Bunnies look like they were made for holding and cuddling. Unfortunately, not all bunnies enjoy being picked up and they can hurt themselves by resisting your hold. Learn the proper technique for picking up a rabbit and you’ll not only train her to enjoy cuddle time, you’ll also learn how to protect her fragile body.
Start out by approaching a medium or large rabbit from behind. Pet her with one hand and slide your other hand under her chest. She’ll be most nervous when she’s in midair, so get close to minimize air time and prepare to lift. As you lift her with one hand under her chest, slide the other hand under her hindquarters and hold her against you. Her left or right side should be against your midsection. This will help her feel secure.
Small rabbits can be approached from the front. With one hand under her chest and the other under her hindquarters, lift and hold her against you. It may help to let her rest her front paws on your chest.
When putting her down, the greatest risk is that she’ll see the ground coming and will try to jump down. A high jump can break her backbone, so make sure to squat down before releasing her. You could also try covering her eyes just before release so she doesn’t see the ground coming and try to escape.
Practice picking up your rabbit once or twice a day. Make it a positive experience and give her a treat afterwards. Otherwise, if she’s only picked up for vet visits or nail clipping, she’ll work harder to avoid you.
Don’t lift a rabbit by the ears or scruff of the neck. Rabbit ears are easily damaged and a rabbit’s skeleton and backbone are fragile. If she tries to get away, don’t grab her legs as they may break if she struggles. Make the most of your bunny cuddle time with toys and rabbit-care products from Pet Supermarket.