How stressful are rabbits really?

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Sissy, Apr 21, 2019.

Help Support Rabbits Online by donating:

  1. Apr 21, 2019 #1

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2019
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Staffordshire, Uk
    Hi all. This question may seem strange, but I am feeling stressed about rabbits I haven't even got yet!

    To summarise, I had rabbits 20+ years ago. Since then I had various cats and dogs, but since losing the last dog I haven't had any animals at home. Being without a pet is incredibly hard! Due to my circumstances I feel rabbits would be best for me now. For the last couple of months i have been clearing the garage, which would be the most secure place for rabbits to go. I am awaiting delivery of a big hutch. I have got some panels to make a pen around the hutch. I have been collecting all sorts of rabbit items while out shopping. I have a small outdoor pen, and have identified a much bigger one i will buy once the rabbits actually arrive. I have been quite excited about having rabbits again, especially if I can get a pair of bonded adults through a rescue.

    I have also been reading loads of info about rabbit care. There is so much info out there now, compared with when I first had rabbits. This is good, I guess, but can also be overwhelming. This is a fab forum with tons of advice, but I read about all kind of rabbit related problems that I hadn't even thought of before. Incidents and accidents. Illnesses and behavioural issues. I feel more and more nervous about things that might go wrong! I cannot back out of having rabbits. I have already spent time and money on preparing a large home for them! And I don't want to give up on the idea of having rabbits again, because hopefully they will enrich my life as much as I enrich theirs. I am just suddenly so worried about doing the wrong things. Maybe it will be better when rabbits arrive and I can get to know them. I just wondered if other people felt this way, cos it's clear from reading the posts here how devoted you all are to making your bunnies happy!
     
    Lukaku&Onana and Critterfan87 like this.
  2. Apr 21, 2019 #2

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    334
    Location:
    Sweden
    We always make some mistakes in the beginning, maybe reading signals wrong and so on. But you have prepared as much as you can, which will minimize the mistakes.

    When you get your rabbits you can start to learn their personalities and slowly learn how to read their signals.

    Myself was also extremely worried when I bought my first rabbit but it all calmed down later when I started to bond with him.

    Rabbits are a extremely cuddle and they are great pets :)
     
    Sissy likes this.
  3. Apr 21, 2019 #3

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2019
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Staffordshire, Uk
    Thanks so much for replying. That is reassuring to hear. I don't want to become neurotic over my rabbits! But I guess i am the type of person who likes to be organised and prepared for everything. I guess i will regain my confidence with bunnies once I get bonding with them, like you said.

    Happy Easter, btw!
     
  4. Apr 21, 2019 #4

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    Iowa
    I find that my rabbit is relatively easy to care for. I don't think of his care as stressful or hard. It's second nature at this point. I wake up and spend 15 minutes feeding him, fixing his cage and petting him. I will then spend about 45 minutes after school and work sweeping up hay and cleaning the cage and occasionally the litter box, along with grooming/clipping nails and feeding dinner.

    Be sure you are aware of rabbit body language as well as signs of illness.
    https://rabbit.org/interpreting-body-language-and-behavior/
    https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/house-rabbit-behavior-and-bunny-body-language
    https://rabbit.org/care/sick.html
     
    Sissy likes this.
  5. Apr 21, 2019 #5

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    5,785
    Likes Received:
    1,949
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Sissy, you sound similar to me -- getting everything planned and prepared (and thought out) ahead of time. Reading too much about what might happen to a rabbit can leave anyone in a state of worry. It's fine to be aware of what to lookout for, but don't let it get to you.:eek: Of the many rabbits I've had, there was only 1 or 2 that ever had a health issue that required a vet visit (US rabbits don't get vaccines).

    The amount of info about rabbits, I agree, can be overwhelming. My husband & I got our first rabbit in the late 80's. Half the people didn't have computers then and there weren't pet forums and websites galore. We only had info told us by the rescue and The House Rabbit Handbook. Some of the "old" advice about rabbits has changed since then.

