Rabbit Focus

Do Rabbits Like Belly Rubs?

Most pet animals, especially dogs, love it when their human owners touch and pet them. Dogs are big fans of belly rubs, in particular, begging their owners for it whenever they get the chance. But does the same rule apply to bunnies? Do rabbits like belly rubs, too?

Do Rabbits Like Belly Rubs?

For most rabbits, belly rubs are a no-no. However, since rabbits are different, some may actually love it if you rub their belly.

Read on below to know more about petting your rabbits.

Simple Rules for Petting Rabbits

Before you pet your rabbit, whether it is to do belly rubs or something else, you have to learn first if rabbits generally love to be petted or not. Again, rabbits are individuals with their personal preferences. Some of them welcome simple kinds of petting provided these are done properly, while others don’t like being picked up all of a sudden.

In connection with this, here are a few simple rules on how to pet a rabbit:

  • Approach your rabbit little by little before you pet it. While it is true that they don’t understand human words, you can still talk to your bunnies and ask them if you like to pet them or not. They will be able to understand your actions and will also agree, particularly if you are already close to your pet.
  • You should only pet your rabbit if they are sitting in a spot that is secure and safe for them.
  • Once you notice that your bunny is trying to avoid you or starting to move away, this may imply that it doesn’t like getting belly rubs or being petted. In cases like this, you will be better off honoring your pet’s wishes.
  • Don’t forget that many bunnies come in small sizes. This means that it is still extremely important for you to be gentle and careful when you handle your bunny. Most rabbits can even weigh as little as 3 pounds. This means that pressure coming from one of your fingers may already be more than enough for a bunny of this size.
  • Some rabbits only prefer to be petted for up to 5 minutes although others are willing enough to go much longer than this. The cue will always come from your rabbit itself. Never continue petting your pet or trying to do a belly rub when your pet gives you a few signals that it is time for you to stop whatever it is you are doing.
  • If you have a bunny that loves to make a move and hop over to you, nudge your leg, or bow its head, it only means that your bunny loves being petted.

What are the Best Petting Spots for Rabbits?

You can always ask other bunny owners to know the exact spots where their own pets prefer to be petted. For sure, the answers they give you will vary a lot. Those who own several rabbits may even have to come up with rules of their own at different times for different rabbits.

Some of the areas that are considered safe for petting your rabbits include the cheeks, ears, nose, and face. Depending on the specific rabbit in question, the part under the chin might or might not be a problematic spot. Rabbits may tolerate pettings on these parts. The back of a rabbit is another area that is considered safe for petting.

However, the rear end, feet, and belly are considered no-nos for petting. It only means that for many rabbits, it is not really a good move to give them belly rubs. But just like other rules, there are also a few exceptions here.

Some rabbits might actually love it if you rub their bully. However, if you will do so, make sure you pet your rabbit carefully until you become familiar with your rabbit’s preferences.

Does Petting Make Rabbits Happy?

Generally speaking, petting is beneficial for your bunny’s health, as long as you pet it in a way that doesn’t cause stress on your beloved rabbit. Once you have identified your pet’s favorite spot, you might proceed to test out a few ways of petting to determine the ones they prefer the most. Does your rabbit love long strokes, circular strokes, or quick, or slow petting? Does your bunny like it if you pet it with your whole hand, two fingers, or just one finger?

Also, it is a must to know the specific actions that can stress out your rabbit. Again, all bunnies are different, and there will always be things you should avoid at all costs. These include pulling the tail, petting the fur starting from the rear to the front, and putting a lot of pressure.

See to it that you also pay close attention to your rabbit’s vocalizations and body language to know if you are causing stress or making it happy. When your bunny starts to budge or lick you, it might be a sign that it wants you to continue whatever it is you are doing.

How to Build a Good Relationship with Rabbits

Rabbits are quite expressive animals. When they are happy and full of energy, they often zip around the whole place in glee. If they feel hungry, they will also beg you for good or get cranky at times to the point that they may even start chewing on furniture or other items in the house.

If they need and want your attention, rabbits will also dig on your back or leg until you stop whatever you are doing so you can give them your full attention. Learning about bunnies and their unique language can help you forge a solid bond with your pet.

Take note that being on the ground makes rabbits feel most comfortable. It explains why they don’t really appreciate it if you pick them up or hold them. If you still insist on doing so, they might escape and run away or even hide when you approach.

Not all rabbits like belly rubs, so you can consider yourself lucky if yours does. But if not, don’t worry because, in time, your pet might soon be the one to initiate getting belly rubs from you!

And with that, we officially end this blog post. But before you go, can you do us a solid and spread the love (or laughter) by sharing this on your social media? Who knows, maybe we might even find someone who can relate to our content and benefit from it... Wink