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January 8, 2010

Welcoming Your Rabbit Home

The Humane Society of the United States

rabbit black bkrnd holding

iStockphoto

Animals like their routines and moving from one home to another or from a shelter to a permanent home can be stressful for any pet, including rabbits. By preparing everything ahead of time, you can help ease the process for your new rabbit.

Get ready for rabbits

Here's a quick checklist for what to do before you get your new bunnies:

  • Set up your rabbit's "rabbitat" in a quiet, out-of-the-way area with one or more litterboxes (and safe litter), water bowl or bottle, and safe chew toys.
  • Rabbit-proof any areas of your home to which your rabbit will have access in order to prevent injuries, but don't forget to supervise him when he's not contained.
  • Check with the shelter, rescue, or foster home ahead of time to find out which types of hay and vegetables your rabbit really likes and have them on hand.
  • Try not to handle your rabbit too much during the first few days. You can allow your rabbit to check you out by sitting on the floor and letting her come to you.
  • Keep the environment as quiet as possible.
  • Let your rabbit get used to his new home before introducing them if you have other pets, like cats or dogs.
  • If you already have one or more resident rabbits, keep your new rabbit separate from them until you can do introductions in a neutral location.
  • If you're adopting multiple rabbits at once, keep an extra close eye on them. The stress from a change of venue can result in fights, even with rabbits who have been bonded for years.

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