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 New Home Adjustment  
Give Bunnies Time to Adjust to Their New Home

* Be patient
* Spend time with them, but allow for quiet time
* Establish a routine; bunnies like having a regular routine

* Ensure their living area has a box or covered space to retreat
* Don't give them too much space too soon

By the time you adopt a bunny and bring them home, they have been through a lot. Some have been abandoned in the streets, local parks, dumped in a box outside a pet store at night or left at a shelter. These are all scary situations for a bun. From there they get shuffled to shelters, rescue groups and foster homes until finally their happy day arrives when they are adopted. It can easily take a month or more for a bunny to begin to adapt and feel comfortable in its new home. Some will adapt sooner but many take longer; every situation is different. As the months pass you will begin to notice your bunny feeling more at home and the level of trust increase.

Avoid giving them too much space too soon. It's best for the first few weeks to keep them primarily in their living area (like an X-pen, or large condo with pen around it, etc.) and gradually increase their supervised free run time. Bunnies should have at least 3 hours free run time daily, but in the first week or two you might try 30 minute increments a few times a day, and then increase the time as the bunny settles in. This helps establish their space, and typically they will maintain better litter box and behavioral habits going forward.

It is very important to be patient and allow the bunny sufficient time to adjust to its new home. Some people get frustrated if the bun is skittish, acts timid and doesn't show affection right away. Moving into a new home is a big change for a bunny who has been through so much already, so give them love but also allow them some space and quiet time to get used to their new world. They might be wondering how long they'll be there until they get shuffled to the next place. Consistency and routine help them feel more secure, so how and when you greet them, petting sessions, meal time and play time should follow as much of a routine as possible.

Most of all, be patient. It will be worth it!

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    Sweetpea Foundation

    Rabbit Rescue and Adoption 

    P.O. Box 8640
    Long Beach, CA  90808

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