Thursday, 9 July 2015

Bonding With Your Bunny

What is Bonding
Bonding probably sounds like a heavy word! Actually, it simply involves you, the human, hanging out with your bunny and both of you getting to know each other more.

Jippie enjoying pets

The First Step: Abandoning Preconceptions
"Affectionate", "cuddly", and "friendly" - these are the words that tend to come to one's mind when thinking about a bunny.

Bunnies are indeed wonderful, intelligent creatures, but the typical "cute" image of a bunny doesn't represent the actual animal. It is very important that you see your bunny as an individual.

Each bunny has his/her own unique personality; some are naturally adventurous, some are feisty and bossy, while some are shy and are more on the introvert side. 

When bonding (or in less intimidating words, hanging out) with your bunny:

  • Open the cage door and let your bunny come out on his/her own.
  • Sit near, but not directly beside, your bunny. Keep a polite distance. Your bunny will come to you if he/she wants to.
  • Talk to your bunny, speak gently and give compliments: "Hello, you're a handsome bunny, you know that?"
  • If you wish to pet your bunny, approach slowly with your fingers and start from the head. It is better to position yourself beside your bunny when doing so instead of directly in front of him/her.
  • Make any sudden, loud noises or movements.
  • Carry and cuddle your bunny. He/she is not familiar with you yet, and so might kick and struggle when held against their will, potentially injuring both of you.
  • Use your whole hand on his/her back. It may startle him/her.
  • Follow or chase your bunny around - you would appear as a threat!

When it is time for your bunny to return to his/her cage or play area, use a strand of vegetable or a tiny piece of carrot to tempt and guide your bunny back. Try to use carrying only as a last resort.

If your bunny seems more interested in knowing the furniture or bookshelf rather than you, there is no need to become disheartened or angry! The keys to a good relationship are:
  • Allocating time daily for your bunny.
  • Making yourself the source of affection and pets.
  • Making yourself the supplier and waiter of your bunny's food.
  • Focus on your bunny when you're with him/her. Stop the incessant chatter that is so often present in our busy heads. It's not quality time spent if your mind is constantly on other things.
  • Of course, lots of patience and love.

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