Like our Bingo, most rabbits love to ‘periscope’ which means they like to stand on their hinds to look at their surroundings. This is a natural behaviour inherited from their wild ancestors to go on higher levels to look for predators. As owners, we should be aware of these tendencies and be prepared to keep them safe from accidents.
In our July workshop, Dr Tsai from @the animal doctors shared about our rabbits’ fragile bone structure which makes them more prone to fractures than dogs and cats. To make things complicated, their tiny anatomy makes surgeries very challenging. This is why prevention is more effective when it comes to our pet rabbits.
For owners with jumpy and/or energetic rabbits, here’s some quick tips for you to consider:
- If your rabbit is enclosed, consider a playpen at least 1.2m high and install a safety net if needed to prevent them from escaping.
- Most rabbits prefer to dig than to climb so give them cardboard houses, tunnels or shredded-paper filled boxes to keep them engage.
- Provide a soft landing such as a carpet or rug next to any level they like to jump from. This will make sure they don’t slip and land at the wrong angle.
- Do not provide any platform higher than 2m for them to jump down from.
- If you find a rabbit at a height he shouldn’t be in, do not scream as his can startle him. Instead, approach him carefully to carry him down or lead him to a lower level so he can safely return to ground.
- Discourage your rabbit with repetitive ‘no’ instead of indulging him when he is above ground. Discipline is very important!
- Keep rabbits away from open windows or exposed balconies. Accidents do happen.
- Unless you are a very confident handler, do not carry your rabbit when you are standing up. This is actually the most common cause of fractures!
While rabbits has the ability to leap from heights, accidents do and will happen when you least expect. And it takes just one bad fall to result in a painful surgery that can compromise them for life. We hope that our above tips can help prevent an accident happening in our rabbits so they can live a long and happy life.
(Photo credit to our adopter Chiou Ling and her Bingo)