Is a rabbit the right pet for me?
Will a rabbit fit into our family?
How much daily care does a rabbit need?
These are the questions that should be asked when getting a pet rabbit for the first time!
The rabbit as a pet has changed dramatically over recent years. Kept as a pet since the 1800s in many western countries. No longer a forgotten pet in the back yard, but an indoor pet and a part of the family.
For working families, a rabbit is a great pet, as they are quite happy to be left alone, but love the companionship and attention when they receive it. To care for your pet rabbit you must include exercise and social contact.
Rabbits are not suitable pets for children under the age of ten, and are best for children ready for the responsibility and caring for a pet which has similar care requirements to a cat or a dog.
Rabbits live between 5- 12 years of age so it is a commitment that the owners should make for the rabbit’s life.
First check with your shire or community centre if you are allowed to keep rabbits. In places such as Queensland Australia, pet rabbits are prohibited.
Also if you are renting check with your landlord for permission first. The good news is, Rabbits can be kept inside or outside in a hutch. Some principal tips on caring for your rabbit include…
Rabbit Exercise & Housing
The rabbit hutch should be Sheltered from rain and full sun and an ideal environment temperature is 18 – 21 Degrees Celsius.
Your bunny’s housing should be secure from predators and attack or if the rabbit escapes from its hutch make sure your backyard is secure.
The rabbit must be able to move around freely in the hutch and able to get exercise through out the day, say in an exercise yard if kept in a hutch.
Food and Fresh Water
Daily care, your rabbit does need feeding twice daily and make sure there is always water and grain. Dry food includes Pellets, grain and Green food e.g. Fresh fruit and vegetables.
Rabbits drink a lot of water, so always ensure there is fresh water. Bowls are OK but sipper bottles are better, check your sipper bottle regularly that it is working and there are no leaks or cracks. A sipper bottle will provide clean water 24 / 7 where a bowl’s water can dirty very easily.
Handling up Your Pet Rabbit
Rabbits can be very quite and docile, but if they are miss handled they can hurt themselves and you. Always pick up your rabbit with two hands; one under its rump tummy and one hand over its head back area keep it close to your chest.
If the rabbit struggles hold it firmly as if it falls or moves awkwardly it may hurt its spine or legs. Rabbits have a tendency to thump their legs in distress and this is generally where the handler gets scratched or it hurts its back.
A healthy rabbit is alert and active, eats well and has a smooth and clean coat.
A sick rabbit’s coat is dull and may be wet and the rabbit may sit in a corner and look withdrawn.
If your rabbit is ill and if they are in a hutch with other rabbits/ animals remove them to a semi-dark, quiet secure spot. In case of an infectious disease do this to protect the other animals.
Don’t wait too long before seeking medical attention from your vet if you are not sure what is wrong. If your rabbit is sick, they need fresh water and may not be able to reach a water bottle and will not feel like eating very much, a fresh piece of apple or other fruit would be best.
To care for your pet rabbit remember these tips and show your rabbit affection and you will have one happy pet rabbit.
Medirabbit is an essential website to bookmark for all things “Rabbit Medical”