Grieving the Loss of Your Beloved Pet Rabbit

WHY DID MY PET RABBIT DIE?

Rabbits are very fragile creatures. Although they have a longer lifespan (up to 12 years), they can become sick or die suddenly. Rabbits are prone to heart attacks, from coming in contact with a dog or cat, being scared suddenly, or from stress due to uncomfortable car rides. A good owner will know that rabbits take a lot of care and work, as they have sensitive systems and need just the right amount and type of food and water, and attention. Perhaps your rabbit died of old age. Or maybe your rabbit died suddenly and for no apparent reason.

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO GRIEVE THE LOSS OF YOUR PET RABBIT.

After the initial shock of the death of your pet rabbit, you may feel a sense of pain, loss and even guilt. First off, never let anyone convince you that you are “silly” to be grieving the loss of your pet rabbit. Any other dog, cat, or rabbit owner will understand and be able to empathize with you. Losing a pet is many times like losing a family member.You provided daily care, love and affection. You will miss cuddling up with them on the couch and petting them goodnight. Take your time to grieve.

Every person handles grief from a pet differently. Some like to talk about their pet to ease the pain, others may cry, others may be quiet. Tell a friend about any guilt you may feel – and then let it go.

The death of your pet rabbit may be a large blow to a child, who has rarely dealt with matters of death. It is important to let them grieve as well. And to encourage them to grieve in positive ways, such as writing a story or drawing a photo of the pet and the memorable things they used to do together.

OTHER PETS IN YOUR HOME MAY BE GRIEVING.

The other furry friends in your household may be grieving as well. Pay close attention to signs of any strange behavior or loss of appetite. And spend some extra time with those pets to reassure them that everything will be fine.

If one rabbit of a “bonded pair” is to die, please see my other article, which contains some important information on how to handle and care for the remaining rabbit, and deal with his struggles and sadness.

SAYING GOODBYE TO A BELOVED PET RABBIT.

It is never easy to say goodbye to a great friend. I still get teary-eyed when I think of my first bunny, Rabby. She was a wonderful rabbit and I still miss her everyday. I imagine how things would have been had she lived a longer life (she died in 1994?) and was there for me through middle and high school. But it never came to that. Now I grieve for my bunny Cinnabun, who I lost in 2010 and never got to make the move with us to Florida. I think about how sad Meadow is to have lost his absolute best pal. Grieving for Cinnabun opened up old wounds and made me miss Rabby again as well. Just remember that the rabbits who have left this world for Rabbit Heaven will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Many times, the best way to say goodbye is with a nice memorial service. Bury your pet in his or her favorite spot or under a nice tree where you can visit and remember them when you want. Write a story about something they used to do that made you smile. You can share this with others at the ceremony or keep it to yourself. Go ahead and cry and let your emotions out. Losing a pet is something most people understand and can sympathize with. Ask your friends and family members to share a story as well.

Frame a picture of your bunny and keep it somewhere in your house so you can remember their precious  furry face.

AFTER YOUR GRIEVING PERIOD,  GIVE LOVE TO A NEW PET RABBIT.

When your grieving period is absolutely over, do not hesitate to get a new pet rabbit, especially if you are a loving owner with lots of time and energy to give. You have so much love to give, and there is a bunny out there who would benefit from a loving home such as yours. Open your heart to a new companion. You know that this new rabbit will never replace the old, but you can get to know your new friend, love him in a different way,  and let him cheer you up!

If this was your only bunny, do good, save a life and visit a shelter. There are such wonderful bunnies in shelters who are looking for a new home and a chance at some real love!

If you are looking to find a new partner for the living half of a “bonded pair”, please see my article on bonded pairs, which will give you important information on selecting a possible new mate.

  • Ketty100

    Beautifully said, Regina!  We all miss Rabby and Cinny but they live in our hearts forever!

  • Jody Cofer

    Thank you for this.  I lost one of my babies yesterday afternoon and I’m a mess.  I slept in the floor last night with my other baby as he grieves.  Again, thank you for work and helping others like me.  ~Jody

  • Artinfo

     I spent the weekend sobbing like a child over the loss of our dear little rabbit – it really hurts knowing he’s gone and my lad is really cut up over it too. We had him for 7 years as a house rabbit and he had such a personality it really is like losing a family member.

