Looking After A Rabbit And A Dog

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by 648117, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. 648117 Honored Member

    This week my family is looking after a rabbit and a dog for a friend.
    The dog is about 6 months old and her name is Sky.
    She knows "sit" and that's about it. She just arrived at our house today and it has been pretty much non-stop play time between her and Holly.
    Here's some pictures (although it is hard to get a good one with them moving so much):


    Look at those teeth!



    Sky has a much more snappy play style than Holly and she has already shown a bit of guarding over Holly's kong.

    The rabbit is called "Hip-hop". He lives in an indoor cage but we took him out to have a play on the grass in Holly's puppy pen. He really enjoyed it :D:





    I've never had a rabbit before and don't know a huge amount about them so any tips would be great!

    Also, I have to trim the rabbits nails which I am not looking forward to.
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  2. Dogster Honored Member

    Awwww, Holy and Sky look so CUTE together!!!!!!:love: I love how they play, great pics!!!:D
    LOVE the rabbits colourings, he's adorable!!!!!:love:
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  3. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    That is the cutest rabbit I have ever seen, the color is just adorable. Are you going to teach Sky some tricks while she's with you?
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  4. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Sky is just adorable, and Hip-hop is just beautiful! I love rabbits, wish I knew more about them. Is he a friendly bunny, or one who more prefers to be left alone? Must be fun watching Holly and Sky play so much - I love when dogs just play, play, play like that (altho the guarding of the kong .. not good).
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  5. southerngirl Honored Member

    They are both so cute. I love the rabbits name and coloring. I miss having rabbits. One really important things about rabbits is when your holding them make sure you hold them a little tight other words they don't feel safe. If they don't feel safe they will freak out. Also careful if you feed them a carrot my hand when it's halfway gone put it on the floor(I didn't once and my rabbet bit my finger to the bone on accident) Hope Holly enjoys her friend visiting.
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  6. 648117 Honored Member

    I have to say there is nothing like looking after someone elses dog to make you appreciate how incredibly awesome and well behaved your own dog is ;)

    I think the greatest trick I could teach Sky would be to go to the toilet outside :cautious:

    Her owner keeps her in a crate for about 5 or 6 hours a day and said that she is basically toilet trained. But she is peeing a lot here and she will happily do it inside.
    Also, her owner only lets her drink three times a day so she is drinking tons of water here which probably does not help the situation.
    She drinks way more than Holly, it's like she's trying to make the most of the unlimited water, it's slightly disturbing the amount she drinks O_o. We picked up the water bowl at 9pm because we were concerned about her peeing all night so when we took her outside to the toilet she was licking the rain off the grass :eek:

    Sky is also not able to settle very well, Holly wants to settle down but Sky keeps getting her to play, I'm slightly concerned that eventually they are going to get too tired and start to get grumpy at each other. I think in the afternoon we might have to seperate them for a few hours.

    Sky doesn't have much focus, I tried to teach her "down" yesterday but she doesn't seem too bright (although that's probably because I'm used to Holly who is very smart and is used to using her brain ;) ). Sky couldn't even focus long enough to eat all of her breakfast today! (her food is a terrible brand which probably doesn't help).

    One big plus that Sky does have though is that she is a very happy little dog, you just have to look at her and she wags her tail :LOL: and she was fine about me trimming her nails which was good (now I just have to do the rabbits which are really long).

    The rabbit is really lovely and friendly though. He was doing the funny running and jumping thing that rabbits do when they are happy while we were outside. And he dug at the grass a bit to eat the roots and he was pushing the cardboard box around, it was pretty cute.
    I don't think he normally goes outside so he really loved it, he was stretching and sniffing around and did a little sunbathing.
    I took some videos, I'll try to get them up today.
    He wont get to go outside today because it's too cold :(
  7. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Remember that dogs have to learn to learn, so she has no idea that you're doing something when you try to train her. You can start just with getting her started with the clicker, click for taking a few steps towards you, etc. something easy that will both 'power up' the clicker and make it easy for her to succeed. It's a wonderful thing to teach a dog that s/he can trigger you to give her a treat, that there is something they can do that can definitely get them stuff they want!

