What to Expect When You Get a Pet Rabbit [Introduction]
Most people don’t know what to expect when they get a pet rabbit. They have questions about feeding, housing, health, and other issues.
Rabbits are adorable and fun pets but aren’t always the easiest to care for. You need to make sure you research all of the aspects of rabbit ownership before getting one so that your new friend has a long healthy life with you.
We’ve compiled everything you’ll need to know about owning a pet rabbit before you buy one. This article is filled with introductory information on how to take care of your bunny from diet and exercise, how big their cage should be, common diseases they’re susceptible too as well as other helpful tips like litter training them!
1. Give your bunny a cozy home
Did you know that rabbits need a lot of space and a nice outdoor area to play in? Rabbits are an animal that requires a lot of attention, care, and exercise. They can be very active animals, but they also enjoy relaxing time too. If you want to take the best care of your rabbit, you must give them the right amount of space indoors and outdoors.
It is essential for your new bunny that they have enough space and quiet areas to go when they want some alone time. Ensure there are plenty of hiding spots in their environment, so you know exactly where to search if ever lost or scared!
The size of a rabbit’s cage is essential because it determines the amount and quality of living space. The general rule of thumb is to provide each bunny with one square foot per pound, but this can vary depending on how many rabbits are housed together in an enclosure. This rule assumes your bunny gets lots of exercise time outside the cage every day.
When purchasing your new pet hutch or cattery for bunnies, the right size cage will meet two options: 1) It should be small enough that the rabbit most likely won’t attempt escape from their confines; 2) large enough to house them comfortably while providing adequate light and air circulation as well as allow plenty of room for movement within its confines (generally about 3 square feet per animal).
To make sure that your rabbit feels safe, it is important to use a pleasant and caring voice around them. A loud or harsh one may frighten the bunnies away so refrain from shouting at them for attention, especially if they’re not doing anything wrong.
2. Provide fresh hay and water daily
Offer fresh hay daily. Hay is required daily and is not replaced by pellet food. Hay is needed to help a rabbit’s teeth not to get overgrown and is readily digestible. Rotten or moldy hay can make rabbits sick, so be sure that it is dry before feeding them any portion of their diet every day.
Yes, rabbit pellet food is acceptable to feed them, but it must be accompanied by greens or hay. The natural grinding action and nutrients are essential.
The same goes for water – change out the old stuff with new bottled spring water twice per week at least! We recommend a daily water change. Ensure they’re getting enough clean drinking water access during warm weather months in particular because this will help prevent heatstroke and dehydration.
3. Keep the cage clean by removing droppings regularly
The rabbit’s enclosure should be kept clean to avoid an unhealthy environment. To do this, the droppings need to be removed every day from your pet’s litter box.
The process of cleaning a rabbit cage is simple and straightforward: remove all waste daily so that you and your rabbit are not exposed or surrounded by its odor in your home!
Rabbit owners often put a newspaper or another substrate in their cages to clean and absorb urine. A paper-based pellet rabbit bedding product is best. Don’t confuse the pellet bedding for pellet food; they are not the same. Also, do not use kitty litter. The materials in the kitty litter can cause respiratory issues for your bunny.
Having a litter pan beneath the cage that pulls out makes cleaning up big messes easy. But don’t forget to scrub and clean any areas where your rabbit walks. Fecal matter can get stuck on the cage floor and should not be overlooked.
4. Give them plenty of exercise time outside their cage every day
Rabbits are social creatures who need plenty of exercise to stay healthy. Make sure you give them at least an hour outside their cage every day for playtime and exploration, or they will become bored.
The rabbit is a sociable creature that requires ample opportunity to explore the outdoors daily to be happy indoors over time as well; make sure your pet has at least one full hours’ worth of outdoor time each day with requisite care so it can enjoy its life while also staying safe from predators.
