Rabbits are cute creatures and thus are becoming more popular as a pet or human companion. 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 for dogs. Just you don’t need to take your bunny out for exercise or 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 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, learn the way to hold them properly, and their grooming.
Don’t worry, here we are to help you in caring for your pet rabbit. 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 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. Alternatively, you can choose other types of grass hays like oat hay, orchard, or meadow hay to change the variety and to encourage your bunny to eat more.
Many brands offer a packet of hay for your bunny. But in the case when you want to have some fresh hay for your rabbit, you can contact your local farmer also.
Note: Avoid giving Alfalfa hay to your bunny unless it is not prescribed by any veterinarian.
Green vegetable: Fresh green leafy vegetables play a major role in the rabbit’s diet. They are important to provide several essential nutrients required by the rabbit. 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.
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 portion 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.
Pellets: Green vegetables, leafy green leaves, and hay are good to provide all essential fibers, minerals, and vitamins for your bunny. A fiber diet plays 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 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. 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 giving 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 freshwater. In the scarcity of water, they may start losing weight. It is reported that rabbits lose their 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 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 to 3 to 4 feet out of reach of your bunny is also a good idea.
The good thing about bunnies is that they have 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. 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 a furry baby who has a tendency to keep themselves clean naturally. But still, there is a requirement to groom them on 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.