Rabbits are naturally prey animals in the wild. They are vulnerable to being captured and devoured by foxes, raptors, snakes, dogs, and people. They must be continually vigilant to live. Continually, they employ their acute senses of sight, hearing, and smell to detect possible predators.
The instincts of your pet rabbits are the same. Fear can be triggered by fast or unexpected movements, loud noises, unusual odors, bigger creatures, and even their owners.
You may feel completely powerless at these moments. Your rabbit appears to be worried and terrified of something, but you're at a loss for what to do. If your pet rabbit becomes frightened, follow these five steps to calm them down.
How Do You Know If Your Rabbit Is Afraid?
Before you can soothe your rabbit, you must first understand the rabbit's body language to recognize when it is terrified. Rabbits have a distinct and delicate way of behaving. Because rabbits are not like cats or dogs, it might not be easy to discern how they feel. To truly comprehend rabbit body language, you must spend a significant amount of time with your rabbit. Study them to learn their personality quirks. When terrified, your rabbit may smack his hind legs, lie flat on the ground, or adopt a rigid posture.
Step 1: Place Your Rabbit in a Secure Location
If your rabbit is scared, the first thing you should do is bring them to a safe place. Many rabbits become startled when they are placed in new locations. The easiest method to help your rabbit relax is to place them in a familiar and secure environment.
You're halfway there if your rabbit is already in its comfortable rabbit bed or close to its enclosure. Please turn off any loud noises and seal the door to keep other pets out of their secure place. Allow your rabbit to have access to hiding places so that they may hide whenever they wish.
You'll also want to be with your rabbit at this period. This is especially vital if you and your rabbit have a strong relationship. A rabbit who spends a lot of time with its caretakers establishes a strong bond with them. You may provide a calming presence for your rabbit by remaining with them. Even if your bunny is fidgety and doesn't want to sit still, sit close to him so he may come to you.
If your rabbit does not settle down over time, you may wish to bring a blanket or towel. If your rabbit remains steady and crouches in the same spot, throw a towel around them to keep them warm and provide a safe haven.
Step 2: Gently Pet Your Bunny While Speaking Quietly
Petting a rabbit may be a great method to soothe them and help them relax. If your rabbit is defensive, scratch him behind the ears and forehead. Keep an eye on your rabbit's body language to see if he's still on the lookout for danger. You may also give it a few pats on the back to check if it relaxes under your control, whether your rabbit-like it. Initially, rabbits might be fidgety, but after a few taps, they begin to calm.
You may also try cupping your hands over your rabbit's face to conceal his eyes. This helps your rabbit settle down faster by reducing the number of external stimuli exposed.
You should talk softly to your rabbit at this time. Your rabbit will recognize your voice if he is familiar with you. Gently speaking to your rabbit can assist him in understanding that he is not in danger. You should also avoid making any abrupt moves or picking up your rabbit since this may be quite frightening for them.
Step 3: Keep Your Bunny Occupied
Petting your bunny won't always help him relax. It would help if you attempted to divert your rabbit's attention in such situations. The simplest method to achieve this is to use your rabbit's favorite food to encourage them. However, this is not the best time to offer new goodies since rabbits might be distrustful of unfamiliar foods. Instead, give them something you're confident they'll enjoy. When a rabbit is focused on obtaining that wonderful piece of fruit, it is easy for them to forget that they were formerly cautious and vigilant.
You may even go one step further and give your rabbit an impromptu training session to keep them occupied. If you have never taught your rabbit before, this will confuse and annoy him, especially if he is already agitated. However, if your rabbit has already learned a few tricks, this is a terrific method to keep them occupied.
Step 4: Figure out what makes your bunny nervous
Your rabbit may become too fearful and refuse to settle down, even after petting and distracting him. In these situations, the best line of action is to figure out what terrifies your rabbit. Examine surroundings and attempt to perceive the world through the eyes of a rabbit. Consider commonplace items that may be frightening to a rabbit. It would be best if you are looking for:
An unfamiliar sound might be unsettling to a rabbit even if it isn't loud. It might be anything from a dog barking loudly outside to the sound of activity in the adjacent room.
If you recently received a parcel in the mail and placed it on the ground, your rabbit may be alarmed. This is a new experience for your rabbit, and they're not sure if it's safe.
Even the tiniest movement might scare a rabbit. A rabbit might be startled by anything as simple as a revolving space heater or a running ceiling fan.
It's strange, but some rabbits are terrified of cooking smells.
Once you've figured out what terrifies your rabbit, you may either eliminate the source of the fear or remove your rabbit from the circumstance. You may not be able to do both in some instances, such as when a dog barks outside. All you can do is stay with your rabbit and soothe it until the frightening situation passes.
Step 5: Pay Attention to Your Rabbit's Recovery
You should watch your rabbit's behavior even after he has calmed down to ensure that he is doing well. Continue to check on your rabbit for several hours and give them some pets to calm them. They should search for indicators that they are healing, such as normal behavior and a lack of fear.
If they don't appear to be eating their hay, try tempting them with leafy greens to check if they're hungry. If you notice little droppings in her hideout at first, don't be alarmed; stress can cause this.
During this period, you should endeavor to resume your regular tasks. If you regularly work at a computer, continue to do so. This will assist your rabbit in regaining normality. Your rabbit will continue to ease down and regain confidence as life returns to normal.
We all know we're not that terrifying, but a rabbit can't always tell. Despite their innate nervousness, Rabbits do not need to live in terror. Make tiny positive adjustments that may go a long way with your rabbit by being cautious and cool. Try to figure out what concerns him and make small positive changes that can go a long way.
The scenario isn't very detrimental if your rabbit remains attentive and eats and poops. With patience and some comfort from you, your rabbit will recover. If your rabbit refuses to eat, you should seek immediate medical help.
If your rabbit hasn't eaten in more than 10 hours, you should take it to the clinic. If they don't eat their favorite foods, you know something is wrong.
When you touch your rabbit, they may stop reacting or not respond, indicating that they are in shock. To keep your rabbit warm, wrap it in a towel and call your veterinarian. You must contact your veterinarian before driving your rabbit to the clinic. Sometimes, the stress of driving might make the rabbit's illness worse.