If you've been thinking of adding a floppy-eared cottontail friend to your family, keep reading. We're going to go through some of the basics of rabbit care so you can get an idea of what it's like to own a pet rabbit.
Let's hop to it!
We all know the classic image of Bugs Bunny chomping on a carrot. But rabbits eat more than carrots. They're fully vegetarian, so carrots fit right in!
But, pet rabbits mostly eat hay and specially made rabbit food with fresh veggies used more as treats or occasional snacks.
Specifically, rabbits need what's called timothy hay to complement rabbit food and yummy rabbit snacks like lettuce, carrots, various greens, etc.
What Goes In...
...must come out. Rabbit eat a lot and pretty consistently throughout the day, which means they also poop a lot. A lot.
Consider keeping your pet bunny in rooms of your house that have flooring and furniture that are easily cleaned and wiped. You'll also need to clean their cage on a regular basis since rabbits will soil that too.
Make sure their cage is lined with paper-based products. This is important for both rabbit health and easy clean-up.
They can also learn to use a litter box, which can make your life easier!
Where Do They Stay?
Speaking of the rabbit cage, where do rabbits stay?
First of all, they should be housed indoors. Domesticated rabbits can't survive or protect themselves outside like wild rabbits can, so you need to protect them by keeping them indoors.
Rabbits don't necessarily need a cage, but many people find this preferable to the rabbit roaming their home chewing and pooping on everything in sight.
Line the cage with paper-based liners. Don't use wood chips or other ingestable litter; this can lead to negative health effects for your rabbit.
Veterinary Rabbit Care
Just like cats and dogs, rabbits need to visit the vet! They will need annual doctor check-ups along with appointments to get spayed and/or neutered. If you don't spay your female rabbit, there's a 60% chance they'll develop uterine cancer.
Rabbits Love (and Need!) Attention
Think about the rabbits you've seen in the wild: they're extremely skittish and scared of people.
If you don't socialize or handle your rabbit regularly, they will act the same way. Hold them, cuddle them, and give them attention.
Reinforce this activity with treats to "train" them to understand that it's OK to be around and touched by people. If you do this, your pet will come to love attention and cuddles!
In some ways, it's much harder to take care of a rabbit compared to other pets. You need to be constantly feeding them, cleaning up after them, and giving them a lot of attention.
But all of this rabbit care will pay off with all of the fun and love you'll have with and for your bunny friend.
Are you predicting all of the messes your rabbit is going to leave on your precious carpets? Learn more about how to clean your carpet after a pet accident to prepare yourself!
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