Bunny lovers - Experience with Rabbits

I live with 2 rabbits who roam freely throughout the house and we have a warm and loving relationship. Once they learn to trust you, rabbits are amazing, affectionate, and social. You need to take the time to socialize them and learn about their basic body language.

I am always amazed by the sitters who include “small pets” in their sitting abilities as rabbits require a lot more care than people typically expect, and so it’s important to be prepared! They usually require more maintenance than cats …

Bunnies need to be monitored carefully for signs of illness: decreased appetite, weight loss, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, soft fecal pellets. Any change in appetite is significant!!! If the bunny stops eating, it needs to be seen right away (within a few hours) by an experienced rabbit vet!!

They are prey animals who hate being picked up from the floor and cuddled. Rabbits do not have flexible spines like cats, so improper handling can cause serious or fatal injuries.

Curious to hear from the group -other bunny lovers and/or sitters- about their experience and maybe sitting stories to share.

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I’ve never had rabbits, but you’ve rather put me off sitting for them. I’d be a nervous wreck :pleading_face:

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:grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
another remark …: rabbits don’t deal well with stress

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We did a housesit recently that included caring for indoor rabbits and, to be honest, I thought they were very easy to look after. I think they need more attention than cats but don’t think the amount of care they need is enough to put any sitter off.
Most of the things you mention are typically things that you would look out for with any type of pet.
The main thing with rabbits is knowing how to handle them ( never by the ears!!!) Some rabbits love to be held - others find it distressing so it is important to have that knowledge from the home host before they leave.
They are really inquisitive. inside rabbits need lots of play and things to keep them occupied and to chew on otherwise they can be extremely destructive.

2021-09-03 13.31.32_resized

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Hi @Petra welcome to our community forum, thank you for joining and bringing your bunny care wisdom to the conversation … we do have many pet bunny families on the forum and as you say it would be really interesting to hear some bunny sitting stories.

Enjoy connecting with other members and thank you again.

As well as your excellent tips and insights here are some from the Blue Cross also.

Angela and the Team

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Yes ! This site is my bible for rabbit care, this is where I learned everything I know now about them!
Having had cats all my life, rabbits were a kind of new territory for me, and I had to start from scratch : you think you know a lot about pets but all species are different !

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I also live with two house rabbits! Unfortunately I always have that one destructive bunny that makes roaming freely impossible. But they have their own “room”, and when I am home they get to visit me in the living room and can still destroy the pillows on my couch, books in my shelf or mobile phone chargers. :wink: My girl Ella is very social and likes to be pet all paws on the floor. My boy Max unfortunately only sees me as the person serving his food and prefers to be left alone outside of meal times.

I have been on trusted house sitters for almost ten years and hence had a lot of different sitters. Some were bunny people, some not. I had sitters who have had bunnies themselves and were amazing. Other sitters had some previous bunny experience and sometimes insisted to do things “their way”, or thought they knew everything and didn’t ask enough questions. So very often I was happier with the sitters that had very little or no previous experience with rabbits, because they would always follow my instructions to the dot and ask questions about anything.

I personally don’t agree that bunnies need more monitoring, or at least I never looked at it that way. Most of my sitters told me that they found looking after the bunnies quite easy because they don’t need any entertainment. The biggest challenge for them usually is buying/finding new greens. My bunnies’ diet consists of 90 percent greens, and bunnies eat a lot! So it is impossible to provide greens for more than a few days. This summer I started picking greens from the meadows nearby and therefore tried to give my summer sitters a quick introduction on what they could pick themselves when they were running out of food. As for shopping, my local market isn’t always predictable, so my shopping list will usually consist of lots of “if you don’t find this, buy that” instructions. Some sitters figure this out better than others. :slight_smile:

But in general, I find sitters very willing to adapt to any pet’s special needs. Last year my one bunny had a dental procedure and needed to have the wound cleaned for longer than I thought. So I showed my sitter what to do and he did it brilliantly, although I don’t think he has ever done anything like this before.

However, I sometimes feel that very few sitters apply for house sits with bunnies. I have lived in Copenhagen, Berlin and now in Riga with my rabbits, which should all be desirable destinations for city people. I usually have a few sitters to chose from, but not many. So it would be nice if more people understood what amazing pets they make.

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Hello Elke,

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience!

I am relatively new to rabbits, and thought at the beginning that they were quite “carefree” …

And indeed, they are, if all is OK and the bunnies are in good health They sleep most of the day, and are active in the morning (until 11) and starting again in the afternoon, waking up around 5pm. They eat around 7-8 in the morning and same in the evening (19.00-20.00). So perfect timings for a sitter!

But if you consider that some situations maybe life urgency for bunnies so you need to have someone present that is aware of those signs, recognize the urgency & may take the right decision: run to a specialized vet !

I am new to this site (got the link from a friend) and wanted to check out if there were sitters with bunny experience before subscribing. Also, as I may travel for business more frequently in the coming months, my leaves may be short duration but also short notice … And, it is mandatory! So looking for someone nearby and/or someone willing to come frequently to my place.

I am in the south of France, close to Nice Airport, so kind of “desirable” location. But hearing that sitters applications are not so numerous frightens me a bit …

Ha, me too. I had a phone chat with a HO with rabbits. She said, “you must be here nearly 24/7 to observe them. If there is any concern, you must be prepared to take them to the emergency vet immediately!”

Pass.