Bringing a new rabbit home is an exciting experience. They are full of personality, soft enough to cuddle with and even smart enough to train. Nevertheless, like all animals, they need proper care. Hop your way down this list to get things off on the right (rabbit) foot:
Every Rabbit Needs a Hutch
Regardless of whether you choose to keep your rabbit inside or outside, she will need a good, strong hutch. Rabbit hutches should be two-part affairs: one side that has an open bottom made of thick wire and another side that is completely enclosed and accessible only through a small door (for people to reach through) and a small access through the open-air side for Rabbit.
The enclosed side of the hutch should be lined with hay or straw. Keep in mind that a good hutch should be at least five times the size of your rabbit's body. Include a small litter box filled with organic litter made of paper or citrus in order to help litter box-train your new rabbit. Change the litter box daily to keep the cage clean and hygienic.
Rabbits need a variety of food in their diets in order to be healthy and happy. First and foremost, they need timothy hay in order to provide important fiber and reduce the likelihood of health issues like diarrhea and obesity. While hay should make up the bulk of their diets, rabbits also need to consume an ample supply of vegetables like lettuces and dandelion greens.
Your rabbit's diet should include three varieties of vegetables every day; new veggies should be introduced gradually and in small concentrations. Finally, Rabbit can benefit from occasional treats like carrots, apples or strawberries. Rabbits can also be given timothy-based food pellets as a supplement to their diets.
Something to Chew On
Rabbits love to chew, so including something harmless, like a piece of untreated wood, in their cages will give them a healthy outlet for this behavior. It is best to avoid sharp objects, objects with loose parts, or objects that can be chewed into pieces and swallowed.
Water, Water Everywhere
Unlike dogs and cats, rabbits do not often drink out of a bowl. So, in order to prevent there from truly being water, water everywhere, invest in a rabbit bottle for your new friend’s cage. These convenient bottles prevent spills and help your rabbit stay hydrated and happy.
Remember that rabbits are fragile creatures and, when removed from their cages, should be handled with extreme care so as not to damage their delicate bones or bodies. Teach children to be gentle with rabbits and to hold them securely in order to avoid being accidentally scratched by sharp claws.
Rabbits can make great companion animals for the entire family and with so much personality and fun to offer, they are a great choice for a pet. When your new rabbit comes home, utilize these easy care tips to ensure that she has the happiest, healthiest life possible.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian