Pets that are different from the established norm often get a bad reputation for not being lovable and dependable animals, a point that Jennifer Perusek and other veterinary experts find disheartening as different pets have just as much capacity to be great friends to their owners. Many believe that this idea is because individuals mistakenly attempt to use other animals’ behavioral patterns for different pets, and Jennifer Perusek hopes to rectify this misinterpretation by explaining ways in which pet owners can interact with their animals in a tailored way that everyone involved can appreciate. Perusek wishes to educate people on some of the differences between caring for rabbits vs. other new pets that should be anticipated and, in this article, discusses a couple simple tips for establishing a bond with your pet rabbit.
Don’t Force It: Jennifer Perusek and other experts note that is important to keep in mind that rabbits are unlike dogs and cats in that they are prey animals. This distinction has a profound impact on their behaviors and characteristics and makes building trust a foundational aspect of your relationship. Many adult rabbits do not like being picked up or having affection and touch forced upon them because it can set off their instinct that a predator is restraining them. Patience is key when it comes to caring for and bonding with a rabbit, and it is best to let your bunny approach you when you are establishing a rapport. Start with simple interactions to build up to gentle forehead touches and remember to never chase your bunny.
Get on Their Level: Because humans are so much larger than rabbits, in most of your interactions, they can only see a pair of legs rather than the entirety of you. Jennifer Perusek encourages you to get on the same level as you rabbit to appear as less of a threat to them, a tip that can be particularly helpful if you are just getting to know your pet. If you are literally and figuratively on the same level as your rabbit, the odds of them trusting and approaching you increase considerably.