How to care for a rabbit!

white and brown rabbit inside a tree trunk hole
25 June 2020 Pets4Company

Extremely cute and with unique personalities, find out everything your rabbit needs with our checklist!

Rabbits can be excellent pets : they are very active, playful and extremely social, able to bond with other rabbits and people. The ideal owner for a rabbit will be an individual or family that can dedicate time and space, moments of play, but also of affection and who is aware that these little friends need some specific maintenance.

Rabbits of different species also have different needs : before purchasing a long haired rabbit make sure you can commit with the responsability of brushing its coat daily!

They are super intelligent animals and can be taught to use a litter box to do their needs just like cats! They also learn all the rhythm and schedules of their family.

Small children should not be left alone with rabbits as they can hold them in the wrong way causing stress situations for the rabbit and even injuries . It is also not advisable to leave your rabbit alone in an outdoor space or garden.

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How to prepare the house for your rabbit: advice and essentials

1. Prepare a safe interior space:

Rabbits can live freely in a “rabbit proof” room, in a space limited by a fence or in an appropriate cage . When kept in a confined space it must have enough space for them to move and jump without any problem and we must let them out for a few hours so they can exercise.

2. Transform your home into a rabbit proof space:

Rabbits need a place where they can run and explore. In order for them to be able to do it safely and without causing damage it will be necessary to remove electrical wires from their reach, hiding them with plastic protections or at a height that the rabbit cannot catch up. Protective covers can also be used to cover wooden frames and furniture legs so that they are not gnawed.

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3. Provide good feed and hay:

Rabbits are herbivorous animals . They must always have hay at their disposal and the feed must be rich in fiber and appropriate to the species and age of the rabbit. The young should have access to a daily portion of alfalfa. For adult rabbits the most suitable is timothy or oat hay. To prevent the hay from getting wet we can opt for a grid / hay rack that helps keep food away from the floor of the cage. The feeding bowl should be made of resistant material so that it is not gnawed and eaten.

4 Complement the diet with fresh vegetables and water:

Lettuce, carrot leafs, mint ... the list of fresh foods that your rabbit can consume is vast and tasty! A water bowl or bottle should always be present and changed daily.

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5. Prepare a litter box:

Rabbits have a tendency to make their needs always in the same place. We can take advantage of this by providing a litter box / toilet with absorbent material made of paper or wood pellets  suitable for rabbits and free of dust. If you can get your rabbit to learn to use the litter box it will be much more comfortable and simple to clean.

6. Providing chew toys:

Cardboard boxes are a great challenge for your rabbit . Not only can they create new doors and windows but they can also be used as a hiding place if they feel threatened. The toys must be made of wood without chemicals or paint. They provide healthy teeth wear which, in rabbits , grow continuously throughout their life!

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7. Take care of your rabbit's fur and nails:

Rabbits are naturally clean animals spending a good part of their day bathing. Twice a year rabbits undergo a shedding process. It is important to remove excess hair with a comb or brush so that it does not cause discomfort and it does not ingest it, which can cause severe gastric problems. Nails should also be cut : long nails can get stuck on various surfaces or bend in the direction of the paw causing damage.

8 Take your rabbit to the vet for a checkup:

Rabbits are predatory animals and, therefore, hide any symptoms of disease very well. Observe your rabbit closely and see if it eats and drinks and if the feces look normal. The vet will also be able to check the eyes, ears and teeth to make sure the rabbit is healthy. Rabbits with long ears may be more prone to ear infections. The rabbits teeth do not stop growing and any abnormal growth or bad wear can cause serious problems and even lead to death.

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Now that you have everything you need, it's time to pick up your new friend. We are sure that they will create many memories together!