    Now we’ve got to care for his mate, who is missing him too.

    it’s odd feeling this strongly about a rabbit, but boy it hurts.

  • Mandamoon

    I lost my little friend last night, he was nearly 6.He had a real personality, he had the run of the house and use to come in and snuggle by the fire and watch tv with me.
    My eyes are sore from crying all day, I feel like I’ve lost a close friend.
    R.I.P my little floppy. x

  • peter&bb<3

    me and my boyfriend lost our rabbit peter last night. he was a four month old mini satin. i knew he was the rabbit for me when he was licking my arm in the pet store. he was a real character! he was always demanding our attention and always giving it in return. we decided he needed a compainion so we bought bb. they fell in love and 2 weeks later peter fell off the couch trying to get down and broke his back. he had no feeling in his back legs so we took him to the vet and that day we had to put him down. we brought bb she stayed by his side until we had to go. when we brought her home she was constantly searching for him getting frustrated. i will never forget peter he was my child. i will always love him

  • Mandamoon

    With heavy hearts; and a tears in our eyes
    after all these years; we must say goodbye
    Please understand; we’ve done all we could
    if there was anything we could do; you know we would

     

    I’m sitting right here; gently rub your ears

    while I talk to you softly; trying to hold back the tears

    The memories you gave us; we’ll never forget

    especially the ones; of the day we all met

    One last hug; and one last kiss

    you have no idea; how much you’ll be missed

    To look into your eyes; this one last time

    you tell me it’s ok; you know it’s your time 

     

    Close your eyes now; and go to sleep

    we’ll pray to the Lord; you’re soul he’ll keep

    Go in peace now; our good friend

    we’ll stay right here with you; until the end

    Dream of that special day and time

    when we’ll meet at the Bridge; and all will be fine

    We’ll run and play; side by side

    with a soft warm feeling; deep down inside

     

    Your memory will live on; in each one of us

    you’ll always be number 1; to all of us
    Have a safe journey; through the night
    I promise when you awake; you’ll be in God’s light

     

    So with heavy hearts; and tears in our eyes

    just for now my friend; we say goodbye

  • Carla Johnson

    My little friend Dale …passed away in my arms….he was 13…and I had diapers on him wrapped in a blanket…after a vet trip I thought he would be ok….be hours later he passed away….I’m heart broken…I miss him…I loved him…I feel like I lost a child….He will be so very missed….I cant stop crying…I had him cremated and kept his ashes…but I see that face that cute precious face…he loved to be held…and he would snore so loud….how will I ever get over this ?? RIP Dale…I love you so much !! Carla

  • Loplove86

    I just lost my Bellini yesterday morning, she just turned a year, it seems as if she had a heart attack. She died in my arms. This was my first bunny, the pain I feel is unbearable. I miss her so much. I love you baby Bellini….

  • stewart

    we have just lost our jed and i feel pretty dam sad about him dying. we had him for 7 years and he was allways runnig free with the rest of the herd until one day 3 months ago he was just standing in the rain getting wet and shivering so i brought him into the house and discovered he was smelling of his own wee, cleaned him up and kept him on a mat with his box to sleep in.his poo was very small but over the weeks he pulled through.he used to sit on the back step watching the rest of his mates until one day he ventured out and they attacked him, his back legs seemed to have gone, took him back in and overnight his legs wher ok again, now jed was in house all the time and never went further than the back step just to watch the rest of the herd.then one morning got up and he was quiet then he just started to gasp for breath and just died in my arms, it makes you feel empty inside and a heavy heart for days, i know people wont understand feeling grief for an animal but you form a bond and they have their own little personalities and he used to make me laugh when i tied a piece of cabbage to a string and he chased it round the living room, well i can say he had a good life and was loved by us all and if their was anything i could of done to prolong his life i would of done

  • LindsaySucre

    Its almost two weeks since I lost my brown dwarf rabbit Twix.  We only had her for a little over six months but she became apart of our family. I have been randomly crying, not sleeping much, and just plain out of sorts.  I miss my bunny everyday.  Thanks you for this article. It helps to know that I am not the only one going through this. 

