Loud fireworks are only one of myriad hazards for pet rabbits that owners should be carfeful about on the Fourth of July. Besides loud noises, sunscreen, insect repellants and hot summer weather can provide problems for your house rabbit. That is why we are grateful that the Georgia House Rabbit Society has published an excellent article to help you keep your bunny healthy and happy on and around America’s Independence Day. Here is some of what they had to say:
Drown out loud noises with some smoothing music. Leave the radio on for your rabbits and tune it to an easy listening station or perhaps something classical. Rabbits ears are sensitive, so don’t turn it up loud. The idea here is to have some consistent background music to help filter out the commotion and the noise of the day. Remember to not leave any cords lying around! Rabbits LOVE to nibble on those wires.
Wash off any sunscreen or insect repellant before you handle your rabbits. Ingestion of either one can lead to problems. So before Thumper starts licking your arm, make sure it’s nice and clean and give your hands a good scrubbing before handling their greens.
Close your windows and your doors to dampen the noise of the fireworks. If you don’t already have a cardboard hidey box for your rabbit, providing them with one might not be a bad idea. If your rabbit gets frightened, it will provide a safe haven for them and give them another buffer between their ears and the loud scary noises. Just make sure the room stays nice and cool if you are closing up the doors and the windows for the day. Rabbits can suffer from heat stroke easily and it can quickly turn into an emergency situation.
If you find that your rabbit is frightened, gently comfort them with petting. Don’t force this on your rabbit and create any more stress, though. If your bunny is hiding out, leave them be or try to lure them over to you with their favorite treat. Once you have your bunny’s attention, see if you can distract them from the noises with some play and petting.
We recommend you read the entire article online at http://www.houserabbitga.com/?p=3499 as it also includes some very important information about why rabbits should not be kept outdoors as well as a product they use at their Rabbit Center to help keep bunnies calm when they have been stressed.
Photo courtesy House Rabbit Society