Getting Rabbits House-Trained

As with any living being, the rabbit also has natural legacies. While dog owners go outside with their four-legged friends for this task and cats attach great importance to their own toilet, the stable of small animals has to be mucked out regularly. But what if the rabbit feels a natural need to run free? Are there dwarf rabbits that are house trained? In fact, it’s not that difficult to train a rabbit to be clean if you know what toilet training is all about. Learn how to raise your rabbits to be house trained.

How Do Rabbits Relieve Themselves?

Since rabbits are vegetarians and their bodies utilize the constituents of their food very well, rabbit droppings are significantly more compact, less odorous, and easier to remove than carnivore droppings. Rabbit feces consist of soft, small globules, provided the animal has no digestive or metabolic problems. If the shape or consistency of the manure changes noticeably, it is an indication of health problems or that something is wrong with the feed. Always keep a close eye on your rabbit’s excrement. In addition to normal feces, rabbits excrete shiny, very soft appendix feces, which, however, usually eat up again immediately.

This bizarre behavior has a physiological background: certain components of the vegetable diet are only broken down in the appendix and can only be ingested by eating again; so a completely natural process. Rabbits are clean animals and do not defecate where they sleep. Instead, they choose specific places to settle the feces and urine. These toilet places also serve as marking points in the rabbit area. So when the rabbit places strategic piles when it runs free, it follows the instinctive need to stake out its territory. When a person removes these important signals, the hopper has no choice but to add more. The trick in training now is to “agree” with the rabbit on places to mark.

What Do I Have to Consider When Choosing the Location of the Rabbit Toilet?

In order to make the toilet as advantageous as possible for the rabbit, the location is important. It is attractive for rabbits if the toilet is centrally and slightly raised. So it has an all-around overview and the feces storage area is easily accessible as a “communication center” for all animals in the rabbit group because the animals send out relevant odor signals via their feces and urine. You will therefore find the optimal starting point for the toilet at the point that the rabbits choose themselves to put down their feces. Just put the tub in this preferred spot. Even if you don’t like the rabbit toilet in the middle of the room, you should tolerate this location for some time. When the rabbits have figured out what to do with the litter-filled tub and are using it for pooping, you can move it, little by little, to the position where you want it to stand on a daily basis. Do this very patiently and without hurrying so that the rabbits “move” with their toilet.

How Do I Get My Dwarf Rabbit House Trained?

With a lot of luck, the rabbit is only briefly irritated by the foreign object in the toilet space but instinctively uses it in the desired way. As a clear indication, prepare the rabbit toilet with a few fresh droppings and a urine sample taken with a kitchen towel.

If that doesn’t help, you have to help. You will have the greatest success in raising rabbits if you work with positive reinforcement: In doing so, the animal learns to combine the desired behavior with a positive stimulus, in this case defecating at the “allowed” point with a treat. Toilet training works best in young rabbits; In the case of new animals or older animals, it may take a little longer before the desired success is achieved. Some rabbits, despite their best efforts, do not get house-trained; as a rule, however, patience and consistency lead to success.

To house-train rabbits, do the following:

  • Watch your rabbit carefully. As soon as he is ready to pass feces or urine, pick him up carefully.
  • Gently place the animal in the rabbit toilet.
  • If they stay seated and relieve themselves in the toilet, reward them immediately with a special treat and give them extensive praise. In such cases, always keep mouth-friendly treats such as a piece of fruit or a leaf of herbs close at hand: the reward must be immediate so that the animal understands the connection between its behavior and the reward.
  • If the rabbit is skipping away and pooing elsewhere, be patient. Just keep trying. As soon as the action works, give praise and reward.
  • As soon as the rabbit accepts the rabbit toilet and goes to it on its own, the step-to-house training has been successful. Continue to reward and praise the animal when you witness the exemplary use of the toilet. After a while, the urge to put down feces is linked to the object of the rabbit toilet in such a way that no further conditioning is necessary.
  • Don’t get impatient if the rabbit occasionally poops elsewhere or just refuses to accept the toilet. If necessary, check whether there is something about it that could bother the animal, perhaps a too restless location or the type of bedding used.

How Does the Rabbit Toilet Have to Be Equipped?

An important question is still open: How should the rabbit toilet be designed? Special rodent toilets are available from pet shops, essentially flat plastic tubs that are littered with litter. Warning: cat litter is not suitable for the rabbit toilet. Absorbent wood pellets, hemp, and corn litter, which absorb the urine, have proven themselves. For easier mucking out, you can cover this litter with a layer of hay. Also, swap out the rabbit toilet yourself every now and then.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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