Beginners Guide to Rabbit Care
Rabbits are one of the most popular household pets in India. They live up to 10 years and require very intensive care. Here are some beginners guide on how to take care of a rabbit if you’re considering adopting one.
Make Your House Bunny Proof!
They need enough space to hop around and explore. Even the hutch or the cage should be big enough so that your bunny can stand freely. Rabbits shouldn’t be isolated from the family room; it’s better to keep them in your bedroom if possible. Small space and isolation make them bad-tempered.
Check whether the cage is safe and secure or not, so that predators can’t get in and you’re baby bunny can’t escape too.
Fresh hay should be the basis of their diet. Babies should be fed fresh alfalfa, and adults should be given green grass hay, timothy hay, or oats hay. Carrots and other root veggies should be given as a treat but not regularly.
Supplement this fresh hay with fiber-rich leafy vegetables (lettuce, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, celery, and parsley), fruits, dry fruits, and flowers. Try to feed them natural sun-dried hays as they consist of more nutrients. It is recommended to give three varieties of greens every day.
Avoid feeding high starch and fatty foods beans, bread, cereals, chocolate, corn, nuts, oats, peas, refined sugar, seeds, wheat, or other grains.
Keep changing their water supply every day.
Litter Box Set-Up:
Set up a litter box near their food and water bowl. It helps a lot while giving rabbits litter box training, as rabbits have a natural tendency to poop and pee in one area.
Instead of using clay or wood shavings or cat litter, use bunny-safe recycled newspaper palette litter at the bottom of the box. Put some hays on the top as rabbits eat and poop simultaneously. Thus they would develop a good litter box habit.
Playtime and Exercise:
Bunnies get bored very quickly. They need daily exercise to stay healthy both physically and mentally. Lack of exercise or playtime can lead to behavioral disorders. You should give your rabbit free access to roam around indoor because they require a larger area to run, jump and play.
But before that, block all the escape areas for their safety and cover electrical cords or furniture as they tend to chew. You can also gift them various toys to play with; it will make them happy!
Rabbits’ backbones are generally fragile and easy to fracture, so supporting the end is always important. Always remember, don’t pick them up by the ears because it’s painful for them and simply unnecessary.
It’s best to practice handling a rabbit close to the ground so that if it jumps out of your arms, it won’t be a big fall. At first, grab the loose skin over the shoulders and lift the rabbit under the chest. Then, lift the back legs from the floor with your other hand.
The best part is this species are naturally cleaner animals as they wash themselves frequently. Rabbits do not require much bathing.
But you still need to groom them regularly. Keep brushing as they go through the shedding cycle a lot. If they swallow their fur, they could fall sick.
Trimming nails is also essential. Sharp claws can be snagged on things which may cause injuries.
Regular check-up and vaccination:
You should regularly keep a check on your pet’s activity.
Generally rabbits are happy, cheerful, and playful animals, so if you find them hiding, not eating or drinking, contact a vet immediately. They should also undergo regular veterinary checkups. The vet will examine the ears, eyes, teeth, and gut to ensure a rabbit’s health.
When a rabbit is spayed or neutered, its aggressive behavior is reduced, its litter box habits are improved, and overall health is improved.
When it comes to vaccination, only Myxomatosis is given as we do not have exotic rabbits here. But this is rarely used.