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Whether you're bringing home a new bun or re-evaluating your current set-up, creating their living space is a challenge. Too often the questions focus on the bare minimum.
How much space does my bunny NEED? How many toys does my bunny REQUIRE to be happy? Do I HAVE to let him free range?
Any bunny owner knows the answer to these questions: It's never enough.
More space, more toys, and probably more banana.
A better perspective is one that puts the tendencies and preferences of your rabbit first to create the optimal habitat by taking their 3 primary needs into account.
If you've ever seen your bun nibbling at the bars of their pen or pacing back and forth, this category might be lacking. Enrichment can come in a variety of forms, and every bun has their preference.
These elements of the habitat are the most constant. Long-lasting toys, digging mats, etc.
While they may not get your rabbit jumping for joy when they see them, it gives them something to do whenever they want.
This type of enrichment is not as long-lived as staple enrichment, and for good reason. Toys like our Balsa Throws and Vine Balls might be gone within the day, but that's what gets the excitement levels up. We recommend incorporating Toy Enrichment a few times a week to spice things up.
Most rabbits are heavily motivated by their favorite treats. Whether that be fresh produce, dried herbs, or foraging mixes, these can all be used to encourage engagement in foraging games. Our orchard foraging tray is made specifically with foraging enrichment in mind, but there is no shortage of DIY options.
One of the most difficult parts of bonding with your rabbit is working through their prey animal tendencies. This will always take time, but a bunny that has a "burrow" to run to when they're scared will feel much safer running and binkying around your home.
This area can be a corner of their free range area, or a hutch that enters their free range area. In either case, it should be easily accessible.
Every cuddle corner should contain three things
This hide should have one primary entrance (i.e. a cardboard box with a hole in it). It's purpose is to make a rabbit feel safe, especially from loud noises or unfamiliar events.
This hide is for relaxing (i.e. a Versitunnel), often while observing the world around them. When rabbits feel safe, they're curious. Encourage it!
This can come in many forms, whether it be hay and bedding to burrow into, resting mats, or pillows. Incorporate them into the hides for optimal use.
Nothing keeps your bun happy and healthy like some well organized hay, food, and water. Though there aren't too many complications in this category, there are a few things to consider.
There are pros and cons to both water bottles and water bowls for rabbits. Though water bowls more closely imitate nature, they require several checks a day to avoid contamination. Messier bunnies may not work well with water bowls, while others may not enjoy using water bottles.
If your bun has a litter box, mount their hay rack and food above it. Bunnies like to *fully* relax while they eat. This will make clean up easier for you, and dinner time more relaxing for them.
Nothing will improve your bun's habitat like paying attention to their natural quirks and traits. Though these guidelines are broad, your bunny's specific preferences will help you shape their habitat even better.