Is your pet having issues with not sleeping enough? If you suspect this to be the case then read on for some hints of how you can help.
Supporting a pet rabbit to get all the rest it needs can be achieved by maintaining a routine, ensuring its bedding is robust and comfortable, and that its surroundings feel secure. Be aware, however, that rabbits are capable of sleeping with their eyes open, so they may appear to be awake but actually be taking a well-earned rest.
If your pet does seem to have sleep issues, consider the advice below to assess what changes you can make.
How to Help Your Rabbit to Sleep
Provide Your Pet with Comfortable Bedding
The provision of cozy bedding is vital to make sure your pet can get the appropriate amount of sleep, so be sure to focus on this.
Conversing with numerous people who have kept rabbits as pets has revealed a wide range of approaches to this task. Many have reported that their rabbit will maneuver any bedding out of the way to sleep on a dry part of their cage instead, although many also confirmed that comfortable bedding appeared to be essential for their pet.
What becomes clear is that all rabbits have their own preferences and personalities, so it might be necessary to trial a number of bedding types to find out which one suits them.
For example, my last rabbits, located in a garden hutch, took a liking to paper pellets.
Regardless of their preference, however, you should make sure that their bedding is not too hard or dusty, as the latter can affect respiration.
Otherwise, with a bedding they have taken to, you can be sure your pet will sleep better.
Support Your Rabbit’s Sleep Routine
Over 24 hours, most rabbits will need between six and eight hours of sleep. Their body clocks rely upon being most active at dawn at dusk – known as a crepuscular cycle. During the day and nighttime, therefore, they will look to get the sleep they need, so it is not necessary to have them sleeping all they need during the night. Instead, they will naturally get around half of their sleep during the day.
Once you are in tune with your pet’s crepuscular cycle, you’ll notice that they become most active after sunset and at sunrise. Consequently, if you have bought a rabbit for a young child it may be difficult for them to make the most of their pet’s playfulness during these hours.
Ensure Your Rabbit Has Peaceful, Quiet, and Secure Surroundings
A feeling of safety is crucial for any rabbit’s sleep patterns because they need to feel relaxed in order to rest properly. A nervous or uncertain bunny will remain alert, even if they are not sure what the reason is.
Such behavior is entirely normal for any species that are prey to others. As rabbits are killed by many other mammals, their instincts will always remain suspicious of strange noises or movements.
Assess the surroundings your rabbit is experiencing and how they might be responding to them. There may be a range of factors causing them to feel insecure – even subtle ones. Take steps to make adjustments where necessary, whether by removing certain items or by relocating the cage to somewhere more suitable.
As well as ensuring that your rabbit feels secure with its surroundings, it needs to be stressed that quiet is very important. A rabbit that is kept within a noisy environment is likely to feel very stressed and will find sleeping a great difficulty.
If you’re keeping your pet indoors, then offering them peace and quiet within a highly-charged social atmosphere can be difficult. While they may make some adjustments to match your own sleep routines, it may also be worth relocating them to a less busy area of the home where they will not consistently be exposed to noise and movement.
Despite the need for quiet, however, rabbits should be able to adjust to a standard social atmosphere and get their required midday sleep. So just make a judgment of how noisy your house actually is. Are there screaming children or stereos playing, for example?
If you keep your pet in an outdoor pen, it is likely their sleep routine will match those of wild rabbits. It might be worth making sure they are getting some night sleep, however, as for all you know there could be other animals bothering them.
Make Sure Your Rabbit Remains Active
Regular exercise is important for any rabbit’s physical health and mental well-being. Quality exercise during the day, or at dusk, will support their sleep routine.
Typically, experts advise on four hours of daily activity for a rabbit. So a playpen or extended enclosure in which they can run around and graze as they please makes for a great addition.
Some rabbit owners also walk their pets and, if the area is safe and secure, you can interact with them. Expending good and positive energy makes for healthy animals as well as people.
It may sound like an unusual example, but we have seen rabbits enjoying trampolines. This might be fun to watch too as long as one of two of you stand around to make sure they don’t have a fall.
There is nothing wrong with a bespoke approach. Just make sure that your rabbit’s well-being and security remain the core focus.