A lot of people who want to adopt a rabbit come to the Bunny Bunch rescue center that I started. This is a question I get asked a lot: Can rabbits and dogs live together?
This question doesn’t have a yes or no answer. There are a lot of people I know who live with both mice and dogs. On the other hand, I’ve heard many sad stories over the years about family dogs hurting or killing bunnies.
Would A Rabbit And Dog Be A Good Match Or A Bad Match?
How can I tell if I can have a rabbit and a dog living together in my home? Follow these steps.
1. Look at personality
Some dogs get too nervous when they’re near a rabbit. Certain dogs have a strong urge to hunt. Even though breed can matter, it all comes down to the dog and the person who takes care of it.
2. Keep hormones in check
The rabbit and the dog both need to be spayed or fixed. If you don’t spay or neuter your rabbit, it will be very hormonal and will often hump the family dog. That means they are more likely to go after a rabbit if they haven’t been spayed or fixed.
3. Find out how they react
People who want to adopt a rabbit from the Bunny Bunch but already have a dog in their home have to pass tests to see how the rabbit and dog get along. Both the rabbit and the dog are under close supervision, and they never touch each other.
We put the rabbit in an exercise pen with a hiding place that we set up in a room. The dog’s owner then walks by with the dog on a leash, as if they were going for a walk. The owner is told to walk straight past the rabbit from about 10 feet away. After that, we have them walk back and forth, each time getting a little closer. When some dogs see the rabbit for the first time, they start pulling on the leash to get to it and won’t stop. It’s not a good sign. There are dogs that look and smell in the direction of the rabbit but don’t bother it, and there are dogs that don’t even notice the rabbit. We don’t let a rabbit go to a home where there is a dog that is very interested in it and pulls to get to it.
It doesn’t matter if a dog is interested or not; we just move the dog closer to the pen where the rabbit is and watch how it acts. When he gets that close, the dog is sometimes too eager and just wants to get to the rabbit. This means that a rabbit and a dog shouldn’t live together.
Some dogs are interested in the rabbit, but most of the time they just sit or lie down and do their own thing. Some dogs get scared of the rabbit and start to shake.
4. Do the test more than once
Of course, you need to meet both animals more than once to be sure that the rabbit will be safe in the home with the dog.
5. Get to know your dog
I think that how the dog’s owner treats the dog affects how the dog acts. Certain dogs are free to do what they want and can’t be stopped. Some dogs are very good and do what their owners say. There seems to be a stronger prey drive in dogs that live outside than in dogs that live inside.
6. Don’t judge someone by how they look.
It doesn’t really matter what size dog it is. Many people believe that big dogs are more likely to be dangerous than small dogs. However, it depends on the dog and how he was raised in the home. It doesn’t matter how well you think your dog and rabbit will get along. You should never leave them alone together.
7. Playful Dogs Can Be As Dangerous As Aggressive Dogs
Some dogs just want to play and don’t mean to hurt anything, but that play can kill a rabbit.
8. Consider The Personality Of The Rabbit
If your rabbit is easily scared of loud noises and moving things, I don’t think you should have a rabbit and a dog in the same house. Just being scared can kill a rabbit.
Rabbit Safety With Dogs
Having a dog and a rabbit at the same time? Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Puppies only want to play with toys, and a rabbit could be one of those things. On the other hand, older dogs are generally better because they are calmer and like to sleep a lot.
- There are dog groups that will let you raise a dog to see how it gets along with your rabbit. As was said above, before you foster a dog, give the dog test a try. When you’re fostering, keep the rabbit and dog in different rooms that can’t be reached by either one. Then get together at home to meet each other.
- Have your dog on a leash in the living room and have someone sitting in a chair hold the leash. This is a good way for the dog and rabbit to meet. Someone should then hold the rabbit and sit on a chair or couch in the room where the dog can’t get to them. The dog will know there is a rabbit in the house but won’t be able to get to it.
- Always be very careful and never make a mistake. How will you keep your rabbit safe from your dog while also giving him a place to live? Rabbits are able to get over baby gates and pens. Put your rabbit away from places where he could escape or where your dog could get to him when you’re not there.
- Some people let their dogs and mice roam freely inside their homes. But I can’t stress this enough: you can’t just let them talk to each other whenever they want. It can take years to get rabbits and dogs to be free in a home.
- To be safe, I always say to keep your rabbit in a room that your dog doesn’t go when you’re not there. Things can happen even when you’re at home, so be careful.