The Omlet Blog Category Archives: Rabbits

Plant a Garden, Feed a Rabbit

Girl outside in garden with rabbits using Omlet Zippi Rabbit Run Platform

The story of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter paints a fairly bleak picture of a rabbit’s life in a garden. In fact, rabbits earn a bad reputation around the world as garden menaces. Their fast metabolism and curious natures drive rabbits to seek the tastiest and most nutritious vegetation, which inevitably lands them in a predicament much like Peter found himself in! But with a little planning and mindful designing, your garden can be free of the strife that Mr. McGregor experienced! 

Our domesticated rabbits have the same instincts as their wild counterparts. In the wild, rabbits live in almost every climate imaginable, and can be found on every continent except Antarctica! This means they have to be able to eat a wide variety of plants to sustain themselves. Wild rabbits are also expert excavators, capable of digging extensive networks of tunnels and burrows. Unfortunately, both of these behaviors can spell bad news for a backyard gardener. 

But what if our pet rabbits could live in harmony with our backyard plants, just as wild rabbits cohabitate with their native vegetation? What if digging and burrowing could work to the gardener’s advantage while encouraging our pet bunnies to foster their natural instincts? 

A rabbit-ready garden 

Rabbits are seriously misunderstood as gardening-assistants! If the proper care is taken when designing a backyard garden, pet rabbits can actually be very helpful when tending plants. They’ll trim the ends and edges of plants they are allowed access to, turn the soil through digging and burrowing, and mow stray patches of grass and invasive weeds. As an added bonus, those round bunny poops are actually little nuggets of garden gold! Rabbit manure is one of the best fertilizers for gardens, with many rabbit-keepers saving a stash to add to their compost and natural fertilizers. 

But what plants are rabbit-safe? And how much is too much? 

Here is a list (which is by no means exhaustive!) of gardening favorites that are both delicious and nutritious for your backyard bunny: 

Garden “Staples”: 

  • Arugula
  • Bell Pepper
  • Broccoli (leaves and stems are best)
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Carrots and Carrot Tops 
  • Celery 
  • Fresh Grass (not clippings!)
  • Greens (mustard, turnip, etc.)
  • Herbs (basil, cilantro, dill, mint, parsley, rosemary, etc.)
  • Lettuce (the darker the variety, the more nutritious!)
  • Okra
  • Radishes and their leaves
  • Squash (summer, zucchini, etc.)

 Flowers: 

  • Asters
  • Carnations
  • Geraniums
  • Hibiscus
  • Marigolds
  • Nasturtium
  • Pansies
  • Roses
  • Sunflowers

Fruits: 

  • Apples*
  • Apricots*
  • Bananas (peel removed)
  • Cherries*
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes*
  • Melons
  • Nectarines*
  • Papaya
  • Peaches*
  • Pineapple
  • Plums*
  • Star Fruit
  • Strawberries

* Safe when stems and seeds are removed, as high amounts can be toxic! 

Additional ideas for naturally-found rabbit treats can be found here: Forage Treats For Your Rabbit

As with most tasty things, too much of a good thing can be, well, too much! In order to keep your bunny from overeating (both for their sake and that of the plant!), you’ll need to wrap or surround your plants and shrubs in rabbit-proof mesh to restrict nibbling, or elevate your plants by using planters, plant stands, or raised flower beds. Multi-level gardening can be visually stunning, and your back will thank you when tending to vegetation in raised plant beds! 

It’s important to remember that hay (such as timothy or orchard grass) should make up the majority of your pet rabbit’s diet – 75% to be exact! The other 25% of foods offered should be allocated for veggies, pellets, and small amounts of fruit. 

Woman outside gardening with rabbits in their Omlet Outdoor Rabbit Run

Rabbit red-flags: plants to avoid

Not everything that grows in a garden is safe for your rabbit to consume, and they won’t know the difference between friend and foe when it comes to snacks. Anything plant-like looks appetizing to a rabbit! Take extra care not to plant any of the following where your bunny can accidentally sneak a nibble: 

  • Azalea
  • Blue Bell
  • Brugmansia (Angel Trumpet)
  • Buttercup
  • Christmas Rose
  • Columbine
  • Daffodil
  • Dahlia
  • Foxglove
  • Hemlock
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris
  • Ivy
  • Lupine
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Milkweed
  • Mistletoe
  • Narcissus
  • Nightshade
  • Periwinkle
  • Poppy
  • Primrose
  • Rhododendron
  • Tulip
  • Wisteria
  • Yew

If you are concerned that your rabbit may have gotten a taste of a toxic plant, or is acting ill after consuming any vegetation, be sure to contact your veterinarian right away. It is also helpful to bring a sample of the plant that was ingested, or a picture of the plant in question for your veterinarian to identify. 

Rabbit-friendly fertilizers and weed killer

Since rabbits like to dig and burrow in the ground, caution needs to be taken when conditioning your garden’s soil. Commercially bought fertilizers and weed killers contain many substances that are harmful to bunnies, and should be avoided. 

Thankfully there are many alternatives to name-brand garden products – and you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry to make them yourself! 

The best fertilizer for your garden is made through composting. Compost is super-food for plants, with the added bonus of being super-easy to start and maintain. Made from organic waste such as: food scraps, coffee grounds, dead leaves, grass clippings, weeds, etc., you can start composting as soon as your next meal! Compost piles can be made in a secluded part of your backyard or garden, or you can invest in a composting bin. No matter which method you choose, after a small amount of effort you’ll have an easy and nutritious boost for your plants that won’t harm your rabbits! 

You can also add individual composting ingredients directly to the soil without waiting for them to break down. Some of the most common soil additives include coffee grounds, egg shells, banana peels, and manure (like what your bunny leaves for you!).

Be sure to exercise caution when adding things like coffee grounds or grass clippings to soil within your bunny’s reach, as ingestion could create digestive upset. It’s best to add actual compost at ground level, and individual ingredients to plants out of your rabbit’s reach. 

While rabbits are excellent in helping to clear weeds, some stubborn varieties need a helping hand. This list of DIY weed killers offers rabbit-safe options:

  • Vinegar and dish soap
  • Rubbing alcohol and water
  • Boiling water

Any of these solutions should be applied while your bunny is safely in their hutch to avoid any direct contact. Once the solutions have dried, it will be safe for your rabbit to resume outdoor activities! 

Bunny boundaries 

No matter how much space you allow your bunny to roam, you’ll need to make sure it’s both escape-proof and predator-resistant. 

The Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch is an excellent option for the free-roaming rabbit. It’s compact enough to not take up too much real estate in your backyard, and sturdy enough to keep even the most persistent of predators out. Plus, the added run with an integrated no-dig wire floor is an instant outdoor housing solution for your bunny! Incorporate the wire run into your gardening aesthetic by planting rabbit-safe trailing vines, or by placing potted plants alongside the run for easy-access bunny snacks. 

If your rabbit roams in a larger space, be sure to have their area covered with wire, or provide lots of plants that offer shade and foliage to hide from flying predators such as hawks and owls. Even if your rabbit is too large to be swept away by a bird of prey, these flying hunters can inflict injury on your bunny by attempting to pick them up. You can also provide escapes with the Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System of your own design, or functional garden decor for safe rabbit-retreats. 

To dig or not to dig 

Rabbits are diggers by nature. They create tunnels, burrows, or simply move dirt to create a soft and cool spot to settle into on a warm day. When allowed to dig in appropriate places, rabbits fulfill their innate desires and upkeep their physical health – which means happier bunnies and shorter toenails! 

It’s important that any rabbit enclosure nestled on the ground have a dig-resistant liner all along the bottom. Even if you forgo having a designated run for your rabbit in favor of free-rein of the garden, all fences should be at least 3 feet tall, with wire-mesh buried at least 6 inches down to prevent escapes. As an added layer of protection, wire-mesh can be fixed to the bottom 6-8 inches of the fence, forming a 90 degree angle with another 6-12 inches tacked into the ground using landscape staples. 

Be sure to check your boundary lines daily for any new tunnels that may present a problem. Rabbits are quite proud of their handiwork, and will often spend time in their new constructions, so watch for extending tunnels and burrows. It’s a good idea to mark tunnels to note their progress and to avoid stepping on the hollowed-out ground between an entrance and exit. Plant marking signs make adorable additions to your garden, and can be useful when marking rabbit construction zones! 

Any tunnels that aren’t headed in a safe direction should be filled with dirt or gravel to prevent escape. And be sure to watch your step – rabbit tunnel entrances and exits are just the right size to swallow a shoe and turn an ankle! For more ideas on housing your bunny outside, check out: Rabbit-Proofing the Garden

If allowing your rabbit to tunnel is not a safe or desirable activity for them, creating a network of Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System components is a fun and safe way to curb their tunneling cravings! By connecting Zippi Rabbit Runs and Playpens together, and adding physically and mentally challenging components such as Zippi Lookout Towers or Zippi Rabbit Run Platforms, your rabbit will be able to fulfill its frolicking needs! 

Weather considerations

Rabbits are naturally equipped to handle a wide variety of weather conditions, but a little help from their humans goes a long way! If you are transitioning an indoor rabbit to staying outdoors, be sure to take temperature into consideration and avoid excessively warm or cool days at first. The ideal temperature for a rabbit is between 55℉ and 70℉, so aiming for days with mild temperatures will give your rabbit the smoothest transition possible. 

Of course not every day will have ideal temperatures, but after getting acclimated to life outside, your rabbit’s coat and instincts will adapt to the weather. But to give them an advantage, rabbit weather protection and rabbit rabbit run covers can bolster your bunny’s natural defenses against the elements. Rabbits have a dense coat that will insulate them once they are accustomed to being outdoors in winter months, but an insulated hutch is a particularly good idea if you live in an area that experiences sub-freezing temperatures. 

Rabbits fare better in cold temperatures than hot, so if you live in an area with excessive summer temperatures, be sure to keep a close eye on the thermometer as well as your bunny. Signs of rabbit heat stroke include: 

  • Rapid breathing or panting
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy

Bring your rabbit inside and contact your veterinarian right away if you suspect heat-related illness. Frozen water bottles or ice packs placed near your bunny’s favorite resting spot is one of the best ways to stave off overheating. Your bunny will appreciate having something cool to snuggle up to!

Omlet for the outdoors 

At Omlet, we want your pets to live their most natural lives in the safest way possible. Our line of rabbit products are designed to allow your bunny to enjoy the great outdoors without compromising their security. Whether you have a background garden for your rabbit to prune, or keep them housed in a hutch/run combo with strategically placed herbs and edible plants to nibble on through the wire, we have the products to create the ultimate outdoor play space! Easy to set up, clean, and maintain, you’ll love your rabbit’s new setup almost as much as they will!

Rabbit outside in garden with Omlet Rabbit Play Tunnel with Connector Rings

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How to Create More Space for Your Rabbits

Rabbit using Omlet Outdoor Rabbit Run

Bunnies were built to bounce, and in their natural habitat can even reach a super speedy 45mph! Whilst your domesticated floppy-eared pets don’t move as quickly as their friends in the wild, they still need to be provided with an exercise routine. We’re not talking rabbit aerobics or bunny boot camp, but by expanding their living space, you can help your bunnies to stay physically and mentally stimulated. Unsure of how you can offer your rabbits more room to stretch their legs? Let’s hop to it!

Run rabbit run

Your gym bunnies need space to keep on top of their workout routine! Whilst a good hutch like the Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch is great for keeping your rabbits protected from backyard predators and the elements, providing them with an outdoor rabbit run offers them the additional space they desire. 

You can extend your Omlet Outdoor Rabbit Run at any time should you need to create even more room for your active rabbits. It has a full height stable door, meaning easy access for you to interact and bond with your bunnies. 

Alternatively, add a run up to 13ft to your Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch, perfect for children to get up close to their pet in the backyard. And since evidence suggests that rabbits that bond with their owners live longer and happier lives, enjoying quality time with your bunnies is even more important than once thought. 

