Rabbits are some of the best pets around. Cuddly, cute, and playful, rabbits inhabit the homes of approximately 1.5 million Americans. These animals make fantastic pets for kids as they are high on energy and can keep children entertained for extended periods. However, since they don't enjoy quite the same popularity as cats and dogs, many owners are less familiar with how to provide the best possible pet rabbit care.
Here are ten excellent, easy-to-follow tips to provide proper bunny care for your furry little friend!
The Best Pet Rabbit Care Starts With Hay. Lots of Hay!
Your pet rabbit's diet is essential to ensure they grow up healthy and strong. Hay is and should be the most significant component of their diet. Your rabbit doesn't need wooden objects to wear their teeth down, and they also don't need fancy vitamins. Proper bunny care starts with quality nutrition, and the building block of that is the best hay. Therefore, when taking care of rabbits, you should always ensure that they have plenty of hay available.
Providing your pet with treats is fun, but you should do it sparingly. An apple slice or piece of banana here and there can be useful for your rabbit, but feeding these treats too frequently will cause issues. Avoid carbohydrates at all times, as they can cause your rabbit to have problematic medical conditions.
Keep Your Rabbit Indoors
Any top bunny care guide will tell you to provide your rabbit with indoor housing, and this one is no exception! Rabbits become very stressed at the sight of predators and can attract unwanted insects like fleas or ticks outdoors. The best approach is the simplest one - bypass all these issues by keeping your rabbit indoors.
Cage or No Cage: Both Work for Quality Pet Rabbit Care
Your rabbit can either live in a cage or outside of one within your home. If your bunny can use a litterbox, you should consider letting them roam freely around your home. However, if your rabbit is having trouble with the litter or causing other issues in general, keeping them in a large cage is perfectly fine.
If you have to keep your pet rabbit in a cage, you should let your rabbit out of the cage for at least three hours per day (preferably more). Rabbits get lonely fast, and if you don't open the door to play with them for at least a few hours out of the day, they may become depressed.
Be Careful About Male and Female Rabbits Cohabitating
If you have more than one gender of rabbit, you'll need to be very careful about keeping them apart. Female rabbits can get pregnant within 30 minutes of giving birth and can have a litter every 30 days. In shelters, there are quite a few instances where rabbits multiplied accidentally. So, if you don't want a bunch of baby rabbits, be very careful about letting males and females mingling with each other!
Stay Away From Heat
There's consensus that temperatures above 85 degrees are hazardous to your pet's health, and above 80, you should start getting them to cooler temperatures. Even though it might be less than 85 in your home, be mindful of cages - especially those in the direct sunlight. The sun can make the interior too hot for your rabbit, especially at the top levels.
In the summer months, be mindful of the temperature of your rabbit's surroundings (especially if you live in a state with a desert-like climate, like Nevada, Arizona, or California).
Socialize With Your Rabbit Frequently
Proper bunny care involves socialization with your rabbit. Pet your rabbit and talk regularly. Rabbits are very social creatures and need attention and affection to thrive. Many of them will nuzzle right back and lick their handlers! Make it a point daily to spend as much time with your rabbit as you can so they grow up feeling happy, loved, and satisfied!
For the Best Pet Rabbit Care, Keep the Environment Predictable
In the wild, rabbits are prey. As such, they're keenly aware of potential predators. Having lots of chaos and clutter in your home environment will stress your rabbit as they'll have to work overtime to discerning what is and isn't going to eat them. Keep the home predictable and clean. That way, your rabbit can see their surroundings and focus on being an adorable pet instead of what might eat them.
Always Support the Forequarters and Hindquarters
When picking your rabbit up, be very careful. You'll always want to support the front legs and back legs. Rabbits can break their backs struggling to get away from humans, so you want to give them as much support as possible.
If Your Rabbit Stops Eating, Go to the Vet Right Now!
Rabbits should eat regularly. If you've noticed that your rabbit has stopped eating, take them to the vet as soon as possible. Not eating food could be a sign of something serious!
Pet Rabbit Care Starts With You
Proper bunny care starts with you. If you follow these ten tips, you'll be giving your rabbit a high quality of life. Start by providing your rabbit with great food and a loving, safe environment. That alone will go a long way to making your furry friend the happy, playful companion they can be!