If your bunny is part of a bonded pair/trio/group.
Leave your deceased bunny with the other rabbits for a few hours so they can understand that their friend has passed on.
Like you, your other bunnies will be grieving. Make sure that they are still eating and drinking. Consider a visit to the vet for a health check-up.
A stuffed animal may help your bunny recover their appetite quicker:
And, there is a simple, perhaps silly-sounding thing you can do that will make a difference to your grieving rabbit. Get a stuffed animal, close in size and softness to a rabbit. We have had incredible success making the stuffed animal appear to come alive, groom, and hop around after the surviving bunny. It has cut down the lack of appetite to hours instead of days.
“You will feel better yourself knowing your bunny is comforted.”
Rub the stuffed animal over the fur of your surviving bunny to transfer his scent to the toy. It may be necessary to distract him first by petting his head. Then, guide the stuffed animal through the motions of a companion bunny. Make the stuffed animal cuddle up to your rabbit, groom him, and even follow him into the litterbox. We have seen the surviving rabbit respond by licking the stuffed animal for hours.
Do this immediately after your rabbit’s friend has died. Let this toy, stuffed animal come to the rescue. You will feel better yourself, knowing your bunny is comforted. Through your job of daily animating the stuffed animal to mimic the mannerisms of a real bunny, you will also offer your rabbit your own love and companionship. Later on, a new rabbit companion may be in his future.
(Margie Wilson, House Rabbit Journal Vol. 4, No. 7 – Summer 2002)
It’s ok to cry.
You’ve just lost a loved member of your family, so it’s ok to cry and grieve over your loss. There is nothing wrong with that. And it’s also ok to talk to your bunny.
What to do with your bunny’s body.
Wrap your bunny in a towel or blanket. It’s ok to spend time with your bunny. Some people take comfort by grooming their bunny. Place your bunny in a cool dry place until you arrange their burial or cremation.
Home burial or cremation?
This really is individual choice. Here are some thoughts.
If your bunny had a favourite part of the garden, perhaps a burial in the garden would be appropriate. Invite understanding friends and family to help you with the burial.
If you don’t have a garden, or just want to have your bunny with you, cremation is a good choice. Speak to your local vet or one of the cremation providers listed below.
Whatever you decide, the decision you make will be the correct decision for you and your bunny.
Your might like to make a clay print paw or a small piece of bunny’s fur. You can purchase sculting clay from “craft” stores.
Your vet will be able to provide you with advice.
Cremation services in Melbourne, Australia are:
- Pearly Mates Pet Cremations (http://www.pearlymates.com.au/)
- FurEver After Pet Cremation (http://fureverafter.weebly.com/)
- BamGanie Pets Cremation Service (http://www.petcremations.com.au/)
Other support sites:
Bunspace – Rainbow Bridge Forum