Rabbits make for great little companions but you need to know how to keep them happy and healthy. Read our tips and learn more about taking care of a rabbit!
2.2 million households own roughly 5 million rabbits. There are many more rabbits in animal shelters that are waiting for loving homes.
Given the volume of rabbits that exist domestically, it’s wonderful that you’re considering helping the population by opening up your heart to rabbits as pets. Before you welcome your new furry friend into your house though, you must understand the ins and outs of what taking care of a rabbit entails.
The following guide will help clue you in on key things that you need to know.
- Rabbits Need a Safe Space
Like any animal, rabbits need a safe space that they can call their own to feel good in their environment. As a rabbit owner, you have a few options when it comes to providing this space including a bunny condo, a large cage or a private room within a house that your rabbit can roam freely in.
Whichever space you choose to go with, ensure that your rabbit has plenty of comfortable bedding so they feel good during resting hours. Pet Territory has information on pet bedding types that might best suit your rabbit. Your veterinarian will also have insight into this.
- Your Rabbit May Need Daily, Supervised Exercise Time
Rabbits that are kept in smaller enclosures (ex: rabbit condo or a large cage) will need supervised playtime daily. Keeping rabbits in a tight enclosure where they can’t hop for days at a time is not only bad for your pet’s lifestyle but may be considered abusive.
To ensure that you’re giving your rabbit everything that it needs to live well, let your rabbit roam around your house for one to two hours daily. That should be enough time for your rabbit to get its energy out and relax for the rest of the day.
Rabbit exercise time should be supervised unless its roaming space is optimized for rabbit use.
- Chew Proofing Your Space is a Must
When your rabbit is exploring your house, it will look to chew through just about anything that it can find on the ground. Common victims of rabbit chewing are house baseboards and cords.
If your rabbit chews through a plugged-in cord, not only will it ruin your electronics but your rabbit could get seriously injured via electrocution.
Protect your cords and baseboards with guards, and keep other objects out of your rabbit’s reach during playtime. That way, activities can be fun without presenting the potential for danger or destruction.
- Know Your Hay
Rabbits love to eat hay. As a matter of fact, it’s the foundational food in their diet.
When taking care of a rabbit, your pet must always have access to the appropriate kind of hay at all times. That hay should be kept dry.
Generally, young rabbits will get along best with alfalfa while adult rabbits will do well with Timothy hay. If your rabbit has special digestive considerations, talk to your vet to see which breed of hay would best suit your rabbit’s needs.
- Dietary Supplements Are Important
You may have seen rabbits eating greens in the past. Typically, these vegetables are given to rabbits as a dietary supplement in addition to their primary hay diet.
Popular vegetables that rabbits love include basil, celery, bok choy, broccoli and clover.
There are also rabbit pellets that you can buy at any pet store which can help rabbits get more of their daily nutritional value without having to invest so much in fresh produce.
- Give Your Rabbits Space to Take Care of Business
Rabbits tend to use the restroom in a single spot within their environment. This convenient trait makes it so rabbit owners can set up litter boxes that their rabbits will reliably use.
While it may seem counterintuitive, set up your rabbit’s litter box nearby their food and water station since rabbits tend to like handling all of their important needs in a single pocket of space.
- Grooming Rabbits Is a Necessity
You’ll be glad to know that rabbits are wonderfully clean animals. That being said, they will need the occasional assist when it comes to grooming.
Some pet groomers are specially trained to take care of rabbit’s coats. These groomers might be hard to find depending on how rural your hometown is.
If you can’t find a professional to help you with your rabbit’s grooming, the most important tip that we can give you is to brush your rabbit’s excess fur off so it doesn’t make the mistake of ingesting it. If your rabbit eats shed fur, it can experience threatening digestive troubles.
- Rabbits Aren’t Dogs or Cats
Many pet owners are put-off when their rabbits don’t show the kind of cuddly affection that they get from dogs or cats. You need to know right now that rabbits have different needs and ways of expressing contentment and love.
Make it your mission to understand your rabbit’s body language so you are always on the same page and can build a loving foundation for your relationship.
You can learn more about rabbit body language here.
Taking Care of a Rabbit Will Be Rewarding If You Give It Your Best Effort
Rabbits are wonderful creatures that, when treated right, will respect and love you. The key to accessing the special relationship that you want with your new pet is to do your best to follow all of the taking care of a rabbit advice that we’ve just shared.
No pet parent is perfect but with some effort, you’ll find that your rabbit will live a wonderful life which will make your time with it that much more special.
Do you love pets? So do we!
Keep reading more of the pet-focused content that we have on our blog today!