    Years ago, when I had my big dog, I got his dinner together in the bowl once and went to the living room for something and got 'caught' by something on the TV. When I realized with a jolt that I'd forgotten to put his bowl down, I went to the kitchen where he was still patiently sitting, staring at the bowl. It hadn't occurred to him to come bug me about it because Dogs Sitting Quietly Get Stuff, he had every faith in that fundamental life-with-humans rule :)
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  8. MaryK Honored Member

    First Hip Hop (Sorry Holly:D) here is a url on correct food for a rabbit. http://www.myhouserabbit.com/tip_food.php I had rabbits years ago, they are just so cute, but do recall there are 'good foods' and 'bad foods' but LOL not which is which! Miss them too Southerngirl:(

    Southerngirl is right, do hold a rabbit a bit firmly, as they need to know they are secure, otherwise they will freak out. Plus her tip about hand feeding is spot on - rabbits may not mean to bite you but if they do their bite is really hard!:eek:

    Hip Hop (love the name) sure will LOVE being outside. Rabbits need some sun and fresh grass to nibble, he must think he's gone to 'bunny heaven'. LOL will not want to go home!

    Love the pics, all so cute and I just love it when dogs play and play together, but the resource guarding isn't so good.

    A & C have given very good advice re training Sky, you'll need a lot of patience as she has no idea what you want at present. And yes, sure does make you realize how well Holly is trained.(y)

    With the resource guarding, try substituting another toy, asking for leave with Holly's Kong. I would do this quickly, as you don't want Sky to develop this habit any further, it could lead to trouble.

    Poor Sky, sounds like she hasn't had much playtime being crated for so long each day. And now she's got a playmate!!!!!!!!! So she will go over the top at first. I would separate them for a little while, so they can both have a 'nap' time. Give them both time to calm down and not get over excited.

    The water issue, never heard of a dog only being allowed water three times a day, that's weird to me. Dogs should, as you would know, have access to fresh water all the time. Do you know why she was restricted in her water intake?

    It maybe an over reaction on her part to having full access all the time. I would watch this and see how she goes. If she slows down a bit once she has the idea that she can have a drink whenever she wants one, then all is well. Otherwise, if this over the top drinking continues, you may have to consider a trip to the vets as it maybe a sign all isn't well. Are there any other signs? Not eating? Excessive urination? Discolored Urination? I am probably being over cautious on this but having had a dog who drank excessively, urinated everywhere (and he's well house trained) diagnosed with Cushings, I'm on the alert for any abnormal drinking patterns. There are, I hasten to add, many other symptoms with Cushings other than excessive drinking. With Sky it's probably just she's not used to being able to drink when she wants too:D

    Looks like you have to go back to square one with house training!!!!!!!!!!!! Treat her as you would a very young puppy, she should come good pretty quickly. And of course, need I say, reward, reward, reward for 'going' in the right place.

    Have fun though and enjoy your two new house mates. LOL I don't think either will want to go home though! Your home will become 'paradise' to them both:D
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  9. rouen Experienced Member

    A disclaimer on rabbit diet. Although pellets should be a treat it's very important not to drastically change the diet quickly. If Hip-hop isn't use to eating a variety of foods his gut flora(bacteria) isn't balanced for a sudden change and could make him very sick.
    Since he's not going to be staying with you long term I would just feed as his person recommended, then try to educate them when they come home(If his diet is not healthy). Do make sure he always has access to hay though, they need it for healthy guts.
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  10. 648117 Honored Member

    Sky's drinking seems to have settled down now. I think it was just the novelty of having water available. Holly and Sky both had a nap at lunch time and then were in their crates for an hour and a half when we went out. Then I took Holly for her daily walk which is an hour long and then they went in the crates while I had the rabbit out for a bit so they have had a fair amount of time appart.

    I don't think their is much point in trying to teach Sky to learn. We only have her for a week and her owner has zero interest in training her. I might teach her to lie down but I'm not going to stress about it.

    The rabbit doesn't eat any pallets, it only gets hay, grass and veges (mainly carrot). And we gave him half an apple yesterday and got him some carrots with massive tops today and while we had him outside he ate some dandilions and chickweed. I think their owner has a thing about giving her pets water because the rabbit doesn't get any, he doesn't have a bowl or a bottle, he just gets his water from his food I guess O_o

    The rabbits pretty good about being held, he lives with two young children. He hasn't wanted to eat anything while I'm holding it so my fingers are safe ;)
    I trimmed his nails today, they are way way to long, but he was very well behaved about it. I know different people treat their pets differently but I think this is one point I am going to have to talk to the owner about (I can't tell her everything that I disagree with, it would be too much). There is only so much nail I can take off in one week (I'm going to trim them again before he goes home) and they still wont be the length they probably should be, and even I can tell, despite never owning a rabbit myself, that they are way to long. It is really not good for him and can't be comfortable.

