A few days ago my sister squealed as she made her way up to my office for a day of blogging and chatting (surprise! we mostly chatted). For a few brief moments of work, she sprawled out her papers on the floor and was quickly joined by the white fuzzball that now sits under my desk. “Oh I need to get myself an office bunny! I’m not sure how I get any work done without one,” she giggled as she gave him a much deserved pat down. Today I’d like to give a little bit of a sneak peak into my studio, tell you what it’s like to work in a shared studio with a rabbit, and share why I think it’s the best way to work from home.
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Pets are so good for us humans. I don’t totally get why, but I know that it’s true! I grew up with gracious parents and have been the proud owner of many pets: hamsters, birds, cats, dogs, rabbits—you get the idea—my parents let me experience the responsibility (and joy) of pet ownership all throughout my childhood years. After a few years in apartments that didn’t allow pets, I was thrilled to bring home a rabbit again, they are my absolute favorite pets! My husband also had pets growing up and isn’t such a huge fan, so the agreement was to keep Pippin Bunny in my office, which has turned out to be the best scenario for me!
Why You Should Have a Pet Rabbit
I know it might not seem like it, but working from home is hard! Building a small business from the ground up through a computer screen is exhausting and mostly consists of sitting for hours and hours: editing, researching, posting, commenting, scheduling, bookkeeping, writing, designing, & photographing are just a few of the thousand things that I, and many others, do on a daily basis from our homes. It can often feel like solitary confinement!
When you are itching for garbage day to come so that you have an excuse to go outside, you know that you might be going crazy. Having a goofy little rabbit run around your office, flop on his side for a quick nap, and nudge you for a little love is a great distraction from the monotony that my job sometimes creates. It’s also a great encouragement for me to get out of my chair and do some work on the floor (my back is definitely suffering from the amount of sitting I do).
Keeping Up with Bunny
I’ll be honest, it’s not all fuzz and giggles with a rabbit, but for a small pet, rabbits have incredible personalities. It makes that cage cleaning and feeding totally worth while. Depending on the breed of rabbit (and how you and others have interacted with a specific rabbit), you’ll get different personality traits. I’ve had great luck with Lionhead Rabbits. Pippin is a mix of a Lionhead and a Lop (They call him a LionLop, which just cracks me up), and both tend to be very friendly breeds. This little guy does have some personality; he loves to rearrange his cage on a regular basis and gets himself into some pretty hysterical situations, but he is very friendly and loves visitors. He acts more like a dog than a rabbit. He wanders right up to the vacuum when I am cleaning the office! I have been working with him for a while now on being picked up. Some rabbits are fine with it, while most hate it—he’s the latter. With rabbits, you have to be OK with working on behavior with patience! Rabbits can get hurt very easily if they are spooked or handled incorrectly. There’s some great information on rabbit ownership at Eddyrambo.com.
Like many rabbit owners, I hate cages! The only times that Pippin is in his cage are at night or when I am not at the house. He loves to run, explore, and nap (mostly nap)! Rabbits need room to run and I would definitely not suggest a pet rabbit to those who aren’t willing to bunny-proof their homes or let them out of their cages. He will chew your electric cords, unless you make them unreachable! A great tip to help bunnies learn not to chew on cords or furniture is to rub ivory soap where you don’t want things chewed or cover cords with fish tank tube. Also, make sure to provide them with things that they are allowed to chew on!
Don’t Indoor Rabbits Stink!?
The short answer is yes, BUT if you have the right supplies, indoor rabbits do not have to smell! I had to do a lot of research on this when I brought Pippin home. I may have made a slight oversight when choosing an un-neutered male rabbit to live in my office. They smell very strongly! In the past I only had female rabbits, which don’t smell quite so much. After much research and some trial & error I discovered two secrets for a stink-free indoor rabbit:
Potty Train That Bunny
It’s really simple to potty train rabbits! Just pay attention to what corner your bunny does his business in and put his litter box there—that’s it! To keep the smell away, cover the bottom of the litter box with wood pellets: that’s right, wherever your bunny is doing his business, put Wood Fuel Pellets down. It soaks up the liquid and holds the stink! I probably go through less than two bags of pellets a year, costing me about $10/year.
Vinegar Covers A Multitude of Stinks
Vinegar has more and more uses every day, it’s the best! The most important tip I’ve found for keeping your rabbit from smelling bad is to put a few drops of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar in your rabbit’s drinking water. It neutralizes the odor that bunnies usually create and he will love how it tastes! I use white vinegar when cleaning Pippin’s cage with a water/White Vinegar mix. I just keep this in a spray bottle next to Pippin’s cage and spritz it when I clean out his cage.
Those two tips make my home smell just fine. Most people don’t even know I have a rabbit…until they hear him stomping around upstairs and wonder if there’s an intruder in my home (like I said, some rabbits have big personalities)!
All of that to say, rabbits make great office pets for those who work from home. Sure, he adds a little bit of extra work to my day, but it’s totally worth it! I’m repaid with snuggles, nudges, and a good laugh every day. It’s also very therapeutic to just lay on the floor and think, plan, or dream while I stroke Pippin’s fuzzy little head. What do you love about your pets? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below!