  • Hanagalea

    My rabbit is very sick and he’s only 6 months I don’t know if I should get another if it might die and what if it’s because of me

  • Bmoncada504

    i LOST my baby “muñeco” last week. I miss him sooo much. I never realized how attached I became. I love you Muñeco. You gave me 8 beautiful years. I know your in bunny heaven. 

  • vanesa

     I’m sorry for your  beatifull bunny  Miss moncada .

  • PaolaVilla

    I Just Lost My bunny June.. Actually her name was July but i prefer to think..I know This is a horrible thing to say but..That she Did NOT die but her Sister Did…. I Get a bit relief of thinking that because June Hates em but july was always jumping around when she saw me </3 I cried alot and i just want to say this I Got her 3 Months ago because my Family (All Of them) Got Really Sick and couldnt take me to A Lake to camp On Easter day Me being only young felt sad so my mommy toke me to buy them ..Now i kinda wish i never got them for i feel my world Dying Around me </3

  • grievingforbunny

    I lost my bunny this morning, he was our little friend for 10 years, coming up to 11 years. He was a house bunny with plenty of personality. The house feels empty without him hopping around and following us every where. He was taken away from us so suddenly. I will miss him everyday and he will always be in our hearts and mind. Rest in peace little one.

  • Msinglet

    I loss my best friend Gizmo today. He was almost 5 years old and died in my arms today. I feel so loss, because it is so quiet and he is not greeting me when I come home. After a franic vet visit, he was thought to be ok. A couple hours later he life was gone. I am happing he was able to be at home, and I was able to hold him one last time. I just feel so guility, of why didn’t I take him to the vet earlier. I know he is in bunny heaven with the other bunnies on this page. He has such personality and was such a part of the family. Thank you so much for writing this, as it is helping me to grieve.

  • Cassidy

    My pet rabbit bunbun died and I am grieving a lot and I will give more love to my other pet and maybe get a new rabbit thanks

  • Taeya Marie

    I lost my little rabbit, Sugar about three days ago, I never thought he would be taken from me so quickly. He had just turned 1 about a month ago. He passed so quickly and unexpectedly, I’m still in shock. He was the cutest little bunny around. He was such a character, he loved to have his picture taken or cuddle up with me and watch Kardashians. He was such a soiled bunny, he was given the best of the best when it came to food. I even made his own personal homemade goodies and organic Popsicles. He loved to sun bathe and eat a sliced strawberry for a treat. His favorite thing to do was run around my living room like a Tasmanian devil and binky his hind legs, or sneak up behind me if I’m laying down and jump on me! I miss him more and more each day, it’s comforting to know he is having a grand ole time in bunny heaven eating all the strawberries he could ever want. Rest in peace, Sugar Sears. July 11, 2012- August 7, 2013

  • Melanie Hatton

    Its so reassuring reading everyone’s comments on here. i Lost my beloved pet rabbit yesterday hope. id had her 6 wonderful years. our paths met in a pet shop 1 day when she got dumped at the back the a pet shop with all her brothers & sisters as they was all inbred. i fell in love with her straight away i took hope & 1 of her brothers/sisters but unfortunately the other past away a few days after bringing them home, it had a broken leg & had really bad diarrhea & died in my arms after id wrapped it up in a towel. hope however fought strong & the 1st time in 6 years she got unwell it took her life :(

    I’m still very much upset & distraught i cant even go in her room it hurts too much .. I’m getting her ashes back next Friday and i just cant wait to bring her home going to have her little box with a candle next to it & a photo of her. going to miss her cuddles & personality funny little madam she was xxx

  • BugsBunny

    A few days before Easter when I was 8, my parents told me I could get a bunny. The next day we went to the pet store and I immediately bonded with a gray and white Rex rabbit, who I named Bugs because of his coloring and was only about 7 weeks old. For nearly 11 years he has been my best friend. We recently discovered that he has a large mass in his abdomen and calcifications in what the vet believes are his intestines, and as a product he has lost a lot of weight. Since that visit, he hasn’t been himself. He no longer runs freely around the house, playing with our cat that he has been friends with from the start. Instead, he stays in the kitchen, going only from his litter box, to a box with a towel and food that we set up for him, and sometimes to the vent to wait for the heat to kick on. I know that his time with us is coming to a close, and I can’t bear the thought of losing him.

