How to care for a rabbit? What does a pet rabbit need? All pets require care and attention to be happy. If you are determined to assume the responsibility that entails, great! Follow our advice and you will know what to do to take care of your rabbit.
2. Pay attention to your little teeth
Rabbits teeth are big because they never stop growing. Therefore, they need to bite continuously to wear them out, since they could give them problems if they grow too much. If you want to know how to take care of a rabbit, you must keep this characteristic of yours in mind!
So you can spend your teeth, Hay is essential in your diet. Also, let it bite things like bits of wood, cardboard or tree branches. When gnawing will wear the excess of your teeth.
(Photo via: mundomascota)
3. Brush your hair often
So your hair is soft, shiny and healthy it is necessary to brush the rabbit's hair several times a week if it is short hair and daily if it is long hair. Further, so we will remove all dead hair and prevent it from swallowing by licking it. Hairballs in the stomach can be dangerous!
5. To practice exercise
If you have the bunny in a cage, let him run around a couple of times a day. But beware! When you do, always be in a environment completely suitable for him and under surveillance. If not, you could be in danger of being stepped on or bite some wires and electrocuted.
If you have a safe terrace or balcony, you can also let it run around.
6. Always vaccinate your rabbit
Rabbits cpray special danger of contracting myxomatosis, a disease transmitted by fleas and mosquitoes. They need a vaccine against this disease every approximately 6 months, in the spring and autumn seasons.
Ask your veterinarian for information on that and the other vaccines your rabbit needs.
7. Castrate your rabbit
It is very important to castrate pet rabbits. It not only serves to control its reproduction, but also contributes to your health: prevents uterine and mammary tumors in females, and also prevents infections. In the case of males, appeases his character, minimizing the possibility of aggressive and territorial behavior.
(Photo via: rabbits)
Should I have my rabbit indoors or outdoors?
The domestic rabbits you can buy at your pet store are very different from their wild relatives. For years we have adapted rabbits to our customs and care to such an extent that they have totally lost their survival instincts.
A domestic rabbit does not tolerate high summer temperatures and cold winter temperatures well. Even if you choose to place your rabbit in a safe enclosure outside it can be attacked by predators that will find in it a succulent dish. To mention some of the most common, a domestic rabbit may be prey to cats, dogs or snakes without being able to do anything to avoid it. Simply seeing or hearing a possible predator can cause a domestic rabbit so much stress that it causes a heart attack and literally dies of fear.
Is it better to have it in a cage or free at home?
Actually, the correct answer to this question is neither one thing nor the other. Any house can have a lot of risks that make it a dangerous place for a rabbit that is at ease without anyone watching it. On the contrary, in a cage, the rabbit loses a lot of freedom and will feel sad and uncomfortable. Perhaps the optimal option would be to have an area large enough for the rabbit to explore at ease and exercise and small enough for you to have it controlled and free of hazards.
Whether you decide to let the free rabbit around the house or leave it in a limited area, it is important that you check the entire area to make it safe for your pet. A small bunny can easily find a lot of dangers in any house, the most common are:
- As you know, rabbits are rodents and as such they love to bite things. Make sure all electrical cables and plugs are out of reach. If your rabbit decides to gnaw a plugged cable it may end up electrocuted.
- Collect any object that can poison your rabbit by biting or sucking. Among the most dangerous products are insecticides, rodenticides and / or cleaning products.
- Some common plants such as aloe vera, azalea, calla, lily of the valley or philodendron are appetizing snacks for a rabbit but lethal for its metabolism. Make sure that the plants you have at home are not dangerous for him.
- You should always walk with four eyes to avoid stepping on your rabbit carelessly.
If you decide that the best place for your pet is a cage, you should make sure you have enough space to move around. A hamster cage is a horrible place to have a rabbit. A rabbit's cage should be similar to that of a guinea pig and be at least five times the size of an adult rabbit. It should be tall enough so that the rabbit resting on its hind legs does not collide with the top rack with its head. Keep in mind that the floor must be smooth so that its legs are not damaged. Some cages have barred floors that you cannot walk properly.
Domestic rabbits that are raised in jualas need to go out for several hours a day to exercise. In addition to running and jumping, rabbits also enjoy exploring their surroundings, so you must ensure that there is nothing at your fingertips that could be dangerous for him. This time will be an ideal time to play and interact with your rabbit so that he becomes sociable.
