Just like the rest of us, rabbits will take medicine more easily if it tastes good. But if you’re stuck with the old-fashioned, bad-tasting kind, here’s how to make the medicine go down.
Step 1: Measure out medicine Have the correct measured dose of medicine ready in an eyedropper or medicine syringe.
TIP: Some bunny owners like to coat the filled eyedropper or syringe with mashed banana or applesauce once it’s filled. This means a nice taste for the bunny—on the outside of the syringe, at least!
Step 2: Prepare after-medication treat Stash an after-medication treat, like a raisin or a small piece of apple, in a convenient spot so you can get to it as soon as you’re done.
TIP: Many pet medications must be shaken before they’re used. Check the label on the bottle to be sure.
Step 3: Arrange your seat Arrange your chair, bench, or stool in the place you plan to dose Bun-bun.
TIP: Since you’ll probably need to give your rabbit her medicine over the course of several days, leave the chair in place so she won’t get suspicious every time she sees you setting up.
Step 4: Pick up rabbit Pick up the bunny as calmly as you can, speaking soothingly while you do. Wrap her tightly in the towel—think 'bunny burrito'—so that she can’t get her legs free to kick or scramble around.
Step 5: Take a seat Take a seat, both of you! Sit down on the chair, stool, or bench with the bunny held firmly on your lap.
Step 6: Hold rabbit firmly Tucking the rabbit firmly under one arm, hold her against your body. If you’re right-handed, use your left arm. If you’re left-handed, use your right arm.
Step 7: Grip rabbit’s head With the hand that’s holding the bunny, grip her head. Use your thumb to pry her lips open. Keep holding her against your body so she won’t be able to back away from the medicine.
TIP: Continue speaking soothingly throughout the procedure. At least it may help calm you down.
Step 8: Insert eyedropper or syringe in rabbit’s mouth Still, gripping the bunny’s head and holding open her lips, use your other hand to slide the filled eyedropper or syringe into her mouth. Always slide it in from the side, where a rabbit’s teeth won’t get in the way.
Step 9: Squirt medicine Squirt the medicine as far back into the bunny’s throat as you can. Hold her mouth closed for a few seconds.
Step 10: Expose treat Show the rabbit her treat before you place her carefully on the floor and remove the towel. If she’s too mad to stick around, leave the treat on the floor—she’ll come back for it.
Step 11: Take heart It would be great if rabbits knew you were doing this all for their own good, but take heart. The treatments will soon be over, and after a few days your bunny won’t remember what you put her through.
FACT: A five-pound rabbit drinks as much water as a twenty-pound dog.