Halloween means pumpkin!!

When I was a child Halloween was all about carving the pumpkin and putting it outside to scare the goblins away.  As I got older it became more about carving the pumpkin and roasting the seeds.  And, oh yes, handing out candy to the kids.

Then I adopted bunnies.  Now Halloween is about roasting the seeds (for me) and giving the pumpkin to the bunnies.

Rabbits LOVE pumpkin and it’s a food that is actually good for them!  Pumpkin has loads of fiber and not too much sugar that, in moderation, won’t upset your bunny’s good gut bacteria.

I always have either a can of pure pumpkin purée or baby food pumpkin on hand for when one of my bunnies needs some incentive to eat.   But the best is always fresh.  So I buy a pumpkin, put it on the floor and let the buns go to town.  Once they get past the rind and into the flesh, I keep an eye out to make sure that they don’t eat it all up at once!

Since I love pumpkin seeds, I always get a pumpkin for myself.  After scooping out the seeds, I carve the pumpkin into pieces freezing some of it into small pieces for later use.  The rest I roast.  Once cooled, I mash it up and distribute it into ice-cube trays.  Freeze the trays and then empty the contents into plastic bags.  Now you have pumpkin treats for your bunny for any time of the year!

bunny sniffing pumpkin
Smells pretty good!
You can carve it and then let Bunny take nibbles
You can carve it and then let Bunny take nibbles
bunnies eating pumpkin
Yummmmm!!

Bargain Toys for Bunnies

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Have you ever purchased an expensive toy for your bunny only to find he prefers to play with a paper plate? Often simple things we find around the house bring more pleasure to our rabbit friends than more costly options found in pet stores or online. 

Read more: San Diego Pets Magazine – Bargain Toys for Bunnies 

 

 

 

Alternative Therapies in Rabbit Care

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Holistic or homeopathic treatments, also known as alternative therapies, can be safe options to incorporate into your rabbit’s nursing care plan, in addition to medications your veterinarian may recommend. They can also be a good alternative to harmful chemicals or medications with potential or known negative side effects.

Read more: San Diego Pets Magazine – Alternative

Recent Bunny Adoptions

Here are photos from two of our most recent adoptions. We’ve had a few more than this; Dino & Phil, Angel, Alice & Dutchess, but are waiting for the families to send us photos. Hopefully we’ll have several more after this Sunday’s adoption day.

O'Ryan with his new family.
O’Ryan with his new family.
Penny and her new family, James & Bunbury rabbit.
Penny and her new family, James & Bunbury rabbit.

Adopt a Recycled Rabbit

Your New Green Companion

You’re vegetarian, you shop with your own recycled bags and work hard to keep your waste out of the landfill, so it make sense that you are leaning toward an animal companion that matches your green lifestyle.   Look no further – rabbits are one of the most planet-friendly pets around!

Rabbits Create a Very Small Carbon Paw Print

Like you, rabbits are herbivores.   They eat only plants and grasses.  They are “local” consumers, enjoying fresh hay and greens available locally.  Shop at your local farmer’s market for their daily salad and enjoy an extra bonus; ask for the “trimmings” from carrots, beets, turnips, etc. and get them for free! Hay can come from your local feed store or from the House Rabbit Society’s community hay sales program, decreasing the “food miles” required to sustain your rabbit companion.

A rabbit’s waste is composed of broken down hay fibers, which is clean and free from bacteria that are harmful to our environment or us.   This makes them cleaner, fresher smelling, and easier to care for than most other animal companion species.

Bucket in the Grass
Bucket enjoying the tall grass.

Your rabbit’s litter box waste can go straight onto your compost pile, your outdoors plants (the droppings can go into your indoor plants), or into the green waste bins collected by your trash company.  If you use a rabbit-friendly paper or wood-based litter box filler that, along with bunny’s droppings and hay, makes wonderful compost material.