As a last option, you can choose to enable a bounded area in a spacious room that will ensure your rabbit enough space to move freely and allow you to always keep it under control of hazards. You should keep in mind that the fence you use so that the rabbit does not escape should be high, because otherwise you can easily overcome it.
Within its habitat, it is advisable to place some place where you can take refuge to rest. You can opt for a perforated cardboard box, plastic houses that you can buy at your pet store or one of your own.
How to clean your habitat?
Like cats, rabbits can learn to use a sandbox. If your rabbit is raised in a cage to place a sandbox inside to encourage this behavior. If you let it roam freely through several rooms in your house, you can place several sandboxes in different rooms. You will see that your rabbit enjoys spending some time and relaxing in his sandbox, for that reason it is convenient that it is of a large size. You can put fresh hay in the sandbox so that your rabbit gets used to it while enjoying an excellent snack for your health.
In their natural habitat, wild rabbits live inside burrows that are lined with leaves, herbs and different soft materials to make it more comfortable. Their domestic relatives also need to have organic material to make their habitat more habitable. As bedding you can choose to provide strips of organic paper or pieces of napkin made with wood pulp. Avoid using wood chips at all times, as they can cause liver damage to your rabbit or trigger allergic reactions. You should also rule out dusty or lumpy materials, since they can cause serious health problems if the animal bites them.
How should I feed my domestic rabbit?
Feeding is one of the key points when caring for a rabbit if you want it to grow healthy. Rabbits have a complex digestive system, which is why it is very important that they receive a proper diet. Many health problems are caused by foods incompatible with your digestive physiology. A basic and balanced diet for rabbits should consist of the following foods:
Obviously, your rabbit will need water to live. You must have access at all times to a large tank with fresh water available. You should be very meticulous with this aspect and make sure to change the water at least once a day to avoid spoiling or catching bacteria. You can place the water in tanks specially designed for rabbits that you can find in your pet store.
In the use of drinking bottles, you must check from time to time that the tubes are not clogged and ensure that your rabbit knows how to use them especially in the first days of use. If, on the other hand, you choose to use a container, it must be heavy enough to prevent the animal from dumping it and spilling water.
Rabbits need hay in their diet, specifically, Timothy grass hay. Rabbits should have access to a constant supply and on demand for this hay, which will provide the necessary fiber for their digestive system in addition to helping prevent health problems such as hairballs, diarrhea and obesity. Alfalfa hay, on the other hand, should only be given to adult rabbits in very limited quantities, as it is high in protein, calcium and calories.
In addition to hay, the basic diet of an adult rabbit should include green leafy vegetables such as romaine lettuce, normal lettuce, parsley, coriander, kale, arugula, escarole, endive or dandelion among others. Variety is important, so feed offers your rabbit three different vegetables at once each day. When introducing new vegetables to a rabbit's diet, do it little by little and with limited quantities to see how it responds to the new food.
When caring for a rabbit, you don't want to deprive him of some candy from time to time. While Timothy's hay and vegetables should make up the basis of a healthy diet for rabbits, the fruits will be the treat they will enjoy most sporadically. We have all grown up watching Bugs Bunny enjoying a carrot at all times, however, you should know that carrots are vegetables rich in starches and sugars, so you should supply it in moderation. Other delicacies to complement your rabbit's diet are apple (without stems or seeds), blueberries, papaya, strawberries, pears, peaches, plums or melon. Fruits with too much glucose such as bananas, grapes and raisins are good too, but should be given in a more limited way.
Pellets are a product prepared in the form of pressed cylinders that are used in the feeding of some animals. If you decide that your rabbit's diet should include pellets, it is best to use them as a complement to green vegetables, but never as a substitute. These pills should only be administered in small quantities, that is, between 1/8 and 1/4 cup for every two kilos of body weight per day and divided into two daily intakes. Many brands of rabbit food make their products with corn seeds and other foods, which are too high in calories to use as the basis of their diet if you want a healthy rabbit.
What foods should I avoid?
If you want to take care of your rabbit conveniently, there are some foods that you should avoid because, having such a sensitive digestive system, they could hinder your digestion or even damage your metabolism.
The foods you should avoid are:
- Iceberg lettuce
- Cabbage or cabbage
- Green peas
- Seeds and grains
Of course, sweet foods for humans such as chocolate or caramel are totally prohibited. In general, most foods for human consumption are not suitable for your rabbit's metabolism. If you are not sure about a certain food, ask your veterinarian before offering it to your rabbit.
What else does my rabbit need?