5. Make sure they have enough to eat, including fresh vegetables and fruits
Unlike dogs, rabbits do not digest carbohydrates. To keep their food intake at a manageable level for the rabbit’s body, it is best if they are fed vegetables like carrots and lettuce, which will be digested more easily by them than other types of foods such as corn or beans.
A typical pet rabbit will eat, per day, roughly one-half to one cup of hay. Hay is a type of vegetation that rabbits typically prefer to fresh vegetables and fruits.
In general, most rabbits should be fed a diet comprised primarily of timothy or alfalfa hay pellets in addition to at least 1/2 cup (or 14 ounces) daily water intake from either the drinking bottle or through natural feeding habits such as eating grasses on their own out in nature.
By the way, do you know the answer to this common question? Do rabbits eat bugs? Check out our answer.
6. Brush their teeth weekly
An owner needs to brush and check their pet’s teeth regularly, especially when it is a rabbit.
A pet rabbit’s teeth can become overgrown in captivity when they are not fed enough hay daily. The hay allows the rabbit teeth to wear naturally. That is why you should feed regular hay along with pellet food. Do not rely solely on pellet food alone.
A few tips for brushing your bunny’s chompers include using toothpaste with parsley extract if you can find some and giving them something delicious afterward like carrots!
7. Check ears weekly for signs of infection
Rabbit ears are a great place to look for infection signs.
You may not be able to see any problems with their eyes, but inspecting the inside of their ear can tell you if they have an issue brewing!
Check your rabbit’s ears every week and watch out for discharge or inflammation, as these could indicate that there is something wrong in his body that needs attention.
8. Groom your pet rabbit every week
A pet rabbit’s fur should not be neglected, as it can create a lot of discomfort for them. A rabbit needs grooming every 3-5 days.
The reason we groom pet rabbits this often is to keep them healthy and prevent GI problems. Rabbits lick themselves to clean. Grooming them removes fur that is shed and prevents an excessive buildup of fur in their intestinal tract, leading to emergency health issues.
When you groom your bunny, make sure to brush out all the tangles in their hair with a soft-bristled brush and comb through any mats or knots that may have formed between its dense coat. Be gentle when combing out mats.
The best way to groom a pet rabbit’s fur starts from head-to-toe, brushing against each hair at least once per stroke.
A variety of brushes are available depending on what bunny species you have – find one which suits your needs, then make sure it doesn’t shed too much or irritate sensitive skin.
9. Understand their lifespan
Rabbits are fully grown in just two years, which means that they have a short life span.
When you consider the time commitment of owning and caring for your pet rabbit, it’s important to make sure you know what type of environment is best suited for them.
If a rabbit’s quick growth rate doesn’t sound like much fun, then it’s worth considering other pets with longer lifespans!
10. Common health issues in pet rabbits
Rabbits can get some serious health problems when they live indoors for too long; that’s why it’s so important to take care of your rabbit properly by providing him or her with fresh air, mental stimulation through games such as hide & seek (to relieve boredom), plenty of exercise outside their cage daily (for at least an hour) and nutritious pellets once per day.
If we don’t provide our rabbits these necessities regularly, we may see common issues like obesity and overgrown teeth, leading to dental disease and respiratory infections.
Are bunnies a good pet for kids? – Bunnies are not suitable pets for kids if you expect children to handle rabbits without supervision. They can be great family pets if children are supervised and over the age of 8. Bunnies are pretty fragile and do need a lot of care. They are also social animals and love and require interaction with their owners or other rabbits.
What type of rabbit should I get? Bunnies come in many shapes, sizes, and care levels. The Flemish Giant is the largest breed and weighs about 15lbs in adulthood but can weigh as much as 22lbs. On the other end of the spectrum, an adult Dwarf Netherland rabbit weighs 1.1-3.5lbs. There are long hair and short hair rabbits and even one that has a mane like a lion. Check on the care needs of the breed you are interested in, and be prepared to give that level of care for the next 7-10 years.