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Fun Facts About Bunnies From An Oshawa, ON Veterinarian

March 1 2024

Did you know that rabbits were first domesticated in the 5th century? Monks in southern France and the Iberian Peninsula may have been the first to keep Floppy in captivity. Rabbits also became extremely popular pets during the Victorian age, which may explain why they show up so much in literature from that era. A local Oshawa, ON veterinarian lists some fun facts about bunnies in this article. 

Floppy May Have Sunk A Ship

According to legend, rabbits on a 17th-century ship chewed through the vessel’s wooden hull. This resulted in the ship sinking, which caused the deaths of several sailors. To this day, Brittany Ferries does not allow rabbits on its ferries. 

They Don’t Like Guinea Pigs

Bunnies and Guinea pigs are two of the most popular pets, aside from dogs and cats. However, it turns out that these two don’t get along very well. As it turns out, they don’t speak the same language, which can lead to a lot of body language misinterpretations. They also need different diets. It’s also important to note that rabbits can injure cavies. If you choose to have both, you’ll need to keep them separated. 

They’re Extremely Athletic

While many pet rabbits spend their time contentedly munching hay, these guys can move when they need to. Bunnies can run as fast as 18mph. They’re also great jumpers: they can jump as high as four feet, and can clear nine feet horizontally. (This is one reason we advise against letting Floppy play in your yard. Don’t let your pet out unless you have high, secure fences.) 

They Don’t Like Water

We all know that many dogs dislike baths. However, rabbits are also not fans of water. In fact, getting wet can actually scare Floppy to death! These guys often get extremely terrified if submerged in water … to the point that they can die of shock. 

You should never bathe your bunny. If your pet gets something spilled on her, you may be able to carefully submerge that part of her body in lukewarm water and swish water around, then dry her. If she gets something on her head, just use a facecloth. 

Another reason you should never get your rabbit wet? Because they are so unsuited to swimming, their fur and skin can stay damp for some time. This puts them at risk of flystrike, which is extremely painful and dangerous. (It’s also really, really gross.) 

They Steal Our Hearts

All of our animal friends are cute, but rabbits are especially good at melting hearts. Floppy has taken that talent to the screen. Quite a few fictional bunnies have captured our hearts over the years. The Easter Bunny would of course be at the top of that list, but several others have hopped into the spotlight.

Here are a few of the most iconic and beloved buns:

  • Bugs Bunny
  • Thumper
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Roger Rabbit
  • The White Rabbit (Alice In Wonderland)
  • Rabbit (Winnie The Poo)
  • Snowball (Secret Life Of Pets)
  • The Velveteen Rabbit
  • Buster Baxter (Arthur)
  • Lola Bunny (Space Jam)
  • Br’er Rabbit (African-American Folklore)
  • March Hare (Alice In Wonderland)
  • Skippy (Robin Hood)
  • The Energizer Bunny
  • Fiver (Watership Down)
  • Officer Judy Hopps (Zootopia)
  • Anais Watterson (The Amazing World Of Gumball)
  • Nesquik Bunny
  • Babs Bunny (Tiny Toons)
  • The Trix Rabbit

Bunnies Are Very Sociable

Some of our animal friends do perfectly fine by themselves. Rabbits? Not so much. These guys are usually very social, and can get lonely without any pals. In fact, they’ll even get depressed if they don’t have any bunny buddies.

There Are 50 Bunny Breeds

The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) officially recognizes 50 different bunny breeds. While these guys all share the same basic care needs, there are some marked differences between them as far as size, coat, and personality. For instance, the fluffy Angora needs a lot of beauty care to keep their long locks in good shape. Some, such as the Belgian hare, are a bit aloof and actually prefer being kept in outside hutches, assuming the weather isn’t too extreme. The teeny-tiny Lionshead has become very popular with apartment dwellers, while the affectionate Dutch Rabbit is a great choice for kids. 

Before adopting a rabbit, do some research and ask your Oshawa, ON veterinarian for specific advice.

Those Floppy Ears Are Pretty Remarkable

Rabbits’ ears are one of their most adorable features. They’re not only really cute, they are also quite remarkable!

  • Bunnies can rotate their ears 180 degrees. This helps them pinpoint where a sound is coming from. As one can imagine, this is helpful in escaping predators.
  • Rabbits use their ears to regulate their temperature.
  • The habit of pranking someone in photos by holding your fingers behind their head in a ‘Bunny ears’ gesture actually dates back to the Middle ages, when it was used to shame men.
  • Wild bunnies’ ears don’t flop down. This adorable trait is the result of breeding. It does come with a downside: you’ll need to keep your pet’s ears clean. 
  • Rabbit ears are extremely sensitive. 

Floppy Can Live 12 Years

Before adopting any pet, it’s important to make sure that you are ready for a lifelong commitment. Adoption is forever! If you adopt a bunny, you may very well be signing on for over a decade of care.

They Communicate With Body Language

We all  know that dogs wag their tails when they’re happy, and cats purr. Rabbits also have a way of signalling their contentment: the Binkie. This is basically a bunny happy dance and, yes, it’s as cute as it sounds.

However, that isn’t the only way rabbits express themselves. If you have a stubborn bun, you may notice that Floppy sometimes stomps her feet when she feels impatient. Your pet may also give off indications in her gesture and expression. These signals are easily read by other rabbits, but can easily be overlooked by humans.

They’re Very Stubborn

Floppy may be adorable, but don’t let that innocent face fool you. Some bunnies are quite bossy! Your furry companion may get angry at you for rearranging her cage, or for being late with her treat. If she is, she may show her displeasure by thumping her foot or turning her back on you. 

They Can Be Litterbox Trained 

Rabbits are quite clean. They can even be taught to use litterboxes! Ask your veterinarian for advice on training your furry family member. 

They Need Chew Toys

This one should actually go more under basic rabbit care than fun facts, but we’re including it anyway. Because bunnies have open-rooted teeth, they must chew constantly to prevent dental issues. You’ll need to provide your pet with lots of safe, suitable chew toys. You can make many of these yourself out of things like cardboard, paper, and wood items. Ask your vet for more information. 

They Groom Themselves

Have you ever seen a bunny rubbing her ear with her paw to clean it? If not, you’re missing out on one of the cutest things ever. 

They Have Specific Dietary Needs

Before adopting any pet, it’s important to know what your new pet’s diet should be. Rabbits have some very specific needs, when it comes to this. Floppy requires unlimited grass hay, such as Timothy hay. This should be supplemented with commercial food and safe fruits and veggies. 

They Like Sweets

Bunnies are notorious for loving sugary snacks, like fruit. However, don’t let that cute face sway you: too many sweets are not good for Floppy. (That includes carrots. Sorry,  Bugs!) Take care to only give your rabbit things that are safe for her. Ask your Oshawa, ON veterinarian for recommendations. 

Do you have questions about caring for your rabbit? Contact us, your local Oshawa, ON animal clinic, today! 

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