  • Anonymous

    Very sorry for all of your losses. Wondering if anyone can relate to my story. Lost my bunny just over a year ago and I am still grieving. I still choke back tears when someone brings him up. I think about him a lot and every now and then I find myself in tears missing him. Am I the only one hurting so much after so long?

  • Kristin

    Our rabbit was off and on sick over the past year. She had two ear infections, head tilt, a neurological problem, and occasionally would have lots of blood in her litter pan. I noticed she was suffering, she wasn’t eating she could barely open her eyes. I had to have her put down just yesterday. I am a grown woman, holding, kissing and sobbing over her before I had to let her go. She was special, very loving and loved to be held, cuddled, and played with. I am going to miss her so much, I hate that she is gone. :-(

  • Joy

    I lost my little Benny suddenly 3 weeks ago. He was only 2 and half years old. I took him to a new vet who pushed treatment he didn’t need and overdosed him with drugs that led to his death. I am a new bunny owner and didn’t know that I should have questioned what the vet was doing. I feel so guilty and devastated that Benny is s gone. It is hard also because I have no emotional support. My husband’s parents make jokes about citing him up for stew when I try to talk about my grief. Benny was so loving and had so much personilty. I tried to do everything right by feeding him the right kind of food and even grew a garden just for him. I miss him so much

  • Angelica

    I lost my baby bunny last night. She’s 8 weeks old and we’ve been together for atleast 2 weeks. She used to lived inside my room, we slept, we play games, and teasing each other by pooping herself on my hand then run. She loves to follow me around the house. She always licked my hand after I got home from work, even licking my face or everywhere :( It’s just sad losing a best friend even its just 2-3 weeks of love, I felt like I’ve been with her since I was born. I felt really bad for a baby to suffer in such unknown disease, I regret for not bringing her to VET my parents won’t let me.. I carried her like a baby til night, seeing her like that from a very energetic to a sloppy a baby who can’t stand up and run makes me really sad. The tears on her eyes is the most touchable that I felt through my heart. I can’t stop crying srsly. “eyes swollen”

    My Dear Chum Chum’
    Please be safe wherever you are, always remember that I’m always be here. I know God will always take care of you. I love you so much mababy and will always miss you :’( you will alwasy be my BEST FRIEND CHUM. Take care and Rest your soul in peace my dear friend. Good Bye :’(

  • Emily.cog

    today i came home to the shocking discovery that my rabbit was gone. he was too young. rip thunder and thanks for the best 2 years of my life. i love you baby

  • Joyceline

    My beloved bunny loopy just pass a way yesterday morning. Remember seeing how he suffer from those pain he facing but yet I can’t share some of it. All I can do is to bring him to vet and hoping that after visiting the vet and medication given to him can make him feel better but is just so sudden to see him pass a way in the middle of the wee morning. Never forget the night before we get a short nap he still jump towards us and up to the sofa at that moment still thinking that maybe his showing some improvement but yet he still choose to leave us and die in my arm. Rushing down to vet hoping that they could tell me that they can save him but unfortunately they can’t and that was the last time I see him and the last time I could stay by his side and pat him to sleep, talking to him singing his favorite song to him. When the staff bring him a way from me is was hard and unbearable for me to see him go but I know there’s always a time we got to say goodbye.
    Loopy now I know you’re no longer physically beside us but you’re always inside our heart ♥ and I know that you are at a better place in heaven watch over us and leaving a new life just always remember to be good, pleasant, caring, thoughtful, cheerful, happy, bubbly, brave and strong as always just like when you’re with us.
    PS : remember that we will never forget you and there’s always a place for you in our ♥

  • LMK148

    I lost my beloved Halle Bunny today she was a beautiful black mixed breed 5 years old who had always been prone to gut stasis problems and while we had nursed her through many times this time we were not so fortunate. she had a lovely personality and was a great hosue bunny and her wee house mate Gizmo adored her. We are all really upset its like loosing one of the family and while I feel like the last thig I want is to get another rabbit all the sites suggets its the best thing to try to do for gizmo I dont know what to do. My heart is breaking

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