A beginners guide to take care of Rabbit or Bunnies
I had a bunny growing up and sometimes I wish I had a guide on how to take care of them, so now here’s one so that you could be a better pet parent! Taking care of any pet is hard, and when it’s your first time it’s even harder, as you’re mostly confused about what you should and shouldn’t do.
Now let us dive in!!
Rabbits can be wonderful pets if you take into account their natural inclinations and behavior.
Rabbits are incredibly social animals that always perform better when they have a companion. They will form a close attachment with their selected companion. Although a single rabbit can survive on its own, he or she will always be happier with a companion. Although bonding can be difficult, it is well worth the effort.
You may be aware that certain pets are diurnal (alive during the day and sleeping at night) while others are nocturnal (alive during the day and sleeping at night) (awake at night and sleep during the day). Bunnies, on the other hand, are neither of these! Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they are most active in the morning and evening. They will slumber at all hours of the day and night.
Temperatures of 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit are also ideal for bunnies. Cooler temperatures are generally more comfortable for your dogs. In the cooler months, I notice my rabbits are much more active and livelier!
Rabbits are intelligent tiny creatures who will rapidly adapt to their new surroundings. An animal shelter is one of the greatest sites to look for new pets rabbits. Bunnies are one of the most adorable animals on the planet.
Adopting a bonded pair is a terrific way to give a bunny a permanent home!
Responsible Pet Ownership
Getting a pet is a huge commitment. You now have complete control over the life of another living thing. Your new pets rely on you to keep them healthy, happy, and alive for as long as possible.
Understanding that vet visits can and will occur is an important part of being a responsible pet owner.
Bunnies communicate with humans and other bunnies via a range of diverse behaviors. They don't have a lot of vocalizations, but they do have a lot of body language.
Flopping - When rabbits are quite comfortable, they will lay out on their sides or backs to sleep. When you find your rabbit sleeping like this, it's likely to startle you because they often appear to be dead!
Binking - when bunnies are enthusiastic, they will run back and forth and do delightful hops in the air!
Thumping - are you familiar with Thumper from Bambi? Bunnies will thump on a variety of surfaces. It's usually to express displeasure with something or to warn other bunnies. They may thud in response to changes in their environment.
Stretching –Bunnies will sometimes stretch out long with their feet behind them, as though they are stretching. This is referred to as a "superbun."
Chin rubbing — while investigating, you'll undoubtedly notice your bunny scratching his chin on various objects. Bunnies claim things in this manner. The "chin" things to mark them because they have smell glands on the bottom of their chin.
Honking- Bunnies don't make a lot of noises, although honking is a sign of happiness.
Purring – Rabbits purr by rubbing their teeth against each other. It sounds more like a chewing sound than purring like a cat. This usually happens when your rabbit is having a good time being petted by their person.
Nudging – Bunnies will frequently poke you during interactions. When your rabbit nuzzles your ankles, it's usually a sign that he or she wants your attention.
Kicking – When rabbits are being picked up, they will usually kick out. They may also kick their feet out behind them while playing or after a thump if they are irritated.
There are a variety of housing alternatives for your rabbits, but the most essential thing is to make sure they have adequate space. Keeping your rabbit as a pet in a pet store cage all of the time and not allowing it any outside time is not a humane method to keep them as pets. If you keep your bunnies in a cage, the rule of thumb is that it should be 3 to 4 times the length of a stretched-out adult rabbit to allow for enough space and time outside.
A C&C cage or an exercise area for your rabbits is one alternative. C & C cages allow for a lot of personalization and may be constructed to fit your bunnies' needs. These cages are constructed with wire shelving panels that are connected in squares. Another nice option is to use a dog-specific exercise pen. This provides lots of room for your bunnies to hop around and can be simply relocated or changed if necessary.
Giving your house rabbit free reign of a part of your house (that has been bunny proofed!) with a "home base" place for the rabbit to feel comfortable and relaxed is one of the most popular ways to keep house rabbits.
The base could be a cage with the door open, or a pen or room dedicated solely to the rabbits. If access to the rest of the house needs to be restricted, the bunnies should have their room with a baby gate that we can close to keep them in their room.
You will also want to provide your bunnies with some places to hide. Cardboard boxes with doors cut out work well for this. You can also get cardboard tunnels and hiding mazed with multiple levels for your rabbits to play and hide in. Just keep in mind you will likely have to replace these when your bunny chews it up! C & C grids with a piece of fleece or towel draped over the top can also make a good hiding place. Some bunnies like to lay under chairs and behind a box placed under a table as well.
Basic Rabbit Nutrition
A proper diet is critical for your bunnies to live a happy and healthy life. A rabbit's typical diet consists of hay, fresh vegetables, and pellets.
The most significant component of a rabbit's diet is hay. They must always have unrestricted access to hay. It should account for the majority of your pet's nutrition. Timothy, orchard grass, and bluegrass are the most frequent varieties of hay for pets. The easiest technique to supply hay with the least amount of mess is to keep a hay rack near the litter box that is always filled.
It's also critical to feed your bunnies vegetables daily. Green or red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, kale, and coriander are some of the most prevalent vegetables.
Healthy pellets are the final part of a rabbit’s diet. Most pet store mixes are not the best quality for your pet. For an adult rabbit (1 to 5 years old), a reasonable rule of thumb is 1/4-1/2 cup of pellets per 6 pounds of body weight.
Grooming A Rabbit
Rabbits require very little maintenance because they conduct much of their grooming. Rabbits, like cats, will groom themselves by licking their coats.
Three or four times a year, bunnies shed. It's critical to get into the habit of brushing your rabbits regularly so that you can keep the fur under control throughout shedding seasons. If you have a long-haired rabbit, brush them frequently to avoid them becoming matted and consuming too much hair. Rabbits, unlike cats, do not produce hairballs. To minimize health problems, it's critical to remove as much hair from your rabbit as possible during shedding.
You'll also need to maintain your rabbit's nails trimmed to prevent them from becoming too long. You can perform it yourself or have your veterinarian do it for you. The majority of veterinarians do not charge much for this service.
Rabbits should never be bathed or submerged in water. This could be extremely harmful to their health. If you need to clean a spot on your rabbit, try dampening a cloth or wetting only the area that has to be cleaned.
Daily Rabbit Routine
Any pet requires daily care and attention, but rabbits do require a bit more than a dog or cat. Here’s an example of a daily schedule.
Breakfast around 6:30 am –
refill hay rack
a veggie snack
Dinnertime around 5:00 pm –
veggies for dinner
check hay rack
After dinner around 6:00 pm –
clean litter box
spend some time playing with the bunnies
do some grooming every few days
Bedtime around 10:00 pm –
check hay rack
say goodnight and give bedtime pets
Cages, pet room, and bunny “home base” area also need to get cleaned and vacuumed once a week to keep the room in good condition. If you don’t keep your rabbits’ area clean it can get out of control very quickly.
Once a week, all cage and bedding should be replaced. How often you need to clean the litterbox will depend on your individual rabbit’s habits and how many bunnies you have. Even with being litter trained, bedding and poops can end up scattered around your rabbit’s area and must be cleaned up. Bunny pee can smell pretty strongly if not cleaned regularly.
Your pet also needs to have weekly health checks done to ensure they are not hiding any illnesses from you! These are quick easy checks but are an important part of having rabbits as pets. During a health check, you want to look at your pet’s eyes, ears, nose, teeth, skin, fur, feet, bum area, and weigh your pet. Keeping a log of your health checks and weights is important to catch any changes over time that could signal that there’s an issue with your pet.