Animals, dogs, in particular, beg their human owners to be touched and be petted. While they are of different families, rabbits are also the same. Depending on their breed or combination of breeds, their fur can be longer than others.
Petting in many forms is a way to show love to them while doing some casual grooming at the same time. According to studies, there are a number of benefits that are offered by petting. One such form of petting is a belly rub.
How do they feel about a belly rub? Which part of their body do they prefer to be petted? Before understanding where they love to be petted, it is very important to know whether they even want to be petted and rubbed in the belly at all.
When it comes to petting, whether it is doing belly rubs or other forms, it is very important to know first and foremost whether or not rabbits love to be petted. For one, rabbits are also individuals, with their own preferences. Some would prefer not to be suddenly picked up, while most accept simple forms of petting, so long as it is done the right way.
In line with this, there are some simple rules when it comes to petting a rabbit. Here are some of them:
- Slowly approach your bunny before petting. True, they may not understand human words, but you can talk to them and ask if they want to be petted. They will understand your actions and would agree, especially if you are close to them already.
- Pet your bunny only when they are sitting in a location that is secure.
- If you notice your rabbit moving away, or attempting to avoid, it may be an indication that they do not like to be petted, or be rubbed on the belly. If this is the case, it is often best to honor their wishes.
- Note that most bunnies are small in size. Therefore, it is very important to be gentle when handling them. Most of them can even be as little as 3 pounds. Note that pressure coming from one finger may prove to be enough for bunnies that size.
- Some bunnies love to be petted for a maximum of 5 minutes, while others want it to continue for much longer. The cue comes from your bunny. Do not continue petting or attempting to do a belly rub if your pet is giving you some signs that it is already time to stop.
- If you notice that your bunny makes a move and hops over to you, bowing his head, or nudging your leg, then it goes to show that it loves to be petted.
Best Petting Spots for Bunnies
You can ask around for bunny owners to learn where their pets love to be petted. The answers that you will get will no doubt vary. In fact, owners of multiple rabbits at different times may even have to create their own rules.
The face, nose, ears, and cheeks are areas that are considered safe. Depending on the rabbit, the part beneath the chin may or may not be a problematic area. They may tolerate such pettings. The back is also considered as a safe area.
The feet, belly, and rear end, however, are considered as a no-no. This means that for most rabbits, a belly rub is not a good move. However, there will always be some exceptions to this rule. In fact, some rabbits may even love a belly rub. When doing so, however, it is important to pet your bunny cautiously until you know where the preference of your rabbit.
Keeping Bunnies Happy
Petting, in general, provides benefits to the health of your bunny, given that your pet in a specific way that does not cause stress to your beloved pet. After finding out the favorite spot of your pet, you may then want to test out some ways of petting in order to determine which one is preferable. Would they prefer circular strokes, long strokes, slow or quick petting? Does your rabbit love being petted with just one finger, two fingers, or petting through your whole hand?
It is also vital to know which actions actually stresses your rabbit. Note that bunnies actually differ, though, as you may have already learned from above, there are things that you need to avoid. This includes putting too much pressure, petting fur from the back to the front, as well as pulling the tail.
Make sure to pay attention to the body language of your rabbit, as well as their vocalizations, knowing whether you are making it happy, or actually causing stress. If you notice your bunny licking you or budging you, it is an indication that it likes you to continue what you are doing.
Building a Relationship with Your Bunny
Reality dictates that bunnies are actually very expressive. When they are full of energy and happy, they will usually zip around the entire area, happy. When they are hungry, they will honestly beg for food, or even get cranky, and may even chew on your furniture and other items.
If they want and need your attention, they will also dig on your leg or back, until you actually stop what you are doing and give them your attention. Understanding the unique language of bunnies will prove to be helpful when establishing a bond with your pet.
Note that rabbits are best comfortable on the ground. This is the reason why they may not really appreciate getting held or picked up. If you insist on doing so, they may start escaping and running away, even hiding each time you come close.
Some rabbits love being stroked on the cheeks and forehead. If they want this kind of petting, they usually put their head low on the ground, closing their eyes in pure contentment. Bunnies also love receiving a good scratch, especially in the shoulder area. With this said, they do not love being touched on the tail, stomach, feet, neck, and ears. This means that a belly rub is something that they may not really agree on.
As to when they are most likely to be receptive to a good petting, it actually depends on the bunny. Some bunnies, even most of them, are most receptive to petting after a meal when they are very relaxed. If your rabbit does not look interested in these terms of affection, you can simply wait until after mealtime.
With this said, make sure that your rabbits are already in a comfortable mood before you begin petting him. Rabbits can be nervous and may not love getting petted unless they are already prepared for it. If your rabbit approaches, it is already a signal that they are already in a comfortable mode and open to a good petting. Another thing, rabbits are generally very curious, which means that your bunny may simply be distracted with all the possible mischief that they can expect. Just like humans, as well as other animals, bunnies have unique and distinct personalities. With patience and time, you will eventually learn to find ways to make your bunny secure and happy. In return, your beloved pet will trust you and appreciate you for everything that you do.