Anxious bun

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Lauren Kirkham

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Hi, I’m just looking for some advice. I’ve had my Thumper since September 2020 he was 8 weeks old and he’s so anxious and nervous most of the time. I don’t have any other pets only him and I’ve been working from since March 2020. He’s an indoor rabbit but any noise or movement he gets scared. I’ve seen a spray that the vets used with him and it worked a little bit. Hope someone can help x
 

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John Wick

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Can you describe his set-up, environment, and day to day routine?

Some rabbits take a bit more time than others to get used to an environment. One of my rabbits, Fable, is very easily scared/anxious (ex. You can put a sock on the floor and that change will make her anxious to go to that area). It took a while for her to warm up to me, which was something I didn't experience with my other rabbit.
 

Lauren Kirkham

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Can you describe his set-up, environment, and day to day routine?

Some rabbits take a bit more time than others to get used to an environment. One of my rabbits, Fable, is very easily scared/anxious (ex. You can put a sock on the floor and that change will make her anxious to go to that area). It took a while for her to warm up to me, which was something I didn't experience with my other rabbit.
Can you describe his set-up, environment, and day to day routine?

Some rabbits take a bit more time than others to get used to an environment. One of my rabbits, Fable, is very easily scared/anxious (ex. You can put a sock on the floor and that change will make her anxious to go to that area). It took a while for her to warm up to me, which was something I didn't experience with my other rabbit.
He has free roam of the house and only in his cage at night time or when I’m out of the house for few hours. It’s more car noises or the sounds of bags rustling. Or if I stand up sometimes he gets scared. It’s almost like when someone goes to hit and you flinch and you look scared that’s the only way I can describe. (Ps I haven’t ever raised a hand or anything like that to him).
His day to day routine is let him out of his cage around half 7/8 we have a play and a cuddle he’s usually fine around this time. And then he has his breakfast. He has plenty of hay throughout the day too. He plays most of the morning then sleeps till just after lunch I finish work around 4 so I play and spend time with him. Then usually around 10/11 I put him in his cage.
I haven’t changed anything in the house or any routines as my routine hasn’t changed.
the environment is quiet. I have the radio on throughout the day but never loud. I also live alone with my boyfriend here occasionally.
 

John Wick

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If it's mainly fear of those sounds, eventually habituation should set in as he gains increased comfort and security in the environment. I will say, with bags specifically, it may be worth doing slight exposure. Perhaps put a bag near him and let him see that's what's producing the sound. I actually did this with my Fable -- she also flinches (common anxious rabbit reaction) and she got more accustomed to aluminum foil and bag sounds when I showed her the object and made a quieter version of the sound.
 

JBun

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If your home is normally a pretty quiet place, it could be the sounds are just unexpected, especially if it's nap time for your bun. I find my rabbits are more reactive to sudden sounds when they've been staying in a relatively quite environment, as opposed to when I kept them outdoors at a busy farm with lots of animal and tractor sounds going on all day. So it could just be a matter of desensitizing your bun. Try keeping music, tv, or other background noise going but louder than you now keep it(if you can tolerate that) so that your bun essentially learns to tune out those noises and so become less reactive of other sudden noises that occur.

If that doesn't work or you can't keep music, etc on louder than you now have it, I have heard of other rabbit owners using things like chamomile tea(cooled) or rescue remedy for nervy buns. Though I never have used either so can't comment on their effectiveness.
 

Lauren Kirkham

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Hi both,

thank you so much for this! Thumper was a surprise gift to me as having a rabbit was a dream pet I wanted when I was little so I’m still learning the ropes with him. But I will try all of this!

the pet remedy rescue is what the vet used with him and that worked wonders! I was just worried that it was something I was doing and missing something out. So for sure will try this tips 💞
 

AVIE

RUBY RUM BUNS
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I used the background music for RUBY. I live on a very busy street with lots of traffic... The music or TV 24/7 did desensitize her, the only thing that bothers her now that I've noticed was the fireworks on New Year's.
 
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