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Previous Tips of the Month

Safely Changing Your Rabbit's Diet
After becoming better informed about the proper rabbit diet, many people realize that their rabbit's diet needs to be modified. Make any dietary changes gradually. For example, only introduce one new type of vegetable at a time. If you are switching they type or brand of pellets in your rabbit's diet, use a 25% new to 75% old mixture for the first week, a 50/50 mix the second week, and a 75/25 mix the third week. These more gradual changes will help to minimize any disturbances to the delicate rabbit GI tract.

Getting Thumper To Take His Pills
Having trouble getting Thumper to take his medication? One trick that works quite well is to place the whole tablet in a small, bite-sized piece of his favorite treat. A chunk of banana, apple, or even a single raisin are some of the most popular vehicles to disguise a pill. Our Medicating FAQ has many more tips for administering even the most difficult medications.

Protecting Exposed Electrical Cords
Sometimes it's just not possible to keep cords hidden. In these cases, Radio Shack sells something called "spiral cable wrap". It costs about $1.50 for 3 feet and works like a charm. You wrap the electrical and phone cords in this spiral plastic sheath and the rabbits don't seem to want to chew them any more - perhaps because the wrap has the effect of thickening the cords so they no longer are bite-sized. This stuff is very flexible so the cords are still manageable after wrapping. It works well with cords that you might have in the middle of the room or might move quite often, such as vacuum cleaner, phone, lamp and other cords . Our Rabbitproofing FAQ has many more tips for bunnyproofing your home.

Territory Droppings
Has your rabbit suddenly begun leaving territory dropings? Droppings that are not in a pile, but are scattered, are signs that this territory belongs to the rabbit. This will often occur upon entering a new environment, or if a new rabbit, person, or other pet is added to the household. Making sure that bunny has some amount of space that is his alone can help to reduce the problem. Our Introductions FAQ has much more info on sucessfuly introducing a new animal to your rabbit's territory.

Flea Control Tips
Cat flea products are generally safe for rabbits with fleas. Revolution and Advantage are both safe for most rabbits. One must be hesitant to treat rabbits' fleas aggressively, because the cure can be more stressful than the infestation, so flea baths and dips are not recommended.

A flea comb is a non-toxic device, which takes more patience, but is both physically and psychologically rewarding. Most rabbits learn to love the attention of being flea combed, and it can be used as a supplement to or as your main flea-control program. If you want to control fleas in the environment with sprays or a flea bomb, do only one room at a time and keep your rabbits out of that room for at least 24 hours. For more info on grooming, our grooming FAQ is ia great place to start. -- June 17, 1998

Tip of the Week: Treat Foods
That cute little whiskered face is so hard to ignore, especially when your bun sits up and looks so deserving of that special treat. Most so-called rabbit treats are the equivalent of taking your rabbit to McDonald's, providing non-nutritious junk that can harm. The best advice is to save your money and show your love with healthy treats like vegetables, hay and untreated wood for chewing. And give plenty of pets, which are of course free. For more info, our treat food FAQ has the complete scoop. -- June 12, 1998

Tip of the Week: "Hypnotizing" Your Rabbit
Often a bunny can be "hypnotized" by cradling him on his back in your arms or across your lap, tipping the head backwards and repeatedly stroking from the bridge of his nose to his ears until he's "out." It's helpful to do this when cleaning bunny's sensitive areas, like the face. feet, or under the tail. If the hind feet seem to be vibrating, touching them will stop it. More handling tips... -- June 5, 1998

Tip of the Week: Moulting
Is your rabbit molting (shedding) now? If so, you're not alone. While your rabbit is shedding, you'll need to take extra care to groom her at least once a day, and make sure she has plenty of fresh hay and water. Hay helps ingested hair move through the GI tract (unlike cats, rabbits are unable to vomit, so a blockage can occur). Water is very important to keep your rabbit hydrated during this period. For more information about molting, check out this article. -- May 28, 1998

Tip of the Week: How not to explode a bale of hay
First, turn the bale so that one end is toward you and the three bands of wire, or twine, are parallel to the ground. Next, at the end facing you, clip the bottom wire and the second wire but not the top. Finally, bring your bunnies' haybox right up to the cut end and pull hay out from the underside of the bale into the haybox. The top wire stays on to hold everything in place. As the hay gets used, you can tighten up the top so that it continues to hold the diminishing bale. Find out why hay is critical to every rabbit's diet. -- April 22, 1998

Tip of the Week: Sock Toy
Take an all-cotton thick athletic sock and split the top in half with two vertical cuts through the ribbing. Put about 3 Tbs. of hay in the toe, followed by 1 Tbs. of oat groats, followed by 1/3 cup pellets, followed by 1/2 to 3/4 cup hay (depending on sock size). Then squeeze the fat part through the top of the cage and tie the sock top around the wire in a double knot so just the fat part is hanging in Bunny's cage. For more info on fun rabbit toys, check out our Toy FAQ. -- April 2, 1998


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