Pondering of including a rabbit (or two!) to your loved ones? Rabbits are the third hottest furry pet after cats and dogs. However with distinctive care wants and behaviours, they’re undoubtedly not the identical as cats or dogs! Listed here are 12 issues to know earlier than you carry a bunny residence.
1. Rabbits are a long-term dedication
What’s the lifespan of a pet rabbit? Relying on the breed, your bunny may reside as much as 15 years. Dedication, endurance and an appreciation for rabbit behaviour are vital in turning into life-long associates together with your new companion.
2. Rabbits ought to be part of your loved ones
Your rabbit ought to be stored indoors in an space of your home the place folks hang around — ideally in a big, enriched enclosure or with free run of a complete room. Your rabbit’s habitat should be sufficiently big to suit meals and water bowls, no less than one litter field and no less than one hideout, whereas nonetheless permitting him to take a number of hops in a row. The more room, the higher!
Regardless that they’re offered as full rabbit “starter kits,” most pet retailer cages should not a deal in any respect. For what you pay for them, they’re approach too small to correctly home a rabbit. You’ll be able to simply make a big habitat from cheap supplies. Two designs that price about the identical as an “additional massive” pet retailer cage might be constituted of both a dog train pen or wire storage cubes. Both design offers 3 times the bunny house.
Bigger cages offer you much more room to “enhance” by including toys and locations to perch and conceal. Rabbits are extra lively and playful after they’re given additional house. Not solely do bigger cages hold your rabbit happier and more healthy, additionally they make your job loads simpler as a result of they don’t get soiled as shortly.
Habitat bottoms ought to be stable, not mesh or wire, which may harm rabbit toes. For bedding, use wooden shavings akin to aspen (not pine or cedar), recycled paper bedding (akin to carefresh®) or a thick, clear blanket.
3. Pet rabbits behave loads like wild rabbits
Two issues are essential to each wild and pet rabbits: safety and companionship.
- Safety. Rabbits are a prey species. Within the wild, they both freeze on the spot or run for canopy after they’re frightened. As pets, they do the identical. To really feel safe, your rabbit wants a shelter she will be able to retreat to, whether or not she’s in her enclosure or out free in a room.
- Companionship. Within the wild, rabbits reside in massive teams. They hold watch over one another for predators, eat collectively and even groom one another. Contemplate adopting multiple rabbit to allow them to hold one another firm while you’re not residence.
4. Rabbits require every day train to remain wholesome
Your pet will want no less than 4 hours every day exterior of a cage. You’ll be able to let your rabbit hop freely round a room or use dog train pens to fence off a protected space for her to play. Remember to “rabbit-proof” your own home by shifting family vegetation out of attain and blockading entry to electrical cords and different unsafe objects.
5. Bunnies get bored too
You will need to hold your rabbit entertained with puzzle feeders and objects akin to paper baggage, telephone books and arduous plastic child and cat toys. To put on down her continually rising enamel, you will want to provide her issues to gnaw on like grass mats and untreated willow or apple tree branches.
6. Rabbits have distinctive personalities
Some rabbits are shy and can take extra time to chill out and really feel comfy in your house. However as soon as used to folks, rabbits could make enjoyable, affectionate pets.
7. Even rabbits want “hare” salons
Rabbits are nice groomers, so that they don’t want baths. However they do want brushing — particularly long-haired rabbits — to forestall matting. Rabbits additionally want their nails trimmed each 4 to 6 weeks by an grownup. Reducing nails too brief might be painful and trigger them to bleed.
8. Rabbits can’t reside on carrots
Rabbits are herbivores, that means they solely eat vegetation. Grass hay ought to be the staple of your rabbit’s food regimen. Feed him quite a lot of grass hays akin to Timothy hay, orchard grass and oat hay — as a lot as he needs. Hay helps with digestion. Keep away from alfalfa, although. It’s too wealthy for many rabbits.
Additionally feed your rabbit loads of contemporary greens every single day, particularly leafy greens like kale, bok choy, parsley and romaine lettuce. Solely feed fruits and carrots as a deal with and in very small quantities. Introduce new greens and fruits steadily to keep away from upsetting his digestive system.
Your rabbit also can have good high quality, excessive fibre rabbit pellets. Rabbit pellets are an entire, balanced food regimen. Simply don’t feed too many otherwise you’ll find yourself with an chubby rabbit.
See the BC SPCA Rabbit Meals Information (PDF) for extra particulars on feeding your rabbit.
9. Rabbits require maid service
Rabbits might be educated to make use of a litter field so that they gained’t make a large number in the home. Clear the litter field every single day and all the cage as soon as every week. A big plastic cat litter pan works effectively, so long as your rabbit can match utterly inside. Ensure your rabbit has one in his cage and no less than one to make use of throughout playtime. Hold the litter field topped with contemporary Timothy hay to encourage him to make use of it.
10. Bunnies want docs too
Spending time together with your rabbit will present you ways he usually appears to be like and behaves. While you discover one thing uncommon — like diarrhea or lack of urge for food — take him to the veterinarian straight away! Rabbits additionally want a vaccine to guard them from illness (PDF).
11. Rabbits don’t prefer to be picked up and cuddled
Be warned: most rabbits like to remain grounded always. In case you strive selecting a rabbit up, they’ll typically get scared and use their sturdy again legs to leap away shortly. Not solely are you able to be scratched within the course of, your rabbit is also severely injured of their try to flee. As a substitute of carrying her round, strive taking part in together with your rabbit on the ground, and letting her hop on and off your lap as she likes. Whether it is obligatory to select up your rabbit, it ought to be carried out by an grownup and at all times utilizing two palms: one underneath her hind finish and the opposite round her chest.
12. Rabbits can multiply!
1 + 1 = 144? In terms of rabbits, this math is true on the nostril! In only one 12 months, a feminine rabbit may have as many as 144 child bunnies! To assist stop pet overpopulation, all BC SPCA rabbits are spayed or neutered previous to adoption. Yours ought to be too! Spaying and neutering could make litter field coaching simpler and hold your companion more healthy.
Able to tackle the dedication of adopting a rabbit?
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