Rabbit Owners Guide
Rabbits are great pets, and pretty low maintenance and easy to take care of. But owners need to be aware that they are a little different than other domestic animals. A lot of people go into ownership thinking they are getting a fluffy animal, much like a cat or a dog.
But rabbits are completely different. Sure, they can provide just as much fun, are affectionate, and social. But their health requirements and social needs are quite different.
For example, rabbits need to wear their teeth down throughout their lives, and have fresh hay available to eat each day. Hay helps their digestion system, as rabbits do not have the ability to vomit.
They have a complex system of microbes in their digestive system, and need to keep a healthy balance to digest food. Otherwise they can become ill, and it can be potentially fatal.
There are lots of different varieties of domestic rabbit. Some look similar to the wild rabbits you will have seen jumping around and running across fields. But most look very different, more plump and available in a wide range of colors.
As well as the wide variations of colors and patterns, there are numerous breeds offering different sizes and shapes. For example, there are small rabbits like the ‘Dwarf Lops’, or ‘Mini Lops’. These are two very popular house pets, as they are easy to manage and very friendly.
These rabbit breeds get to around 3.5lbs, and 5lbs respectively. You may have seen these rabbits, they have the long ears that a touching the ground. Almost like the stereotype rabbit portrayed on TV and such, so a nice pet to have.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is the Flemish Giant rabbit. These rabbits weigh 15 pounds on average, though the biggest ones can weigh up to 22 lbs, and the longest one on record (in fact, holding the record for the longest rabbit in the word of any kind), measured about 32 inches long.
All breeds of rabbit can be kept as pets, and they all bring their own joys and demands. You should always research the breed fully before taking the step to adopt one, as is the responsibility of owning any pet. Young children need to be supervised around rabbits, they can be easily injured if mishandled.
They can become scared and try to escape. Rabbits have sharp claws and will do damage if not handled carefully. They also bite sometimes if they feel threatened, so caution is advised.
It’s imperative that you have your rabbits spayed or neutered, especially if you are housing males and females together. It’s also a protection against caners on the reproductive organs, so a vet will always recommend this.
Essential Rabbit Equipment
You are going to need a few basic piece of equipment to keep your bunny comfortable and happy. Here are most of the items:
Rabbit hutch – Having a home is essential. You can have a large rabbit hutch outdoors, or an indoor cage. But make is a big as possible, the more space the rabbit has to move around the happier it will be.
Rabbit runs – This is basically a large, safe enclosure for your rabbit to run around in and get some exercise. They require a lot of daily exercise, so this is an absolute must.
Food and water – A strong food bowl that they cannot destroy is recommended, along with a large water bottle or a dish of water daily.
Litter box – This is optional, but if you put a litter area in their hutch they will be happy to use it. Rabbits like to be clean and will use a designated area.
Like previously mentioned, rabbits need exercise. If you have an enclosed garden area this is great, try to let them out at least once a day. Be very careful though, they are very good at escaping through the smallest of holes.
An enclosed rabbit run is the perfect solution, if gives them the freedom to get some exercise – while being enclosed safely.
Hint – if you let your rabbit run around your home, keep a close eye on them. They love chewing through anything and everything you don’t want them too. Wires, furniture, etc.
Feeding rabbits is one of the easiest parts of owning a rabbit. Always provide fresh hay, they should never run out of this. Give them some commercial pellet mix to eat each day too, along with fresh water.
You should always check the recommended requirement of how much pellets per the weight of you rabbit as they all differ.
Rabbit love vegetables too. Give them a cup of greens per lb in weight each day. Check a list of which vegetables are the best, some can give rabbits digestive problems. Everyone knows that rabbits love carrots, so make sure you treat them from time to time.
Rabbits like to groom and keep themselves in good condition. It’s recommended that you help by brushing your rabbit as often as possible too however, as they will get sick from digesting too much fur over time.
Rabbits like clean and calm environments. They are easily scared by loud noises and sudden movements. So you should try and set up their hutch somewhere quiet, in a warm but shady place, and out the way of any trauma.
This rabbit owners guide should have covered all the topics any new rabbit owner will need to know. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.