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Question
Hello! Approximately 10 months ago i brought a cute brown rabbit home. She (as far as I can tell it's a female) is almost one year old. I've been scouring information online for info but I was wondering if you could assist me on several unresolved questions that I've had.

1) my bun really likes to lick me. I have read on various sites that this is a way to show affection. However she likes to lick me a lot. I don't mind this and even see this as bonding behavior but was wondering if this should be a concern to have. Btw she does not like the salt or mineral rocks.

2) I wanted to get my bun spayed. Unfortunately as we know bunnies are considered exotic animals and there are few beta experienced with rabbits. Those that are around here seem to charge an exorbitant amount. My question is there a time frame that they need to be fixed? I know there is a date at the earliest but how about the latest. Is it too late now ?

3)my last question pertains to bunny behavior. My bun likes to scratch or dig at the floor a few times and then will bite or nip at the floor with her teeth. Then she'll move forward a bit and repeat. She doesn't do this in the cage but only when I let her out and she is on the couch or the hardwood floor. I understand rabbit have a tendency to dig but do you have any any feedback on this behavior.

Answer
Sounds like you have quite the energetic bunny. I'll address each of your questions:

1) It's good that you mentioned the salt rock, because that would have been my guess. If she's licking you just to lick you, it very well could be a grooming or bonding habit. Nothing to be concerned about. Sounds like she just loves you. Count yourself lucky - not all bunnies will do this.

2) For the spay, it's recommended to get it done before they're two, although the sooner the better. Uterine cancer rates are at about 85% by the age of two and they increase exponentially after that. Getting her spayed will ensure a long and happy life. If you are having trouble finding affordable care, seek out local rescues - they can direct you to lower cost options in some cases. A side note: once spayed, she may slow or stop the licking habit as well. I can't really explain why, but it does happen.

3) I have a bunny that also likes to dig and nip at the linoleum floor - strangest thing. It's an ingrained bunny habit. If you want to foster the behavior, try putting a dig box together for her. Some people will use torn up newspaper or phone books in a large-ish cardboard box. I've seen some members go so far as to fill a baby pool with sand or dirt and let them dig in that. She might also be bored... maybe... but I wouldn't be able to tell without more information. Does she have toys available? This website offers many fun options, and if you have a "digger", she may like the flower pot with the sisal rope toy in it:
http://www.happyrabbittoys.com/

Hope this helps!

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Christine Whetstone

Expertise

I am not an expert on wild rabbits, only domesticated rabbits. I can answer questions regarding habitats, behavior, diet, health, pairing/bonding - pretty much anything having to do with owning a rabbit.

Experience

I've owned indoor rabbits for the last 10 years. During that time I've gained experience in areas like bonding exercises, understanding behavior, warning signs of sick bunnies, how to handle more serious illnesses (GI stasis, abscesses, eye problems, etc.) and more. It's rare that I come across an inquiry that I do not already know the answer to.

Organizations
House Rabbit Society, supporter of local rabbit rescues

Publications
http://ilovemyhouserabbit.com/

Education/Credentials
Personal experience beats the pants off of a degree, in my opinion.

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