How to teach a rabbit where to relieve itself?

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The domestic rabbits They are especially cute animals, but also, they are very intelligent, able to easily learn basic hygiene routine. However, when people adopt these animals and observe that the rabbit pees out of the litter tray or that the rabbit shits everywhere except in the corner, they wonder how to train a rabbit to relieve itself.

In this AnimalWised article we will show you step by step how to teach a rabbit where to relieve himself, with simple guidelines to apply and always using the positive reinforcement, the basis of successful learning that takes wellness into account.

You may also be interested in: How to teach a puppy to relieve himself on the street?

How to choose a corner corner for rabbits?

Before explaining how to teach a rabbit to use the corner, it will be essential to do a previous review of the different types of corner pieces and substrates that exist, since this can influence whether our rabbit uses it or not.

Litter tray for rabbits

The corner (also called litter tray, litter tray, corner or corner) is a structure of Triangular shape, generally made of plastic, which may or may not include a grid. We recommend remove the grid, since in the long run it can cause malposition, pain, wounds, sores and even infections in the soft pads of the rabbit.

There are many other models on the market, some of them with a closed lid and others with walls on both sides, however, we must guarantee that our rabbit can see everything that happens around him, as we remember that these animals are hunted in their state. wild and are constantly alert, even in the bathroom.

Since it takes up very little space, it is advisable distribute several trays around the home, to minimize the possible accidents of the rabbit. They must be cleaned frequently, since once they start to use it they fill up quickly. It is also highly recommended lay hay in the litter tray, because in addition to encouraging them to approach, many rabbits like to eat hay while using it. However, it is common for the hay in the corner to spoil quickly, due to the rabbit urinating and defecating on it. For this reason, we currently find sandboxes with a specific shelf for hay.

If it is not possible to buy a rabbit corner, do not worry, you can use a cat litter box, always keeping in mind the following tips:

  • Must be as big as possible. Avoid trays that are smaller than 35 x 20 x 25 cm.
  • Make sure it is not too high, because the rabbit must be able to access easily.

Substrate or bedding for rabbits

To finish we will review the different types of substrates that we can find on the market. The most common are those of vegetable fibers, recycled paper or hemp, but there are many more. We must go testing until we find the one that our rabbit likes the most.

The most important thing is that it is a natural and fresh substrate, that does not leave dust and is specific for rabbits. In no case will we use cat soil. It must also be made of a safe material, that the rabbit can ingest without causing health problems, as we remember that they are very curious animals and that they tend to nibble on everything. Likewise, it must be absorbent, easy to clean and, if possible, it must retain the odor well.

How to teach a rabbit to relieve itself in a place?

Now that you know the types of corner pieces that exist and the substrates to use, it is time to explain how to train a rabbit to relieve itself. Remember that throughout this process you must be very patient and use the positive reinforcement. In no case will we punish, scold or yell at the rabbit.

1. Place the corner of the rabbit

To avoid the presence of excrement and urine in the home, many people prefer start cage learning of the rabbit, although you can also start in a bounded area of ​​the house. Remember that these animals require a lot of space, so we must offer them a spacious and comfortable environment, which will help us prevent the appearance of stress in the rabbit..

We will place the litter tray in the corner of the cage or of the rabbit's space, following the tips and tricks that we have mentioned in the previous section, such as the laying hay to stimulate you. It is also interesting to place a single type of substrate in the corner, to avoid possible confusion.

Do not forget that kits do not always control their sphincters well, therefore, you must be very patient and empathetic, understanding that your rabbit does not urinate and defecate all over the cage wanting to, but because he does not know how to do it correctly. In fact, the tips are very clean animals.

2. Minimize accidents

After placing the corner we will spend time observing our rabbit. When we notice that it raises its tail (a characteristic gesture that they carry out before urinating and defecating) we can pick it up and take you quickly to his corner, to urinate or defecate there.

But if you eliminate outside your area do not despair, take a toilet paper, soak the urine well and collect the feces, which you will place in the corner. The smell will guide your rabbit so that it returns there to do its stools.

They usually choose the same place to relieve themselves, so if you have several corner pieces, do not hesitate to distribute the feces and papers with urine in all of them, which should have the same shape, so it will be easier for him to associate..

It will also be essential clean areas where you do your needs with enzymatic products, in this way we will eliminate the trace and prevent it from doing it again in the same place.

There is another trick that we can use when teaching a rabbit to use the corner, which consists of leave some of the old substrate When we renew it for the new one. In this way we will also leave the smell of their urine and excrement present in the litter box..

3. Use positive reinforcement

As we follow these steps the rabbit will go associating correctly the corner with the place where you should relieve yourself, but we can further enhance it by using positive reinforcement, ¿How can we do it? We can use tasty treats, such as some of the fruits and vegetables recommended for rabbits, but it is also useful to use the voice, a "very good " or gentle caresses.

In no case will we use punishment with our rabbit, as this will only cause fear, uncertainty and break the bond with the caregiver.

In closing, it is worth noting that castration It is a very useful tool, both in males and females, because after the arrival of heat it is very likely that our rabbit marks throughout the home, spraying with urine different areas.

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