What if you could give your rabbits the warren their instincts demand with no digging in the backyard? Our product designers once thought the same, which is why we made the Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System! Simply attach the tunnel to your hutch and provide your rabbits with a safe and secure route to their exercise space whenever they want!  

Hop on in!

If your bunnies live inside all year round, or you’re considering moving your rabbits indoors for the winter, then a playpen is ideal. Whilst bunny-proofing your home is a given for those keeping indoor rabbits, allowing them free range of the house at all times isn’t always an option. The solution? An indoor rabbit playpen! Fencing off an area with a large indoor rabbit playpen is ideal for creating more space for your pets for those times when they’re not wandering through the house, whilst you can be assured they are in a safe, confined area. You can also accessorize your indoor run using Omlet’s play tunnels – designed by our genius product designers to mimic their natural instinct to burrow! 

White rabbit using Omlet Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System

Upgrade to a 2-storey apartment 

What if your rabbits could see the world from our perspective? Rabbits significantly benefit from having an additional floor in their enclosure, so upgrading their home, and creating vertical space for your bunnies will give them a new outlook on the world. And now that you’ll almost be face to face with your rabbits, platforms allow you to interact with your pets at an even closer level! Use Omlet’s Zippi Rabbit Platforms in your rabbits’ run to give them their own bunny adventure playground – perfect for pets who live in a smaller space. Platforms are also great for strengthening your rabbits’ muscles. A fit bunny is a happy bunny, and just like us, exercise is fantastic for improving their mental well-being. Since these animals are nervous by nature, a regular fitness routine helps to take the edge off, as well as being a brilliant boredom buster. 

Creating more space for your rabbits is one key to successfully having your bunnies live hop-pily ever after! After more advice on enriching your rabbits’ environment? Take a read of our How to Make Your Rabbit Happy blog.

Rabbit in green Zippi Shelter on Omlet Rabbit Run Platforms

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Upgrade your rabbit run this fall

Two children outside with two rabbits in the Zippi tunnel attached to the Eglu Go Hutch outside

Fall is the perfect opportunity to take some time to make sure your bunnies are happy with their setup in the garden. After a scorching summer, the more comfortable temperatures of fall will be warmly welcomed by us and our floppy-eared friends. The change in season brings a cooler breeze, beautiful crisp leaves, and plenty more exciting sights and smells for bunnies to explore around their homes. Before the real winter chill hits, now is the perfect time to upgrade your rabbit run. So, how exactly can you transform your pet’s summer hideaway to a cosy rabbit retreat? 

Extensions

First of all, take a good look at your run and assess if it is good enough for your beloved bunnies, or if there is room for improvement. Whether they have an Eglu Run, Outdoor Rabbit Run or Zippi Run, you can make it larger with practical and easily assembled extension panels. That way your bunnies have more space to run around on, and you can add more fun accessories that will keep them busy in the colder months. 

Caddi

Leftover food and treats lying around the run not only makes it look a bit sad and untidy, it can also attract rodents and other pests, and if you’re not vigilant with your cleaning your rabbits might accidentally ingest something that has gone mouldy. 

A great way of upgrading your run, and feeding your pets yummy and nutritious treats, is to get a Caddi Treat Holder. Fill it with fresh grass, allotment veg or some chopped up fruit, and hang from the top of the run. The rabbits will love the swinging motion of the holder as they try to grab a delicious mouthful, and the spillage will be minimal. Additionally, you will be able to keep track of when you gave your rabbits which treats, so you can alternate between different ones and make sure nothing that has gone off is still in the run. 

Platforms

Everyone knows that rabbits love to hop! Adding platforms to your rabbit’s run is a great way to let your rabbit bounce to their heart’s content, whilst you make the most of the usable space that you have in their Zippi Run. Platforms will provide your fluffy friend with more places to explore, which in turn will help to strengthen their muscles as they jump up and down on their new adventure playground. The Omlet platforms are also suitable for use all year round, so you can still get the most out of this feature for when the weather gets cooler over fall.

Autumnal collage of rabbit in Zippi Rabbit Shelter and woman with Zippi Tunnel System

Shelters

The Zippi Shelters will be a great addition to your run this fall, as they provide both (surprise surprise) shelter and an invitation to stimulating play. Rabbits have a natural instinct to seek a hidey hole, and in the wild they create ‘rooms’ in their warrens where they can come to relax and have a nap. The Zippi Shelters will provide exactly this, but in your pet rabbits’ run. They will also love running in and out of, or jumping on top of the Shelter to survey their surroundings. 

Although the rabbits will always have their hutch to retreat to when it gets wet or windy, it’s great to have another spot where they can get away from the inevitable fall showers. The shelters are sturdy and waterproof, and your rabbits will love hopping in to relax. 

Treats

As it gets colder your rabbits will use more energy to stay warm, so it’s the ideal time to stock up on treats for the cupboard. Make sure you find a good balance between fresh fruit and veg and shop bought treats to put on the run.

For more inspiration and ideas on how you can improve your rabbit’s fall setup, take a read of our 8 Tips for Making Your Pets’ Run More Fun This Fall blog. And to make sure your bunny has everything they need to make this special season amazing, discover everything the Omlet Rabbit Shop has to offer.

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How the Zippi Locks Make Your Life Easier

Woman watching rabbit in Zippi Rabbit Run, secured with Easy Access Lock for Zippi Runs

If you have a Zippi Run or Playpen, the new Easy Access Lock for Zippi Runs  can make your life much easier, but how do they work?

If you’ve ever needed to get inside your Zippi run to refresh food and water, or pick up your pet, you will likely have noticed the smaller openings make it difficult to reach inside, and removing a whole panel is rarely worth the hassle. The Easy Access Lock for Zippi Runs have been designed to solve this problem.

How do the Easy Access Lock for Zippi Runs work?

Available in varying pack sizes to suit your needs, the locks allow you to replace clips between mesh panels on three straight edges of any panel you wish to open up.

The Easy Access Lock for Zippi Runs encases the edge of two mesh panels and secures them together in the same way as a run clip, however, once unlocked both mesh panels are still held in position until all locks are opened to lift open the panel you wish to use as an entry point, without it collapsing into your run and endangering your pets.

Can I use multiple Easy Access Locks for Zippi at once?

You can even use multiple Easy Access Lock for Zippi Runs to convert adjoining panels of larger runs so you can open up a larger door or run roof. Simply follow these handy diagrams to see how many locks  you need to create your desired run opening.

How will the Easy Access Lock for Zippi Runs help me and my pets?

With this improved accessibility to your run it is much easier to reach or climb in to feed your pets, tidy and clean the run floor and accessories, pick up your pet to take out of the run, or play with them inside. Making it easier for adults and children to access the run and play with their rabbits and guinea pigs inside ensures pets get as much playtime as possible to be happy, healthy and closely connected to you. To find out more about how the Zippi Runs and Playpens could help your rabbits to have more space and plenty more playtime and exercise, take a read of this blog.

The locks are durable, predator resistant and super simple to operate – even little hands can do it! The integrated safety button requires you to push and turn simultaneously in order to open the lock, making it harder for unwanted visitors to gain access.

Easy Access Lock for Zippi Runs allow different access options

Watch the Easy Access Lock for Zippi Runs in action in this YouTube video…

 

The new Easy Access Lock for Zippi Runs are now available online, from $3.00 each.

For more rabbit and guinea pig products, shop the Omlet website to ensure that your furry friend has everything they ever need!

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Forage treats for your rabbit

Why should you forage for treats to give your rabbits?

Well, even if there are plenty of great pre-made treats for your pets, it’s sometimes fun to know exactly what you’re giving them. Wild plants are nutritionally balanced, high in fiber and really yummy. Apart from that, they’re also free!

Things to know before foraging for rabbit treats

Before we get going, here are some things to think about:

  • If you’re not completely sure that you have identified a plant correctly, don’t pick it. It’s useful to have photos of the plants you’re looking for at hand and compare what you find with them.
  • Try to avoid collecting treats for your rabbits by busy roads with lots of emissions from cars. It’s best to find spots where you’re relatively confident no pesticides or other chemicals have been used, and where cats and dogs will not have peed or pooped on the plants.
  • If you want to you can wash your finds when you get home, but in most cases, this is not necessary. If you’re introducing something new to your rabbits, start slowly and give only small amounts of the new food at the time. Some treats can upset the rabbits’ very sensitive stomachs. Also remember to only feed these greens in moderation, as a treat on top of the rabbits daily amount of pellets and hay.

Now we’ve got that done, here are 6 plants that most people will be able to identify, that can easily be found on most park walks, and that rabbits of all sizes and ages will love!

Collage of 6 plants to forage for your rabbits

6 plants you can forage

Images above from top left to right.

1. Dandelion

Most people will be able to recognize this very common plant. Lion teeth leaves, thick, hollow stems and yellow flower heads that turn into spherical clocks after flowering. Rabbits can eat the whole plant: leaves, stems and flowers, and they are great for drying if you want to keep them for winter.

2. Stinging Nettle

The less pleasant aspect of the nettle, the sting, doesn’t deter rabbits from this lovely green. Although you will need gloves to pick the nettles, the rabbits don’t feel the sting, and will munch through both leaves and stems. Stinging nettles can be found in most woodland areas, and you will recognize them by the serrated leaves and the tassel-like flowers at the top. They also dry well for your winter supply.

3. Blackberries/Brambles

Blackberry bushes flower from early May with pale pink flowers that turn into small green berries that then become shiny black. Brambles grow high in hedgerows and ditches, and have prickly thorns, so be careful when picking. Rabbits can eat the stems and leaves, you don’t even need to remove the prickly bits.

4. Plantain (Ribwort)

Plantain grows low among grass and has broad or long light green leaves. The leaves have three or five parallel veins running through them, and if you tear it apart it’s stringy, almost like celery. Plantain is a hit with most rabbits and can be served both fresh and dried.

5. Chickweed

This is another common weed that is often found in lawns and other places with slightly moist soil. It has sleek stems that can grow up to 1.3 ft. in height, and small while flowers. The whole plant can be given to your rabbit in moderation.

6. Goosegrass

Goosegrass is the long hairy plant that sticks to your clothes and is one of many types of grass that rabbits love. It spreads incredibly quickly, so shouldn’t be difficult to find, even in your own backyard or garden. Although maybe not the easiest to pick, it’s both nutritious and delicious for rabbits.

How to give your rabbits fresh treats

Now that you’re done foraging, you’ll of course want to treat your rabbits with the delicious plants that you’ve found! Using a rabbit treat holder is a great option for giving your rabbit fresh treats, ideal for not only feeding your floppy-eared friends but fantastic for enriching their environment too. Simply fill your Caddi Rabbit Treat Holder with the plants that you have foraged (or fresh fruit, vegetables, or hay), and hang from your rabbit’s run or rabbit hutch.

Rabbit outside eating fruit from their Omlet Caddi rabbit treat holder

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Can Rabbits and Guinea Pigs Live Together?

Rabbits and guinea pigs: both small, furry, and adorable. These species share many similarities, and people often wonder, can rabbits and guinea pigs live together? Aside from the traits they share, their dietary needs are actually different, as is the language they speak. Find out how these two species differ, and whether or not you can keep rabbits and guinea pigs together.

Woman and child playing with a rabbit in the Zippi playpen

Keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together

The short answer to whether or not you can keep rabbits and guinea pigs together is: yes, but with several factors and modifications to keep in mind, and it should only be attempted by owners with experience with both pets. These two animals have different dietary needs, don’t understand each other, and have different space requirements. The main thing to consider is that each species should have their own space — especially for sleeping and eating. Rabbits and guinea pigs can, in some cases, share a communal run or playpen during the day, as long as they have plenty of their own space to retreat to.

Dietary needs of rabbits and guinea pigs 

While their feed pellets may look the same, the contents are actually quite different. Guinea pigs can’t make their own Vitamin C, which means they must eat in their diet. Rabbits on the other hand, are able to produce their own Vitamin C, and can become ill if they ingest excess amounts. Their food bowls with pellets should be kept separated to avoid deficiencies for your guinea pigs and overdoses for your rabbits.