As we have said before, rabbits are rodents that enjoy biting anything that is within their reach. Roer is a natural part of a rabbit's behavior and you won't be able to prevent him from doing it, in fact, he needs to do it to keep his teeth healthy and sharp. Although you can not avoid this process, you can redirect it so that it does not spoil your most precious furniture.
Placing untreated wooden blocks or pieces of thick cardboard in their habitat will keep rabbits active and fun. Balls and willow wood rings most rabbits love and you can buy them at your pet store or online. You can also use rolls of paper or toilet paper napkins and other chewable cardboard materials that can be thrown in the trash once they have served their purpose. Avoid objects with sharp edges, with pieces that can be detached or soft rubber that rabbits can peel and swallow.
The domestic rabbit is a fragile animal
When caring for a domestic rabbit you should keep in mind that these are fragile animals that should be treated with care. Their bones are so delicate that the muscles of their powerful hind legs can easily overcome the strength of their skeletons. As a result, if they are not properly subject, rabbits struggling to escape, from your hands or from a place where they have been trapped, can break their own bones.
To catch your rabbit, place one hand under the front and the other hand under its back, carefully lifting it with both hands and carrying it against your body. Never let a rabbit's body hang freely, never lift it by the stomach and never take a rabbit by the ears. This is why rabbits should be well away from very young children or children who have not been taught to treat them correctly.
Rabbits carefully groom each other when they live in groups, so they will enjoy themselves greatly if you caress them around the eyes, ears, upper part of the nose, upper part of the head and back. Like any animal, each rabbit will have an individual preference over where he likes to be petted. Rabbits do not have the ability to vomit or cough hairballs, like cats, so try to eliminate loose skin when you notice it while petting it. With daily caresses you will eliminate most of the excess hair in most rabbits, although you should know that some breeds of rabbits, such as those of angora, have additional grooming needs due to their distinctive layers.
When to visit the veterinarian?
Like cats and dogs, rabbits need to receive adequate medical attention, including annual checkups. While there are a lot of veterinarians who are able to treat cats and dogs, the number of veterinarians capable of treating rabbits is much smaller. It is extremely important that any veterinarian who treats your rabbit has experience with these animals.
The veterinarian will check your rabbit once a year for parasites, fungi and diseases in addition to providing the necessary vaccines for the typical diseases they suffer.
You should visit a veterinarian if you find that:
- It has areas of hairless skin
- Stop eating or drinking
- Lumps appear on your body
- Your eye area or stomach swells
- You have wounds or limp
- You experience pain somewhere in your body when you take it
Spaying and neutering a rabbit is very important, especially if it lives with other animals of the same species. Not only is it your responsibility to take them to the veterinarian to do so and avoid having an overpopulation but it will also improve the habits of the animal in the sandbox, when gnawing things at home, it will decrease territorial aggression and give your rabbit a life more Long and happy You should take to castrate your rabbit between 3 and a half months and 6 months, depending on sexual maturity.
Rabbit cage: a suitable house
Unless you have your own cabin, the most normal thing is to have a cage to keep the rabbit safe. This must be large enough to allow the animal to have space to move and daily cleaning is essential. A domestic rabbit needs a dry space isolated from the cold to sleep, which is why they love the boxes as a burrow or any other semi-enclosed space that you can mount. Many cages come with two distinct areas but if you do not have it it is recommended that you believe it so that the animal rests at ease and enjoys the tranquility it deserves.
It is also good that the cage is in a comfortable area of the house, that is, warm and without currents and with family activity, such as the living room.
What do rabbits eat?
He hay It is the basis of their diet, and they must never be lacking in their cage since in addition to being their food it is also useful as entertainment and prevents health problems in their mouth. Keep it always fresh and clean. Rabbits also have a predilection for vegetablesbut they have to consume them In small quantities because they can cause digestive problems.
It is also essential that they have clean water to which they always have access.
Sport and games
Breeds of domestic rabbits differ mainly in their fur.
Rabbits love to run and jump! So to stay agile and happy they have to enjoy at least two hours a day outside the cage. It is important that the space where they run is adequate since they have a tendency to bite everything, so be careful with cables and other elements that can be dangerous.
Learn with them
All pets are different, and domestic rabbits also have their peculiarities and their own character. There are more suspicious and others not so much, let the animal gain confidence little by little and will behave more naturally. Scary by nature, rabbits dislike strident sounds. Let him sniff, jump and investigate his surroundings and prepare games with cardboard boxes or tunnels to have fun.