What to Bring to Your Rabbit’s First Vet Visit

What to bring to the vet for rabbits

You don’t actually need to take that much with you when you go to the vet. As long as you have your rabbit (of course!) and a general knowledge of their diet and behavior, you’ll get by. However, there are a few things you probably want to keep in mind to help your vet visit go a little smoother.

1. Always bring your rabbit in a carrier

I know it may seem obvious to some of you to bring your rabbit in a carrier, but it’s more common than you think for people to come into a vets office without a carrier. They may have trained their rabbit to walk on a leash or carry their rabbit in their arms instead.

I highly recommend using a carrier instead. Not only can this prevent any escape maneuvers if your rabbit struggles in your arms, but it can also protect them from other animals in the waiting room. The waiting area can be a stressful environment, with cats and dogs often in close proximity. A sturdy carrier ensures there is a reliable barrier between your rabbit and other animals.

2. Bring any prior medical history

Be sure to bring any medical records or adoption papers that can give insight into your rabbit’s background. This could include a vaccination history, previous medical treatments (such as a spay neuter surgery), or even approximate age of the rabbit. Providing your veterinarian with as much information as possible will assist them in establishing a thorough medical history for your rabbit. 

If you don’t have these documents, don’t worry. You can tell your veterinarian any information that you know and the veterinarian can do health checks and run any necessary tests on your rabbit

3. Some veterinary offices will request a poop sample

A poop sample is generally just used to make sure your rabbit doesn’t have worms or anything like that. It’s not common in rabbits, but if they have any playtime outdoors, they may ingest eggs or worms from the grass.

Not every vet I’ve gone to has asked for a fecal sample, since it’s rare for rabbits to have worms or intestinal parasites if they are indoor rabbits. However, most vet offices like to test a sample of your rabbit’s poop just to be sure all is in good order.

Whenever I am visiting a new vet office or bringing a new rabbit to the vet for the first time, I always scoop a bunch of bunny poop into a little baggy just before going to the vet so I can have it on hand if they ask for a sample. It’s a good idea to label the bag with the name of your rabbit and date so that it doesn’t get mixed up.

4. Put a handful of hay in the carrier

If you end up sitting in the waiting room for a bit, your rabbit can munch on some hay

I also recommend placing a handful of hay in the carrier with your rabbit. While many rabbits are too nervous to munch on anything while they are in a car, The hay will be good for your rabbit to have if you end up sitting in the waiting room for a while.

For some rabbits, munching on hay can help them manage anxiety while they wait. The hay provides a familiar, soothing distraction. It can also keep your rabbit eating even through this stressful journey to the vet, which will help keep them in better health.

5. You may want to take a photo of the type of food you give your rabbit

 Your vet may have questions about the type of food your rabbit is eating since rabbits have very specific dietary needs. 

While not strictly necessary, it’s a great idea to take a quick picture or make a note of the type of food you are giving your rabbit, including the brand of pellets and the type of treats you give your bunny. This will help your vet offer a quick and accurate analysis of your rabbit’s diet, and make recommendations for any adjustments that need to be made.

Other considerations:

There are a few additional things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and informative trip:

  1. Multiple Rabbits: If you have more than one rabbit, it’s beneficial to bring them to the vet together. This can help reduce their stress levels, as rabbits who are bonded find comfort in each other’s company, and it can keep their bond from breaking.
  2. List of Questions: It’s a good idea to make note of any questions you have and bring a list with you before you go to the vet. Include questions about any health concerns, odd behaviors you notice, or noticeable changes in eating and pooping habits. Make sure you write down your questions beforehand so that you don’t forget anything important. 

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Recommended Products and Brands

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The two brands that I use when buying food for my rabbit are Oxbow and Small Pet Select. These both have high quality rabbit products and are companies that care about the health of our small animals. If you are purchasing anything from Small Pet Select use the code BUNNYLADY at checkout to get 15% off your first order.

Amy Pratt

Amy Pratt is a lifelong rabbit owner who has been specializing with rabbits at the Humane Rescue Alliance. She helps to socialize the rabbits and educate volunteers on the care and behavior of these small mammals.

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