    One thing that has been changing is the number of people housing their rabbits indoors. I don't know if that is something you've considered. If not, you can see how some people on this forum house their rabbits indoors at this link:
    https://www.rabbitsonline.net/threads/2019-cages-add-your-photo.93422/

    The thing you may like about housing indoors is that you really do get to spend more time with your rabbits and build a stronger bond with them (unless you are in the habit of spending lots of time in your garage). Even if you're relaxing in front of the TV or on your computer, the rabbits can be scurrying about your feet or lounging nearby.
    I created a website specifically about housing rabbits indoors. If interested in learning more (haha -- more info to review!!;)) about that, check here.
    upload_2019-4-21_12-53-39.png
     
  6. Apr 21, 2019 #6

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    5,879
    Likes Received:
    897
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    My story is similar to yours. I had a rabbit as a kid, then nearly 20 years later found my way back to them... it had been about a year and a half since losing my precious kitty that I'd had since she was 3 mos old. I couldn't bring myself to get another cat (at the time, lol... then I moved in with my hubby and his cats and now we've got four cats and four bunns), but living alone with no animals was really getting to me. I woke up one morning suddenly set on getting a rabbit (or two, if that ended up being the better way to go)! I did crazy cram-style researching and by the end of the day I had two rabbits and all the important things they needed. Rabbit care has, indeed, changed dramatically from 20 years ago (I was also quite shocked by all the changes)... but it's not as hard as it might appear to get into the modern bunny-care mindset.

    It can definitely be stressful in the early days, but it gets so much easier!! Reading/lurking on these forums helps you learn a lot (in particular, you might try "following" folks like Blue eyes and JBun who have been around here for years and are always offering excellent advice). Granted, you'll see a lot of (sometimes scary) health issues come up... but that's because many people only find this forum because something has gone wrong and they're looking for help. The flip side of that is that you'll also see that the vast majority of problems can be solved or even prevented, plus you'll become more familiar with what the important warning signs are (#1 to look for is reduced or absent appetite).

    In addition to Blue Eyes site, House rabbit society and Binky Bunny are great resources.

    Bottom line is that, whatever stress they may add to your life... it's more than cancelled out by the love and awesomeness of having house rabbits! Also, have you ever just sat quietly and watched as a rabbit goes to town on leafy green veggies? Talk about stress relief! That's the best anti-anxiety "medicine" I know of, lol.
     
    Lukaku&Onana, Blue eyes and Sissy like this.
  7. Apr 21, 2019 #7

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2019
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Staffordshire, Uk
    Alyssa and Bugs, thank you for those links which are really interesting. I look forward to getting my own bunny routines worked out soon!
     
    Alyssa and Bugs♡ likes this.
  8. Apr 21, 2019 #8

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2019
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Staffordshire, Uk
    Blue eyes, I love your happy bunny pictures. Ideally I would probably have rabbits in the house, but my elderly mother is with me and I am quite sure she would manage to fall over a bunny! The rabbits will come indoors for visits, for sure, but I would have to be with them all the time to supervise. Since I have been clearing the garage I've got quite used to being out there actually. I am going to put myself a chair and little table out there once I have the rabbit space set up. It could be quite cosy! I will definitely have a read of your website tomorrow, thank you.
     
    Blue eyes and Imbrium like this.
  9. Apr 21, 2019 #9

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2019
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Staffordshire, Uk
    Imbrium, it is so difficult living without an animal companion when you've been used to having them so long. People who aren't animal lovers just can't understand! It's great that bunny care has moved on so much, and it must be so much better for the relationship between human and rabbit. I can't wait for my rabbits to arrive really, and I just want to do my best for them!
     
  10. Apr 21, 2019 #10

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    5,879
    Likes Received:
    897
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Yeah, not everyone gets it... kinda baffles me that they don't, but I suppose many people would think I'm equally strange for not wanting kids. Hubby and I have, instead, built up a menagerie over the years. It's basically a compromise between him wanting to turn our home into Noah's ark and me putting my foot down in regards to how many animals are too many to care for properly (since he loves them, gives tons of attention and helps with feeding but I'm the one who does all the cleaning!). We have 4 cats, 4 rabbits, 2 sugar gliders, a mini aviary consisting of 10 society finches and 7 little diamond doves (super small doves, and unbelievably sweet) and one turtle... plus the four tiny goldfish the stupid turtle has been too lazy to eat that should've been goners a couple weeks ago.
     
    Alyssa and Bugs♡ and Sissy like this.
  11. Apr 23, 2019 #11

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    5,785
    Likes Received:
    1,949
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    I'm partially hijacking this thread :p ...just wanted to say, @Imbrium , that we have a mini aviary too. My diamond doves had a baby a few weeks ago! Also in there are Parsons Finch, canaries and a button quail. (We have a couple large dogs, cornsnake & hedgehog too.)
     
