January 31, 2019

Fun Ways to Feed a Variety of Hays Video

Fun Ways to Feed a Variety of Hays Video

Want to add some variety and fun to your rabbit or guinea pig's mealtime? Check out this fun video for some inspiration on a couple of hay variety combinations your pets are sure to love!

Sweet & Savory

Ideal for young, pregnant, or nursing herbivores, this delicious hay combination features Western Timothy Hay, Alfalfa Hay, and Simple Rewards Carrot & Dill Baked Treats (two per serving).

Sweet Treat

An occasional treat for those small pets with a sweet tooth combines Western Timothy & Orchard Hay Blends, Botanical Hay, and Simple Rewards Strawberry Treats.

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January 31, 2019

Rabbit Noises and Their Meanings

Rabbit Noises and Their Meanings

Many people think that rabbits are mute, or at least very quiet. While it is true that rabbits often favor body language as their primary source of communication (and they won’t keep your neighbors up all night with any obnoxious vocalizations) they can make a vast array of noises! Just like humans, some rabbits are decidedly more “talkative” than others, but by familiarizing yourself with common noises your rabbit makes, you will be able to build upon that human-pet bond and gain even more insight into how these special, unique creatures communicate. 

Clucking

Despite the name, a rabbit’s cluck does not sound like the cluck of a chicken. It is a much quieter, lower pitch sound and is generally associated with satisfaction.

Honking

Honking is usually heard from a bunny who is excited or one who is about to receive their favorite treat.

Purring

Purring sounds quite similar to a cat’s purr, though softer, and instead of originating in the throat, it is made by lightly grinding their teeth together. Purring is commonly heard in very content buns. Please keep in mind that a loud, sharp teeth grinding sound is often a sign of significant pain and sounds significantly harsher than that of a purr.

Aggressive Noises and Screaming

Rabbits are also capable of growling, snorting, and hissing, all of which are generally associated with signs of aggression. Whimpering and thumping (a sharp stomp of the hind feet) are often associated with fear. The final, most worrisome sound a rabbit makes is screaming. Screaming is just as it seems, a terrifying, shrill, and unmistakable sound and is only emitted when the rabbit feels their life is in imminent danger (e.g. being chased by a predator).

Have a Question That You’d Like to Ask Us About Rabbit Care?

Join Dr. Micah Kohles during Ask a Vet Live as he answers small-pet related questions. Follow us on Facebook to learn more and to be notified of the next Ask a Vet Live event!

More Rabbit Care Tips & Tricks

What kind of food should I feel my rabbit? 

How many times should I take my rabbit to the vet during the year? 

How should I set up my rabbit’s cage or habitat?

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January 31, 2019

How to Clean a Rabbit’s Scent Glands

How to Clean a Rabbit’s Scent Glands

Cleaning a rabbit's scent glands is easier than you think

Where Are a Rabbit’s Scent Glands?

Rabbits not only have scent glands around their anus but also under their chin. Whenever your bunny rubs his face on surfaces around your home, he is marking his territory and essentially stating, “This now belongs to me!” Though the scent glands under your bunny’s chin generally do not propose a problem, occasionally rabbits need help keeping the glands on either side of their bum from getting impacted or plugged. While the easiest way to visualize your rabbit’s bum is to gently lay them on their backs, some rabbits find this to be very stressful. You will need to work with your little one to determine which position is most comfortable for your pet when addressing scent gland issues.

How to Hold a Rabbit While Cleaning Its Glands

Luckily, cleaning your rabbit’s scent glands can be done with your rabbit in a more neutral, natural position. The key is to make sure your rabbit’s limbs are supported and they are as calm as possible. Choose an area of your home that is quiet and free from curious onlookers to help decrease your rabbit’s stress level. Once you (and your bun) get the hang of it, you may be able to clean the glands yourself, but when you are first starting, it is often best to seek the help of a trusted ally, preferably one who isn’t queasy by the odiferous quality of your rabbit’s backside.

It is best to sit on the floor to ensure your rabbit doesn’t have far to “fall” should he wriggle out of your grip. Gently wrap your rabbit in a towel or a blanket and hold them against your body with one hand supporting their chest, and one supporting their hind limbs. This will help prevent your bunny from kicking and inadvertently injuring you or themselves. It is often helpful to provide one of their favorite treats or some of their favorite greens to munch on as a distraction. It is also important that everyone involved speaks in a gentle, reassuring tone.

Once your bunny is secure and distracted, gently lift their tail and spread the skin on either side of the anus to expose the scent gland. Using a bit of water-based lube and a cotton-tipped swab, gently wipe out the dark, waxy substance impacting or plugging the glands. As you can imagine, many rabbits find this to be quite offensive, but if they are held properly, unclogging the glands is a relatively quick feat.

Watch the fantastic video below by Mary Cotter of the House Rabbit Society as she demonstrates how to clean glands.

Have a Question That You’d Like to Ask Us About Rabbit Care?

Join Dr. Micah Kohles during Ask a Vet Live as he answers small-pet related questions. Follow us on Facebook to learn more and to be notified of the next Ask a Vet Live event!

More Rabbit Care Tips & Tricks

Should I take my rabbit to the vet?

What kind of greens should my rabbit eat? 

How can I set up a safe and enriching habitat for my rabbit?


 

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January 03, 2019

Fun Hay Variety Combinations - Infographic

Fun Hay Variety Combinations - Infographic

By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of offering a regular variety of hays to your pets.  In addition to encouraging natural foraging behaviors and keeping mealtime fun and interesting, regular access to a variety of hays helps prevent pets from becoming picky eaters.  So, what are some fun ways to mix and match your pet’s favorite Oxbow hays?  This fun new infographic features some of our favorite flavor and texture combinations! 

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January 03, 2019

Fun Ways to Feed A Variety of Hays (Handout)

Fun Ways to Feed A Variety of Hays (Handout)

By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of offering a regular variety of hays to your pets.  In addition to encouraging natural foraging behaviors and keeping mealtime fun and interesting, regular access to a variety of hays helps prevent pets from becoming picky eaters.  So, what are some fun ways to mix and match your pet’s favorite Oxbow hays?  Here are some of our favorite flavor and texture combinations:

Timothy + Orchard – The Classic Blend
Pets love this enriching, balanced blend of our two most popular hays.  For added convenience, you can purchase this combination pre-blended as our Hay Blends – Western Timothy + Orchard! 

Oat + Orchard – The Crunch & Munch
Two favorites from opposite ends of the texture spectrum!  Pets love our nutty, crunchy oat hay and our soft and sweet Orchard Grass.  Blend these two texture stars together for a perfect blend of crunchy & soft.   

Orchard + Botanical – The Soft & Sweet
How do you make the soft texture and sweet flavor of Orchard Grass even better?  Mix in some Botanical Hay!  This herb-infused combo is sure to brighten even the pickiest eater’s day!

Organic Meadow + Timothy – The Nature Lover
Our Organic Meadow Hay is a favorite of pets and Mother Nature.  Mix in some Western Timothy to create a crunchy, fiber-packed powerhouse that you can feel good about!  The perfect combo for that nature lover in your life! 
    
Botanical + Organic Meadow – The Organic Herb Garden
This savory, nature-inspired blend will evoke imagery of lavender fields as far as the eye can see.  Blend Mother Nature’s favorite hay with the wonderful herbal aroma and flavors of Botanical Hay and you’ve got yourself an environmentally-friendly winner! 

Mixing Tip: Add a pinch of alfalfa to any hay combination to make it even more enticing for your pet!  Just remember that adult herbivores should only receive alfalfa in small quantities.   

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