Taking bunny outside...

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MagnoliaDee

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I have taken Lego outside in the back yard (fenced) to get some fresh air and sunshine a couple times in the past couple weeks. Last night I put her in the shade, and she seemed to be enjoying herself... she was grooming, etc. Then I picked her up and put her in a sunny spot. Again, she looked to be having fun, grooming, etc. A while later I got up closer to her and noticed her sides were really moving as she was breathingvery fast. So then I figured she was pretty nervous and took her back inside.

Now I'm wondering if it's a good idea to take her out or not? I don't want to stress her out, but I do want to give her fresh air and sunshine and something new as well, if I can. I'll admit I didn't take the buns out a lot the past few years.

Also, I was wondering about mosquitos. I know they can give dogs heart worm... is this a concern for buns also?

Thanks

Sandra
 

NorthernAutumn

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I would build up the duration over time. She might also be feeling really exposed. See if you can find a hollow log, angled board, or something that she can huddle in for security.
There are also a lot of weird smells and freaky noises out there in the great outdoors. If she's not used to it, they may be causing her slight alarm.
Also, she may have been panting from the heat of the sun...
 

tonyshuman

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She may have gotten hot or heard a bird that scared her. I like to give my guys the option of hiding when outside, in a box or under a bush. I think it can be good for them to get outside, especially due to sunlight/vitamin D, but too much too soon can be scary, and you do have to be careful for parasites and heat. Some bunnies hate being outside, like Tony, but others see it as a wonderous unlimited buffet, like Muffin. It sounds like Lego liked it at least a little, so I wouldn't give up yet. :)
 

Bunnymom,K

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During mild weather I let my bunnies have some outdoor play time- under supervision- in a large dog X-pen. I always pick an area with adequate shade and good grass to nibble on. My rabbits only spend about 10 min each outside like that. I keep it short and sweet.
 

Hazel-Mom

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MagnoliaDee wrote:
...
Also, I was wondering about mosquitos. I know they can give dogs heart worm... is this a concern for buns also?

Thanks

Sandra
Yes, mosquitoes are a concern for rabbits too. I don't know about the heartworm, but they CAN spread West-Nile virus, even to rabbits.
The virus has been found in dead rabbits in a few California counties now :(.
Although they were wild cottontails, I personally wouldn't take the chance with house rabbits either.

So, for the past years we have been using one of those big screened tents in our yard. Makes it more safe for the buns, and for us, to sit outside :). (they were always supervised in it, of course!)
It also makes them feel safer out there, since it's covered overhead. And they have places to hide, toys to play with, and stuff to munch on.
White Chocolate loved "her" tent so much, that each time we'd bring her out in the yard, she'd run straight to it, and ask to be let in :).

Here's a picture of it:

1005082.jpg

 

MagnoliaDee

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Hilde... I really LOVE the tent idea. Wonder if I could find a tiny one that would fit at the side of the house? We have two goldens who would probably mess with it, but it's an idea!! I hadn't even considered west nile... :/

Thank you all for your responses... you've given me lots to work with and consider.
 

Violet23

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I love that tent idea, now to find one that isnt massive and within my budget, lol. Jacob loves being outside as well, but I havent even considered a hiding spot for him (i take the top half of his cage outside so he doesnt run away, the yard isnt bunny-proofed yet). I'll bring his hidey log outside with him next time :)
 

Hazel-Mom

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There are smaller sizes of those tents. We got the biggest one we could afford this time, our last one was smaller though. I much like the bigger one, because everyone can sit in it, and there's still space for bunnies :)

We got ours at WalMart, at a very reasonable price. I don't know whether you have WalMarts in Canada, though. But you may have something similar?
 

MikeScone

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Those screen houses are made down to quite small sizes - I have one which is about 8'x8', I bought at a Eureka Tent clearance sale. I hadn't thought to use it for Scone, but then he's never liked it outside anyway.
 

ra7751

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There is a huge benefit with going outside. Stuff like mosquitoes and bugs can be managed by what time of day you go outside. I certainly agree with allowing some gradual acclimation to some outside time. Temperature is a consideration. And, of course, make sure there are no toxins on any grass/plants they can eat. If you use an x-pen, fabricate some type of shelter so they can retreat and feel safe. And supervision.....a hawk or fox can magically appear. But back to the benefit....it goes back to a very misunderstood issue....calcium. Vitamin D is essential for proper absorbing of calcium. A calcium deficiency can lead to bone loss, fractures, dental disease, organ failure, immune system compromise, seizures and other problems...a condition known as Metabolic Bone Disease. There are two ways to get Vitamin D....one is by exposure to unfiltered sunlight....doesn't have to be direct, can be reflective.....or by supplementation in food. Most captive animals, rabbits and humans included, are deficient in Vitamin D and calcium. So if you can take your rabbits outside for supervised time.....the sunlight is a huge benefit.

Randy
 

MagnoliaDee

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Thanks Randy!!! I myself take a Vit D suppliment (just started this year) since I live in a pretty northern climate.

One question I have is... can rabbits get vit D via sunlight thru a window? You may no know... but thought I'd ask. Lego has her own room in the basement, and the windows are wide open (blinds I mean) all day... so she gets sunlight in there. Just wondering if that will do for the bad weather months when she can't get outside.

Also, do you know of a Vit D food suppliment that can be added to their pellets?

Thanks again,
Sandra
 

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