Where the dog sleeps

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Mini_Rex

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Gallatin, Tennessee 37066
Hello!

Disclaimer: Yes... I know in the pic my daughter is sleeping by the bags of hay and my work chair. I have no idea why she picked that spot. I let my kids go to sleep in my room so that Rocket can get use to them. This isn't going to be an every night occurrence (my partner is 8 hours north for his yearly "guy's" trip).

I overlooked something. I thought, if I put a cover (2 throw blankets... because 1 is too short) over my bun's cage at night, he'll feel safe when my dog comes in my room to sleep with us, and my dog is less likely to bother my bun. Stella (dog) has always slept with us. So far so good in my view. First two nights were shakey, but it's gotten better. Rocket doesn't really seem to be bothered by Stella being in the room during bed time. However, I read online that rabbits interacting with dogs can kill them in 3 months due to stress? I'm confused based on some articles.

Safety Routine:

During the day, Stella (dog) is never in our room. We kinda made the room "Rocket and Mom (me) Only" room during the day which was a "Mom only" room until Rocket came along. I work in there, and Rocket's cage is 2 feet from my computer chair.

Rocket gets a mini x pen until the larger x pen comes in the mail that he can roam around in during my work hours. However, he will free roam the bedroom during my work hours once neutered. Right now he only goes half way down his ramp before crawling back in his crate. He's getting there! I have a feeling the larger x pen will arrive and be set up on the wood floor before Rocket's feet arrive on the wood floor. Should I get a floor matt?

For the afternoon, kids and I, or just me, or my partner and I spend 1x1 time with rocket for a few hours. Kids do not get 1x1 time without me there. They get too crazy.

For night time, Rocket's cage is covered BEFORE Stella is allowed to enter the room. Then Stella enters. She knows where Rocket's cage is at, but she's been getting less and less inclined to seek him out. The goal is to make it where Rocket and Stella will be like "Oh, they're there... whatever" kind of reaction. Rocket kinda just ignores everything and goes about his business for the most part. Or so he makes it seem.

Stella sleeps on her dog bed on the floor 6 feet and some inches away from the cage (yes I measured).

My question:

My goal is to just have Stella and Rocket being able to sleep in the same bedroom (Rocket's new cage will have "Shutters" on it for night time) without causing stress to Rocket and without causing anxiety to Stella. Right now I'm sitting in the room on my bed typing this up on my cell with the bedroom door open. Stella has noticed Rocket's... blanket covered cage, did try to sneak up to investigate the cage but I stopped her immediately. She then hopped on the bed for attention, when she did get the kind of pets (more like a tight hug) that she wanted, she snorted, went to her dog bed, and put her head down.

The prey drive is there, but it doesn't start off elevated. It starts off low and will only get elevated if I encourage her to interact with Rocket. Did that once so they can sniff through the bars. Not doing that again. Her tail started wagging and her paw lifted off the ground and then she kept wanting to stare at him.

Note: Rocket makes a lot of noise sometimes at night and my partner is a light sleeper. The cage is on wheels, and it will be wheeled to the front room during those nights. It is an option to nake that routine a permanent one if what I want doesn't work out.
 

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Yes to a mat. Some rabbits don't like to be on slippery flooring. They feel more secure with traction.

Rabbits can be noisy and active during the night, so not sure how that will work with a light sleeper in the room. For now you're able to wheel the cage out of the room if need be. But I thought you mentioned you'd be re-doing the cage and making a larger one. If that is the case, and the new cage won't be on wheels (or fit through the doorway) then perhaps you'll need to give more thought to where you want the cage to be permanently. This may also affect your choices regarding the style and sturdiness of the new cage. So I'd suggest giving serious thought to location firstly (bearing in mind that rabbits will be active in the night). From there you can "fit" the type of cage (size, style, sturdiness) to best suit that location.

I usually kept our rabbit cage in the main living area so my sleep wouldn't be disturbed. But you'll need to consider what does and doesn't work in your household and your situation.

