As any responsible pet owner knows, providing proper care for your animal companion is essential. This involves everything from providing a safe and comfortable home to ensuring they receive adequate nutrition and veterinary care.
Regarding domestic rabbits, there are some special considerations to keep in mind. These adorable creatures are curious, intelligent, friendly, and affectionate, and well-cared-for indoor rabbits that can live for seven to 10+ years. In other words, adopting a rabbit is a long-term commitment!
Here are some tips for those considering adding a furry friend to their family:
1. Provide a spacious home: Domestic rabbits should have plenty of room to run, jump and play. A hutch or cage alone is insufficient – your rabbit needs at least four hours of exercise outside of its enclosure every day.
2. Feed them a healthy diet: A diet of hay, fresh vegetables, and high-quality pellets are essential for keeping your rabbit healthy (and preventing obesity). Avoid giving them sugary treats or processed foods as these can cause health problems down the road.
3. Keep them clean: Regular grooming (including brushing their fur) will help keep your rabbit looking neat (and prevent mats from forming). It’s also important to clean their cage or hutch regularly to prevent the spread of disease.
Rabbits As Pets For Kids
Many parents see rabbits as low-maintenance starter pets for kids. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rabbits are physically delicate and fragile and require specialized veterinary care.
Children are naturally energetic and loving. But “loving” to a small child means holding, cuddling, or carrying an animal around precisely the things that frighten most rabbits. Rabbits can’t cry out when distressed. Instead, they may start to scratch or bite to protect themselves from well-meaning children. Thousands are abandoned in animal shelters for this reason. Children drop many rabbits accidentally, resulting in broken legs and backs. While rabbits may be appropriate family companions, an adult should be the primary caretaker.
Rabbit Housing And Exercise
Do you have a rabbit? If so, you know that they are lovely, intelligent creatures. But did you know that rabbits need plenty of exercises and a large cage?
Many people think that rabbits don’t require much room for housing or exercise. Not so! Rabbits have powerful hind legs designed for running and jumping. They need plenty of out-of-cage exercise time and a cage that allows them to move freely. The minimum recommended cage space for a single rabbit is 2′ x 2′ x 4′. Although wire-bottom cells are standard, they can ulcerate a rabbit’s feet. If you have a wire cage, cover the bottom with a piece of wood or corrugated cardboard. Better yet, buy a cell with a floor.
Your rabbit needs a safe exercise area with ample room to run and jump indoors or out. A fence should fully enclose any outdoor space. Never leave a rabbit unsupervised outdoors, even for a few minutes! Cats, dogs, and even predatory birds can quickly get around fencing material. Also, rabbits can dig under fences and get lost. Indoor housing is essential for domestic rabbits because they can die from heart attacks at the very approach of predators such as cats. Other outdoor concerns: fleas (anemia), West Nile virus), ticks), VHD (viral hemorrhagic disease), Baylisacaris procyonis (raccoon roundworm), and flystrike (maggots).
Intact male and female rabbits must be separated by sex and housed separately to avoid “accidental” litters, which occur in shelters with distressing frequency. A doe can have multiple litters every 30 days. Immature rabbits can be hard to sex with certainty. Ask for expert help if you have any doubts about the sex of your young rabbit. You can rabbit-proof an indoor area by covering all electrical wires and anything else your rabbit is likely to chew on. Recommended exercise time for indoor rabbits is several hours per day in an enclosed area such as a dog run converted into an indoor/outdoor space using carpet scraps (or inexpensive) rubber-backed runners)to offer the traction needed by running jumping bunnies. Place litterboxes in corners chosen by the rabbity urination habits… Litterbox liners may be sections of newspaper filled with grass hay which should be dumped daily… Avoid pine chips or cedar chips as bedding or litter material due to aromatic phenols which potentiate liver enzymes and irritate respiratory tracts… A cardboard “hide box” placed in the cage makes a secure place for rabbits, but this may increase territorial behaviors – particularly in unspayed females… Boxes are most useful in wire cages where the rabbit has no other means of hiding himself … Toys” for rabbits include plain brown corrugated cardboard boxes chewing “interior desecration”… Plain nontoxic wooden or hard plastic baby toys are also appropriate “toys”…
The Best Diet For Rabbits
- The 3 most important foods for a rabbit are hay, hay, and HAY! (such as Timothy or Brome), which keeps the intestinal tract healthy; feed it free-choice, daily. Contrary to popular belief, rabbits do not need salt licks, vitamins, or hard wooden objects to wear their teeth down. Teeth are kept worn to a proper length by the silicate and lignin content of grass and grass. hays. Do not offer rabbits plants, vegetation, or tree branches unless you are. sure they are not harmful.
- Limited pellets (plain only! no seeds, nuts, colored tidbits): 1/4 cup, per 5 ft. of body weight per day
- Dark -green leafy veggies daily if possible (good job for volunteers!). Good veggies: all leaf lettuces, dandelion greens, kale, collards, turnip greens, mustard greens, parsley, cilantro, basil, Avoid: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, spinach.
- Limited amounts of sweet veggies such as carrots.
- Occasional treats in very low quantities: a slice of apple, a slice of banana, a -few, hulled sunflower seeds, 2-inch piece of carrot. For more frequent treats, use fragrant herbs such as cilantro, parsley, arugula, basil, et al. Do not feed bread or other high-carbohydrate foods, as they can. lead to intestinal dysbiosis.
- Freshwater, changed daily. Double-check to see that steel tall in the bottle is working properly each. the time you hang the bottle. Bowl (changed daily) encourages more drinking, but bowl. must be heavy crock to prevent tipping.
How To Litter Train Your Cat
As a pet owner, you want to do everything you can to make sure your furry friend is comfortable and happy. When it comes to rabbits, one of the critical things you can do is provide them with a clean environment.
Rabbits are very naturally clean and will do their best to keep their living quarters clean. Most rabbits will choose one corner of the cage as their bathroom. As soon as your rabbit’s choice is clear, put a newspaper-lined litter box in that corner; fill it with Timothy hay (or any other grass hay, not alfalfa). Pelleted newspaper litters are also acceptable.
If the litter box is changed daily, your rabbit’s home will stay fresh and odor-free. Don’t use pine or cedar shavings! The fumes may affect your rabbit’s liver enzymes, which can cause problems if the animal needs anesthesia for surgery. Avoid using clay cat litters (both clumping and non-clumping); these may result in respiratory or gastrointestinal problems.
Following these simple tips can help create a healthy and comfortable environment for your beloved pet rabbit.
Which Is Better For Your Plants – Indoor Or Outdoor Growth?
If you’re considering keeping a domestic rabbit, you might wonder whether keeping them in an outdoor hutch is better.
Many people think an outdoor buffet is the best way to keep a domestic rabbit, but this is not the case. Rabbits are highly social animals, and a backyard hutch forces them to live in unnatural isolation. Furthermore, rabbits can die of heart attacks from the same approach of a predator or vandal.
Domestic rabbits do best indoors, where they have plenty of interaction with family members. If you’re going to keep a rabbit as a pet, make sure they’re part of the family – not stuck out in the cold (literally) by themselves!