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Welcome to our page! We do our best to provide to-be and current bunny owners up-to-date info on the best care for their house rabbits. When we adopted our first bunny in 2005, there was almost nothing on the internet to tell us how to care for him. Just in the past few years, information has exploded online, and now it can be confusing! We try to simplify it by posting weekly articles on current issues, daily care, concerns, proper feeding, and other info so you can enjoy your house-bun! If you are just finding us, feel free to look through the older posts also. Please email us if you have any questions! Happy bunnies make happy hearts!
Email: thebunnyhut101@yahoo.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Litter Training (video included)


                                STEP 1

"Setting up Bunny's Litter Box"
Not sure how to set-up a bunny-friendly litterbox? Learn the basics, below, and help your bunny on his way to successful litterbox training.




Plastic Cat Pan
Basic plastic cat litter pans work best for bunny's litterbox. They come in sizes small, medium, large, and giant, and can be found at stores such as Target, Wal-Mart,Kmart, and Fred's for a nominal price. We recommend sticking to the medium, large, or giant litter pans for most bunnies, unless your bunny is very tiny. However, you can't go wrong with a larger litter box that your bunny can grow into. Choosing the size of pan to buy, will depend on the size of your bunny.

If you have a pair of bunnies sharing the same litterbox, you'll want to get one very large box, or give the bunnies multiple boxes to keep them well supplied with hay and fresh litter.




Setting-up the Litter Box
We recommend using CareFresh and fresh Timothy hay to prepare your bunny's litter box. CareFresh is a bunny-safe pet bedding that does not contain any pine or cedar products, and is also environmentally friendly. Fresh hay in the box entices bunny to jump in and do his "business."
Next, add a BIG handful of hay. Here, we've spread some Timothy hay over the CareFresh, or equine pine pellets from the local co-op.




                   
                   Stay Away From:




Keep a Fresh Box
Change bunny's box every day, to ensure a clean, fresh box. This will prevent bunny from heading to cleaner places to eliminate. If your bunny does not soil his box completely within a 24-hour period, simply add another large handful of hay to the "kitchen" end, to replenish his supply. But never go for more than two days before giving bunny a fresh litter box.
Once dirty, dump the entire contents of the box into your "yard waste" container or regular trash, to dispose. (If you're a gardener, bunny's litterbox waste makes great composte!)  Wash the box, and if urine build-up occurs in the bathroom end, pour in some plain white vinegar to soak it clean. Rinse, wipe dry, then add fresh CareFresh and hay. 
**Yes, it's pine, but HIGHLY compressed and you cannot smell pine unless you stick your nose right to it. The pellets "blossom" when peed on. No buns have desired to eat them since we have used them.





Bunnies Enjoy Their Litter Boxes
Once introduced and used to being given fresh hay in a clean box, your bunny will grow to love it! He will nibble hay nearly 24 hours a day - important for good bunny digestion - and may even burrow under it searching for the most choice bits.

Finally, it's important to remember to use bunny-safe litters in your bunny's box. Clay, or clumping litters for cats can be dangerous to bunnies who may ingest some of their litter while eating hay.  Pine, cedar, or other aromatic wood shavings may also be harmful to bunny's health. Sticking with a simple, paper-based, recyclable litter provides bunny with a safe litter and one that's also environmentally friendly.
If, after setting up your bunny's litterbox in this manner, you still have some problems with bunny using his box, try some of our litter box training tips.
http://sandiegorabbits.org/behavior/litterbox_setup.html

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I have heard good things about this as well if you have the hay in a hanging basket like some do above the litter box, this will hold tons of poop!
You can pick up the pan at a dollar-type store or order both pices for about the same price together.
                                                                                                              
Box and screen:
http://store.binkybunny.com/litter-box-and-screen-kit-p113.aspx



                       

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www.BUNNYRABBIT.com has these PVC coated wire floors made for the high back square pans, but we also use them on one end of our rectangle pans and put hay on the opposite end. The equine pellets are under the wire so bunny's feet stay clean. http://www.bunnyrabbit.com/price/groom3.htm#Litter%20Pans



They can be bought individually or with the pans. I would suggest to get all you need to make the shipping cost worthwhile. They have several other items you may be interested in to fill your order as well. (They have those small nail clippers, toss a few of those into the cart! We all need a new pair of those!)


