About Us!

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

Sunday, April 10, 2016

What Does Your Bunny Smell?

It is a common belief that rabbits have very good sense of smell. But is this just a myth or is it accurate? Well, your bunny lives in a world much, much richer with a variety of smells than do you. It is, in fact, one primary way she perceives the world, along with hearing. It’s true she can smell things too faint for us to notice. However, the differences between your bunnies perception of the world through smell and your own go way, way beyond just that.

Rabbits use their sense of smell to distinguish other rabbits; to a bunny, each has his/her own distinct scent. It’s how they determine the sexes of other rabbits, identify their babies, determine if a food is good to eat, and many other things. They use it to identify you, and distinguish you from other humans - frequently more so than by using their sight.

A rabbit's sense of smell far exceeds human capabilities and has developed to monitor the environment for the slightest whiff of predators. Our smelling function is carried out by two small odor-detecting patches, made up of about five million cells. For comparison, a rabbit has 100 million of these cells! (Dogs have an even keener ability to detect and differentiate odors, having about 220 million such cells.)

Their noses are almost always moving (even while they are resting) because because doing so causes an increase in airflow and thereby increases their ability to smell things. When they wiggle their nose it also separates the split in their upper lip, which helps to moisturize the air and their nasal passages, furthering their ability to detect odors. So their noses are not just one of their most adorable features, they are also highly efficient smelling devices.

Your bunny will recognize you by your smell sooner than she will by how you appear to her. Not only can your smell reach her first (if you are in another room, for example), your smell is much more readily identifiable to her as “you” than is the somewhat grainy image of you that her eyes provide. That’s why, for instance, if you have a different smell than usual (maybe you were petting a dog, have a new perfume, soap or laundry detergent), your bunny might run away when you approach her. Not only does she smell the dog, but your smell doesn’t match the other ways she perceives you (how you look and sound), so she’s not sure it’s really you.

A rabbits sense of smell is so good, in fact, that normal cooking smells may not smell nice to your bunny. (This is one reason that kitchens don’t make good places for their pens.) Because their nose is very sensitive to certain odors such as perfumes, chemicals, and dust, inhalation of these scents may cause them problems. Dusty hay, dry air, acrid cleaning solutions, and perfumes can easily irritate your bunnies nose. Illnesses that cause your bunny to be congested can be hard on them. If your bunny has been exposed to any of these irritants and/or is congested, it is important to take her to the vet quickly so she can start to breathe easily again.

Your bunny smells in color. When we look around us, we notice very small differences in the colors of things, which tells us a lot about the world around us. Your bunny notices very small differences in smells, which tells her a lot about the world around her.

Sit quietly and watch your bunny when she’s hoping around and exploring. Watch how she uses her nose. Notice that even if she’s very still, her nose is frequently moving, figuring out what’s around her. She is smelling things we don’t begin to notice.

We tend to think that the way we perceive the world - the way it looks, sounds and smells to us - is the way it is. But there is a whole lot more than just that. We are only able to detect a small slice of it. Watching your bunny, really getting to understand how she interacts with the world, will help you get some idea of what you are missing.