How can I tell if my rabbit is happy?
If you have taken the time to set the right environment, your rabbit should be happy and content most of the time. Luckily there are signs you can look out for that will help you recognize whether your treasured little bunny is happy or not.
Before we get to how to keep your rabbit happy and entertained section, we will go through some of the signs that’ll let you know how your rabbit is feeling.
Being Curious/Feeling Safe- Rabbits are curious by nature and like to check out their environment to search for new things. So if she is hopping about exploring the garden and exploring new objects without a care in the world, it means she is feeling safe.
Relaxed And Comfortable-If your rabbit is happy, she won’t look tense and seem on edge. She will look comfortable and relaxed. A good sign of a relaxed bunny is when they lie completely stretched out or sit with the legs tucked under the body.
Nose twitching- If your little thumper is wiggling and twitching her nose all the time, it’s a good sign that she is content and happy.
Chinning-This is what rabbits do to mark their territory. They have small glands under their chins that they rub on the ground to tell other animals, this is my area! If your little bunny is doing this, it means she wants to protect her area. Which means she’s more than likely content.
Dancing-Does your rabbit hop, sprint or chase her tail with excitement when she sees you in the morning? If you answered yes, well done, it means your bunny is happy to see you.
Binky- Rabbits will do the binky when they are happy and excitable. This is when they jump high into the air, kick their back while twisting the body. It’s a great thing to see and lets you know she’s happy and relaxed.
What to do if my rabbits are unhappy
If your rabbit is showing signs of stress or seems unhappy and there are no obvious signs, it would be safest to consult a veterinary nurse. It’s possible that if there are drastic changes in her behavior and body language, it may be an underlying health issue that needs to be taken care of, in which case a vet could offer you advice.
The best way to make sure your little friend stays happy and well is to look after her the best you can and try to fulfill her needs.
Here’s how to keep your rabbit happy and entertained:
- Diet- Providing your rabbit with a good diet is one of the most beneficial things you can do for her. Not only will it keep her healthy, but it will also make her happy. Providing a nice fresh bundle of hay a day is a good start and important.
- I recently wrote a post called what should I feed my rabbit daily which offers advice about the best types of food and diet for rabbits. You can view it here.
- Health- keeping your rabbit on the correct diet will help to keep them healthy and prevent issues with their teeth and digestion. You should also take your rabbit for regular check-ups and vaccinations as these will help keep your bunny in tip-top condition
- Behaviour- Keep your rabbit occupied by fulfilling their instincts. Hide food for her to find as she would in the wild. It will help keep her busy and make her happier. I don’t recommend pellets often but hiding a few in amongst her hay to forage for is a great way of doing this.
- Companionship. As rabbits are social animals by nature, they shouldn’t be kept alone. If your furry friend seems a little lonely, maybe she would like a furry friend as well. I bet she’d love to have a rabbit friend to play with. Just make sure the other rabbit is neutered, or you could end up with a lot more than you bargained for!
- Environment. Creating the perfect home will go a long way to keeping her happy. If you’re fortunate enough to have space, an outdoor run with lots of room for her to hop and play is ideal. Sunlight provides vitamin d which helps rabbits to take in more calcium from their food, so encourage her to spend as much time as possible in the garden. Provide a large hutch that gives plenty of room for your rabbit to organize her living quarters and move around freely.
- Toys- One of the best ways to keep your rabbit entertained is to provide toys for them to play with. The great thing is, they are not expensive and sometimes free. An untreated wooden log, for example, is perfect for keeping your rabbit occupied and will also help to slow tooth growth as she gnaws away at it. Cardboard boxes are fantastic for rabbits and can keep them entertained for hours. A cardboard box will give her a new area to explore and a safe place to hide, well, until she eats the sides and the whole thing collapses. Joking aside, glossy/shiny cardboard should be avoided as it may have chemicals. There are lots of great rabbit toys available at pet stores so there’s plenty of options to mix things up and keep her happy.
- Priority- Providing your rabbit with a good, high fiber diet, water, and clean living area is the best thing you can do to keep her happy. The entertaining part you can make up as you go, and you too will be happy.
Thanks for reading, I hope you found some things useful.