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Petwerks Office Spring Break Closure

The Petwerks offices will be closed Monday March 6th through Friday, March 17th for a Spring Break visit to family. You may still order from our online catalog during this time, however orders won't ship until we return. Have a great spring break!


Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions pertaining to our company, our products, rabbit health care and companion animals in general. This information is gathered from questions submited by our friends and customers. We hope you'll enjoy and benefit from the following information. Questions are answered by Petwerks staff including Amy Young-Leith, an Educator with the House Rabbit Society since 1997, Chapter Co-Manager of Indiana House Rabbit Society (also known as Heartland Rabbit Rescue), and bunny Mom to Billy the Mini Rex. (Dinkum, our first house rabbit was a Dutch/Harlequin mix born in 1992 who passed away in 2000. Rest in peace, baby bunny boy!) If you have a question you'd like to see answered, please drop us a line or call us at (800) 956-3576!

Petwerks Products

Rabbit Care Information

We hope you'll enjoy and benefit from the following short articles written by Amy Young-Leith, wife of Leith Petwerks owner Scot Leith. Amy is an Educator with the House Rabbit Society, and mother of Dinkum, a Dutch/Harlequin mix born in 1992 and Billy, a Mini Rex born in approximately 1997. If you have a question you'd like to see answered, please drop us a line!

Q: Why do some sales have exclusions?
A:

We work hard to run our small, sustainable business so we can continue to serve you -- we've been here for 17 years, and endeavor for many more! Items that are already discounted, items that are not available, or items that are simply already at the lowest price possible (without actually losing money!) are not included in sales. This includes our Bunny Abode House Rabbit Condos.

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Q: Can I get another copy of [some instruction we provided]?
A:

Certainly! Please see our Instructions page!

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Q: My rabbit is not litter trained; will the Bunny Abode Condo work for me?
A:

The Leith Petwerks Bunny Abode Condo was designed specifically for the litter trained house rabbit. Occasional "accidents" or spills of water will wipe up easily; however, the condo is not designed to come into prolonged contact with urine or other wet materials. They are also designed to be used within your home, and are not intended for use outdoors in the elements. Buns should be in the home, with their family!

We also have a growing number of customers who are using their Bunny Abode as a home for their guinea pigs, ferrets, or chinchillas! [back to top]


Q: How should I introduce my bunny to a new home?
A:

Rabbits are creatures of habit, some more so than others. Change is best done slowly... whether that's introducing a new food, or changing their living quarters.

In an emergency situation, sometimes you cannot have a slow transition time. That's okay; having to move a rabbit abruptly is certainly not the worst thing in the world, and no lasting harm will come to them by doing so. But if you have the time...

Set the Bunny Abode up in the area where you intend to leave it. Open the bottom door and place a little treat or a favorite toy inside. Let the bunny run around, and investigate on their own terms, at their own speed. Don't be concerned if they ignore it... but don't be surprised if they jump right in. These are the little stinkers we find in unused boxes, under the bed covers, in the trash can and goodness only knows where else, remember!

Move on to short periods of time within the condo; put in toys and food and leave them in for a few minutes; then add a littler box and leave them in for an hour or two... and then just continue the move with more items and longer times until they are completely moved in.

Each bunny is different, and this is just one suggested method. [back to top]


Q: How do I clean my Bunny Abode?
A:

The truth of the matter is that there are no secret methods; simply clean it as you would your own home (well, minus the litter box issue...)! To illustrate, I'll detail how we clean the homes of Dinkum and Billy, our two bunnies.

Approximately every three days, I remove the litter boxes and dump the contents into the trash. I use an aspen pellet litter, which is very moisture and odor absorbent, so three days of use usually doesn't even soak the corners of the litter box. This makes for an easy change. I replace the contents with fresh litter, and set the litter boxes aside. Paper litters may have to be changed more often. I line the bottom of the litter box with a section of newspaper, so when I dump all the contents come out cleanly.

Next, I take out the food bowls, water bowl, toys and other objects... and the bunny! If bunny misplaced some liquid (a delicate way of saying it), I wipe that up quickly so no moisture is on the condo floor. Bunny urine can be very sludgy, so if your bunny urinates on the condo's plastic floor, wipe it up promptly. If it dries, you may need to get a brush and scrub the area to remove the dried urine.

If there are solid items to be swept up (little hay pieces, dry misplaced poops, stray food, fur, etc.) I run my hand held vacuum (a Black and Decker Dust Buster reserved for just pet use) over the floors of the condo. This is especially handy for cleaning second stories that are carpeted. If the carpeting in your condo needs more heavy duty cleaning, hang the carpet outside, and hose it off with water. Use a carpet cleaning solution to remove spots, if necessary. Allow to air dry and then put the carpeting back in the condo.

The carpeting is NOT machine washable. Do not place into a washing machine or dryer.

