How to Care for a Pet Rabbit
Keeping rabbits as pets is fairly popular nowadays, especially among children. The great thing about these animals is that not only are they cute and cuddly, it also doesn’t take much to take care of a pet rabbit. In fact, children around seven are already old enough to properly take care of this pet provided they have the barest essentials which are paltry in comparison to a dog’s needs. Rabbits have a life expectancy of 7 to 8 years and come in a variety of colours from black, white, brown and every shade in between.
Rabbits are unique pets. They have specific needs in order to live a long, happy and healthy life. Here is a basic overview of how to care for a pet rabbit.
There's no doubt: bunnies are adorable. In fact, they are maybe one of the most adorable animals there are – so cute and fuzzy. Some of them actually look like toys, which is perhaps why so many people want them as pets. Rabbits can be super pets when taken care of properly, but they are not right for everyone.
Rabbits make great pets, especially for children. Though they are timid and fragile-looking, rabbits can be fun to own and take care of. They respond to their names, can be litter-trained, and don’t sulk like cats. A pair of rabbits can also reproduce quite easily and sire around 800 bunnies in a season, making breeding this critter quite a prolific business.
Step 2: Bunny Proof Your House
There are several options to house rabbits inside. They can live free-reign in a bunny proofed room/rooms, or they can be contained within a puppy pen, bunny condo, or large rabbit cage. If contained, their space should always be large enough so they can hop around, and they should be let out of their pen for at least a few hours every day for exercise.
Before you introduce your bunny to their new home, the first thing you need to do is ensure that your home is bunny-proof. Just like with babies or puppies, you need to make sure that there is nothing in the house that your bunny could get into that could hurt them. You also want to make sure that the chance of them damaging anything is minimized.
After selecting a pet, the next thing you will need to do is find all of the items needed to house and feed the rabbit (unless you are going to a breeder to buy a rabbit—in that case, the items listed below should be purchased first). Normally a pet store associate can assist you with this step. The most expensive item you will need is the cage. I do not recommend trying to “save” money by buying a small or sub-par cage. Forgo things that are not necessary at first, like treats and toys.
This first step is common sense. If there are any threats you can identify, keep them away from your rabbit. If your rabbit lives outdoors, ensure their enclosure is predator-proof. Their hutch should also keep them warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. For indoor rabbits, your home should be thoroughly rabbit-proofed. Anything unsafe to chew, such as electrical cables and houseplants, should be out of your rabbit’s reach.
Step 7: Groom Your Rabbit
While severe respiratory allergic reactions to rabbits are actually fairly uncommon, mild allergies are frequently listed as one of the top reasons rabbits are surrendered to shelters and rescues. The proteins in the saliva left on the fur after your rabbit grooms himself are often what causes the irritation – not actually the fur itself. Taking steps to reduce the chances of suffering allergy symptoms before they begin will help you and your rabbit peacefully coexist.
Rabbits need constant access to hay (or kiln-dried grass) to maintain optimum dental and digestive health, but this can cause problems for humans suffering from hay fever-type allergies. There’s also a risk of becoming allergic to the rabbit itself, as rabbit fur can trigger allergies over a period of time, especially if your rabbit lives indoors. It is advisable to take steps to reduce the allergen exposure to yourself and your family. For example, feed only high quality, dust-free hay, or use kiln-dried grass. Keep sections of the house (especially bedrooms) rabbit and hay-free zones, to ensure that you are not constantly bombarded with allergens, and vacuum regularly using a machine with a high-quality filter.
Once your rabbits are showing signs that they’re becoming best friends – like sniffing, grooming and nuzzling each other – they’re ready to move in together. Put them together in the home they’ll share. That might be a bunny-proofed room, or an outdoor run and enclosure. Keep a close eye on them for any signs that they’re not getting on. It’s normal to see a bit more mounting or chasing again while they work things out. But if they start getting into fights, separate them and go back a step in the bonding process.
Unless your rabbit has been well-handled as a baby until you took them home, your rabbit will most likely not appreciate being grabbed and picked up in your arms. As a result, to decrease the amount of stress the rabbit will undergo, we recommend that you train your rabbit to tolerate handling in gradual steps. Start with your rabbit on the floor and get them used to you touching their body everywhere, especially on the belly and around the bottom. This can be a part of your daily petting and grooming sessions with your rabbit so that your rabbit will not feel that being touched under the chest around their behind is associated only with being picked up.
