House Training and Setting Boundaries

As most of you experienced bunny owners know, once you give your rabbit freedom outside its cage, it wants more! For the less experienced pet owners, it is pretty crucial to give your rabbit some time outside of the cage for the sake of its happiness and health. I'm going to offer some tips as to what measures you should take to prevent any bunny "accidents" (urinating, pooping, chewing wires, digging up carpet, etc).

• If you have a cage that can open so that your rabbit can hop out on its own, you will be making your job and your rabbit's job a lot easier. Rabbits, by nature, don't like to be picked up, so having easy access to and from their cage is extremely helpful to house training your pet.

• Fence off areas where you don't want your rabbit heading.

• Bunny proof areas where your rabbit could get hurt, or vice versa, where your rabbit could do harm to! Make sure any cable wires are either out of sight or neatly pushed to the side. Like roots in a dirt hole, rabbits usually chew wires because they are in their way. Make sure there are things for your rabbit to chew on, such as building blocks, chew blocks, and hay balls. A small scratch post isn't such a bad idea to have for your rabbit to dig into either.

• Supervise your rabbit's time out of the cage! Start with short 10 minute sessions of "outside" time. Let your rabbit become comfortable with its surroundings gradually.

• You'll notice your rabbit will be brushing its chin on objects and even you! Don't worry, your rabbit is leaving a scent, so that it can detect where its already been and determine that this is its territory.

• Unfortunately, the more comfortable your rabbit becomes the more its going to want to mark its surroundings with urine and feces. That's why it is important for you to supervise and discipline your rabbit when it does behave in that nature. If you provide consistent supervision your rabbit will get the idea that it can't just leave urine and scattered poop deposits everywhere.

• After a while, you might decide to grant your rabbit free reign of the majority of your house. It is a good idea though to provide an extra litter box in this case. Put some of your rabbit's turds in the litter box so that your rabbit knows it can relieve itself in that area.