare.
Tips to Ease the Nervousness of Your Rabbit
· Avoid Making Quick Movements
If you notice your rabbit getting startled and surprised at movements, especially when you are close to their cage, make changes to your movements. You can carefully and slowly pick up bunny toys or food bowls. This will give a warning to your rabbit that you are coming, and they will feel better knowing it ahead than suddenly seeing your hand entering into their space.
· Avoid Picking Your Rabbit Up
Most rabbits do not like getting picked up, especially if the one doing so do not know how to hold them well. Rather, in order to familiarize your pet, you can start by sitting down next to him, stroking him, or playing with him. Since you are literally going down at his level, your pet will feel secure rather than being picked up, swung right into the air by somebody who is tall in his eyes.
· Do Pet Talks with Your Rabbit
Other owners shy away from this thought, thinking that this sounds crazy. However, reality dictates that this can foster communication and a close relationship with you and your rabbit. When doing so, try to talk to your pets in a soothing, low voice as much as possible. They will easily become familiar and used to the sound of your voice.
Even if you have friends visiting over, and they notice more voices, they will not be startled right away. One thing about rabbits is that they love being talked to. You may notice your pet’s ear pricking up as it tries to understand your words. Eventually, they will be able to associate you with your voice, knowing that when you are speaking to them, it is with love and treats.
· Avoid Invading Their Private Space
It is very important to keep the space of your rabbit clean. If they have their own cage or pen, avoid climbing over from the top. Imagine how it looks like small animals. Instead, walk in to a door, making sure that you are informing them that you are just a visitor in their space. Animals also have to feel secure and comfortable in their own home. If you invade their space constantly, acting like you also live there, it will definitely stress them out.
· Avoid Making Loud Noises
When doing things at home, such as mowing the lawn, vacuuming, or doing anything noisy near the cage of your rabbit, it is recommended to take care. The moment that your rabbit arrives, you can slowly be introducing them to things in your homes such as vacuums, and other equipment.
You can do so by turning it on for a few seconds, turn it off, and back on again. Then you can increase the time that they are exposed to the sound slowly. Later on, they will be used to it that they will no longer even notice it.
Handling our rabbits gently for the first 4 to 6 weeks of their life can also help in reducing their nervous feeling and fear. If you own baby rabbits at home, it is recommended that they become exposed to new experiences. Younger rabbits have the tendency to react strongly to almost anything that moves fast, as well as sounds that they are not familiar of.
For the first few days and weeks, exposing them to sounds and voices will allow your rabbit to become used to the activities around the house. Later on, you will realize that unless you make a whole lot of noise, your rabbit will only look like it’s bored and not minding what is happening, though it may still be very alert and watchful.
Rabbits learn fast and easy to train. Only a few days of being alert and careful around your nervous pet, you will be able to see that your pet has already transformed into the most secure and the happiest rabbit. This will also give you pleasure and happiness as the owner.