Additionally, rabbits need regular maintenance in the form of being able to chew on something and having their nails trimmed regularly. Why is that so? 5,1k. , Phoenician sailors visiting the coast of Spain c. 12th-century bc, mistaking the European rabbit for a species from their homeland (the rock hyrax Procavia capensis), gave it the name i-shepan-ham (land or island of hyraxes). This big beautiful bunny is one of the best pets to keep. Muesli style feeds are often lower in fibre than pelleted versions of rabbit food.
Understand Rabbits’ Unique Language and Behavior
Pet rabbits are different from cats and dogs. It’s essential to understand how rabbits think so you and your rabbit can live a happy life together. Learn about their unique language at binkies, nose bonks and flops: rabbit behaviour explained and demystify unfavourable rabbit behaviour by reading help! my rabbit hates me!. By catering to your rabbit’s natural inclinations, you can build a trusting, loving relationship with your bunny. See building a relationship with your rabbit for more information.
Rabbits don’t meow, bark or speak. Well actually, they do speak. They speak their own language. A language we humans must learn in order to communicate with them proficiently – or at the very least, to understand their behaviour. As hrs educators, we get calls and e-mails nearly every day asking about a certain behaviour someone’s rabbit is displaying. The human is usually confused, frustrated or simply puzzled by what her rabbit is doing. In an attempt to interpret the puzzling activity, we ask questions and listen to how the person describes the activity.
Thinking About Getting a Pet Rabbit?
So you’re thinking about getting a pet rabbit. You’ve heard they’re good beginner pets, but figured it was best to look up how to care for a rabbit first. And good thing you did! rabbits are often a lot more work than people expect. They have a very strict diet and need daily exercise and socialization. But I wouldn’t be here talking about rabbits if they couldn’t also be bouncing bundles of joy and great pets.
If you’re thinking about getting a rabbit as a pet, you’ve probably noticed that there are lots of bunnies for sale. But adoption is a much better option. There are rabbit rescue groups around the country that will help you select just the right bunny for you. As mentioned above, rabbits are often purchased impulsively, which means that many of them end up at rescue groups or in shelters when their people lose interest in them. If you adopt a rabbit, not only is it generally cheaper than buying, you’ll be saving the life of a deserving pet.
Rabbits are not all about being adorable. In fact, these tiny leaping animals have something to tell you if you are thinking of getting a pet rabbit.
Are you thinking of getting your rabbit spayed or neutered? many rabbit owners struggle with shelter space due to the overpopulation of bunnies. Though the bunnies are cute but excessive population may lead to many problems. You must have a lot of questions in your mind before deciding in favour of spaying your rabbit. As a pet owner, you would want to know how to go about it.
What to Do With Your Pet
Pets are wonderful. They’re fun, provide companionship, and give plenty of love. It’s no wonder that pets are an important part of so many families, and so many women have “fur babies” or other types of pets before they begin to have human children. But, along with all the joy, there are a few concerns since some pets pose potential safety and health risks. So, when it’s time to think about adding children to your family, you may be wondering if it’s safe to be around your pet while you’re pregnant.
The recommended food for pet rabbits consists of 80 to 90 per cent grass hay: timothy, orchard, oat and other grass hays. Alfalfa hay is higher in calcium and protein, so it is good for babies, nursing moms, and old or sickly bunnies. Always offer fresh, high-quality hay. Fresh yard grass is good also, just make sure there are no fertilizers or pesticides used, and make sure your rabbit is safe when it spends time outdoors. Wood-based rabbit toys can also help wear down teeth, but hay and grass are the best for wearing down the molars.
A. Yes, you can — but the right fit for a multispecies home will depend on the individual animals involved. Begin by assessing your bunny's personality and behaviour. If your bunny is fearful or startles easily, you run a greater risk that a predatory sequence could be initiated by the dog or cat. A rabbit with a calm, easygoing disposition and a low flight response will have the best chance of getting along with a cat or dog. A rabbit that has had prior positive experiences with dogs or cats during her first weeks of life is also more apt to see your new pet as a friend, rather than a foe.
Rabbits require a balanced and varied diet comprised of seeds, fruit, veg and feed. They should always have free access to plenty of hay or grass, which are essential for healthy teeth and guts. Hay is an ideal source of fibre and protein, but you can also enrich their diet with fruit and veg. The following lists will give you a good idea of what you can and can’t feed your pet rabbit.
