Perhaps sleeping with your bunny has never occurred to you. Perhaps it has, and you are not sure how to get it to work. Either way, this guide will help you get to your goal of sleeping with your pet bunny.
There are tons of reasons why you should sleep with your bunny, and there are also tons of reasons why you shouldn’t. By the end of this guide, you should be able to make a more informed decision whether this is for you and your bunny or not.
Key steps to get a rabbit to sleep with you include: making sure the room is free from noise, creating a small burrow in the bedding where they can lie, and engage in some gentle petting to get them relaxed and sleepy.
It sounds like bliss, all cuddled up with a very snuggly bunny, but there are quite a few things to think about first. Let’s first look at the pros and cons of sharing your bed with your pet rabbit.
The Disadvantages and Advantages
Of course, while it’s all cute, there are some disadvantages as well as advantages, so let’s explore them.
An Early Birds Dream
The first thing to keep in mind before attempting to share your bed with your bunny is your sleeping habits. If you prefer no disturbances, this might not be a great idea for you. Be prepared for a bit of sleep disturbance, and also realize you will more than likely have to give in to your bunnies sleep routine than the other way around.
So if you are an early riser, things should be a breeze in this department. If you love sleeping late, this probably wouldn’t work very well for you at all.
Rabbits are very active at dawn, so if you are up early, the pair of you will get on fine. Bunnies love being awake early and get very fidgety at dawn. So you might feel nibbles on your ears or toes, and a lot of playfulness at that time. For the most part, your rabbit will sleep very still and soundly for most of the night.
Bunnies Are Sleepy Heads
The good news is that rabbits sleep, and they sleep a lot. A good few hours during the day and a solid eight hours through the night, but they do, as mentioned before, arise early. They also get quite active around dusk too. That means you could be bunny thumped early in the morning!
Another thing to consider is you could roll over onto your rabbit and smother her or crush her. This could be dealt with by making a protected area on your bed, especially for your rabbit. This way, you know she is out of harm’s way. This can be a blanket burrow, for example.
If you want your rabbit to sleep with you, you also have to consider safety issues in your bedroom and general environment. Chewing is a bunny’s favorite pass time. This includes finding computer cords tasty, lampshade cords and all sorts of things they shouldn’t chew, very chewable. There are live wires running through cords, so it could be dangerous for her. Moving these things away can avert the danger. There are plastic wire covers you can hide wires in.
Rabbits once awake are full of beans, and if your door or room is not locked, she will wander. If she does wander away, is she safe? If not, then it is better to place your sleeping bunny in a safer area, like a hutch or a make-shift hutch indoors.
Keeping Your Rabbit and You Out of Danger
Other hazards of sharing a bed with your pet include germs which can be carried from your pet to you via the bedclothes. Pets can carry germs naturally on their bodies and fur. Also, if your pet is not litter trained, then they would happily use your bed as a litter tray, which is unhealthy.
The room must be quite cold to maintain optimal comfort and health for your rabbit, particularly if they are burrowing in your bed, as discussed above. The best temperature for burrowing bunnies is between 60F and 80F. [Source]
If there are plants around your room, these will have to be removed, as some plants are toxic to rabbits.
Many of the objections above can be overruled by certain factors. If a rabbit is litter trained, she can get up and use the tray whenever she wants to, provided she can get down from the bed to the floor. So this is another consideration. Making sure your rabbit can leave the bed safely if she wants to. This could be via a ramp or by placing landing cushions around the bed for her to fall onto.
Asthma Sufferers Probably Shouldn’t Bother
Wires can be covered or moved out of the way, and doors closed so that your rabbit is not in any danger. If you are asthmatic, you should speak to your doctor about a preventative program. It is important not to compromise your health. [Source]
The Advantages of Sleeping With Your Bunny
If you are an anxious person, sleeping with your pet can be a great source of comfort. Having a furry friend next to you is very reassuring, and in the long term can reduce stress in an anxious person.
Stroking and playing with your bunny before sleep can be relaxing for both of you.
Rabbits are also very sociable animals and prefer to sleep cuddled up to either a person or another rabbit, so this might also benefit your pet. Some rabbits live outside, and being taken in at night is also quite calming for them too.
Sharing a sleep space with your bunny can nurture your bond with your pet, and you will both feel closer to one another. A rabbit that has bonded well with a human is a very loyal and loving pet.
How to Get Your Bunny To Sleep With You
This part is probably the easier part. Rabbits sleep a lot so the idea of sleep is a positive one for a rabbit. Constructing a burrow on your bed will let your bunny know your intentions. She will happily burrow down into the blankets and get ready for sleep.
Don’t force the issue, simply do it in a calm and relaxed way. She will either take to the idea or not.
Make sure there is no noise in the room. To mask outside noise, you could use a white noise machine, like soft rain, for example, but this is not imperative. Simply spending time with her each night by petting, talking softly, and then going to sleep will give clear signals to your pet that this is where she sleeps.
With that in mind, you cannot change this arrangement. A pet will find it confusing if they can sleep there one night, and then not another night. Consistency is always key when caring for animals in general.
Enjoying being with you if you are well bonded to your bunny is enough to make her want to sleep there, so the training or work is very minimal.
As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to sharing a bed with your bunny. In making your decision, you have to account for safety issues, health issues, and long-term commitment.
There is Also a Compromise
If this is all too much for you, you can go with both and make a space in your room or under your bed for your bunny to sleep. Possibly you will get the best of both worlds.
If she is litter trained, there will be no issues with toileting.
If you do allow your bunny into your bedroom to sleep under the bed, for example, the same safety rules apply. Watch out for cords, ensure she cannot free roam, and get into danger, and keep her bedding clean.
One way to avoid negative chewing in a rabbit is to supply chew toys that are made especially for rabbits. Leave these lying around everywhere in your room to keep her occupied if she wakes up and you do not, as well as some hidden treats. This way you can catch up on rest if you want to, and she will be safe.
It is a personal choice whether or not to share a space or bed with your pet. All care should be taken on both sides for hygiene and safety first, to ensure this runs smoothly and goes without any problems for either of you.
A pet can be so comforting to its owner, no matter their age, and is certainly something to think about, but not imperative. Rabbits like us need sound sleep, so just offering a comfortable sleeping space is much appreciated by your pet.