Both rabbits and guinea pigs can eat the same fresh fruits and vegetables, so their treats and supplemental offerings can be the same. A communal Caddi Rabbit and Guinea Pig Treat Holder can be filled and hung in a place for both rabbits and guinea pigs to enjoy. Both species also thrive on free-choice timothy hay, which can also be kept in a common area. 

Language barriers between rabbits and guinea pigs 

Rabbits communicate primarily through body language, while guinea pigs are very vocal. Because of these very different types of communication, rabbits and guinea pigs won’t always understand each other. For example, rabbits thump their back legs as a warning, but guinea pigs will not understand this method of conveying displeasure. Similarly, the many sounds that guinea pigs make can startle rabbits and create stress in their otherwise quiet environment. 

Rabbits and guinea pigs can learn the basics of each others respective languages, but it comes with time and patience. It’s best to give each species plenty of their own space to escape the presence of the other when needed. 

Space requirements for rabbits and guinea pigs 

Part of your rabbit and guinea pig checklist should include plenty of space. Rabbits and guinea pigs should have a dedicated hutch for each species, and plenty of outdoor space. One of the easiest and enjoyable ways to add space for your rabbits and guinea pigs is to use Zippi products. 

Zippi Runs and Playpens provide plenty of space for both rabbits and guinea pigs. Rabbits need more space than guinea pigs due to their size and energy levels, but it’s important for guinea pigs to have enough room to exercise, as they are prone to becoming overweight. 

The Zippi Tunnel System connects the runs and playpens together, or to your rabbits’ and guinea pigs’ hutch. The closing doors can restrict movement between pens, making it easier to keep their food separated at mealtimes. Rabbits naturally tunnel in the wild, and guinea pigs naturally utilize the burrows of other animals — which makes the Zippi Tunnels an excellent choice for both species to enjoy. 

Zippi Platforms adds vertical space to your rabbits’ and guinea pigs’ runs. Both animals enjoy gaining a new vantage point and lounging in the shade offered beneath, but rabbits especially crave a higher view of the world around them. This also gives more opportunities for your rabbits and guinea pigs to take a break from each other’s company. 

The personalities of your pets 

One of the most important factors to consider when keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together is their individual personalities. Some rabbits are naturally passive, while others may bully guinea pigs. Bold guinea pigs may provoke rabbits, while the more timid ones may hide perpetually. 

Males of both species should always be neutered to help prevent displays of aggression. If possible, females should also be spayed for the same reason — though males may be more prone to aggression than females. And, remember that each species needs at least one companion of their own kind, so be prepared to keep a pair of rabbits and guinea pigs. This will ensure each species has a friend to converse with in their natural way, and will keep them from becoming lonely. 

Omlet and your rabbits and guinea pigs 

Rabbits and guinea pigs are different animals, but can coexist when they have considerate owners. By making adjustments to their Eglu hutches. Dedicated rabbit and guinea pig Zippi Runs and Playpens will give your pets the space they need, and an opportunity to fulfil their nutritional requirements without interfering with the other. And, with the addition of a Zippi Tunnel System and

Zippi Platforms, your rabbits and guinea pigs can spread out or come together as often as they see fit. With our products, you can sit back and enjoy watching how animals can adapt to live peaceably with another species, while maintaining your own peace of mind. 

Guinea pigs playing in the Zippi playpen with the zippi tunnel system

 

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How to Make Your Rabbit Happy

Rabbits playing in Zippi Play Tunnels and on their Zippi Rabbit Run Platforms

Is your rabbit a happy bunny? Of course, any pet parent only wants their beloved furry friend to be happy and healthy, so how exactly can you fulfil your rabbit’s needs? Here are our top tips for how to make your rabbit happy!

Good Diet and Fresh Water

First and foremost, to ensure your rabbit is happy, they’ll need a good, balanced diet and a constant supply of fresh water. Just as we feel our best when we’re eating well and staying hydrated, so do our pet rabbits! In fact, a large cause of illness in these animals can be traced back to dangerous or wrongly proportioned feeding.

Therefore, a rabbit’s diet should consist of around 80% high-quality hay, and they should always have an unlimited supply available to them. However, hay alone will not provide your pet with all of the nutrients they require. They should also then be given pellet food with ideally a 20-25% fiber content. Muesli style foods should be avoided when choosing a feed for your pet rabbit. This can unfortunately lead to complications with a rabbit’s digestive system and cause issues with a rabbit’s ever-growing teeth. 

Your fluffy friend should also be supplied with greens as part of their diet. However, just be mindful that leafy green vegetables such as spinach, chard and cabbage, whilst nutritious, must be given in moderation. To find out more about the best diet for your rabbit, read our previous blog What Should Rabbits Eat? which will tell you everything your rabbit needs to consume to stay happy and healthy!

Water Bottle or Bowl?

When it comes to giving your rabbits water, there are two options – a bottle or a bowl. The rabbit bowls and water bottles section will help you to pick a suitable choice to suit depending on your circumstance. Ultimately, what it comes down to is that giving your rabbit water from a bowl is a more natural way for a rabbit to drink. Bowls, however, can be knocked over and wet your rabbit’s bedding. On the flip side, a water bottle helps to reduce water waste and helps to keep your rabbit’s water supply at one temperature.

Give Your Rabbit Yummy Treats

As well as providing your rabbit with a healthy, balanced diet, giving your rabbit a few yummy treats will go a long way too! There are a wide range of rabbit treats that can be fed to your pet (in moderation of course!). Most rabbits also love fresh vegetables so you can even offer these as a treat too. To find a list of what vegetables are suitable for your rabbit to remain happy and healthy, read our blog Which Fruit and Vegetables Can I Feed my Rabbit? for some further clarification.

Protection From Illness, Injury and Disease

None of us like feeling under the weather, including our floppy-eared friends! Your rabbit’s health is paramount to keeping them happy! It’s important that as a responsible owner, you stay on top of everything they need to protect them from illness, injury and disease.

Rabbit health and hygiene products are designed to keep your pet rabbit in top condition or help them recover from minor ailments. A mini grooming kit is a great rabbit care product, which will not only mean your rabbit’s fur will be looking great but will also help the both of you to build a bond.

If you are concerned that your rabbit’s normal behavior has changed, or you suspect they are unwell at all, do not hesitate to take them to their vet.

They Need Somewhere Suitable to Live

There’s no place like home! Rabbits need a secure and suitable place to live, whether you’re keeping a rabbit inside your house, or they are in a hutch like Omlet’s Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch outside. The Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch is a great choice for pet rabbits, perfect for all year round and suitable to house up to two happy rabbits.

Rabbits also of course need rabbit bedding to stay happy! Rabbit bedding is suitable for either your Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch or any other bunny home. Dirty bedding increases the chances of them developing horrible conditions such as myiasis, also known as flystrike for a start. Also, your rabbit won’t be happy staying in an unclean environment. In general, these pets like to stay clean and will look after themselves by licking away dirt.

Your Omlet Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch can also easily be extended to offer your rabbit more outside space. Rabbits need to be kept on their toes and with such powerful hind legs that can reach 50 miles per hour, they need space to run! The Omlet Zippi Playpen is ideal for making sure your rabbit has enough room to hop around to their heart’s content, while keeping safe. Similarly, the Outdoor Rabbit Run will keep rabbits secure when exploring, and since it’s extendable in width, length and height, it’s suitable for rabbits of all sizes! Find out about all the possibilities of how you can give your rabbits more space with Zippi.

House Rabbits Too!

If you opt to keep domestic rabbits as house pets, then the same applies in that your rabbit’s home still needs to be somewhere they feel safe and comfortable. You’ll need to rabbit proof your home for one, if you do decide to go down this route. This means that you will need to consider all potential hazards e.g. electrical cables, furniture, and house plants to ensure your home is suitable. Furthermore, if you are planning on litter training your rabbit, might want to consider neutering them. Neutered rabbits are a lot easier to litter train. In fact, an unneutered rabbit is almost impossible to litter train completely!

Give Your Rabbit Lots of Attention

Rabbits love attention from their owners once they’re comfortable. And just like any other pet, you should interact with your bunny to continue building a long-lasting bond. You can do this via play, training, or simply speaking to them! Talk to your rabbit in a soft tone, and they’ll soon get used to your voice. You should be able to tell if your rabbit is enjoying your company with a few tell-tale signs that we’ll go into shortly.

Respect Your Rabbit’s Boundaries

As with any animal, it’s important to respect a rabbit’s boundaries to ensure they live a happy life. While rabbits are sociable animals who love showing their owners affection and make for great pets, the average rabbit is also naturally nervous, being prey animals.

One way to respect your rabbit’s boundaries is by reading their body language and responding based on this. For example, a happy rabbit will do ‘the bunny flop’ when they’re feeling happy and relaxed, whereby they will roll on their back with their legs in the air. However, a nose nudge could mean your rabbit wants to be left alone. If you’re new to keeping rabbits, you might be a bit unfamiliar with reading this language. Take a read of our Learn to Read your Rabbit’s Body Language so that you are able to identify when your rabbit is, or isn’t, in the mood to play”

What Noise Do Rabbits Make When They Are Happy?

A rabbit will also communicate vocally to let you know how they’re feeling. The sound of low grunting and grinding of teeth means that the rabbit is content and relaxed. However, if your rabbit lets out a scream, this is their way of telling you that they’re scared or in a lot of pain. As you develop a bond with your bunny, it will become easier to identify how they’re feeling and their likes.

Do Bunnies Like Being Held?

Generally speaking, rabbits do not like being held. Even more so if they have not become accustomed to it from a young age. Therefore, for this reason, some rabbit breeds don’t fit in well with households with small children. This being said, breeds like the French Lops and Dutch Rabbits are renowned for getting on well with young children who will be tempted to touch the new pet! For a bit more breed information on what would work best, read Omlet’s rabbit breed guide.

Create Fun Play Areas

Healthy rabbits need to be kept entertained to remain happy and in the best condition they can be! You can do this by creating lots of fun play areas in their outdoor run space or make your house rabbit happy by introducing accessories to the home. Outdoors, the Zippi Rabbit Playtunnel and Zippi Rabbit Run Platforms are great ways to make sure that your rabbit is mentally stimulated. Platforms also prevent the risk of obesity and injury. Both of this are to be avoided if you want to keep your rabbit happy! Read about more of the benefits of exercise across multiple levels with platforms with our blog Platforms: Benefits of Exercise Across Multiple Levels.

Omlet’s Zippi Rabbit Shelter is also great way to add to your rabbit’s environment. Since rabbits have a natural instinct to seek a hideaway, the Zippi Rabbit Shelter provides this desired protection from the outside elements, as well as being somewhere your pet can sit safely in, while observing their surroundings.

Likewise, a Zippi Rabbit Tunnel also encourages a rabbit’s natural instinct to burrow, and a tunnel provides them with a sense of safety and shelter. You can give your bunny rabbits their own warren by connecting their rabbit hutch.

Rabbit hiding in a Zippi Rabbit Shelter with hanging Caddi Rabbit Treat Holder

Give Your Rabbit Massages

Did you know that rabbits love massages?! So much so, that rabbits who have regular massages are said to be calmer and less stressed than pet rabbits that don’t! You should always be gentle and move slowly when massaging your rabbit and use a long gliding stroke. Start from down your rabbit’s head, following on to their neck and back. Eventually, end at the top of your rabbit’s tail. It goes without saying that you should gauge how your rabbit is reacting and of course stop if you sense that they’re not relaxed or enjoying the massage. However, if they are, continue to gently massage around their neck and ear base.

Introduce Your Rabbit to a Companion

While your pet rabbit can live a happy life as an ‘only rabbit’, they’ll also appreciate another rabbit friend for them to live with. Getting companion rabbits is a good idea because whilst this desire for having a friend can partially be met with their human pal i.e. you, rabbits can potentially get lonely without a rabbit friend of their own.

