Despite the fact that rabbits are prey and dogs are predators, the two can coexist if they’re properly introduced. Most importantly, your dog should have a low prey drive and your rabbit should also be dog friendly if they’re to live harmoniously. Even if both species get along, the main question however is, can rabbits free roam with dogs? This article answers that and much more on this subject.
Can rabbits free roam with dogs?
The short answer is yes. This is especially true if your dogs have a low prey drive and are well manner around your bunnies. On the other hand, you also need to spay or neuter your rabbits to tame their territorial or aggressive behavior which may trigger a more severe retaliation from your dog.
One way to ensure the safety of your bunny is to gradually introduce them to a dog close under supervision. It’s also advisable to provide a hideout for your bunny where it can retreat when needed. Your rabbit’s safe haven should also be out of bounds for your dog.
If you intend to free-roam the two animals indoors, always ensure that you rabbit-proof the entire house. Since bunnies can be destructive, it’s advisable to cover all electric cords, carpets, furniture, or wallpaper. Alternatively, you can also prevent both pets from accessing certain rooms in the house. The other vital thing to consider when it comes to free-roaming a rabbit and dog indoors is litter training. Just like the latter, a bunny is an intelligent pet that can also be litter trained.
On the other hand, if your rabbit and dog are outdoor free roamers, ensure that they’re in a secure place. If they’re playing in the backyard, be on the lookout for your neighbor’s cat or dog that may be lurking on your vulnerable bunny. Additionally, your pets shared free roam area should also be escape-proof.
How long should rabbits free roam with dogs?
During the introductory phase, if the two pets seem to get along, a couple of free roam hours is enough. However, if the two animals are fond of each other, 6 to 8 hours of free-roaming time 3 to 4 times a week is sufficient. Needless to say, you need to supervise their interaction.
Should I let my rabbit free roam?
Yes, letting your rabbit free roam is a great way to bond or spend quality time with them. If your pet is housed indoors, ensure that there’s adequate space of at least 32 square ft. On the other hand, when it comes to outdoor rabbits, only let them free roam in a secure area, preferably in a run or playpen. Whether your bunnies are housed indoors or outdoors, never let them out of their cage at night. This is mainly because your rabbits can easily get ambushed by lurking outdoor night predators or they can also destroy indoor valuables.
What dog breed is best with rabbits?
One way to ensure the safety of your rabbit is to select a dog with low prey drive. For example, Bulldogs, Poodles, Maltese, Boston terriers, Cavalier king Charles spaniel, Japanese chin, Great Pyrenees, and Golden retrievers are some of the best dog breeds that are less likely to chase or injure your bunny.
How do I introduce my rabbit to my dog?
Before introducing your rabbit to your dog, ensure that the latter is properly trained with a low prey drive. In other words, hunting dog breeds aren’t the perfect pair. As a precaution, put a leash on your dog and then place your rabbit in its carrier or cage before the first encounter. Next is to bring one animal closer to the other with a barrier in between only allowing them to sniff each other as they get acquainted.
If the two animals are calmly or curiously sniffing each other, while still holding your dog on a leash, let your bunny out of its carrier or cage. If your dog remains calm throughout the interaction, give it praises and pats to reinforce its good behavior. However, if your dog barks at the bunny or gets too excited, then separate it from the rabbit and wait until it’s calmer before reintroduction.
Should I let my dog chase rabbits?
No, it’s not recommended as it can often lead to your bunny sustaining injuries. Although your dog may chase your rabbit for fun or as a way of releasing pent-up energy, you shouldn’t encourage it. Exercise your dogs separately and always intervene if they’re about to chase your bunny by commanding them to stop or distracting them with treats.
How often should you let your rabbit out of its cage?
Your bunny should come out of its cage at least once per day to play and exercise. Give them at least two to four hours of roam time, however, the more time to free roam, the better. What this essentially does is provide your rabbits with mental enrichment. In other words, it’s not advisable to leave your rabbit cooped in its cage for more than 12 hours at a go.
How much attention do rabbits need a day?
Rabbits are social animals that thrive on attention and affection. No matter how busy you are, try to spend at least an hour of quality time bonding with your rabbit. This entails petting, grooming, or playing with your pet. Bear in mind that rabbits are crepuscular, they’re most active at twilight, specifically in the wee hours, or late in the evening. On top of that, provide your rabbits with playing toys to keep them preoccupied, whenever you’re away.
Can rabbits free roam with dogs? If the two were brought up together, then there’s a high chance that they’ll easily coexist. Surprisingly enough, they can also form a strong both with each other. On the flip side, if you have a hunting dog with high prey drive or a rabbit that’s always nervous around your dog, then a permanent separation is necessary.