Rabbits can be great pets, but they require proper care and attention. When choosing a rabbit, consider their breed, gender, and age. Housing should provide enough space for exercise, including a cage, exercise pen, and outdoor enclosure. A proper diet for rabbits consists of hay and fresh vegetables, with limited pellets. Bonding with your rabbit includes spending time petting, talking, and playing every day. Toys should be safe for chewing and playing with. If living alone, rabbits require plenty of interaction with their owner. They should visit a veterinarian for checkups and vaccinations and can be litter trained like cats.
Rabbits can make wonderful pets, but they require proper care and attention. Before you decide to bring a bunny home, there are a few things you should know about their dietary, housing, and social needs. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about raising rabbits as pets.
Choosing a Rabbit
When selecting a rabbit, there are a few things to consider:
- Breed: There are over 50 different breeds of rabbits, each with different size, coat color, and personality characteristics. Research the breed that best fits your lifestyle and home.
- Genders: Male and female rabbits both make great pets, but spayed and neutered rabbits tend to be more even-tempered and healthier.
- Age: baby rabbits should not be taken from their mother until they are at least 8 weeks old. Adult rabbits can be adopted from shelters or rescues.
When it comes to rabbit housing, their living space should be large enough for them to run around and stretch their legs.
- Cage: Rabbits should have a cage that is at least 4 times their size for them to sleep in and use as a litter box. The cage should be cleaned at least once a week, or more often if the rabbit spends a lot of time in it.
- Exercise pen: Rabbits require at least 3 hours of exercise outside of their cage every day. An exercise pen with non-slip flooring is ideal.
- Outdoor enclosure: If you have a yard, you can build or purchase a large enclosed run for your rabbit to play in on nice days.
Rabbit’s diet should consist of hay, fresh vegetables, and a limited amount of pellets. Hay should be available 24/7 for rabbits to nibble on throughout the day.
Some recommended veggies for rabbits include:
- Bell peppers
- Bok choy
Be sure to avoid the following:
- Iceberg lettuce
Bonding with Your Rabbit
Rabbits are social animals and love attention. Spend time petting, talking, and playing with your rabbit every day.
Some things you can do to bond with your rabbit include:
- Gently stroke their head and body
- Provide toys for them to chew on and play with
- Use a gentle voice when talking to them
What toys are safe for rabbits to play with?
Rabbits enjoy playing with toys they can chew on, such as cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, and untreated wooden toys. Avoid plastic toys and anything with small parts they could choke on.
Can rabbits live alone?
Rabbits are social animals and enjoy the company of other rabbits. If you cannot adopt more than one rabbit, make sure to spend plenty of time interacting with your pet.
Do rabbits need to go to the vet?
Yes, rabbits should have checkups with a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about rabbit care. They also need to be vaccinated against certain diseases.
How do I litter train my rabbit?
Rabbits can be litter trained like cats. Place a litter box in their cage, and confine them to a small space while they are learning. When they use the litter box, give them a treat and praise them. Gradually increase the size of their space until they are fully litter trained.