Again, because rabbits are a prey species, they enjoy the presence of and find comfort in a friend. One reason for this is because it means not having to look out for predators by themselves. This can then cause a rabbit to be anxious. However, do note that if you do get rabbits of the opposite sex, you will need to spay or neuter them to prevent baby bunnies. There are also other advantages to this, such as reducing the chances of female rabbits developing uterine cancer for example.

Use Positive Reinforcement Training

While training a rabbit might not exactly be the same as training a dog, rabbits do require mental stimulation. Training is a great way of doing this! You can even train a rabbit to do a few tricks like how to give you a high 5! Find out how with this How to Teach Your Guinea Pigs and Rabbits Tricks blog, but the key here is to praise your pet when they’ve demonstrated the behavior that you have asked for and never to shout at them when they have done something you don’t want.

Give Them a Variety of Toys

Finally, give your rabbit a variety of rabbit toys to play with! There’s a wide range of rabbit toys available, designed to enrich your pets’ environment! As a rabbit owner, it’s your job to find out what your rabbit likes best.

Don’t forget that getting a rabbit is a long term commitment. It’s essential to do your research to ensure you can offer them a fulfilled happy life! If you have a rabbit already, hopefully, after these expert tips, you can get the spring back in their step!

White rabbits eating from a Caddi-Rabbit-Treat-Holder-on-Zippi-Rabbit-Run-Platforms

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New Rabbit Checklist

Bringing home any pet is an exciting time for the whole family. But just like any other animal, rabbits require your full dedication and the right tools to make sure that they get off to a great start and live happy and fulfilled lives! So, to help you out, here is our new rabbit checklist, so that you can cross off everything you’ll be needing for your new furry addition.

white rabbit coming out of a zippi rabbit tunnel

Hay/Bedding – A Must for Your New Rabbit Checklist

A great place to begin before getting your new pet rabbit is by making sure you have plenty of rabbit hay/bedding. Not only is fresh hay an important part of a rabbit’s diet, but they also require plenty for their bedding.  Omlet’s own Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch also ensures that your new pet gets the comfiest night’s sleep!

Hay is also ideal for encouraging a rabbit’s natural instinct to forage, whereby in the wild, they would search for wild food sources. Foraging also helps to keep rabbits mentally stimulated. You’ll find that a rabbit who is only fed pellets from their food dish, as opposed to a balanced diet including hay, can end up eating too quickly, which can, in turn, make them unwell. Furthermore, a balanced diet for your rabbits will keep their teeth in good condition as well!

Rabbit Food and Bowls

A rabbit’s diet should consist of dry food, fresh food, and hay. Offering nutritious and balanced options is key so that you can pick the right food to suit the needs of your new pet rabbit.

Most rabbits love fruit and vegetables, so it’s a good idea to include these in their diet too. While you might associate rabbits with gnawing away at carrots, this type of vegetable can actually cause constipation in rabbits and make sugar levels rise dangerously if over consumed. The Caddi Rabbit Treat Holder is the perfect way to feed your rabbits fruit and veggies. Not only will it provide your bunny with entertainment but will benefit you too by improving run cleanliness and reducing food waste. So, if you plan on feeding your rabbit with nature’s very own treats, make sure to read our previous blog Which Fruit and Vegetables Can I Feed my Rabbit? where you can find a list of the fruits and vegetables that are suitable for your furry friend to be fed.

As well as food and an unlimited supply of fresh water, you should also make sure that your rabbit has a food dish alongside either a water bottle or water bowl. Some owners opt to use a bottle over a bowl, but this really is your decision to make. While bowls can easily get knocked over and wet your rabbit’s bedding, they are more of a natural way for a rabbit to drink. This being said, a water bottle reduces water waste and is usually better than a bowl when it comes to keeping your rabbit’s water supply at the same temperature. 

Rabbits outside in their Omlet Outdoor Rabbit Hutch next to their Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch

Rabbit Treats

While rabbits need to be fed a healthy diet, the occasional treat won’t go amiss! Treats are a great way of rewarding your rabbit. Your new pet rabbit will also absolutely love a little afternoon snack from their doting owner.

A Rabbit Hutch That’ll Last

Your new rabbit will of course need somewhere to live! Add the Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch to your new rabbit checklist – ideal for any prospective rabbit owner and will keep your bunnies safe from the outside elements and any predators. Even better, the Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch comes with a hay rack, feed bowl and water bottle, making keeping rabbits hassle-free! Furthermore, the Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch has a removable bedding tray, which means you won’t have to purchase a removable litter box for cleaning up after your pet.

If you opt to have a house rabbit, you’ll need to make sure that wherever they stay, they are in a bunny proofed room. You’ll find it helpful to read our guide on How To Rabbit-Proof Your House for some more information on this topic.

New Rabbit Checklist Essential: A Safe and Secure Run!

As well as your rabbits having a hutch or home to live in, they’ll also require a safe and secure run to provide them with some extra freedom and time for hopping around, so this definitely should not be missed off of your new rabbit checklist! One of the leading causes as to why rabbits dig, therefore potentially escaping from their run, is because of boredom. We wrote about this topic on our previous blog Rabbits and Digging if you’d like to find out more information on this area.

Fortunately, the Omlet Walk in Rabbit Run not only offers plenty of room for your rabbit to hop to its heart’s content but will also keep them secure and safe from any other pets or predators. The run has a stable style door, which means that the top and bottom of the door open independently so that you can throw in some treats for your rabbits without the worry of them making an escape! Alternatively, you can create the ultimate rabbit adventure playground with the Omlet Zippi Rabbit Playpen, which can connect to their run and hutch for more space.

Within your rabbit’s run, you’ll want to provide them with plenty of stimulation. Omlet has everything you need to keep your rabbits bouncing around with joy, from the Zippi Playtunnel designed to mimic a rabbit burrow in the wild, to Zippi Rabbit Platforms, that will provide you rabbit new places to explore!

Rabbit Toys

Something else to tick off your new rabbit checklist is toys! Just like our other pets, rabbits need to play, which means they’ll need plenty of toys to enrich their environment and keep their minds ticking! The Omlet Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System connects your rabbit’s run to their hutch but also doubles as a fantastic toy that your rabbit will love. You can also opt for hanging toys that can be attached to your rabbit’s run.

Somewhere to Hide

Your new rabbit will also need somewhere to hide. Although it might sound odd, rabbits actually have a natural instinct to hide in order to stay protected. In the wild, this is done so that they can keep safe from predators such as foxes. Hiding is also a rabbit’s natural response to fear, if they feel stressed, are in pain, are unwell, or just want a break from social contact! Omlet’s Rabbit Zippi Shelter is ideal for rabbits to carry out this behavior, providing them with a safe space where they can retreat to relax.

Nail Clippers

A rabbit’s nails should not go neglected, so you’ll need to make sure you have nail clippers at the ready! In fact, nail clipping is an essential part of rabbit care, and you’ll need to do so approximately once every two months due to the remarkably quick rate they grow at.

While nail clipping isn’t too long of a process, if you’re not confident doing so, you can always make a visit to the vet, and they will be able to give you a helping hand.

New Rabbit Checklist Conclusion

So, whether you’re getting a new baby bunny or rescuing an adult rabbit, hopefully, you will now be prepared for what is to come when your new pet arrives home!

White rabbit moving along the Omlet Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System

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Could Rabbits Be Your New Best Friends?

We all know that dogs have been man’s best friend for centuries, but have you ever thought about friendship with a pet rabbit? Just like dogs, rabbits are highly social animals. This means that they enjoy the company of others, be it of their own species or ours! In fact, evidence even suggests that rabbits who bond with their owners live longer and happier lives! With so much love to give, these sweet natured, fluffy creatures can make for the perfect pets. So, could rabbits be your new best friends?

Black and white rabbit eating from Caddi Rabbit Treat Holder

Why Should I Get a Rabbit?

First and foremost, rabbits are very loving pets and will show their owners affection in a number of ways. So, rest assured, you could be on your way to becoming your rabbit’s bestie in no time! If you’re considering getting a rabbit, you’ll grow to learn his or her specific body language. However, generally speaking, a rabbit that loves their owner will display this by purring, running around your feet, or even grooming you!

Putting aside just how irresistibly cute these animals are of course, they’re also incredibly amusing and will provide you with plenty of entertainment. So that your rabbits can become your new best friends, they need plenty of play time with you! Rabbits love playing with a wide array of rabbit toys, which not only helps them keep active, but will provide them with plenty of mental stimulation. And after a hard day’s work of hopping around, you can treat them to a few tasty rabbit treats – the perfect bonding experience!

Rabbits are also particularly appealing to those who would like a furry friend in their life but might not be ready to take on a cat or a dog just yet, that need that extra bit of time being walked or trained. This being said, rabbits still very much require your full dedication as an owner.

What To Consider Before Getting Rabbits

As with taking on the responsibility of any pet, you need to consider whether a rabbit could fit into your lifestyle. Rabbits might not require as much time or training as say a dog would. However, they still do desire companionship and stimulation to live the happy, fulfilled lives they deserve.

Something to consider before getting rabbits is your family dynamic. Although rabbits are commonly associated with being ‘starter pets’, they’re not suitable for young children in some circumstances. This is predominantly for the reason that many rabbits are naturally nervous and don’t like being handled. If your rabbit does have to be picked up, it should be done very gently, which unfortunately doesn’t often go hand in hand with very young children! This being said, some breeds are known to get along well with younger members of the family. The French Lops for example love socializing and won’t mind being handled.

Could Rabbits Be Your Pets’ New Best Friends?

If you’ve also got other pets, this will be something else to think about before bringing home your new addition. Fortunately, many of our other favorite pets do have the ability to get along with rabbits. However, this isn’t to say you should simply put your pets in one room at the same time and leave them be! Instead, slowly introduce your animals in a neutral space, with a barrier such as a crate or fence.

If you’re introducing your rabbit to your dog, keep your dog on a lead at all times. Regardless of whether you’re introducing your rabbit to a cat, dog, or chicken, you should never leave them unsupervised during this stage. Keep a close eye on their interaction. You should watch out for whether your rabbit or other fluffy friend acts in an aggressive manner or seems anxious. You can read more about keeping rabbits and chickens together on our previous blog. Please note that rabbits should not be kept with other small animals such as rats or guinea pigs.

Woman pushing flowers in a wheelbarrow interacting with rabbits in Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch

Where to Get Rabbits

As with getting any animal, it’s important that rabbits are purchased/rescued from a reputable breeder or center. Take time to do thorough research. Some rabbit breeds are better suited to owners with a little bit more experience than others.

Because of the misconception that rabbits are ‘easy pets’, there has been a surge in unwanted rabbits in shelters. The House Rabbit Society headquartered in Richmond, California. They ask that those interested in rabbit ownership consider fostering for a short period of time. This is so they can ensure that rabbits are being properly taken care of. It’s also so that prospective owners can see if a rabbit will suit your lifestyle before making the commitment. To find more information about the House Rabbit Society, visit their website at Our Programs | House Rabbit Society

If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to picking what rabbit breed would be best suited to you, take a look at our a-z Rabbit Breed Guide. Once you’ve narrowed your options down, have a read of our How to Choose the Right Rabbit Breed for You blog, so that you can find your match and new best friend! So, could rabbits be your new best friends?

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Rabbits and digging

Rabbit hopping through Omlet Zippi Tunnel System in Omlet rabbit run

Most people would associate rabbits with carrots, but in reality rabbits and digging go hand in hand. No matter the variety, all rabbits have an innate desire to burrow, tunnel, or scratch in the dirt. But is it out of boredom, fun or just general mischief? Look into the behaviors of our long-eared friends with us, and delve deeper down the rabbit hole to discover why they dig. And, there are some simple Omlet-approved hacks that might just do the trick in helping to curb your bunnies’ burrowing habits. 

In the wild

Wild rabbits live in burrows – a network of underground warrens where they feel safe and protected from predators such as foxes and dogs. Digging is a necessity; a matter of survival. Without it, they would be left open to attacks, which is why rabbits have evolved into the tiny excavators that they are today. 

