How to get my parents to let me free roam my bunny?

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I've been wanting to free roam my bunny ever since I got him. Right now he lives in an x-pen in our basement, which is fine, but I'd really like to break down that barrier and share a living space with him. The only problem is my family. I still live at home, and my parents don't even want me to leave him alone for more than five minutes if I'm letting him play. This is because he has (like most bunnies) destroyed some chords, and though it's been awhile, and I make sure to bunny proof EXTENSIVELY, my parents still don't trust him. On top of that, the only place I could really free roam him is my bedroom, which I share with my sister. We have a puppy and thus he can't really be free roamed anywhere else. I think I might be able to convince my sister, but my parents are the hard part. Also, some of our family has light allergies to hay, and though we use orchard grass, my mom worries about his hay or dander going through vents. How can I convince my family to let me free roam him? Thanks in advance!!
 

BunnySis

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Ok so the clear spot to do it is your bedroom. If your sister is ok with it, then it's your parents. My bunny is free roamed except for when we leave the house and at night. We keep her in a large cage with a x-pen around it so she still has room. What i would do is get your parents to spend more time with the bunny. then they will want to spend more time with it therefore having to have it upstairs and most likely free roamed. to get started on free-roaming, take your bun into your room and watch him carefully. gradually extend the time until you trust him alone for a while. then you can start to leave him alone. when you leave the house and at night you can lock him in the x-pen. That is what's called a home base. it's kinda hard to explain by text but i hope that helps. if you need more info i will leave a link to a video that if found helpful



it's a whole playlist
 
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I had the same problem with my husband lol. After my previous bunny chewed some of our lamp cords, and also one of his slippers, he never ever felt comfortable having him spend a lot of time in our living space. Bunny ended up in the basement and it was always difficult to give him enough company. My husband also thought he was having an allergic reaction to the hay.

Fast forward about 5 years and we have a new bunny who is not a chewer, my husband has somehow bonded with this bunny and his hay allergies appear to have miraculously disappeared. 😉

The moral of the story is that some homeowners are very anxious about anything that might damage their home and the key is to work with that to make them comfortable. I agree that getting bunny set up in your bedroom is the way to go. Because of the chewing it's a good idea to protect all of your cords. The way I've managed that is by putting most of my cords behind dressers or other pieces of furniture and then installed floating shelves to create a barrier in the space between the furniture and the wall.

I posted some pictures here:
Best chord protectors? Bunny proofing tips?

Before I let my bunny free range in the living room I first just let her free range during the day and at night put her in her cage in the corner. Once I saw that she was really fine all day I felt more comfortable leaving her cage open at night.That approach might work for you.

Good luck!
 
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Ok so the clear spot to do it is your bedroom. If your sister is ok with it, then it's your parents. My bunny is free roamed except for when we leave the house and at night. We keep her in a large cage with a x-pen around it so she still has room. What i would do is get your parents to spend more time with the bunny. then they will want to spend more time with it therefore having to have it upstairs and most likely free roamed. to get started on free-roaming, take your bun into your room and watch him carefully. gradually extend the time until you trust him alone for a while. then you can start to leave him alone. when you leave the house and at night you can lock him in the x-pen. That is what's called a home base. it's kinda hard to explain by text but i hope that helps. if you need more info i will leave a link to a video that if found helpful



it's a whole playlist
Thank you! I'll definitely be trying this and watching that playlist!
 
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I had the same problem with my husband lol. After my previous bunny chewed some of our lamp cords, and also one of his slippers, he never ever felt comfortable having him spend a lot of time in our living space. Bunny ended up in the basement and it was always difficult to give him enough company. My husband also thought he was having an allergic reaction to the hay.

Fast forward about 5 years and we have a new bunny who is not a chewer, my husband has somehow bonded with this bunny and his hay allergies appear to have miraculously disappeared. 😉

The moral of the story is that some homeowners are very anxious about anything that might damage their home and the key is to work with that to make them comfortable. I agree that getting bunny set up in your bedroom is the way to go. Because of the chewing it's a good idea to protect all of your cords. The way I've managed that is by putting most of my cords behind dressers or other pieces of furniture and then installed floating shelves to create a barrier in the space between the furniture and the wall.

I posted some pictures here:
Best chord protectors? Bunny proofing tips?

Before I let my bunny free range in the living room I first just let her free range during the day and at night put her in her cage in the corner. Once I saw that she was really fine all day I felt more comfortable leaving her cage open at night.That approach might work for you.

Good luck!
I'm glad that worked out! I think I'll be able to convince my parents that way, so I'll be trying that out. Thank you for the help!!
 

gingersnap

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You mentioned that you have a dog, so as someone with co-existing rabbit and dog, I just wanted to give some unsolicited safety advice: if you're free roaming in any space that other people have access to and you don't have an airlock setup, keep in mind that your rabbit's safety is determined by your weakest link. By this I mean that if, for example, one of your parents opens the door to you and your sister's room while you're bunny is free roaming and doesn't realise the rabbit is free roaming (say they're calling you to dinner and don't remember the rabbit might be out), there is a very real possibility that they could let the rabbit out or the dog in. Either of these scenarios could easily result in the death of your rabbit, even if the dog doesn't seem aggressive towards the rabbit, so it's important to consider how much you can trust the people you live with to remember and look out for your rabbit, even when they're tired/stressed/angry/excited.

For me (I live with five other people, four of them children who can't be trusted, the other a grown-up who... definitely means well, but also can't be trusted sometimes) this has meant that there is no room in the house where I could safely free roam a rabbit without direct supervision, no matter how rabbit proof it is, because I also live with dogs and cats. If you can't absolutely trust the people you live with, I'd recommend only allowing your rabbit to free roam while you are in the room (and preferably near the door) or setting up the door of your room with a lock so no one can easily open it while the rabbit is roaming. I have found that even pictographic "Rabbit at Play" signs strategically placed at eye level on doors do not work on some people, you have to physically stop them or they just blithely throw the door open with the hound at their heels.

EDIT: I mentioned airlock setups, these are also an option (and may be easier to setup than an internal lock) but ease of setup depends on the layout of your house. If your room is in a hallway, you may be easily able to stick an adjustable baby gate in the hallway, which will block access to your room for your puppy (due to its lack of both height and opposable thumbs) but should allow everyone else access (either by opening the gate or stepping over it). I recommend getting one of the ones that swing open and shut, they tend to be slightly more expensive than the "put up/take down" ones, but people a more likely to actually close it before opening your door.
 
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