Rabbits are cute creatures and thus are becoming more popular as a pet or human companions. If you are planning to get one rabbit as your new friend, then you must know how to care for them. So here we bring you a complete guide for pet rabbit care.
Rabbits are often considered as easy to handle pets for beginners but actually, they require much more effort. They require much-complicated care. The care requirement for bunnies is also almost equal to that for dogs. Just you don’t need to take your bunny out for exercise or a walk while your dog might require this also.
There is required to fulfill their care requirements in order to make your bunny happy and live a long and healthy life. The major portion of baby rabbit care includes their need for a balanced and healthy diet and a huge enclosure. It is your duty to provide your rabbit with various toys and social enrichment to keep them happy. Other bunny care requirements include litter training your bunny, learning the way to hold them properly, and their grooming.
Don’t worry, here we are to help you in caring for your pet rabbit care. In this article, we present you with a complete guide for pet rabbit care that will help you make your bunny live a long and healthy life.
A Complete Guide for Pet Rabbit Care
Given below is a complete guide for pet rabbit care:
What Should I Feed My Rabbit?
Rabbits can be provided with a variety of food items. You can offer them anything from hay, fresh leafy green veggies, to rabbit pellets. But makes sure the food you are providing should not produce gas and is not toxic to rabbits. They have a very sensitive gut system. Bloat and other gut issues can even lead to death in these small animals. So the question is what to feed these bunnies?
You Can Feed Them, Hay,
Hay should compromise 80% of the rabbit’s diet. It is essential to keep their gut healthy. This diet also helps keep the teeth clean and ground. Hays are rich in fibers that help in keeping the bunny’s gut properly functioning and for the absorption of all essential nutrients. This also helps in proper cleaning of the stomach for the passing of feces.
It is always recommended to offer hay as a base diet for your bunny. You can feed your bunny with timothy hay that is easily available in every pet store for rabbits’ care. Alternatively, you can choose other types of grass hays like oat hay, orchard, or meadow hay to change the variety and encourage your bunny to eat more.
Many brands offer a packet of hay for your bunny care. But in the case when you want to have some fresh hay for your rabbit care, you can contact your local farmer also.
Note: Avoid giving Alfalfa hay to your bunny unless it is not prescribed by any veterinarian.
Fresh green leafy vegetables play a major role in the rabbit’s diet. They are important to provide several essential nutrients required by rabbit care. It is also having a rich quantity of water that is important to maintain the proper health of the gut and for the passage of feces.
Read also: Can Rabbits Eat Potatoes? What You Need to Know!
It is recommended to provide 1 to 5 cups of green vegetables depending on the size of the rabbit. You can either give this at one time or divide them in different portions and include in your rabbit’s diet.
You can feed your rabbit with carrot tops, leafy lettuce, mint, turnip greens, cilantro, basil, dill, etc. without any issue. Spinach, chard, parsley, beet greens, Mustard greens are also safe for your bunny but should be provided in small quantities. The green leafy part from iceberg lettuce or onion greens should be avoided as they can harm your bunny.
Green vegetables, leafy green leaves, and hay are good to provide all essential fibers, minerals, and vitamins for your bunny. A fiber diet plays an important role in the passing of feces and in maintaining gut health. They can use a base diet, but the actual diet for a bunny should have some carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for energy in a bunny.
Thus pellets are essential to provide energy to your rabbit. There are several rabbit food pellets that are available on the market. You can buy the one with balanced nutrients for your bunny.
But make sure, you are not adding too many pellets to your bunny’s diet. As more pellet leads to more consumption of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. It can lead to obesity in rabbits care. Also, rabbits are more prone to get obese and thus you should limit the pellet consumption in them.
It’s okay when you skip or forget to give pellets in the daytime, but make sure, the diet of rabbits should always contain 75% hay and leafy green fresh vegetables.
Water Requirement for Bunnies
Water is the most important part of a bunny’s diet. Rabbits require full access to fresh water. In the scarcity of water, they may start losing weight. It is reported that rabbits lose weight when not get sufficient water even when they eat the same amount of food.
How to Set Up an Indoor Enclosure?
- As mentioned above, rabbits require a big enclosure to stay happy. You should make your house rabbit-proof. A rabbit cannot be happy when you enclose him in a small cage. The majority of cages in the market for rabbits are small in size. This is because of the lack of information about pet rabbit care.
- But in actuality, in need to keep your bunny happy, you should provide them huge space to play in. You can keep them in a bunny-proof room or can contain them within a bunny condo, puppy pen, or any large rabbit cage. Make sure the place where you are keeping your bunny should be large and provide enough space for your bunny to hop around.
