FAQ for a Bunny Mom

Owning a Bunny - Everything I’ve learned through the past 4 years of “Winging It”

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Since getting my Miniature Lop named Riley, I have had tons of questions about what she is like and what it is like to be a bunny mom. Without a doubt, owning a rabbit is way less common than owning a cat or dog! Strangely enough, in the past few years it seems like owning bunnies have become more popular. This could be due to more people realizing what awesome pets they make or it could be the fact that I am more aware of fellow bunny owners. Who knows!

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When I bought my rabbit, I was 20 years old and had just started my Junior year of College. For some reason, I had spent the summer wanting a bunny despite the fact that I thought they seemed kind of mean! During the fall of 2014, I spent many hours hunched over my laptop scanning my College’s Free & For Sale page looking at cute bunnies for sale. I even got as far as dragging my roommates to a random apartment to look at a bunny that I was contemplating getting. I ended up finding a pet store in my local College town that had a pen full of baby rabbits. I found a cute, grey one that I liked and drove various friends over to the pet store to tell me what they thought. After my third visit, I skipped my lecture class and drove over to pick up my bunny! Looking back, I should have purchased a bunny from a Humane Society but as awful as it sounds (especially because I've been volunteering at Humane Societies for a few years now), I have never adopted a pet in that way before.

The responsible, adult thing to do would have been to discuss this situation with my parents and do a lot of research beforehand. I am a somewhat impulsive person so instead, I spontaneously bought a bunny and literally bought all of the supplies the day before. Also, I don’t remember doing any research ahead of time and didn’t even start out with a bunny cage (it was some used dog crate/cage I found for free online). Since getting Riley, I have a learned a LOT through trial and error and a lot of online research. For those of you who have asked or are curious, here are a lot of the things I learned about having a bunny that would have been helpful to know beforehand! I’ve also included some frequently asked questions further down in this post. Thank you again to everyone who responded to my Instagram Story with all of their bunny questions!

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  1. Getting them spayed or neutered is EXPENSIVE! It cost me $495 to get Riley fixed and at the time, I had to borrow the money from my mom (I was a broke College student at the time but don’t worry, I paid her back with my first tax return!). Although pricey, getting your rabbit fixed is important so they can live a long and healthy life.

  2. They are the sweetest creatures! There is something very calming and wise about rabbits that is unlike any other animal I have owned

  3. Bunnies can be very affectionate and they are social animals! Although they do not always want to be cuddled and touched (like humans?), Riley has times where she wants to cuddle and receive nose pets. She also loves giving bunny kisses to the extent where I have to lock her up in her cage sometimes because the licking gets soooo annoying!

  4. Bunny-proof everything! I have never had a baby but I would assume it is pretty similar. Objects that Riley has destroyed include: multiple computer and phone charges, shoes, handbags, books, carpet and even my box spring for my bed etc.

  5. Carrots are actually not that great for bunnies. Similar to the belief that milk is good for cats, carrots are not that great for rabbits. Although they LOVE them and will love you for giving them a carrot, carrots are very sweet and should only be given in small pieces as an occasional treat

  6. Bunnies are very active in the evenings and mornings. There was a 2 week period over this past summer where Riley woke me up every morning at 4:30am much to my dismay though just in time to watch the sun rise

  7. They are hella smart! Not only is Riley litter box trained, I also bought her a logic game meant for dogs and she totally mastered it. She has also learned her name though, unlike a cat or dog, she does not come with called but instead will perk up an ear.

  8. Cage necessities should include a water bottle, a litter box with a metal cover, some toys, timothy hay, dry food and a bed/mat so they can give their feet a break from the harsh metal wiring. Some owners don’t do a litter box with a cover but I had to because otherwise Riley likes to dig and kick all of her litter EVERYWHERE

  9. They are not a good pet for children! For some reason many parents think it is a great idea to buy a cute bunny rabbit for their child as a present. Honestly having a bunny is way more work than owning a cat and in some ways, owning a dog. You constantly need to clean their litter box and cage and let them out to run around and play. Bunnies also will bite and nip which could be a traumatic experience for a child.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How much do they cost? In general they are pretty affordable! Every 8 weeks I order Riley’s food, litter and treats from Chewy for under $50. Once a year I also take her to the vet which is about $57. Starting next year I will be taking her to the vet twice a year as advised for rabbits over 5 years of age. The most expensive thing was getting her fixed but if you buy them from a Humane Society, they should already have been neutered or spayed

Where does Riley live/sleep? Riley has always lived in my room! She recently got an upgrade and now lives in a two bedroom outdoor hutch that I keep inside. Often I will leave her door and her ramp open so she can come and go as she pleases! In one of the rooms in the hutch, I bought her a sherpa dog bed which is where she will usually sleep

Both Riley and I love this hutch because it gives her a lot of room and it matches my bedroom furniture. It also gives her more privacy depending on if she wants to be in her bedroom or out in the main space. For reference, I got the largest size but it comes smaller as well! You can shop it below!

How often do you feed her? I feed her dry food every morning and evening and then make sure she has hay all the time. As a treat I will give her some fresh lettuce and occasionally a few bites of banana which is her favorite

Do they get sick easily? So far Riley has never been sick! It did take her a few days to recover from her surgery when she got spayed but after a few days she was back to normal. Keeping her inside definitely helps but unlike cats and dogs, they do not need regular flea medicine or anything like that.

