Your Pet Rabbit’s Needs
Keeping a rabbit can be a challenge if you’re not prepared. There are many things you should take under consideration before adopting a rabbit as a pet. This is a short list of the things you’ll need to evaluate and a brief look at what your rabbit requires to live a long, healthy and happy life.
If you’re just starting out with a new rabbit, consider picking up a food and toy starter kit. There are many types available, some of which include a hutch or cage.
Your Rabbit’s Home
Your rabbit needs a comfortable and safe home that it can call its own. It’s recommended to keep pet rabbits indoors at all times. You may have a play area where your rabbit can soak up some sunshine but make sure you’re there to watch over him.
In most cases, they will have a rabbit hutch or large cage where they can live. You’ll need to select bedding for your rabbit home and make sure they have plenty of time for exercise outside of the cage.
Make sure that your rabbit does not have a home or bed that is too cold or too hot. Avoid placing its home next to the heat or air conditioning vent, in direct sunlight, or near drafty windows or doors.
All living things need water. In the wild, rabbits learn how to find water from their parents. But in captivity, they rely completely on us for their water.
It is very important that your house rabbit, or any of your pets, always have access to clean, fresh water every day. In most cases, rabbits will generally drink more water from a bowl than a water bottle. But choose the best option for your pets and perhaps offer more than one option.
Feeding Your Rabbits
Your rabbit should have as much hay as it wants. When it becomes an adult rabbit, it needs a different kind of hay from Alfalfa. It needs grass hay. Grass hays are timothy, orchard, brome and oat (plus others). Grass hays help their stomachs and other parts work very well.
Rabbit pellets provide vitamins and minerals for your rabbit to stay healthy. Follow instructions on how many pellets it should have each day. If you want to give your rabbit other things to eat, ask your veterinarian to recommend other foods and treats.
Rabbits need a bathroom area which often includes a litter box. Since rabbits tend to focus on the corners of cages for elimination, corner litter boxes work well. Be sure you monitor the box for chewing as your pet rabbits will chew on anything they can.
Rabbits are very clean animals, and they like to go to the bathroom in the same area. A litter box, just like a cat’s, can be used. Select a litter that is specially made for rabbits. Don’t use clay-based cat litters.
Daily brushing will help your rabbits fur stay shiny and clean and is a fun way to interact with your pet. A rabbit will lick its body to clean itself but sometimes it needs help. A rabbit continually grows hair and brushing helps remove the hair, so your rabbit doesn’t swallow too much hair during cleaning.
Lots of Love and Playtime
If you are going to have a house rabbit as a pet, it needs lots of love and to play just like you. You can love it by petting it. Some rabbits like to be held and others do not. They like to be given lots of attention every day.
Playing with a rabbit is different than the way you play. Rabbits love to run and jump. Sometimes they leap into the air and kick their feet back. This is called a “binky.”
Since they don’t have hands, they use their mouth, like a hand, to pick things up and they love to play with their mouths and their feet.
Rabbits love to play. They enjoy throwing toys into the air with their mouth, using toys as “kickers” and rolling toys around their habitat.
Some rabbits like to have their hay put in different places – like in a cardboard tube. This is just one of many DIY toys you can make for your rabbit. They can push it around like a ball—they like balls—and eat the hay out of it, too.
Some like to find healthy treats hidden in their hay. Choose toys that are specifically for rabbits to ensure they are safe.
If your new rabbit is a gift for a child, make sure they are aware of how fragile these creatures are. This is a good infographic on caring for rabbits.