Have you ever noticed just how big a rabbit’s paws are? All the better for pounding away at the dirt. And, their long claws are perfect for scraping at the earth. Maintaining their warrens is a big job – requiring these specific tools nature has provided them with. 

All rabbits have their own behaviors and personalities, but females tend to be the most determined diggers because they instinctively prepare themselves for nesting. These traits carry over into our domesticated pet bunnies as well. 

Fun and exercise 

Digging is not just instinctive though, it is an engaging activity that’s also great exercise (think Zumba for rabbits). So rather than trying to eliminate it completely, it’s a good idea to give pet rabbits ways they can utilize this natural behavior without destroying areas of your home or yard. At Omlet, we’ve developed the Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System, so that our pet bunnies can feel at home and comfortable – all while keeping your garden intact. Rabbit proofing your garden can also help give your bunny space while protecting your prized plants. Zippi tunnels provide an extensive playground of interconnecting tubes that keep rabbits entertained, similar to the burrows their wild ancestors would be used to. It also provides a safe route for your rabbits to navigate from their hutch, to their area, and back again. This method of travel mimics how rabbits in the wild utilize tunnels and burrows between warrens and the outside world. 

Change the course of the Zippi tunnels anytime. The tunnels can be extended, rotated, or elevated for a more diverse route. An engaged bunny is a happy bunny, as boredom takes a toll on all rabbits. 

Boredom 

Constant digging not only wreaks havoc and poses an area of concern to you, but it could also be a sign that your rabbit is bored or lonely. Bunnies are naturally very sociable animals that love company. We strongly recommend giving your rabbit a housemate or two, because they thrive best in a pair or group setting. 

If you do only have one rabbit then they will need more attention and entertainment than those who live with other bunnies. Sometimes rabbits can create a strong bond with their owners that is enough to curb any loneliness. Or, other playmates can include guinea pigs, small dogs, or cats – but these are largely dependent on the animals’ individual personalities. Any mixed-species interactions should be monitored closely. 

Always offer plenty of enrichment for your rabbits. A Caddi Rabbit Treat Holder will help keep them entertained during snack time. Some rabbits also enjoy small toys like those designed for cats, or those specially made for rabbits. 

Rabbit owner and child with their rabbit using Omlet Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System

Space to explore  

If you start to notice some aggressive and disruptive behavior in your rabbits, it could be due to a lack of space. Even as small animals, they can outgrow their living quarters. Rabbits will thrive much more with space and stimulation. The Zippi Rabbit Runs and Playpens provide your rabbits with more room to grow and explore in a safe environment. They’re simple to install, move, and maintain. They’re also easily extendable, offering endless possibilities and fun. Add Zippi Rabbit Platforms to utilize even more space and provide different vantage points. 

5 ways to curb your rabbits’ digging 

The more idle rabbits are, the more trouble they will cause. Keeping busy generally results in less digging from your rabbits. Provide lots to do to keep your rabbits busy. Here are 5 ways to help your rabbits dig safely, or to discourage digging altogether. 

1. Digging boxes

Place a cardboard or plastic box in your rabbits’ area and fill it with soil, paper, twigs, or anything else that will provide a little resistance. Your rabbits can satisfy their urge to dig while also burning some excess energy in the process. 

2. Reward

Scatter your rabbits’ favorite treats around a designated “digging spot” to reward their burrowing efforts, and hopefully prevent them from digging elsewhere. It may take some patience and consistency, but over time, they should get used to the new routine.

3. Organizing

Indoor and outdoor rabbits enjoy organizing. They may not color-coordinate their closets, but they do like to pull, bite, tug and scratch the materials around them. This is called “bunching”. Not only is this a great source of entertainment, it also keeps them physically and mentally busy. Use some old bath mats, rugs or towels and let them “bunch” as much as they want – which will effectively provide a good distraction from creating a hole in your flowerbed. Be careful with the type of fabric – if anything shreds too easily it could become a choking hazard, so be sure to change the fabric if it becomes too thin or worn. 

4. Spaying or neutering 

Some rabbits will dig out of frustration and the need to escape and find a mate. Spaying or neutering your rabbits will diminish this impulse and prevent other unwanted behaviors. Like with dogs and cats, in the long run, your rabbits will be healthier and happier being spayed or neutered. 

5. Anti-tunnel mesh

The Omlet Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch attached run, is made from a strong steel mesh that helps protect your rabbits from predators. It also comes with an underfloor wire that will not only keep your rabbits from their relentless digging, but will also help stop them from burrowing under the run and escaping. It’s more hygienic than a solid floor, with big enough gaps in the mesh so that it still provides the comfort of grass rather than uncomfortable hard ground or metal. 

Omlet: the rabbit behaviorists 

At Omlet, we dedicate our time to developing products with the animal and their owners in mind. Our Caddi Rabbit Treat Holder, Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System, and Zippi Rabbit Runs and Platforms are all perfect additions to any bunny-lover’s home, and will help keep your rabbits healthy and happy for years to come. 

Omlet Zippi Tunnel System for rabbits set up in garden

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This entry was posted in Pets


How to use platforms with your rabbits

Rabbit hopping on Omlet Zippi Rabbit Platform with owner watching

Compared to a one-level play area, having an additional floor height in your rabbits’ enclosure boosts exercise opportunities, helping your rabbit activate muscles that they would use in their natural environment to climb up and down underground mazes and burrows. Jumping on and off a platform helps to keep muscles and bones strong, which is why platforms are recommended as an essential rabbit accessory by vets and pet charities. So how do you use Omlet’s Zippi Platforms with your rabbits?

What are the Zippi Platforms from Omlet?

The Zippi Rabbit Runs and Platforms from Omlet are designed to offer a modular system that you can adapt at any time. The platforms fit securely to the Zippi rabbit enclosure, so they feel safe underfoot and are waterproof so they’re easy to clean with just a garden hose and pet-safe disinfectant. Start small, and add more extensions and platforms at any time to build an amazing play area for your rabbits.

How can I give my rabbits more space?

Platforms are also an easy way of giving your rabbits more space to move around and explore. By positioning a platform in your rabbit’s enclosure, you can make better use of the height to give an even bigger area for toys and exercise. The platform gives a look out for rabbits to examine their environment from a height, plus a more exhilarating way to exercise. The area beneath feels safe for rabbits to relax and graze on hay, or if they need to shelter from bad weather.

Rabbits outside in their Omlet Outdoor Rabbit Run using their Rabbit Platforms

5 ways to use the Zippi Rabbit Platforms

Need some inspiration on how you can use platforms with your pet? Take a look at our ideas below to create a fun and safe area for your rabbits to exercise.

1. Take shelter to new heights

The Zippi Platforms offer shelter below for bad weather days, but your rabbits can still make the most of the second level in their enclosure during wind and rain, with the Zippi Shelters and Play Tunnels.

With a 3-panel wide rabbit platform, you can even position a Zippi Shelter at either end and connect them together with a Play Tunnel. Or position one Shelter on the platform and one below. Don’t forget to pop some hay inside the Shelter on the platform so your rabbits can nibble away on a snack while they wait for the storm to pass.

2. L-shape suite

The Zippi Corner Platform for rabbits with a multi-panel platform pack can be used to create an L shaped mezzanine area with 2 ramps. Depending on the length and width of your Zippi enclosure you can either position both ramps in the same direction or create a slight spiral effect.

Here we have used a Corner Platform for rabbits, attached to a Zippi Platforms 3-panel pack, in a 3 x 3 double-height Zippi Run.

3. Down and straight back up!

In a longer Zippi run, around 4 or 5 panels in length, you can position Zippi Platforms opposite each other so your rabbits can run straight down one ramp, and back up another for a loop-the-loop circuit. Don’t forget the Zippi Platforms are strong and sturdy so your rabbit will feel safe to jump and hop up and down the ramp.

4. Lunch on the balcony, sir?

Position Caddi Treat Holders to hang over the platforms so your rabbits can enjoy their lunch with a garden view. Mix up the ingredients in the slow-release feeder to keep rabbits excited, and ensure a 5-star rating for your new bunny bar! These feed toys can also be used as a hay rack to keep the floor of your rabbits’ house or play area clean.

5. Zippi Tunnel to the first floor

Combine the Zippi Platforms with our popular Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System by positioning your Zippi Tunnel entrance up on the platform level. This means your rabbits can hop up and down the Zippi Tunnel to get from one enclosure to their platforms, down the ramp and into another Zippi Run.

You can use the Zippi Platforms with a Zippi Tunnel Twin Pack with Hutch to Run Connection Kit and Zippi Tunnel Supports to connect a Zippi Run and an Eglu Go Hutch Run. Alternatively, you can connect the tunnels to your wooden rabbit house to another enclosure.

Omlet and your rabbits’ home

As a rabbit owner, it’s your responsibility to provide your rabbits with everything they need, and that includes a safe enclosure, where they can play, exercise, eat, and clean themselves. Providing a range of toys for play and exercise will help keep your rabbit happy and healthy, and with Omlet’s Zippi Platforms along with the Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System and Eglu Go rabbit hutch you can do just that, with a playground they’ll love.

Two rabbits using the Omlet Zippi Rabbit Platforms

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Ideal Christmas Presents for Little Ones (Humans and Pets)

Whether you’re buying a present for an animal loving child or for your own little pet, we’ve got the perfect gifts, big and small. Check out these top tips, now at an amazing price in the Omlet Black Friday Sale! 

Shelters and Play Tunnels

Give your rabbits or guinea pigs something fun to play with on their run this winter with Zippi Shelters and Play Tunnels. Available in green or purple, the shelters are a great way of providing a safe and secluded place for your pets to hide, or as a platform they can jump onto and watch the world go by. 

The play tunnels can be placed independently anywhere on the run for your pets to chase each other through, or be connected to the shelters to create a maze that mimics their wild burrows. Entertainment and safe spot all in one! 

Caddi

The Caddi Treat Holder is the perfect stocking stuffer for chickens, rabbits or guinea pigs, or their owners. The Caddi can be filled with a range of pet appropriate treats, and will swing as the animals peck or bite the treats. It’s the ideal both mental and physical challenge, with the added bonus of a tasty reward! 

Hung from the roof of your hutch and run, the height of the Caddi can easily be adjusted, and it’s super easy to remove it for refilling and cleaning.

Qute Hamster and Gerbil Cage

The Qute allows hamster and gerbil owners to get closer to their pets. The modern design means you will be happy to display the piece in your kitchen or living room, and the large, crystal clear bedding tray makes it easy for pet owners of all ages to see what their pets are up to. The bedding tray also offers a convenient way of getting your hamster or gerbils out of the cage for playing, socializing and exercise. 

Geo Bird Cage

Upgrade your parakeet/budgie or other small birds’ home this winter with the stunning Geo Bird Cage. The Geo has got everything your bird needs to become a natural part of the home, and you can accessorize with baths, mirrors and toys for your pets to enjoy.

Eglu Go Hutch 

Do your current pets need a home improvement? The Eglu Go Hutch is the perfect way of keeping rabbits or guinea pigs in the garden. The handy integrated hutch and run solution allows your pets to run in and out as and when they like during the day, and when it’s time for a nap they can curl up in the safe and insulated house. In winter you can move the hutch closer to the house, making cleaning and spending time with your pets even easier.

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8 tips for making your pets’ run more fun this fall

Eglu Cube chicken coop outside in the fall

It’s that time of year again when we say goodbye to summer and welcome in the cooler, shorter fall days. For many pet owners, summer is a great opportunity to spend quality time with their animals; playing outdoors and enjoying the warmer weather. But, the change in season doesn’t have to mean that the good times have to stop. So whether you’ve got a chicken, guinea pig or are a pet parent to rabbits, here are 8 tips for making their run more fun this fall.

Why do pets need runs?

It’s important that you continue to keep your pets exercised throughout the year, and animal runs are great for this, giving your furry friends the freedom to roam within a safe and confined environment. Omlet has a range of runs for chickens, rabbit runs and guinea pig runs, which are all predator-resistant, with their innovative mesh designs.