The Pros and Cons of Having Rabbits as House Pets
Do rabbits make good pets? rabbits are amazing, affectionate, and social pets. They can be great house pets if you take the time to socialize them and learn about their basic body language. However, rabbits require a lot more care than people typically expect, so it’s important to be prepared before bringing home a new bunny. As you go through this list, take the time to consider whether or not a rabbit is a pet for you and your living situation. If you’re ready to take on the challenges of becoming a bunny caretaker, go for it! rabbits are truly awesome pets and i think more people should consider rabbits as possible companions.
One of the biggest conundrums that rabbit parents face is to choose between keeping their new pet indoors or getting a hatch for them that will be installed in the backyard. To be fair, each one has its own share of pros and cons. But personally, I would never keep my bunnies in an outdoor hatch. We have always used indoor cages until the rabbits are toilet trained and then given them a free run of the house.
While rabbits are prey species, and other commonly kept pets, such as cats, dogs and ferrets, are predators whose instinct is to catch prey. However, these animals can live harmoniously in one household if they are constantly supervised. A well-meaning predatory pet may only want to play with a bunny by picking it up in its mouth; however, their sharp teeth, long claws and germ-laden saliva may inadvertently hurt the bunny. Thus, dogs, cats and ferrets should never be left alone with a rabbit, no matter how gentle and friendly they seem.
If I were to make a list of rabbits as pets: pros and cons, I’d rank this factor at the top of the pros pile. A larger animal like a cat might have the urge to start meowing loudly in the middle of the night, and this can become quite a nuisance if you’re trying to sleep. With rabbits, you don’t have to worry about this problem because their voice is much more silent than a meowing cat or a barking dog.
The pros of owning a pet rabbit
It is not my intention to enter into an extensive discussion concerning the different breeds of rabbits or scientific facts here. There are many good publications available at the library or online if you wish to do extensive research on breeds before purchasing a rabbit. I would like to mention a few things about owning rabbits, mainly the types found at a pet or feed store, that may affect a person's decision to buy one.
Rabbits make wonderful indoor pets. They are adorable and brimming with personality. But before you swoop into the shelter and pick out a cutie, there are a few things you should know to ensure a rabbit is right for you and your family. Finances: owning a pet rabbit comes with added financial responsibility. Be prepared to spend money upfront on the adoption fee ($60+), as well as housing/food/bunny proofing supplies. In addition, be sure you’ll be able to afford ongoing costs for a bunny on food, litter, and vet bills (including spay/neuter fees if the bunny didn’t get the surgery while at the shelter/rescue).
Owning a pet rabbit is similar to owning a dog or a cat. It comes with added financial responsibility. You must provide housing, food, and proofing along with ongoing costs for supplements, litter, spay/neuter, and vet bills.
How to care for your new pet rabbit
caring for a pet rabbit might seem like it requires a lot of effort and time, but it can actually be very simple once you know your new pet’s basic needs. Owning a pet is a big responsibility, even if the animal is small, so taking the time to learn exactly what requirements your pet has will stand you in good stead when you come to look after your new pet on a day to day basis.
The cons of owning a pet rabbit
Rabbits can be a lot of fun to own. They can also become one of your biggest headaches when pet ownership doesn’t meet your expectations. These are the key points you’ll want to consider if you want to bring a rabbit home as a bet.
Finances: owning a pet rabbit comes with added financial responsibility. Be prepared to spend money upfront on the adoption fee ($60+), as well as housing/food/bunny proofing supplies. In addition, be sure you’ll be able to afford ongoing costs for a bunny on food, litter, and vet bills (including spay/neuter fees if the bunny didn’t get the surgery while at the shelter/rescue). To give you an idea of costs, check out our article on how much does a pet rabbit cost?.
Rabbits can be easily shipped but proper precautions must be observed to ensure that they are safe and sound during transport. Heat is the most important consideration because rabbits can only regulate their body temperatures by letting cool air pass over their ears. Here are some tips on how to ship a pet rabbit. 1. The best way to ship a rabbit is in a sturdy carrying cage. Carriers specifically designed for rabbits are the best. Pick one that has a sturdy wire surround, slotted floor and watertight tray at the bottom.
Neutering or spaying a rabbit is actually more complex than it is for other popular pets such as dogs and cats because ideally, animals should fast before undergoing surgery in order to reduce the risks. However, the digestive system of rabbits is constantly mobile, as they graze and eat all day long, and anything that pauses or stops the digestive system can pose a potential risk to the rabbit’s health, as it can be very hard to get everything moving again after surgery and encourage your rabbit to begin to eat again.
I put together a guide that goes over all the basics of rabbit care so you have it all in one place. Then you will receive tips and tricks about rabbit care straight to your inbox so that you know you’ll be taking excellent care of your new rabbit.