Handling Your Rabbit

Rabbits are timid creatures and will shy away from unusual surroundings and situations.  Being a prey species a rabbit’s natural instinct is to flee from any perceived threat.  Avoid startling your rabbits by moving slowly and talking gently to it, avoiding any sudden movements.

Once the initial introduction to their new home has been completed it is essential that rabbits are handled daily and given lots of attention.  Handling and attention will keep the rabbit tame and make a more loving pet.

Gaining your Rabbits Trust

For the first few days, allow your rabbit to adjust to its new surroundings.  Avoid picking him up until you have to allowed time for your rabbit to begin to trust you.  Make time to spend talking to it and reassuring it during those first days.  Feeding your rabbit treats from you hand can help you gain its trust. As above, move slowly and don’t put your fingers near its mouth. Using toys also helps.

Once your rabbit seems more comfortable you can begin to stroke it from head to rump, keeping your hands away from it’s nose.

Picking up your Rabbit

Pick up your rabbit gently using slow movements.  Put one hand around its chest behind its font legs while using your other hand to support its rump.  Bring it close to your chest and keep it supported. Rabbits are ground dwellers and being high off the ground can be frightening for it.  So ideally, keep as close to ground level when picking up your rabbit as this will be less stressful.

Never ever pick a rabbit up by its ears as that will be very stressful for it and also can cause damage to their ear muscles.

Each family member should be instructed on how best to pick up and handle the rabbit.  For younger children it is best if you pick up the rabbit and place it gently on their lap.