Whilst runs are fantastic for providing your animals with more space, adding a few extras over the next coming months can help to keep both you and your pets entertained. 

For guinea pig and rabbit runs

Pig out on veggies

Cavies and rabbits love their fresh veg – you can even make a game of it! Try hiding their favorite pieces of veggies around the run and have them go off to find their treats. This game is the perfect opportunity for you to spend some quality time outside with your pet. Just don’t forget to clean up any remains from the run floor to avoid pesky predators sniffing out the snacks.

Or, use the Omlet Caddi rabbit treat holder or guinea pig treat holder to keep your pets’ brains engaged. Simply fill the treat holders with your rabbit or guinea pig-safe vegetables and watch them spend time navigating how to get them out. Take a look at some suggestions for rabbit treats and guinea pig treats here.

DIY adventure playground

Upgrade your pets’ run to an adventure playground with pet play tunnels. They can simply be attached to your guinea pig or rabbits’ run and provide them with a new way to exercise. Plus, they’ve been designed to mimic the innate burrowing behaviors of rabbits and guinea pigs too.

Shelters can also be a great addition to your run this season. The Omlet Zippi Shelters for rabbits and Zippi Shelters for guinea pigs are weatherproof too, meaning that your pet will be protected from the elements in fall. 

And since both pets have a natural desire to seek a hiding space in a hole, you can be assured that while they’re having fun, they’re feeling safe. The Zippi shelters easily attach to the Omlet play tunnels via connector rings, too, which means you can create a fun maze for your furry friends.

Guinea pig and rabbit toys

Who said toys were just for cats and dogs? Give a new toy to your small animal to help to bust their boredom this season. Toys for guinea pigs and rabbits can simply be hung up in their run and will keep them active, engaged, and curious.

For chicken runs

Make use of those crisp, fall leaves

The leaves of fall in your backyard can actually be a great source of entertainment for your chickens. All you have to do is build up a pile of crisp fall leaves in your chickens’ run, and watch them have endless hours of fun pecking. You can even add some sunflower seeds to your pile to have your flock hunt for.

Omlet’s Chicken Swing

Omlet’s Chicken Swing is the perfect way to make your chickens’ run more fun this fall. The Omlet Chicken Swing will have your chicken in their element, as they get to grips with their new toy. Not only will this run accessory provide them with plenty of entertainment, but you’ll have just as much fun watching them hop on and off and swing back and forth.

Toys for chooks

Chickens can have toys too. A bored chicken can lead to behavior such as flock bullying and abnormal feather loss, so at this time of year it’s even more important to keep your chickens entertained. Naturally, as the weather drops, these animals get increasingly restless, with less grass and weeds for them to forage on, as they enjoyed over the summer. A chicken peck toy though, is one option to keep your flock happy, providing them with physical and mental stimulation.

Pumpkin run fun

It wouldn’t be fall without pumpkins! Simply place half a pumpkin in your chickens’ run for them to have as a special treat. Your flock will have no problems pecking at the pumpkin raw, so there’s no need for any cooking; just slice the top of the pumpkin off and then in half, to place outside in their run. Something to be cautious of here though, is to ensure that you remove any pumpkin remains from the run once finished to avoid any unwanted visitors such as rodents at night.

Omlet and your pets’ fall

Omlet knows that this time of year can be more difficult for pet owners but whatever the season brings this year, with Omlet’s range of guinea pig, rabbit and chicken products you and your pets can continue to have fun all fall long. And, as the end of the season brings colder weather, don’t forget to have a read of the Omlet guides on keeping your guinea pigs, rabbits, and chickens safe and warm when they’re outdoors.

Two guinea pigs in fall using their Omlet Zippi Shelter in their outdoor Omlet guinea pig run

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How To Choose The Right Rabbit Breed For You

fluffy tan rabbit breed nibbling on a stick
white and brown rabbit breed with ears lifted

Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

If you have done your research and decided that a rabbit is the pet for you, you now have the task ahead of choosing which rabbit breed you would like to get. There are lots of wonderful breeds to choose from, and they all have their own specific features and characteristics. To help you pick the right rabbit for you and your family, we’ve put together a list of things to think about:

Size

Rabbit breeds differ in size, from small Netherland Dwarfs to large Flemish Giants. Smaller breeds tend to be more skittish and nervous, whereas larger rabbits are generally more gentle and less aggressive. 

Larger rabbits will naturally need more food, and more space. But don’t think that small rabbits will be fine with limited space, often littler bunnies run around a lot more as they have more energy. 

Child-friendly rabbit breeds

While young children should never be given the main responsibility of looking after a rabbit, if you have children in the family it’s good to find a breed that is generally happy to be touched and handled. 

A lot comes down to personality, but there are some breeds that are known to get along well with children, like French Lops and Dutch Rabbits. 

Reason for getting a rabbit

Think about why you are getting a rabbit, and what is important to you in a pet. Are you happy to just watch them enjoy themselves in the garden, or would you really like to have a rabbit that is sociable and wants to come to you for cuddles? Would you like to breed for your bunny, or show it off in rabbit shows? 

Looks

Rabbits come with various fur lengths, colours, ear types and builds. You probably have an idea of what you would like your pet rabbit to look like, but it’s worth exploring a few different breeds to see what’s out there. 

It’s important to remember that different breeds require different amounts of grooming and looking after. Long fur, like that of the Angora rabbits, will for example need brushing daily or a few times a week, so you will need to consider if that is something you will be happy to do. 

Meet the rabbit in person

While rabbit breeds have characteristic features and temperaments, a lot also comes down to breeding and personality. If possible, try to go and see the breeder or person you are buying your rabbit from, or the center where you’re adopting from. 

If your rabbit is still small, watch how they interact with their surroundings and siblings, and if possible, see what the mother is like. Make sure the rabbit doesn’t have any obvious health problems, and try to get a feel for its temperament. If it’s important for you that the rabbit is happy to be picked up, make sure they have been around humans from the start and have regularly been handled. 

lop eared rabbit breed walking on grass

Photo by Cameron Barnes on Unsplash

Genetics

Read up on specific breeds’ susceptibility to different health problems. Some breeds tend to have a higher risk of developing problems with their jaws, others with joints, or ear mites. With good care the absolute majority of rabbits will be happy and healthy, but it’s a good idea to research problems in order to prevent them.

The expected lifespan also differs somewhat between breeds. The majority of rabbits live between 5-8 years, but some breeds are known to often live for over 10 years. This is obviously a bigger commitment, so it’s worth thinking about.


Consider these things when choosing a pet rabbit. If you know what you want, here are some of our suggestions:

You want a gentle family bunny that is good with children

You have had rabbits before and want something special

You want to keep your pet rabbit indoors

You want an intelligent rabbit that is very energetic and playful

You want a really fluffy and cuddly rabbit

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How to Tell if Your Rabbit Is Happy

Estimates of the world’s domestic rabbit population vary wildly between 15 million and over 700 million. People have kept rabbits for hundreds of years, and traditionally they were farmed as a plentiful resource – after all, they do breed like rabbits! The larger population estimate includes all the rabbits that are still kept for meat and fur.


With this many rabbit owners around the world, and with the bunny’s rather inscrutable facial expression, it comes as no surprise that the question “is my rabbit happy?” has been asked more than a few times by anxious rabbit keepers.

There are several ways of telling whether your furry friend is content and happy, most of them centering on body language.

Happy bunny body language

Body language is the key way of telling how your rabbit is feeling. Simply by spending time with your bunny, you will learn some of the basic messages that tell you if they are happy and relaxed, or stressed.

These are some of the signs of a rabbit’s mood.

  • Twitching nose. Rabbits are constantly twitching their noses. Not only does this help them sniff the air around them, it also eases their breathing, regulates their body temperature and helps them relax. A contented rabbit will do a lot more nose-twitching than a stressed rabbit, so if you notice that your rabbit hasn’t twitched its nose in a while, there may be something distressing it.
  • Chilling out. Another easy-to-spot sign of a happy rabbit is an overall relaxed body. Chilled bunnies will lie quietly, ears erect (unless their flop-eared bunnies), sometimes with their legs stretched out, noses twitching contentedly.
  • Crouching. Like us, when a rabbit is stressed, its muscles become tense as its fight-or-flight instincts activate and its body floods with adrenaline. If the bunny is in a crouching position, ears flat, pupils dilated, it is anxious, stressed or afraid. The cause could be another pet, a scary noise, or even a whiff of something unfamiliar in the air. This behavior is common in rabbits who have not been hand-tamed from a young age. Alternatively, if your rabbit is chilled out, lounging in the hay and not tensed up in any way, you can be sure that they are content.
  • Hopping. When most people picture a rabbit, they imagine a cute creature hopping around. Rabbits have evolved to be great jumpers, with very strong back legs to help propel them at high speeds. Hopping not only acts as a great escape mechanism, it also assists rabbits in their play. Bunnies like to hop around when they are feeling happy and mischievous. Your rabbits may perform the occasional playful leap in their enclosures, jumping in the air, twisting their bodies a little and then landing again, alert and playful. A rabbit showing this type of behavior is very happy with life. A bunny who is gently hopping around and exploring the world around them is also feeling playful and happy.
  • Running. A rabbit who darts for cover, usually stamping its back legs on the ground first, is not a happy bunny. Something has startled your poor pet, and the best thing to do is let it recover its composure and confidence in a safe area – usually a quiet corner of the hutch. A quick run to another spot, with ears flat, can also be a sign of anger.
  • Curiosity. Rabbits are naturally nervous and will only let their curiosity take the lead when they feel safe. In the wild, rabbits are at the bottom of the food chain, a source of food for many predators. Because of this, rabbits are naturally jumpy (pun intended) and on edge. Domestic rabbits are calmer than their wild relatives but still retain their natural wariness.

Angry bunny body language

These physical clues tell you that your bunny isn’t chilled or afraid – it’s hopping mad!

  • Sitting, front legs raised. If your rabbit sits up, front paws raised and flicking in and out as if trying to punch something, it means the bunny is angry – no matter how cute the behavior might look! The ears will be erect (although not in flop-eared bunnies) and facing outwards like radars. The posture may be accompanied by a growling sound.
  • Crouching and thumping. If your rabbit is tensed up and thumps its back legs on the ground but doesn’t bolt for cover, it’s angry. The tail will be raised and, in stiff-eared breeds, the ears will be erect. Everything about the bunny will look tensed up, and the pupils will be dilated.
  • Crouching with bared teeth. If your bunny is crouched with its front legs stretched in front of it and its head up, teeth bared, it’s angry and ready for a fight. The body will be tense, even quivering, and the mouth will be open, the tail raised, pupils dilated and ears folded back.

How to make rabbits happy

There are various reasons why a pet bunny might be unhappy or stressed. The commonest cause is poor environment. They need sufficient space in their hutch and run, and they don’t want to be harassed by nosy dogs, cats or loud parties. The rabbits will also need the company and stimulation that enables them to fulfill their natural instincts. Remember – rabbits are social animals and love having other bunnies to play with.

Giving your rabbits regular health check-ups and ensuring they are up to date with their vaccinations is also essential. A healthy diet will go a long way towards ensuring a happy bunny. A high-quality pellet mix and a lot of hay form the basis of healthy diets, with fresh veg as treats.


To summarize, if your rabbit is relaxed around you or shows signs of curiosity rather than fear when introduced to something or someone new, they are almost certainly happy and relaxed.

A chilled-out rabbit is a mixture of nature and nurture. They are naturally skittish animals, but if handled by their owners at an early age, they will come to treat you as part of their safe environment, and their happiness will be obvious in the fact that they love spending time with you.

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How Rabbits Decide Who’s Boss

Like all social animals, rabbits have a ‘pecking order’. Young rabbits who have grown up together will sort this out without you even noticing. However, if you are introducing rabbits to each other for the first time, they will have to size each other up and establish which one is going to be dominant in the relationship.

