Friday, December 7, 2012

Beyond the Front Door

All experienced bunny-owners know that a little outdoor exercise is good for a healthy rabbit. Fresh air benefits your pets want to play, and while he is romping in the grass, you may notice him kick up his heels with joy!


A bored rabbit is likely to chew and gnaw on his cage, and maybe even attempt to chew on a rug or blanket, even if he is well-trained. While living full-time outside isn't a good choice, playing for a limited time is a fun way for your rabbit to exercise fully. Most owners think it is unsafe for a bunny to play outdoors, but they are wrong. However, rabbit owners who are careless leave bunnies to play on their own, left to fend for themselves in the open. But a serious bunny-caretaker doesn't live their pets where the great outdoors could pose a threat to their precious carrot-munchers. If you have a fenced-in yard, your pet will have a little more free run of the outdoors just as well as he does indoors. It is still fun to have a harness on hand, in case your rabbit is brave enough to walk on the leash down the sidewalk! Daisy has her very own red harness that she adores, although she really rather would prefer "taking the reins" and racing around our yard. Still, your pet may enjoy either form of exercise when going outside, because there are many exciting things to see and do.


Dogs or cats love rabbits, and not to be their friends, but for a nice dinner. Some dogs or cats do live peacefully with a rabbit, but the strange dogs that aren't yours are the ones to watch for. Be careful that the harness is tight enough! It may look fine when your pet is happily nibbling on grass, but if he is attacked, he could wiggle out. Also, don't tighten it too much, because your bunny could choke when running or walking, and the spine could be damaged beyond repair if your pet became frightened. Even calm rabbits could be seriously hurt, though! Most plants, like grass, pansies, and dandelions, are safe, but some, like hastas, are poisonous. Then why do wild rabbits eat them with no sign of injury? Well, this is because wild rabbits are truly equipped for the outdoors. They can live in the coldest conditions, unlike domestic rabbit breeds. Your domestic pet needs protection, and you can supply it!


Rabbits need that positive human affection, because they will get bored and aggressive without it. Instead of holding onto your rabbits leash while talking to the neighbor, or sitting on the porch "watching" him lay in the yard while you read the newspaper, play with him! That's right, get down on your knees! Offer him treats and play fun games that rabbits like! You got it!


When bunnies lay down, it usually means they are saying, "C'mon, I am pooped! No more play!" When he lays down in the grass, pet him and talk to him. When it gets long, and you think you should be heading in, say a key word, such as, "Inside!" or, "All done!" That way if you need your bunny to wrap it up, you can say the word. He will do it immediately. To show him, pick him up and take him in. After a few weeks of saying it, it will "click." Cool, huh?

I hope you enjoy playing outdoors with your bunny or other pet as much as I did! Remember to be safe, have fun, and go beyond the average indoor playtime!

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