 This is how we arrange our large litter boxes. The rubber coated wire covers about half the bottom and the rabbits stay in front of the hay to eat, so it works out really well. 

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                              STEP 2



 Litter Training Bunny:




"Litter Box Training"
Rabbit litter training is generally the first thing you want to know when you have a house rabbit. It's quite easy to do, especially since rabbits are clean animals and tend to go to the toilet in the same corner or area even without litter training.
   






  1. Get your rabbit spayed or castrated. A fixed rabbit is noticeably less aggressive and easier to train, as it will stop wanting to mate and mark its territory.
  2.  Watch the rabbit intently when you let it out. As soon as it appears as if the rabbit is going to "go," you'll need to quickly put it back into the cage. If you get there too late, be sure to still put it back into the cage immediately and if possible put whatever mess has been made in as well. Don't lock the cage however, because you don't want the rabbit to associate the doing the toilet with getting locked in the cage.
    •  Make sure your rabbit associates doing the toilet with being in the cage; it only takes a couple of days to teach, just be sure you keep an eye on the rabbit so as to put it into the cage immediately after or before (ideally) it does the toilet.

  3. If you are going to litter box train your rabbit, get several litter boxes. Fill these with a rabbit safe product, such as paper based litter and one end with Timothy hay. Bunnies tend to eat while they 'do their business'. Before introducing your bunny to the litter box, watch it and pay attention to where it does it's business - typically the back or left/right corner. Once you've established your bunnies preferred area, place the box in that area. This will make it easier to get the message. Do not use cat litter - it is not safe for your bunny. See that the bunny does not eat the newspaper as some are not safe for rabbits, although most newspapers now use soy-based ink.
    • Hay or a recycled pet litter available in pet stores are both good choices.


  4.  Put one or more litterboxs in the cage. Put others in locations around the area your rabbit has exercise time in. The more litter boxes you have, the more likely it is the rabbit will use one of them. Extra litter boxes can be used to switch out for ones that need time to air out from cleaning.
  5. Praise the rabbit for using the litter box. Since rabbits naturally eliminate while eating, a handful of hay in the litter box can encourage good habits and reward the rabbit for going in.
  6. If you see your rabbit getting ready to eliminate outside of the litter box, try to startle it or shoo it toward the litter box. You can pick up your rabbit if he's comfortable with that, but it's better if he goes in on his own. Don't try to scold your rabbit after the fact; he won't understand.
  7. Rabbit urine can be cleaned up with white vinegar. Clean thoroughly to remove the smell, or the rabbit will urinate there again. White vinegar is also good for cleaning litter boxes. Rinse them out afterward so the smell doesn't bother your bunny.
  8. Some rabbits will leave a few droppings around areas they consider their territory. Rabbit droppings are very dry and can be easily swept up. Putting these droppings in your rabbit's litter box(es) can encourage it to use them.
  9. Thoroughly clean frequently used litter boxes at least once a week. During the week, "spot clean" by scooping up droppings and soiled litter. Vinegar will get the spots out during soaking.
  10. Once your rabbit starts using litter boxes reliably, you can alter the number or position of them as needed. If you rabbit only uses two litter boxes and ignores the others, the extras can be removed. If your rabbits ignores one litter box, but urinates in a corner three feet away, move the litter box to the corner.

Tips

  • The rabbit will lift its tail when it needs to use the "lavatory."
  • Some rabbits prefer different kinds of litter or boxes. If the rabbit was using a litterbox in her previous home, try to get a similar setup for yours.
  • Make sure the sides of the litterbox allow your rabbit to get in and out easily.
  • If your rabbit forgets his litterbox habits, limit his area of freedom. This should correct the problem. A puppy pen is often helpful in this case to block off the extra space until the litterbox habits have returned.
  • Putting your rabbit's hay in one end of the litterbox can also help since many rabbits like to eliminate while they eat.
  • Most newspapers now use soy-based ink, which is not toxic for rabbits, but always check before using it. Newspaper ink can also rub off onto your rabbit's coat, turning it black or gray.







VIDEO LINK:
video







** http://www.wikihow.com/Litter-Train-a-Rabbit
** http://bunniez.hubpages.com/hub/Bunny-Care-Guide---How-To-Litter-Train-Your-Bunny