Is it possible to own a bunny and still work full time? Yes! I work full time and also am busy with blog stuff but still have time for Riley. The great thing about bunnies is they are pretty good at taking care of themselves. Whenever possible, I will leave her cage open so she can get exercise and I play with her every evening. I do think she gets bored sometimes without another bunny to talk and play with

How do you know what she is saying? The super weird thing for me is that they do not talk! If you hear a bunny make a vocal noise, it is probably because it is dying or terrified. Bunny body language is also very different from other animals so it took me a lot of research to understand what Riley was doing and how to try to communicate with her.

Where do I get one? Like any type of pet there is always the option to go to a breeder. If you are just looking for a fYou can also often find bunnies at pet stores which is how I got Riley. My biggest recommendation would be to go to a Humane Society though! I paid about $25 for Riley but at the local Humane Society in Oregon, you can get a bunny for $15 and they come fixed and usually trained. This way you give a bunny a home and save about $500!

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What kind of bunny do you have and how old is she? Her birthday is in August so she just turned 4 years old this past summer. At first we did not know if she was a holland lop or miniature lop (holland lops are smaller) but based on her recent vet visit, we are now pretty sure she is a miniature lop. If they are a lop, they will have the cute, floppy ears!

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I would love to hear what you all thought of this blog post especially since it is a bit different from my usual posts! If there are any other bunny mom’s out there, give me a shoutout! I always love exchanging bunny stories! Also, if you thinking about getting a bunny or just have more questions about my experience with Riley, please let me know!

If you think Riley is the cutest and want to follow her on Instagram, you can do so here

Lloyd Local

Shopping Local this Holiday Season with Lloyd Center’s Lloyd Local Initiative

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This holiday season, I paired up with Lloyd Center to introduce their Lloyd Local movement! Growing up, Lloyd Center was the mall closest to my house and I have many fond memories there. It is where I took ice skating lessons, where I have gotten all of my piercings and where I would head at midnight to wait for the release of the newest Harry Potter book. Therefore when Lloyd Center reached out about their newest initiative, I was excited to be a part of it! The Lloyd Local movement is a new thing this year starting just in time for the holidays!

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What is Lloyd Local?

Lloyd Local is a new initiative starting this year where a wide range of local businesses are doing pop-up shops throughout the mall. The local businesses range from restaurants to plant shops to clothing boutiques and several will remain past the holiday season.

When it comes to holiday shopping, I love being able to go to one place, on one day and check off the majority of my shopping list. In the past, I have had to divide up my Christmas shopping into a trip to the mall and then many trips to all of the local businesses around Portland that I want to buy gifts from. By having both local and larger stores in the mall, I am able to do more of my shopping during one trip while also supporting local entrepreneurs.

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What Businesses are Included?

Adorn/Rachelle M/Gild Shoes

Animal. Plant. Mineral

B Store

Bobablastic

Bricks ‘n Minifigs

CBD World

Cracked Pots

Cultural Blends

Five O’ Tree

Frock

Migration Brewing’s Burger Shack

My People’s Market/Pallet42

Portland Pedal Power/MUJI

Reis & Irvy’s

Seven Virtues

Shoeshineboyz

Sock It To Me

Stubborn Stiles

Ugswea

Xray Radio

The Lloyd Local Incubator (rotates different businesses)

{I’ve tagged all of the Instagram accounts so just click on the name to check them out!}


For more information on Lloyd Local and all the fun events coming to Lloyd Center this holiday season, check out Lloyd Center’s website and follow along on Instagram.

You can also shop this outfit and many others here.

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[This post is sponsored. Photographs by Shauna Dullanty and Linnea Havener]

Overnight Oxygen Eye Mask

As I have gotten older, I have noticed my body craving more and more sleep! These days, I would ideally get an average of 10 hours each night. I would also ideally wake up looking well rested and not feel the need to drink caffeine each morning. In reality however, I am pretty busy and very rarely do I get to sleep that much. Only getting an average of 6 hours of sleep each night has definitely taken a toll and I have started to notice the development of some dark circles under my eyes. Because of this, I have been on the hunt for some under the eye masks for awhile to help eliminate my dark circles. Although I had heard of VIIcode eye masks, I had personally never tried them before. Considering I had only heard good things, I figured I should try them for myself!

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One thing that really sold me on the VIIcode Oxygen Eye Masks are that they can be worn while you are asleep! Since I am pretty busy during the week, I am all for products that make a difference while you do nothing! It is recommended to wear the masks for 8 hours max at night or you can wear them for 2-4 hours during the day - this is a great alternative for all you ladies out that who don’t like sleeping with something on your face!

Each box has 6 individually wrapped packages containing one pair. I definitely appreciate that they are individually wrapped because this way you don’t have to worry about them drying out and they are perfect for travel. I know some people will wear one of these masks every other night (or about 3 times a week) in which case one box will last you 2 weeks.

One side of the mask is made from white breathable fabric while the other side has a thick clear jelly layer. The gel is sticky enough to keep the masks from moving on your face during the night but is mess-free and does not leave any residue or cause any irritation making them very comfortable to wear for the full 8 hours. I’ve noticed that the skin under my eyes feels hydrated in the morning and I wake up with no signs of puffiness! In the winter, the skin under my eyes can get a bit dried out so these have been perfect for that.

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For more information on VIIcode Oxygen Eye Masks as well as VIIcode as a company, you can check out their website here as well as their Instagram

[sponsored post - all opinions and photos are mine]