The rabbits will not usually sort out this hierarchy by fighting, but display physical behavior that is the bunny equivalent of two people showing off. They will chase, groom and bow, and one will try to mount the other (a sign of dominance in many mammals).


Why do rabbits groom each other?

On the surface, it may look as if a grooming session is an act of love and friendship. In reality, it is an act of subservience. The bunnies who do the grooming are letting the dominant rabbit know that they accept their place lower down in the social hierarchy. Mutual grooming will sometimes occur, but if a rabbit is licking and grooming another bunny’s ears, eyes and forehead, it means they are acknowledging the dominant rabbit’s place at the top of the pecking order.

The dominant rabbit will often request the grooming by approaching another rabbit and lowering its head. This may look like an act of submission, but it is the exact opposite. The rabbit with the lowered head is saying “here’s my head – get grooming!”

Why do rabbits bow to each other?

A bowing rabbit is asking to be groomed. The dominant bunny will approach its companion head-on, often touching noses. Its ears will be raised, and it will sometimes nudge the other rabbit’s chin to prompt the grooming.

Early in a bunny relationship, before the pecking order has been properly established, the rabbit being bowed to may not take the hint and, instead, will bow back. There will be several bows from each rabbit before the matter is settled, and it may even end in a brief tussle. A rabbit who wants to be groomed tends to insist on it!

Why do rabbits ‘flatten’?

Flattening involves crouching low on the ground, ears down. That latter detail differentiates it from a bow, as the flat ears indicate submissiveness. Rabbits will sometimes perform this action if they feel threatened by another rabbit in the run, and it will usually defuse any potential confrontation straight away.

A dominant rabbit will occasionally approach the ‘flattened’ bunny and lick its forehead. This is an acknowledgement of the submissive gesture, and it means the other bunny can relax.

Photos by Guillermo Casales on Unsplash

Why do rabbits chase each other?

Chasing has two meanings. It can be sexual behavior, with a male chasing a female, or it can be another sign of dominance.

Chasing occurs quite frequently when rabbits are first introduced to each other. When the hierarchy has been sorted out, it becomes far less frequent. However, an un-neutered male will often chase habitually to let the other rabbits know he is the dominant one. Some occasional bullies enjoy chasing, too. Unless one particular rabbit is being repeatedly targeted and is becoming stressed, or any individual is hurt as a result of a vigorous chase, you should simply accept it as part of the pecking order.

Sometimes the chase will manifest as a circling motion, with the dominant rabbit literally running rings around the subservient one. This will often culminate in mounting.

Why do non-mating rabbits mount each other?

Dominance is not automatically based on gender, and a female is just as likely to mount a male as vice versa. It’s a bit like wrestling, where the person who has thrown their opponent to the ground has won that particular bout. The rabbit that has been mounted will not always submit after a single mount, and the tables may be turned a few times before the dominance is formally established between the two bunnies.

Once rabbits have settled in together, the mounting will usually end, although some boisterous males seem to persist with the mounting habit. As long as the submissive rabbit accepts this as part of the social setup, it will not lead to further aggression. Occasionally, you might notice the dominant rabbit mounting just to remind the other bunny that they are the boss.

If the submissive rabbit appears to be distressed and is trying to escape, and is being pursued as a result, the animals may have to be separated for a while. Otherwise, it is best to let them resume this behavior and accept the mounting action as a fact of rabbit life.

Introducing new rabbits

New rabbits should be introduced to each other on neutral territory, if possible. If you simply lock a newcomer in an existing rabbit run, it will be bullied by most of the other bunnies, and the dominant one can sometimes inflict injury on the newbie.

If you can take your dominant rabbit with you when choosing the new pet, it will help enormously. You will be able to see how the old rabbit reacts to the new one, and if all is well, they can even travel home together in the same travel crate. This will also help the bonding process, as both rabbits will feel nervous during the journey.

When you get home, let the rabbits settle down together on neutral territory. If all goes well, they can be moved to the run later in the day, with two food bowls. This is the best-case scenario, and it will often be a more drawn-out process getting two bunnies used to each other. You should have a spare run ready for the newbie rabbit, within sight and smell of the established bunny or bunnies.

Let the rabbits cohabit each day for a few hours on neutral territory until they are completely happy together. This may involve several mounting, chasing, grooming and bowing sessions, but the pecking order will be established in the end!

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10 ways to bond with your rabbits

Girl feeding rabbits as they use the Omlet Zippi Platforms

Rabbits that bond with their owners live longer, happier lives. Learning how to build a bond with your bunnies helps you enjoy their company even more, and forges a friendship that’ll span their entire lives. Since rabbits are prey animals, they have an innate nervous nature – and as a result, don’t give their trust as easily as dogs or cats may. But, with some patience, you and your rabbits will be able to understand each other better, deepening the bond between you. Whether you’re a first-time rabbit owner or a seasoned bunny keeper, here are 10 ways to bond with your rabbits.  

1. Learn their personalities 

Like humans, rabbits have their own distinct personalities and characteristics that set them apart from each other. Some rabbits are very shy when they’re first brought home, while others are outgoing and social from the start. Learning to read your rabbits’ body language is the first step in figuring out their unique personalities. Rabbits make different sounds and change their posture to reflect how they’re feeling. You may also find that you have two rabbits with completely different personalities toward humans – but having an outgoing rabbit can be helpful in gaining the trust of a more timid bunny. 

2. Create a shared space

It’s natural for your rabbits to feel nervous or even defensive if you interact with them by reaching into their hutch – after all, this space is their home, and all of their instincts tell them to protect it from potential predators. If you want to spend time bonding with your rabbits, try setting up a play area or run large enough for you to sit inside with your pets. This way, you can start interacting with them on neutral ground. Rabbits feel comfortable when they have something over their heads, so don’t feel bad if the first few times they hide under any covered area you have set up. 

While all bunnies should have a comfortable rabbit hutch, your first few interactions shouldn’t be inside of it. Rabbits seek shelter in the form of burrows or dens, which is how they see their hutch. Reaching into the hutch to pick up or pet your new rabbits can startle them, and can eventually create unease inside their safe space. 

Instead of infiltrating their hutch, create a shared space in the form of a rabbit playpen. This will enable you to sit inside of an open area to let your rabbits come to you. Don’t be discouraged if your bunnies dart to the nearest cover during your first few attempts to pet them – this is their natural instinct shining through. 

3. Offer healthy treats

While sitting in your shared space, offer your rabbits healthy treats by hand. There are plenty of fresh foods that you can feed your rabbits that will go a long way in winning their trust. Leafy greens in particular are both nutritious and easy to offer by hand – their length can be adjusted, gradually luring your rabbits toward you. 

Once your rabbits are taking treats by hand, slowly encourage them to hop onto your extended legs or lap. While sitting on the ground, place the treats on your leg or hold them just over your lap. Before long, your bunnies will be bounding into your lap for food and attention. 

4. Fill the playpen with toys 

Placing more than just yourself inside of the shared space with your bunnies will help them adjust even faster to your presence. Bunnies love burrows, hideaways, and differing heights to gain a new vantage point. Adding Zippi Rabbit Tunnels, Zippi Rabbit Platforms, or Zippi Rabbit Shelters and Play Tunnels are all great accessories to help your bunnies feel more at ease and encourage play. It’s a good sign when your rabbits play while you’re in a shared space – it means they trust you enough to venture out of safety and exhibit their natural behaviors. 

5. Give your rabbit new experiences

Rabbits are creatures of habit, but it’s good to change things up from time to time. New foods, toys, or run accessories are fresh and fun ways to break up monotony. And, over time, your rabbits will learn to associate you with these fun additions or changes to their routines. Try rearranging their run, re-routing or adding onto their Zippi Tunnel System,  or offering homemade toys like empty paper towel rolls to brighten your bunnies’ day. 

6. Petting your rabbit

Once your rabbits are comfortable sharing a space and taking treats from you, it’s time to introduce petting. Physical contact builds a stronger bond between you and your bunnies, but they may not take to it at first. The first time you stroke your rabbits, they may become startled and dart for cover. This too is a natural behavior– one that can be minimized over time. It can take several weeks to be able to pet your rabbits without this reaction. 

The best way to introduce petting to your rabbits is to hold your hand low, just to the side of their heads. This way, they’ll be able to see exactly who and what is coming toward them. If you come straight from above their heads and backs, they can’t see what’s coming and will react just like their cousins in the wild running from a bird of prey or other predator. Also, avoid approaching your rabbit directly in front of their heads – they have a “blind spot” due to the location of their eyes, and are unable to see things coming toward their foreheads. 

7. Teach your rabbits tricks 

After your rabbits have adjusted to being petted, you can start incorporating some intellectual stimulation. Teaching your rabbits tricks will build their confidence, your bond with them, and foster their natural curiosity and behaviors. Start with simple tricks that come naturally to them, like walking through a tunnel or up a ramp with a treat waiting for them at the end. You can slowly build up to more advanced tricks like spinning in a cycle or rolling over. Rabbits can even be taught to play fetch like a dog. 

8. Copying your rabbit

This method may seem unusual, but the goal is to behave in ways that your bunnies would expect from others of their own species. This could be you pretending to clean your “paws”, or leaning over to pretend to nibble at some of their food. Make sure you have your rabbits’ rapt attention, otherwise, you’ll be playing bunny charades by yourself. This method is particularly fun for children, especially those who aren’t old enough to have an abundance of patience to wait for their bunnies to come to them. 

9. Choose the right time to play with your rabbit

As you observe your rabbits, you’ll see a pattern in their daily routine. There will be times of the day when they’re most active, when they prefer to nap, and when they seek out food or water. Learning their routine will help you determine the best time to play and socialize with them. Choose a time of day when they are most active – this will be the time when rabbits will be most receptive to play and training endeavors. 

10. Learning to hold your rabbit safely

The last step in bonding with your rabbits is holding them. It may be tempting to push this step toward the top of the list, but it’s important not to rush them. Being held is the ultimate submission to humans – the truest expression of trust for a rabbit. 

Always hold your rabbits in a way that’s most comfortable for them. This may be in a football hold, with your rabbit’s head tucked under your arm, or supported snugly against your body. Some rabbits even prefer being held on their backs – similar to how we hold human babies. Always be sure to support their hindquarters to help them feel secure. 

Omlet and your rabbits 

Rabbits are gentle animals, and need gentleness in return. Being respectful of your rabbits’ space, personalities, and insecurities will help them see you as a friend instead of a foe. Starting them out in an Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch will begin building the bond between you and your bunnies with confidence and security. And, when you add a Zippi Rabbit Playpen, you’ll be able to cultivate a lasting relationship in a shared space that you can customize and tailor to your rabbits’ needs throughout your lasting relationship. 

Family with their rabbits around the Omlet Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch

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Pride of Omlet: Brave Bunnies

This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

-Written by Anneliese Paul

It’s hard to describe how frightened Pixie the rabbit was when the RSPCA relocated her with an experienced rabbit owner. Eighteen months on, cheeky little Pixie lives in the lap of luxury and is learning to be loved by her adoring human, Wendy.

Wendy had two beautiful rabbits, which she adored. A jet black male Rex rabbit called Jensen and his chocolate brown partner, Havana. But in 2019, Havana died suddenly of pneumonia, and Jensen grieved so severely that he wouldn’t leave his bed. He was the most miserable, unhappy rabbit.

Wendy wanted him to bond with another rabbit, so she went to the RSPCA Canterbury and found Pixie, who had been severely neglected. Pixie was rescued with her partner, but sadly, this rabbit didn’t survive. Pixie was close to starvation, she was skin and bones and had to be fattened up before she was ready to be relocated to a new home. Wendy wanted to give her the loving home she deserved.

Thinking she would be a perfect match for Jensen, Wendy took Pixie home. She had divided the rabbit house so that she could slowly introduce them. After about a month, they were lying next to each other, separated only by the wire, so Wendy decided it was time. However, Pixie was traumatized and her fear presented in aggressive behavior. She couldn’t handle it and bit Jensen. She was agitated and frightened of everything. For a while, even putting food down for her was tricky. She would lunge at the hands that fed her. It was a terribly sad time for Wendy to see Pixie so distressed.