Love to garden?  Plant a vegetable and edible flower garden to feed you – and your rabbit – and use bunny’s litter box contents to fertilize the plants and act as mulch to protect roots and hold in moisture.  You don’t even have to compost it first; rabbit waste is nutrient rich and safe to use right from the litter box.   If you belong to a garden co-op or a gardening club, your rabbit’s litter box waste will be like “gold;” everyone will want some!

Rabbits Love Recycled

Rabbits love “green” toys.  Cardboard boxes make great hideouts and are fun to chew.  Empty tissue boxes or toilet paper tubes stuffed with hay make yummy treats.  Old magazines and phone books translate into hours of shredding fun.  Empty paper bags create fun hiding places.  No need to spend money on expensive new toys; just share your junk mail and paper-based waste with bunny!

Rabbits also love babies’ toys.  Heavy plastic chew toys and rattles are fun to fling, rattle, and chew. Toddler playhouses from Little Tykes make great bunny play areas.   Pick these up at resale shops for children.

Green Cleaning

Use non-toxic cleaning products for your rabbit.  Vinegar & water make the best cleaning solution for bunny’s washable bedding, toys, and litter box.  Not only is it completely safe, vinegar has been proven to kill bacteria.  Also keep your yard and home free from pesticides and fertilizers that can harm bunny – and you.  Instead, use Diatomaceous Earth (available at nurseries, online, and at the SDHRS Bunny Supply Store) to kill fleas, mites and other pests.

Adopt a Recycled Rabbit 

Adopt – don’t shop for your new rabbit companion.  Visit your local shelter, humane society or rabbit rescue when looking for a bunny friend.  Thousands of rabbits end up with local animal welfare agencies, in need of a good home, especially after Easter.  Don’t shop at a pet store or breeder when so many pure bred rabbits are available through rescues.  When you purchase from a breeder or pet store, you are contributing to the problem of animal overpopulation and not enough homes for every bunny born.

To learn more about adopting a “recycled” rabbit, visit www.sandiegorabbits.org.

~ Judith Pierce, San Diego House Rabbit Society

Harness Testers Needed

Over the summer San Diego HRS had a booth at an avian veterinary conference at the San Diego Convention Center. Many avian vets also treat “exotics”, which includes rabbits.

I got to talking with a representative from The Parrot University about harnesses. Apparently, parrots can use harnesses, too!

The rep was kind enough to send us a couple of harness samples to see if they might be suitable for rabbits.

There are two different sizes (X-Large and XX-Large), but keep in mind the sizes are designed for birds. The design is similar to the “H-Style” harness marketed for rabbits but this one has no clips or fasteners, only elastic. The harnesses are adjustable and come with a long elastic leash.

I need a few volunteers who would be willing to try out these harnesses on their rabbits. If your rabbit is already used to wearing a harness, great! You can help me compare this product to others you may have used. Never tried a harness before? No problem! Talk us through what your rabbit makes of it and whether you’d use it again.

The harnesses also come with an instructional DVD to watch.

Interested? Contact Chandra Beal at chandra@sandiegorabbits.org

Vegan Glam

If you’re a fashion-forward vegan, or someone who wants to support cruelty-free products, check out Urban Decay cosmetics, a vegan-friendly cosmetics company that uses insanely hip, fun, and irreverent packaging.

Vegan products include eyeshadows, eyeliners, make-up brushes, fake eyelashes, mineral make-up, nail polish, and lip products (the “Pocket Rocket” lip gloss is divine).

Urban Decay also talks the talk, and walks the walk, by taking a very public stance against animal testing:

Urban Decay is, and always has been, a cruelty-free company. You’ll notice that every box bears our cruelty-free credo: “We don’t do animal testing. How could anyone?” We insist on producing beautiful, irreverent, high-end cosmetics without conducting animal testing.

Products labeled with a pawprint are 100% Vegan.

One popular product is the eyeshadow palette, which even features a bunny on the package (Note: the company recently realized that the “potion primer” included with the palette is not 100% Vegan, so the pawprint has been removed. The eyeshadow itself is still 100% vegan).

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Palette (About $34)