To be extra-clean, I sometimes wipe out the plastic bottomed floors with an antibacterial wipe such as Clorox Cleanups wipes. Let air dry.

Place toys, beds, and whatever else back into the condo, including the litter box.

Take the food and water bowl (or bottle) to the kitchen sink and give them a good scrub. Rinse well to remove all detergent, and towel dry. Refill with fresh food and water, and place back in the condo.

Pop bunny back into their home!

This whole process for our two buns which share a double level condo takes about 10 minutes. Done twice a week that's only 20 minutes of cleaning, max. It's marvelous! [back to top]


Q: My bunny won't use the ramp; what do I do?
A:

For many bunnies, a multi-level living environment is new. In your home they may have even been actively discouraged from venturing off the ground, further narrowing their mindset as to what to do when presented with a road leading to the sky! It's important to remember that in the wild, while a rabbit is a ground dweller, their warrens contain tunnels that are both way narrower than the ramp hole in their Bunny Abode, and also much steeper than the ramp within their Bunny Abode. The access from one level to another was made with a rabbit's natural abilities in mind.

It can take a while for buns who aren't used to a multiple-level living environment to use the ramp. For instance, our eldest bun, Dinkum, took FOREVER before he would use the ramp. For about two weeks we were obsessed with getting him to use the ramp, and I tried everything: put Dink on top, treat on bottom. Reverse. Put EVERYTHING on top (litter box, bed, toys, food) and Dink on bottom.

Nothing. He wouldn't put one foot on the ramp.

Finally I "gave up" and just put him, his litter box and food bowls on the bottom. A day or two later I came home, and there he is sitting on the top level. He lopped down the ramp like it was nothing. He had become comfortable with his new surroundings, decided to explore, and figure it all out on his own.

I've talked with a lot of customers and the reaction of the buns to a new living environment is as varied as they are; some take to it right away, some act like it's akin to skiing down the advanced slopes in Switzerland and roll, tumble, trip and slide down.

The key is patience and time... the bun's natural curiosity will eventually lead them up and/or down the ramp, and practice will lead to a smooth run up or down. Imagine a child learning to use steps... they certainly don't do it like a pro the first few (hundred) times, do they?

We are happy to say that there are now, literally, thousands of buns living in Bunny Abodes, and to this date not a single one has absolutely refused to learn to use a ramp! Give them time, and let them learn it at their own pace... but feel free to provide a little "incentive!" We suggest placing treats ON the ramp, about every four inches up/down. If you have a bonded pair or trio you are moving into a new abode, place one bun in the bottom and one bun in the top, and leave them there for 30 minutes or so; chances are they'll get the hint! [back to top]


Q: I found a grasshopper/piece of paper/piece of plastic in my hay... is this normal?
A:

While it is not usual to find things in your hay, it is possible, and normal (except in extreme cases). We've had a house rabbit for almost ten years and I've never found anything in my hay except hay. However, once or twice a year a customer will report finding a grasshopper or other item in their hay.

Hay is produced by good old Mother Nature, out in the open. Acres and acres of fields are planted and sewn out in the open under cover of nothing more than the sky. Hay is sometimes packaged out in the field, as well.

This includes hay destined for the pet food market. While each company does various things to insure that their hay is as clean and neat as possible, it's a fact that sometimes the other inhabitants of the field (grasshoppers, butterflies, moths, etc.) and the wayward non-hay item may end up in your hay. This is true whether it comes from the farmer down the road, Oxbow, APD, Kaytee, or any other hay producer.

As you feed hay to your bunnies, simply sift through the handfulls that you are giving them, and remove any items you may find. [back to top]


Q: Why does one bag of hay look greener then the other, or why does this bag of hay have more brown in it?
A:

Oxbow recently began distrubuting this statement to their customers. It says it best!

"Hay is a variable product, the quality of which is largely dependent upon Mother Nature. The softer hays, such as second cut timothy and second cut brome, are more inclined to display brown leaf because the plants grow short and lush, which reduces the amount of sunlight to the lower leaves, thus causing more browning. Oxbow works closely with Mother Nature to bring to you the best hay possible. Please remember Mother Nature's variable disposition when you evaluate any hay product. There might be more brown leaf than anybody wants, but this is just what Mother Nature says we can have."

While bunnies are smart and will often bypass the brown and painstakingly pick out the green strands in later-harvest hay, there is nothing wrong with the brown hay, and most bunnies will eat it if their preference is not available. [back to top]


Q: Do you offer a print catalog?
A:

No, we do not offer a print catalog at this time. For a period during 2005-2006 we did offer a print catalog, however after careful consideration is was determined that it wasn't cost effective as by far the majority of our customers preferred to obtain their information from our web site. You will always find a complete, up to date catalog here on the site.

If you require information in print, we do offer a brochure with full information about our Bunny Abode Condo line of housing. To request a brochure, please call (800) 956-3576 and provide us with your full name and mailing address including country and postal code. [back to top]