Wendy kept Pixie on her own, and slowly slowly, Pixie began to trust her. Now, 18 months on, she puts her nose up to be stroked, and she’ll hop alongside Jensen. Their Omlet runs, run parallel, so she’s got her space, and he’s got his. They also have a shed divided in two with three levels, windows, balconies, and a flap to their outside Omlet runs, which are connected with tunnels to the conservatory. The gate system on the Omlet runs means Wendy can let them both have time in the house. What was once Wendy’s dining room is now a rabbit playroom with a box, some steps and tunnels so they can just mess around and do bunny stuff. They take turns to come in, and Wendy leaves the door open, so they don’t get too warm.

Before she starts work in the morning, she makes the rabbits a little salad. Kale, Cavalo Nero or Spring Greens are the staples, mixed with herbs like parsley, mint and basil. And in the Summer, she’ll pick fresh leaves and rose petals. They have 3 or 4 different kinds of hay to choose from in their runs, and for a treat, Wendy likes to give them bunny biscuits, or strawberries which they absolutely love.

From her sad beginnings, Pixie has blossomed with a loving owner who understands her past, builds up her confidence and feeds her a delicious diet. Jensen has a new partner, Tinker-bell, a blue-eyed white mini Rex. Wendy simply adores all three of her beautiful rabbits, but especially Pixie. She’s a survivor.

“Almost every day, she could reduce me to tears. She’s so loving and responsive. I’m just absolutely amazed that this little rabbit found it in her heart to actually forgive humans.”

 

 

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Can you feed pets a vegan diet?

 

Some animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, are herbivores. Others, like hamsters, are omnivorous. Finally, there are also carnivores like cats that cannot survive without meat.

All animals need to have their nutritional needs satisfied. However, this does not mean you can’t have a vegan dog. Vegan cats, though, are a lot trickier.

Can my dog have a vegan diet?

If you were to meet a species of animal for the first time and had to make an accurate guess about its diet, you would get lots of clues by looking at its teeth. The teeth of a dog, like the teeth of a bear, proclaim loud and clear that this animal is an omnivore – that is, one that eats both meat and vegetables. If you think of your dog as a domesticated wolf, you get a good idea of its natural diet.

However, as the panda proves, a supposed meat-eater can sometimes get by perfectly well on a vegan diet. A panda’s teeth are similar to any other bear’s – long canines for meat-eating and molars for grinding vegetation. And yet pandas don’t eat anything other than bamboo. So, if a bear can be vegan, does that mean you can have a vegan dog?

The answer is yes – but it’s a yes with lots of small print! A dog requires a diet that contains the fats and proteins it would get from meat. It is dangerous to ignore this basic need and simply feed your pet with whatever you please. Some dogs have delicate stomachs. Also, a low-fat/high-fibre diet can cause potentially life-threatening problems. A diet that excludes meat should never be fed to a dog without the advice of a professional pet dietician.

The collagen, elastin and keratin found in meat diets are not easily replaced by veggie equivalents. Your dog will also need the ‘long chain’ omega-3 fats found in animal products such as egg, fish and some meats. Vegan omega-3 fats are not the same as animal-derived ones.

All of which presents a headache for the vegan dog owner. There are, however, products available that claim to let your dog live a healthy, meat-free life. Before you take the plunge, it is essential to seek professional, scientific advice and guidance. Compromise is usually the best choice here – a vegan diet supplemented by some of the animal-derived essentials. Crickets, for example, can provide lots of the amino acids and keratin a vegan diet lacks, and they’re 65% protein.

Can my cat have a vegan diet?

The compromise approach is even more important for cats. These are amongst the planet’s true carnivores, obtaining all their dietary requirements from other animals.

The main challenge with minimizing the meat in a cat’s diet is that, unlike many mammals (including dogs), cats cannot produce certain proteins. They have to absorb these from the meat and fish in their diet. Amino acids are another issue – cats deficient in the animal-derived amino acid taurine, for example, usually succumb to a specific type of heart problem.

Even a fortified vegan cat food cannot be confidently recommended. Turn the situation on its head, and try to imagine weaning a rabbit onto a meat-only diet, and you will get some idea of the challenge – and the ethics – involved.

There are some lab-grown ‘meat’ products in development, with vegan and vegetarian cat owners in mind. However, whether these will arrive – and remain – on the market any time soon is hard to guess.

For many vegan pet owners, there is a huge ethical issue involved in feeding the animals they share a space with. Ethics, however, include the animal’s needs too, and it’s an almost impossible issue to resolve when it comes to cats. If you are able to reduce but not eliminate the meat in your cat’s diet, that’s the safer option.

Top 10 pets for vegan households

There are, of course, plenty of other pets that don’t eat meat, or that eat some meat but can still thrive on a meat-free diet. Here are our ten favorites.

1. Rabbits. No problems here – rabbits are happy vegans, with diets based on hay and vegetables. You could argue that the soft pellets they eject and then eat are animal products of a sort, but they are simply semi-digested vegetation.

2. Guinea pigs. Like rabbits, these wonderful little characters thrive on a 100% vegan diet.

3. Hamsters. Most hamster owners give them store food, you don’t always know what’s in it. However, hamsters, like rats and mice, can do without meat.

4. Gerbils. Like hamsters, gerbils are omnivorous. They have sensitive stomachs and need a quality pellet mixture. Too much fresh produce can harm their digestive system.

5. Mice. Although they will eat pretty much anything in the wild, mice can thrive on vegan diets; but it is still best to use a food mix prepared specifically for them. This ensures that they will not be deficient in any of the vitamins and minerals they need.

6. Rats. These are the most omnivorous of rodents, but as long as you feed them a vegan mix that has been fortified with all the nutrients they need, they will thrive. Be careful, rats who eat too much animal fat tend to become fat and die prematurely.

7. Chickens. If you watch a free-range hen, it soon becomes clear that she will eat anything – grass, beetles, worms, and everything in your vegetable patch if you’re not careful! Most chicken feed emulates this mix of plant and animal products. However, it is possible to buy vegan chicken feed, and circumstantial evidence suggests that hens can thrive on it. However, they are likely to produce fewer eggs, and you will not be able to stop them scratching for worms and bugs, no matter how vegan the layers pellets are!

8. Parakeets and parrots. Vegans will have no obstacles to face with budgies and parrots, unless the birds are being bred. Egg-brooding female birds need a protein boost, normally delivered via an egg-based food or cooked meat. Vegan alternatives are available, though.

9. Finches. Many finch species enjoy bugs and mealworms as treats, but these are not an essential part of an adult finch’s diet. These birds thrive on a mixture of seeds and fresh vegetables.

10. One for reptile fans. When you think of pet snakes and lizards, you probably have an image of dead mice or doomed crickets. However, there are a few commonly kept pet reptiles that eat a 100% vegan diet, the most popular being the Green iguana. Getting the balance of vegetables just right is very important for the animal’s health, but meat is certainly something you won’t have to worry about.

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to vegan pets. Keeping a vegan cat or dog is a much trickier proposition, though. And with all these animals, a balanced diet that matches the pet’s nutritional requirements should be your primary goal.

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Aggressive Rabbits: What To Know and How To Help

Two grey, angry, aggressive rabbits

Rabbits are usually peaceful creatures who love to play and socialise with their owners. But what do you do if your rabbit starts showing signs of aggression? It’s tough to see your pet stressed, and it’s natural to want to help them. Here, we outline a few ways you can minimise bad bunny behaviour and start enjoying the time you spend with them again! 

What is aggressive behaviour in rabbits?

There are two major kinds of aggression in rabbits, the most typical being defensive behaviour surrounding their habitat. If your rabbit bites when you reach your hand into their cage or hutch, it’s likely to be territorial defensive aggression. Another kind of aggressive behaviour occurs between your rabbits – for example if they are fighting each other to the point of injury.

It can be upsetting to see your bunny get hurt, and hard to know what to do. A small amount of fighting is natural between your pets, but if you can see blood on their fur or in the hutch then it’s possible that the anger is getting out of hand and the bites are getting nasty.

How to help with territorial aggression and biting

If your rabbits bite your hand – or try to – consider how and where you approach your pet. The hutch is often a bolt hole and ‘safe space’ for a bunny and is where they spend most of their lives. If you reach in unexpectedly, it is natural that they might be scared and defensive. Rabbits are prey animals in the wild and are especially jumpy when ‘cornered’ in their safe space! 

You may find that if you start to interact with your rabbit in a non-hutch setting – such as a run or play area – you have more chance of a peaceful and happy interaction. Try sitting with your rabbit in the run for a few hours every day, and then begin to slowly approach with your fluffy friend’s favorite rabbit treats. After spending time like this, you may find that your rabbit starts coming to you more and more, and if the rabbit is initiating the approach, aggression is much less likely.

By spending time with your rabbit in this non-hutch environment, you are teaching your pet that you are not a predator, and that you can be trusted to approach them. Once the trust is established, you should be able to approach the rabbit in its rabbit hutch with no problems. 

How to stop aggressive behaviour between your rabbits

If you have noticed fighting between your rabbits, and if this seems to be more than just their normal play fighting, you may need to think about how much space they have in their hutch. It could be that your rabbits have grown since you bought them, and their once spacious house is now a little too small for two. It could be that they have spent little time in the run over winter, and so they’ve become a little ‘house-bound’ in their hutch. Cabin fever affects humans and pets alike! 

Whatever the reason for the bunnies’ bad moods, it is important that your rabbits should feel happy and relaxed in their hutch. The fighting will likely ease off if they have more elbow room. Rabbits are territorial animals, and they each need their own space as well as a shared space.

Try distracting your brawling bunnies by clapping your hands. The noise will distract them and will hopefully teach your rabbit not to fight. A particularly aggressive rabbit can be deterred by spraying water on their nose – but this isn’t something you want to be doing too often, so if, after the first few sprays, it isn’t making any difference, it’s time for Plan B.

If you decide to invest in a larger hutch but your rabbits continue to show aggressive behaviour, you may have to separate them into two different hutches. That’s Plan B!

The benefits of spaying rabbits

Spaying (also known as neutering) is the term for stopping your pet from having babies and is accomplished via surgery. If your rabbits were from a pet shop, it is likely that they have already been spayed – but if you got your rabbits from a friend, it’s always a good idea to take them to the vet and ask about spaying.

If your rabbit has not been spayed, they are much more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviour to you and any fellow bunny who shares their hutch. 

It is common for owners to keep male rabbits or female rabbits in single-gender pairs, and this can lock them into a mating-related feud that neither can win. Your rabbits could be fighting over who is the most dominant in their shared territory, but this fighting is much less likely to occur if they have been spayed. 

Equally, if you have decided to keep a male and female rabbit together, it is a good idea to get them spayed, as rabbits can have up to fifty baby bunnies a year! Fifty bunnies may sound cute but consider how difficult it could be to care for and house that many animals! 

There are other benefits to spaying your rabbit other than reducing their aggression, such as reducing their chances of getting mammalian, ovarian or testicular cancer. Spayed rabbits are also much easier to train, and are more sociable generally. 

If you have only recently brought your pet rabbit home, they may need a little time to get used to their new space and become comfortable. It is natural for any new pet to be nervous and skittish at first, and this could lead to a few aggressive behaviours, including biting, early on. 

It’s important to know that your rabbit is more scared of you than you are of it, and that just because it has bitten you doesn’t mean that you won’t end up being the best of friends! If you feel nervous about establishing contact with the rabbit, talk to a friend who has had rabbits for a little longer, or check out some of the reassuring ‘how to’ guides available online.

Just remember that having a rabbit is hugely rewarding and it’s worth spending time hand-training your pet from the outset. As long as they have enough space and no aggressive ‘mating rivals’, they should be every bit as calm and cuddly as you could hope for.

Brown rabbit stood on hind legs on Zippi Rabbit Run Platforms

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This entry was posted in Rabbits