We’re dog people, through and through. I grew up around dogs, and so did Mr K – we get dogs. We love dogs – and we’d always planned to have a dog in our lives when we’d settled in our own home.
Then Brian moved in – a lop-eared buck who’d been living a difficult life and needed a second chance. It took about 30 seconds for us to fall in love with his mischievous face and fluffy bunny butt.
Let me tell you, having a rabbit is nothing like having a dog – and our first 12 months have been a hilarious challenge, a huge learning curve and a heartwarming experience.
Here is what we learned…
Bunnies are very moody creatures
Brian can tantrum for a whole day if we cook something that he doesn’t like the smell of. Or if we don’t open a door he wants opening. Or if his food is 1mm to the left of where it should be. Or if you groom him too much, too little, or at the wrong time, or with the wrong hand. He’s a diva.
You have to work hard to earn their trust.
Rabbits are prey animals, and so their natural instinct is to always assume they’re about to become lunch. It took a long time for Brian to feel comfortable to be in a room with us, and a lot longer before he’d turn his back on us, and longer still until he fell asleep in front of us. Now it’s not uncommon to see him belly up, snoring on his mat in plain view.
Bunnies really do eat everything. Unless you entertain them.
Obviously we should have known he’d chew stuff- commonly people expect wires to be chewed – but wallpaper, books, clothes, furniture, shoes, doors. You name it, he chewed it, until we left him with a (huge) variety of toys to keep him busy.
You can’t just feed them carrots nonstop. Or Lettuce.
They will literally die, but die happy as they love carrots. And Banana. They need a varied mix of veg (not too many carrots – too much sugar) pellets (NOT Museli) and lots of hay. Iceberg lettuce is a NO for rabbits – they should have romaine instead.
You need to be a poo detective
Gillian McKeith back off – ain’t nobody can analyse a poo like I can now I’m a bunny mum. Serious time is put into deciding whether the daily poos are plentiful enough, and the right consistency – as this is often the only sign you’ll get if there’s something wrong with your bun.
They Think They’re In Charge
A dog is happy to accept you as pack leader – but a Bunny will not. Brian is stubborn, he won’t come to you when called, he won’t lower himself to grooming you. He’s the boss, (he thinks) – so you have to come up with clever ways to be the boss without him noticing.
They are actually kinda similar to dogs
Brian has his own hilarious, sweet, stubborn, mischievous, inquisitive personality – just like all the dogs I’ve ever known. He’s the nosiest critter ever, and cannot resist checking the contents of bags, or peering around open doors. He’s clever – he knows where to lay to bask in sunshine, or where to hide to avoid having his nails clipped. He’s also dumb – and regularly gets his big bunny bum stuck under the sofa.
They’re Super Clean
Brian spends like 12 hours a day grooming himself – he’s totally odorless, and spotlessly clean. He takes hygiene extremely seriously, which kind of makes him easier to deal with than a dog. No soggy bathtimes! Plus his poops don’t stink.
They do have personalities!
So many people said to me “But they’re so boring” when we got a rabbit. Guess what? Not boring! He’s got a very distinctive personality, and he’s also hilarious. You’ll love him.