Keeping Your Rabbit Close to Your Heart - How to Hold Your Rabbit
Written by The Rabbit Hole Hay Team
Your furry little friend is so adorable, you just want to hold her all day long! Sadly, picking up and holding your rabbit is nothing like holding a dog or cat. Holding your cute little rabbit can be an amazing opportunity for bonding and creating trust between you and your pet. However, because of how delicate a rabbit's skeletal system is, you need to take extreme care in being gentle with them.
While this may sound a bit intimidating, we have six easy stems for you to follow when picking up your rabbit successfully that will lead to building trust and affection with her. Join us by learning how to hold a rabbit!
Quick Disclaimer: It's important to note that not all rabbits love to be picked up and some rabbits feel very intimidated by heights. Keep both of these things in mind, especially as you are getting used to holding your rabbit and she is getting used to being held by you.
6 Tips To Learn How To Hold A Rabbit
Approach your pet where she can see you. Rabbits are prey animals, so sneaking up on them puts them in a very compromised position in their minds.
Take a second to pet your rabbit. Most rabbits like to be petted on their heads and around their ears. Taking a few seconds to relax your rabbit before you try and pick her up can go a long way toward successfully holding her.
Slide your hand under your rabbit so that the main part of your hand is under her chest with your hand right around her armpits. Using the hand that you write with can make this feel very natural for you, helping you to be more relaxed.
Gently begin to lift your rabbit off the ground so that her hind legs are the last part to leave the ground.
Right before her back legs leave the ground, slide your other hand under her butt (cupping her hips) leaving her legs to dangle. Do not lift your rabbit very high off the ground at this point. If she begins to struggle you will want to be able to gently return her to the ground (back legs should be placed on the ground first).
Bring your rabbit up to your chest to provide a secure position for you to hold them. As you raise your rabbit up she will be looking for this secure feeling. Do not squeeze your rabbit, rather firmly and gently hold her. This will help her not have too much room to struggle. Once she starts to struggle you are going to want to return her to the ground as quickly and calmly as you can.
For those of you that want to watch someone else demonstrate how to hold a rabbit instead of read about it, watch the video below! Jessi gives great directions on the dos and don'ts of rabbit holding to keep both you and your rabbit safe. Enjoy!
General Points About Holding Rabbits
No matter what you have seen on TV never pick up a rabbit by the ears.
If your rabbit is struggling or trying to hop away don't panic. Don't try and hold on to a leg, neck, or tail in an attempt to maintain your hold on them.
Rabbits are not built to have their weight put on their joints and bones individually.
Rabbits are disproportionally strong and can push hard enough to break their own bones. Their bone structure is designed to allow them to be light enough to run fast.
Your mood will be felt and transferred to the rabbit, if you are nervous the rabbit will be as well. Get yourself and your rabbit comfortable before you pick her up.
Holding your rabbit can be a wonderful experience, but knowing how to pickup a rabbit correctly and how to hold a rabbit the proper way is an important part of rabbit care.
Are you new to rabbit care and curious about other rabbit basics that are important to know to keep your little one happy and healthy? Download our Rabbit Starter Kit today and get access to our rabbit term glossary and more!