Wondering how to take care of a rabbit? Look no further! These tips for pet bunny rabbits (or rather, rabbit owners) make rabbit care easy. From finding a pet bunny rabbit to feeding your rabbit the right snacks, these tips include rabbit hutches, rabbit food, rabbit health, and general rabbit care.
Before the tips, a quip:
“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” – John Steinbeck
If your ideas for rabbit care aren’t multiplying, these pet tips will help! For additional guidance on rabbit care, read The Rabbit Handbook.
On to the rabbit care tips…
How Do I Take Care of a Pet Bunny Rabbit?
Pets are a great addition to any household. They’re especially good for children as successful pet care can build social skills, self-esteem, confidence, compassion and more. It’s a great idea for children to have someone they can safely tell all their secrets to, who will also help them develop a sense of responsibility and a connection to animals and nature.
Pet bunny rabbits are especially good for kids since, according to the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children under 10 should not care for large pets on their own. A bunny makes a great pet — especially if you know how to take care of a rabbit.
Adopting a pet bunny rabbit
If you’re lucky, you’ll have friends with rabbits who will offer you a baby rabbit or two. You can also choose an adult rabbit from an animal shelter or pet store — but make sure the rabbit is healthy, in a healthy environment, and isn’t too nervous.
Rabbits are sociable creatures, and do better with a partner. The only viable combination is two sisters or a male and female. Two males will fight when they reach adulthood, so they cannot safely be paired. Two females from different families cannot be paired. With two females, one is likely to bully the other as they get older. If you’re going to spend a lot of time with your pet, then a single rabbit is also an option.
When baby rabbits are born it will be six weeks before they are ready to leave their mother. That gives you time to learn how to take care of your pet bunny rabbit!
Get a home for the rabbit – a rabbit hutch
If you live in a cold climate your rabbit will very likely live indoors for part of the year. Still, it’s a good idea to have a rabbit hutch. Ideally this should include a place where the rabbit can hide from visitors, some shade and enough room for food and water bowls and a litter tray. Many rabbit hutches are made of wood, but you can also buy purpose-built pet cages which you can place on bricks or blocks to achieve the appropriate height. Avoid putting wire at the base of your hutch or cage as this is bad for rabbits’ feet.
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Buy the right rabbit accessories
As well as a rabbit hutch, you will need water and food bowls. Avoid metal (too light) and plastic (too chewable); instead use pottery bowls. Another option for water is a bottle that you can hook to the side of the hutch so the rabbit can lick to release the water. Find out what your rabbit is currently eating, as any dietary changes should be gradual. Knowing how to take care of a rabbit involves getting the right snacks: cabbage, apples and carrots. Avoid feeding your rabbit lettuce, which is very dangerous for rabbits, as it can upset their stomachs. Picked or cut grass should also be avoided.
Depending on where you live you can use either hay or wood shavings for bedding and you will also need a small litter tray and some cat litter. Rabbits can be trained to use the litter tray by placing soiled bedding in the tray until they get the idea. You will also need to buy or build a rabbit run so that your rabbit can get daily exercise. Finally, you need some sort of rabbit chew toy to help your pet bunny maintain healthy teeth. And, don’t forget a nail clipper to trim the nails!
For a full list of pet accessories, visit pet supplies on Amazon.
Research pet insurance – yes, even for bunny rabbits!
Get some pet insurance so you won’t have to worry about vet’s bills. This is a good investment, because knowing how to take care of a rabbit involves vaccinations and other care. It is important to how to tell that your rabbit is healthy. Soft fur, clean bottom, clear ears and bright eyes are signs of health. If any of these are missing, then check with your veterinarian immediately. Another tip is to check your pet rabbit’s fur for black, gritty spots which could be a sign of fleas.
Tips for taking care of your rabbit when it first comes home
When your rabbit comes home give it time to settle into its new surroundings. It may take a few weeks for the bonding process to be complete. You can speed it up by offering healthy rabbit treats to encourage the rabbit to come to you. Rabbits do not like having their back legs off the ground, so make sure they’re supported when you pick the rabbit up. Or, sit on the ground so that the rabbit can rest in your lap.
With a little patience, your pet bunny rabbit will be a rewarding and responsive pet which the whole family will enjoy!
If you’re worried about the price of rabbit care, read 8 Ways to Save Money on Pet Care Costs.
If you have any thoughts on taking care of pet bunny rabbits, please comment below.