Rabbit info for the new owner

  • Posted on
  • By Anja Hunt
Rabbit info for the new owner

Are you considering a rabbit as a pet? There are a few things that you should consider. Rabbits make wonderful pets but did you know that they can live up to ten years?  That is a long term commitment.

 

Rabbits need a cage. Buy the largest cage that you can find and afford. If your rabbit will be spending plenty of time outside then you can consider a slightly smaller cage.  Some people devote an entire room to their rabbits. That is great but I know most people can't do that. Make sure that you have "rabbit-proofed" any room in which your rabbit lives.  Rabbits love to chew.  It is important for them to chew to wear down their teeth which are continually growing.  So keep all wires out of reach, carpet fibers or anything else you think the rabbit may chew.  Remember anything made of wood is fair game for your bunny too!

 

You should provide a litter box for your bunny.  You can keep it in the cage  or the room in which your rabbit lives.  You can put shavings on the bottom of the whole cage or, as I did, just in the litter box.  You will find your rabbit will naturally want to keep his/her cage clean.

 

Rabbits should be fed primarily hay.  Timothy or orchard grass are good choices.  Avoid alfalfa because it is too high in protein and fat for indoor bunnies. Pellets should make up a much smaller part of their diet. People tend to over feed pellets and end up with fat bunnies.  Hay is important because it gives rabbits something on which to chew and that helps wear down their teeth.  Also rabbits, unlike cats, cannot cough up hair balls so this makes the fiber from hay even more important.  It helps to move the hair through their digestive system.

 

Greens and vegetables can supplement your rabbits diet.  Most greens are fine for rabbits.  Generally, if you can eat it so can your rabbit.  I recommend waiting until your bunny is at least six months of age to introduce greens to your rabbit because it can cause loose stools. Introduce them gradually and offer a variety.  Avoid sugary or starchy foods because these can cause digestive problems.  This would include fruits and some veggies such as carrots that have a high sugar content. It is also good to offer your bunny something on which to chew such as apple branches or a mineral block.

 

Rabbits make great pets and many people teach their rabbits tricks too.  If you follow my guidelines then you should have many years of fun with your rabbit.