    Sissy likes this.
  12. Apr 23, 2019 #12

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    5,785
    Likes Received:
    1,949
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    That sounds like it could be cute -- a little sitting area. :)
     
    Sissy likes this.
  13. Apr 23, 2019 #13

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    5,879
    Likes Received:
    897
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    OMG, so jealous!! I love that you love them too, though. We can't give our birds a whole room anymore and I'm still working on getting hubby to part with some of last year's dove babies so we can make room for more, so we've got no beebs right now and haven't for many months :(. Angelica clearly disapproves of me taking her nest away so she wouldn't lay eggs, as she broke into the society finch nest box and laid eggs in there!

    Whatever you do, don't tell my husband you've got quail! He's been begging for one for ages, but I haven't had the time/money/energy to adjust our entire bird setup to accommodate some adorable but flightless cuties. Actually, don't tell him about the snake either 'cause we both want a snake but I'm at my limit on habitat maintenance right now.
     
    Blue eyes and Sissy like this.
  14. Apr 23, 2019 #14

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    5,785
    Likes Received:
    1,949
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    How funny they got into the finch nest box. My pair of Parsons Finch have an enclosed nest but they've also sat in the open dove nest too. In fact, there are currently 5 eggs in the dove nest that the doves are sitting on. I just wonder if any of those eggs are finch eggs!

    Fair warning on the button quails -- the males are very loud. The male would call at 4 am some mornings and wake us all. It could be heard through a headset across the house - my son's friends could hear it on the receiving end of the connection. I finally re-homed the male he was so loud.:(

    I know what you mean about being maxed out with time for maintenance and care. The cornsnake, though, is super easy. Got him at a reptile show -- great place to get them and their supplies for great prices. (hint, hint ;) ) [Repticon is coming to Houston at the end of July]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    Critterfan87 and Sissy like this.
  15. Apr 23, 2019 #15

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2019
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Staffordshire, Uk
    Your aviary looks beautiful!
     
  16. Apr 23, 2019 #16

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    5,785
    Likes Received:
    1,949
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Thanks!:)
     
    Sissy likes this.
  17. Apr 24, 2019 #17

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    7,826
    Likes Received:
    2,010
    Location:
    Utah, , USA
    Like Imbrium mentioned, you see all these posts on here about problems because that is usually when people need to post. What you don't see are all those owners and rabbits out there that you don't hear about because they are fine and don't have any problems.

    But of course problems can happen, and a lot of that just depends on the individual rabbit and also the owners experience. I would say the most stressful parts about having rabbits are post spay/neuter recovery, bonding, and when a rabbit is sick. If you are getting already spayed/neutered bonded rabbits, you've already eliminated those worries. So that leaves the possibility of rabbits getting sick. This doesn't always happen. I have rabbits that I've never had a problem with, and a few that only had an upset stomach once or twice, that was easily resolved with giving baby gas drops(simethicone).

    There is always the chance that something could happen that requires seeing the vet, so for this it is good to have already researched and found a good rabbit vet that you can take your rabbit to if the need ever arises, start a savings account for possible future medical expenses so you don't have that worry, and with you being in the UK I would recommend looking into getting pet insurance on your rabbits. I know of other rabbit owners there that have had it and it's been a lifesaver financially when their rabbits needed to go to the vet.
     
  18. May 17, 2019 #18

    lavendertealatte

    lavendertealatte

    lavendertealatte

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2018
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    NULL
    Sissy I totally relate ~ I also had my first rabbits 20+ years ago when I was a kid and boy have things changed in terms of the recommendations for how to care for rabbits. I'm also just neurotic, period. ... People see my setup now and think Bunster is SPOILED. It really can be overwhelming, the Internet these days, not just rabbit info.. I completely empathize. I think perhaps once you have the rabbit and get to know him or her, you'll feel more comfortable. Don't worry about doing the wrong things, none of us are perfect! I have had Bunster for a year and don't worry about him as much as I did when I first got him. Kind of know his personality now and what to expect :)
     
    Sissy likes this.
  19. May 17, 2019 #19

    Critterfan87

    Critterfan87

    Critterfan87

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2019
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    USA
    Definitely feeling the same way.
     
    Sissy likes this.
  20. May 17, 2019 #20

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,138
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    , Kansas, USA
    does it never get too hot where you live? I used to house my rabbits in garage overnight (outdoors during the day) but in summer, without air conditioning, the garage was impossible to use for them! I m in Kansas US and summers are hot
     
    Sissy likes this.

Share This Page