If you do decide to house the rabbit outside your bedroom, then nights won't be an issue as far as your dog is concerned since she sleeps in your bedroom. The daytime is what would need to be considered. The cage would need to be dog-proof then (and perhaps larger in size since roaming time may require more effort which might result in less roaming time). This option would also mean training your dog to not fixate on the caged rabbit. Many dogs will quickly learn to ignore a caged rabbit. That would be ideal. Not sure, but from what you described, it sounded like Stella was getting to that point of not paying much attention to Rocket? That'll be something for you to judge.

The link on introducing dog to rabbit shows a sturdy dog-proof cage. It is fine for the dog to sit and observe the rabbit. How they behave while they observe the rabbit is what may need to be taught. Just as we train dogs to sit or "leave it," so we train them acceptable behavior toward a new family pet. More specifics are at the link. But ultimately, you'll be the one to determine if Stella is one that is able to put that training over her instincts.
 
Yes to a mat. Some rabbits don't like to be on slippery flooring. They feel more secure with traction.

Rabbits can be noisy and active during the night, so not sure how that will work with a light sleeper in the room. For now you're able to wheel the cage out of the room if need be. But I thought you mentioned you'd be re-doing the cage and making a larger one. If that is the case, and the new cage won't be on wheels (or fit through the doorway) then perhaps you'll need to give more thought to where you want the cage to be permanently. This may also affect your choices regarding the style and sturdiness of the new cage. So I'd suggest giving serious thought to location firstly (bearing in mind that rabbits will be active in the night). From there you can "fit" the type of cage (size, style, sturdiness) to best suit that location.

I usually kept our rabbit cage in the main living area so my sleep wouldn't be disturbed. But you'll need to consider what does and doesn't work in your household and your situation.

If you do decide to house the rabbit outside your bedroom, then nights won't be an issue as far as your dog is concerned since she sleeps in your bedroom. The daytime is what would need to be considered. The cage would need to be dog-proof then (and perhaps larger in size since roaming time may require more effort which might result in less roaming time). This option would also mean training your dog to not fixate on the caged rabbit. Many dogs will quickly learn to ignore a caged rabbit. That would be ideal. Not sure, but from what you described, it sounded like Stella was getting to that point of not paying much attention to Rocket? That'll be something for you to judge.

The link on introducing dog to rabbit shows a sturdy dog-proof cage. It is fine for the dog to sit and observe the rabbit. How they behave while they observe the rabbit is what may need to be taught. Just as we train dogs to sit or "leave it," so we train them acceptable behavior toward a new family pet. More specifics are at the link. But ultimately, you'll be the one to determine if Stella is one that is able to put that training over her instincts.
Thank you!
My question is, with the right training, can my rabbit and dog sleep in the same room? Stella has shown no interest in Rocket during the night so long as she sleeps on the bed with me.

I want to make sure that so long Stella is out of Rocket's sight, is he gonna feel okay if Stella sleep in my room with us? I don't want my bun to die by just knowing Stella is in the room even though he doesn't see her. He seems confident... but... rabbits hide weakness. (Am I worrying too much?))

I need to work that out before I make the new cage.

I'd prefer a cage that doesn't have to be wheeled out. Already looked at the stuff that makes noise in the current cage and fixed that to where the only thing that makes noise now is the sound of chewing hay and the cage bin (it's hallow and sits off the floor). The new cage will have a silent floor.
 
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If a rabbit feels safe in his enclosure, a dog's presence typically doesn't bother him-- even if they can see each other. Unless the dog is pawing at the cage or barking or whining at the rabbit, the rabbit usually isn't stressed just from the dog being in the room (while bun is in cage).
If Rocket moves about normally and munches on hay when Stella is around, then he's relaxed.
 
If a rabbit feels safe in his enclosure, a dog's presence typically doesn't bother him-- even if they can see each other. Unless the dog is pawing at the cage or barking or whining at the rabbit, the rabbit usually isn't stressed just from the dog being in the room (while bun is in cage).
If Rocket moves about normally and munches on hay when Stella is around, then he's relaxed.
Thank you so much. This helps a lot. Yes, Rocket seems to care more about food when Stella is in the room. Thank you!
 
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