- Also, when you are keeping your bunny in a large cage, make sure you are allowing your bunny care to hop free in the house for at least a few hours every day.
- Also, the place where you are keeping your bunny should not be isolated and away from you and your family.
- Also, rabbits have the habit to gnaw on everything they find. And, you can keep rabbits happy by letting them play and explore your house. In order to keep them happy along with keeping your belongings safe, you should make your house bunny-proof. Cover all your wires or pipes with plastic sleeves or flex tubing. Lifting them 3 to 4 feet out of reach of your bunny is also a good idea.
The good thing about bunnies is that they have a natural instinct to poop and pee in one area. You can set a medium-sized litter box or storage bin near their food and water. Cover the litter box with litter-like newspaper shredding that is safe for your rabbit care. And then put some good-quality hay on it.
Bunny has a habit to eat hay and defecate at the same time. This will help them build a good litter box habit.
Groom Your Rabbit
- Rabbits are furry baby who has a tendency to keep themselves clean naturally. But still, there is a requirement to groom them on a regular basis.
- Like dogs, they also have shedding season where they blow out their fur coat. Grooming and brushing this time becomes even more important in order to remove all the free hairs.
- In the case when skip grooming, there are chances that your bunny will eat the loose hairs and develop serious digestive issues.
- Like grooming, nail trimming is also important in this furry creature. Long and untrimmed nails can cause self-injury in this animal.
Provide Social Enrichment
Rabbits are social animals who love being with their human friend. Along with daily exercise, there is a need for mental stimulation for this species. Without any toy or companion, they can get bored.
So to keep them entertained, you can provide them some toys and cardboard that they can chew for hours.
Rabbits have a habit to hide their health-related issues. So it is your duty to monitor your bunny daily and check for health issues thoroughly. In case when you find something suspicious, consult your vet soon.
The Bottom Line
So this was a complete guide for pet rabbit care that will help you raise your bunny with love and care.
FAQs: Pet Rabbit Care
What is the ideal housing for a pet rabbit?
A suitable housing option for a pet rabbit is a spacious and well-ventilated enclosure, such as a rabbit hutch or a large indoor cage. It should provide enough room for the rabbit to move, stand up on their hind legs, and stretch out comfortably. Additionally, access to a secure outdoor exercise area (rabbit-proofed) is beneficial for playtime and exercise.
What bedding should I use for my pet rabbit’s enclosure?
Soft bedding materials, such as aspen shavings, paper-based bedding, or straw, can be used for the bottom of your pet rabbit’s enclosure. Avoid cedar or pine bedding, as these may be harmful to rabbits’ respiratory systems.
What should I feed my pet rabbit?
A balanced diet for a pet rabbit should consist of unlimited high-quality grass hay (e.g., timothy hay), fresh vegetables (e.g., leafy greens, carrots), a small amount of commercial rabbit pellets (with no nuts or seeds), and access to fresh water at all times. Treats like fruits can be given sparingly.
How often should I clean my pet rabbit’s enclosure?
Regular cleaning is essential for your pet rabbit’s health. Spot clean daily by removing soiled bedding and droppings, and thoroughly clean the enclosure at least once a week.
Should I provide toys for my pet rabbit?
Yes, providing toys and mental stimulation is essential for your pet rabbit’s well-being. Offer toys like chew toys, tunnels, and puzzle feeders to keep them entertained and prevent boredom.
How much exercise does my pet rabbit need?
Pet rabbits need regular exercise to stay healthy. They should have supervised playtime outside of their enclosure in a rabbit-proofed area daily. Ensure they have enough space to hop, jump, and explore safely.
How can I groom my pet rabbit?
Regular grooming is necessary for pet rabbits, especially those with longer fur. Brush your rabbit’s coat at least once a week to remove loose fur and prevent matting. Additionally, check their nails regularly and trim them if needed.
What are common health concerns for pet rabbits?
Common health concerns for pet rabbits include dental issues, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory infections, and obesity. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to monitor your rabbit’s health.
Can I litter train my pet rabbit?
Yes, rabbits can be litter trained. Provide a litter box with rabbit-safe litter (e.g., paper-based pellets) and place it in a corner of their enclosure.
How can I ensure my pet rabbit is safe outdoors?
If your pet rabbit has outdoor playtime, ensure the area is rabbit-proofed, free from toxic plants, and protected from predators. Never leave your rabbit unsupervised outdoors.
Remember that pet rabbit care requires commitment and attention to their needs. Providing a safe, enriching environment with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper healthcare will help ensure your pet rabbit leads a happy and healthy life. If you have any specific concerns or questions about caring for your pet rabbit, consult with a veterinarian experienced in rabbit care.