    Anyway, I really like the rabbit. I took him outside again today and Grace came out to have a look. He is not afraid of cats at all even when Grace gave him a pat.

    Heres some pictures from today:





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  11. MaryK Honored Member

    LOVE the pics:love: So cute:D Hip Hop and Grace seemed to becoming good friends:D

    Just one thing, with Rabbits, their teeth also need trimming, which requires a visit to the vet, as they do NOT stop growing!

    Sounds like you will not have much time to get Sky to learn about learning, but maybe lie down will be within her reach. Good luck.

    Glad the excessive water consumption has settled down(y) Does sound like it was a novelty for her having fresh water always available. Yes, do speak to her owner about this, she's a dog, not a rabbit, and needs fresh water to be always available.

    Tough one for you, knowing just how much to say, just make a mental list of the really important areas and then over time, if the opportunities present themselves, work in the rest.
  12. southerngirl Honored Member

    Whether the rabbit is getting water from the food or not Hip Hop still needs fresh water available at all times(I would really talk to the owner) . Man those pictures really make me miss my rabbits, but I can't get another one because taking care of 5 animals by myself is already stressful 6 I might go nuts. Keep posting pictures please.:D
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  13. 648117 Honored Member

    I don't know if his teeth are too long, but he is not my rabbit so there isn't really anything I can do if they are. I can trim his nails as much as I can and let him run around on the grass but I can't really take him to the vets for something that is not life-threatening.

    Yea, I don't really understand why he can't have a water bottle, they don't cost that much and then he wouldn't even be able to knock it over and make his cage wet.

    What animals are you taking care of? Pictures?

    Here's a video of Hip-Hop (and Grace :D) , enjoy:

    I also attached a carrot to the roof of his cage with a peg today to give him more of a challenge.
  14. southerngirl Honored Member

    Oh I'm just referring to my animals that I take care of. My bird, Missy, two cats, fish and turtle. One of the cats and the fish and turtle are family pets.:)
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  15. southerngirl Honored Member

    Hip-Hop looks like he is really enjoying himself.
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  16. Dogster Honored Member

    Awww!!!! The pics and video are so CUTE!!!!:love: Love how they play!!!!!:D
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  17. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you Southerngirl. Was wracking my brains, as I was sure our rabbits had fresh water each day, but couldn't remember!

    Same here, I miss my Rabbits, always have for a long time, but I don't think it would be wise for me to get one, Ra Kismet's prey drive may be a little too strong.

    Can understand you've enough furbabies to look after already.
  18. MaryK Honored Member

    Awww LOVED the vid!:love: Hip Hop sure looks like he's having a real ball!:D:love:

    Grace is such a pretty cat too, unusual markings, and she looked like she wanted to have a full on play with Hip Hop:love:

    With the teeth, understand you cannot take him to the vets, but please mention it to the owner. If rabbit's teeth get too long it does become life threatening, they cannot eat properly amongst other things, and then it requires expensive major surgery. Let her know that bit, that should make her realize she needs to watch his teeth.

    Yes a water bottle is what he needs, they're great as they don't tip over and make a mess.
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  19. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Very cute video. Feline behavior nerds call Gracie's going belly-up a "social roll" :)

    The teeth should be fine if the bunny's occlusion is ok, so I wouldn't worry about it out of hand. Many herbivores have continually growing teeth and they file them down if their bite (the way the teeth fit together) is normal.
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  20. 648117 Honored Member

    Yeah, Grace is a funny cat, she is good looking but was a stray that turned up at our house and no one wanted her. She was really thin and all her nipples were sticking out but all the milk had dried up and she kept hanging around so must not have been worried about any kittens. So we don't know what her history is exactly but she has always been very friendly and full of character. I was tempted to put her in with the rabbit but I thought I better not risk it ;)
    Grace looks a bit like an Egyptian Mau, this is a picture from google images:



    But I don't think they are very common so I can't imagine that if someone who lived near us had one and lost it that they would not look for it (we advertised a lot about her as we already had three cats and didn't really want a fourth). She looks a bit fluffier and less slender than an Egyptian Mau and her spots arn't as distinctive and she has some ginger on her tummy that developed after she adopted us, I guess she could be part Egyptian Mau, who knows.

    Thank you, Grace does a "social roll" all the time, especially when playing with Holly. She is a very social cat.

    Anyway, back to dogs :LOL: here's some pictures of Sky and Holly:






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