Why does my bunny bite me?
There are some problems that tend to crop up from time to time with rabbits, so we thought we’d spend the next few blogs discussing some of these. And one of the more common questions out there happens to be: why does my bunny bite me?
One such dilemma is when a rabbit starts biting or nipping at people. Why do they do this and what can you do to prevent it?
Well, there are several reasons that a bunny may bite. These include the following:
- Rabbits can’t see what’s right in front of their nose. So if you reach out and try to pet your bunny’s head without him knowing that you’re there, he might bite in fright and self-defense. The easiest way to prevent this is to make sure you first talk to your bunny in a soothing voice, and then move your hand towards him from the side so he can see you. Let him sniff at your hand before you move to pet him.
- A frightened or nervous rabbit is likely to attack if it feels threatened or intimidated. They attack with both their teeth and claws, and being on the receiving end of a rabbit attack can be extremely painful. But rabbits only attack as a last resort – remember, they are prey animals and their first defense is to run away. If your rabbit attacks when you try to handle it, then there are obviously some serious underlying issues and he or she is extremely stressed. In this case you should seek expert advice.
- On a nicer note, a happy rabbit nips to show affection. This is what they do to each other, and if he’s telling you ‘he loves you’ then he’s just doing what comes naturally. He doesn’t realize that you don’t have a nice thick layer of fur to protect him from what is likely to be a painful nip!
- He might also nip to demand treats – another reason why treats should only be fed in moderation.
- If you’re holding your rabbit and he nips you, then he’s likely to be telling you to put him down.
As long as your rabbit isn’t showing serious signs of being frightened and attacking, just try being firm if he nips you. Some people recommend letting out a squeal when he nips, as this is what another rabbit would do if he was displeased. Another method is just a firm ‘no.’ If you do this every time then your rabbit should eventually come to realize that nipping is not allowed. However, do make sure that you’re not doing anything to cause your rabbit discomfort or fright when handling him. If biting or nipping starts all of a sudden it can be a sign of pain and/or stress. If this occurs then you should seek veterinary advice.
We hope this has helped shed some light on the question “why does my bunny bite me”. Of course, it is always best to talk to these issues with a professional veterinarian if they become serious.
Till next time, love those bunnies!