Curious and active by nature, rabbits are the masters of escaping. While they are out on their dangerous adventures, losing track of a pet is a terrifying prospect for any owner.
Therefore, if you are a proud bunny parent, it is important to know how to coax your pet back home. There are different tips and tricks that you can employ to find a lost rabbit.
Remember, time is of the essence as domestic rabbits do not navigate well outdoors.
How to Find a Lost Rabbit
Unlike cats and some other animals, rabbits do not have a strong sense of direction. Regardless, it’s best to keep their hutch open in case they decide to return.
You should not rely on the rabbit to return home on its own. Instead, take quick action to find it. From putting out its favorite treats to looking around the neighborhood, there are different things you can try.
Locating your lost pet as soon as possible is of the utmost importance. The wild is no place for a pet rabbit. Here are some tried and tested steps that you can take when your rabbit is on the run.
Spread the News
When your rabbit goes missing, the first thing you should do is spread the news around the neighborhood. You can inform your neighbors and print up some fliers.
Post the flyers in prominent public places like dog parks, mailboxes, and in high-traffic areas like shopping districts and neighborhoods around schools.
Don’t forget the power of social media. Get your social circle to assist you in spreading the word to their followers. Having a large group of individuals involved is always a plus.
You can also spread the word while you search the area for your lost pet to anybody you come across. It’s possible that someone has seen your pet.
Be sure to provide a photograph of your lost rabbit together with your contact details and any other pertinent facts that may help identify the rabbit.
The more people looking for your lost bunny, the higher the chances of locating it quickly!
Start the Search inside the House
Rabbits are incredibly good at hiding. So, if you are unable to find your bunny, the chances are they are hiding around the house – maybe even in plain sight!
Ensure that you have thoroughly inspected your rabbit’s normal habitat. Also, if you leave the door of your rabbit’s enclosure open, they may sneak back in without your knowledge.
Rabbits also like the challenge of discovering a new spot to dig and burrow. Rabbits are experts at finding new and sneaky places. Couches, closets, and bathtubs are all popular hiding spots.
Keep in mind that rabbits can make impressively high leaps. So don’t forget to check anyplace they may potentially jump.
Furthermore, look behind and around home appliances. Even the fluffiest rabbits can leap or squeeze beneath your washer and dryer or refrigerator.
However, be very careful while moving these appliances. You don’t want to crush your bunny friend. It is best to find a torch for low-light circumstances for rabbit hunting.
Search for It Outside
Losing a rabbit outside is the most distressing condition of all. However, the good news is that rabbits are unlikely to travel great distances. They prefer to stay around the areas they know.
This means that a runaway is highly likely to find shelter in close proximity to you. Start by quickly examining the nearby area. You can attempt to lure out your pet with their favorite treats.
Carefully check around their pen. If they are nowhere to be found, increase your search perimeter by looking around the house.
If the rabbit isn’t inside or around your house, consider recruiting your neighbors to assist you in looking for it. Investigate all possible hiding places, especially under parked vehicles and behind shrubs.
Don’t forget to leave a reward in their carrier with the door open, and ideally, your rabbit will find their own way back to safety.
Visit Animal Shelters/ Nearby Vets/ Animal Rescue Services
Consult a pet rescue organization about your missing rabbit. If you’re worried that someone may have abducted your rabbit, it’s a good idea to check with local animal shelters and rescue groups.
It is also possible that your rabbit was found and taken to a nearby animal shelter or vet.
Keep Your Bunny from Escaping Again
Whether you want to take precautionary measures or your rabbit keeps escaping, it is important to understand why they do it to keep it from happening.
Why would your rabbit leave its warm, comfortable home? The response is nearly always the same: food. Thus, you should make sure your bunny gets a balanced and nutritional diet.
Another reason why rabbits escape is plain old curiosity. Your pet will forever be curious about what is beyond a garden fence. This indicates that it will always seek an exit.
A simple solution is to keep them busy. Make sure they have enough space to explore around, rest, and hide. You can also bring in some pet toys to eliminate boredom and keep them happy and active.
Additionally, it’s important for bunnies to work out. As a minimum, a rabbit should get four hours of activity every day.
So, make sure they have a safe and spacious area for physical activity to deter running away.
Also read: Is Rabbit Insurance Worth It?
How to Catch Your Lost Pet
So, you have located your rabbit but are having a tough time catching it? Your pet might be frightened or simply not in the mood to go home if they keep running away from you.
Luckily, there are different methods that you can employ to catch your bunny and bring them home to safety.
Build an Enclosure Using Pens
One approach is to make a wide circle using exercise pens. These pens are easily available at local pet stores. The wider the circle you can form, the greater your chances of trapping the rabbit.
This will make it easy to capture the wayward rabbit. This strategy works best when the rabbit is surrounded or hiding beneath an item like a vehicle or furniture.
If you have two or three additional people working with you, you may build a huge enclosure and trap the rabbit in a corner.
You can use hay, leafy greens, or other treats to lure and entice the rabbit near the exercise enclosures. If this method doesn’t work, you can use the herding method.
The herding approach is a modest modification of the circling method. In this arrangement, the pens are connected together in a half-circle. The objective is to herd the rabbit from the opposite side.
Use a Bat Net
Bat nets are the most efficient method for catching a lost rabbit. However, you should only turn to this as a last resort if everything else fails.
It’s better to avoid using any kind of net at all because it’s so easy to harm the rabbit with one. If a rabbit’s limbs become trapped in the mesh, it’s easy for them to break it.
In order to avoid crushing or entangling the rabbit, use a bat net with a nice fine mesh. Lay down a layer of alfalfa hay and settle down.
It is essential that the net mouth has a level surface in order to completely enclose the rabbit and prevent it from being able to get out.
What to Do after You Find Your Rabbit
Once you’ve located the rabbit and brought them home, it’s time to determine the animal’s general state of health. Find out if it’s healthy or not. Consult a vet immediately if your pet seems ill.
If the rabbit appears to be distressed, escalating the situation by reacting angrily or stressing out is not recommended. Instead, allow them some space and time to settle back in the house.
Even if you are unable to find any injuries, it is advisable to schedule a visit to the vet if your bunny seems lethargic or refuses to eat or drink.
Also, keep an eye on the digestive function to ensure good health.
The Bottom Line
Losing a rabbit can be a harrowing experience, but panicking won’t help you or your bunny. It is important to stay calm and think objectively at all times to devise the perfect plan to find your bun.
Secondly, make sure you don’t lose hope too soon. Even if it’s been days since your rabbit went missing and you still haven’t located it, there’s still hope it’ll return.
Don’t close the hatch at night, and always have fresh food and milk on hand for its return. It is best to be prepared for its return. With quick action and a little luck, you will find your bunny in no time!
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