Caring of Pet - Rabbit

 
Rabbits may be easy to love, but they’re not quite as easy to care for. These lovable, social animals are wonderful companions for people who take the time to learn about their needs. Though providing care for these adorable creatures isn’t difficult, rabbits have a long lifespan—more than 10 years—and many specific care requirements.

It is essential that your rabbit be healthy and have all its needs met in order to have success with training and to be a happy pet. Here are some quick tips in which you will know how to take care of your rabbit.
  • Housing:
    • Choosing the right kind of cage for your rabbit is extremely important. Cages should be spacious enough, easy to clean, and easy to for your rabbit to get in and out of, will make sharing your home with a rabbit so much easier.
    • Additionally, cages with wire flooring are hard on rabbits’ feet. If you place your rabbit in a wire cage, be sure to layer the floor with cardboard or other material.
    • Rabbits’ cages can stink—and no bunny wants to live in a smelly place. Keep your bunny neat and mess free by cleaning out his cage one to two times per week.
    • When rabbits are kept in a cage, they need to be let out for several hours each day for exercise. Aside from running and jumping, rabbits also enjoy exploring their surroundings. This is an ideal time to play and interact with your rabbit. Make sure that he has a safe area to play and explore.
    • Because rabbits like to chew, make sure that all electrical cords are out of reach and outlets are covered. Chewing through a plugged-in cord can result in severe injury or even death. Their chewing can also result in poisoning if the wrong objects are left in the open or in unlocked low cabinets.
    • Rabbits will naturally use the same spot as a "restroom" over and over - usually one corner of the cage. Line a small litter box with newspaper, then fill it with hay and place it in the rabbit's preferred corner. Some material other than the bedding material should be provided in a litter box. The litter should be changed and the litter box cleaned with warm soapy water at least once a week or more frequently if required.
    • Rabbits are naturally prey animals, so they tend to be easily frightened. They need peace and quiet, and don’t do well in noisy environments.
  • Feeding:
    Rabbits have complex digestive systems, so it’s very important that they receive a proper diet. Many health problems in rabbits are caused by foods that are incompatible with their digestive physiology. A basic rabbit diet should consist of the following foods:
      Hay:
    • This is the main component of a rabbit's diet, and it should be available at all times. Timothy and brome hay are good choices. Put out more fresh hay on a daily basis in a clean area of the rabbit's cage.
    • This grass aids their digestive systems and provides the necessary fiber to help prevent health problems such as hair balls, diarrhea, and obesity. Alfalfa hay, on the other hand, should only be given to adult rabbits in very limited quantities because it’s high in protein, calcium, and calories.
    • Vegetables and Fruits:
    • Rabbits are famous for loving carrots, but these should only be given occasionally, as they have high sugar content.
    • Provide leafy greens like spinach as well as collards and turnip greens.
    • 2 cups of vegetables a day is a good amount for most rabbits. You can also feed your rabbit fruits like apples, blueberries, strawberries and bananas as special treats.
    • Some vegetables aren't good for rabbits. Avoid corn, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, beans, peas, potatoes, beets, onions, rhubarb, bamboo, seeds, grains, and any type of meat.
    • Human foods like chocolate, candy, dairy, and anything cooked should not be given to rabbits.
    • Pellets:
    • Give the rabbit a dish of rabbit pellets. These contain protein and fiber, essential for growing bunnies. Baby rabbits can have as many pellets as they want but small quantities should be given to the adults.
    • If you choose to make pellets a part of your rabbit’s diet, it is best to use them as a supplement to the dark green, leafy vegetables, not as a substitute.
    • Water:
    • Rabbits should always have an ample supply of fresh water available.
    • Be sure to change your rabbit’s water at least once each day.
    • Water can be kept in a sipper bottle or bowl.
    • If you use a sipper bottle, watch new rabbits to make sure they know how to use the bottles, and clean bottles daily so the tubes don’t get clogged.
    • If you use a bowl, make sure that the bowl is heavy enough to avoid tipping and spilling.
  • Chewing:
    • Chewing is part of a rabbit’s natural behavior, but it doesn’t have to be destructive.
    • Rabbits adore chewing, and it keeps their teeth healthy. If you don't provide rabbit chews as snacks, they'll chew on your furniture or other items you have lying around.
    • To keep rabbits active and amused, you may want to put untreated wood blocks or cardboard in their cages.
  • Veterinary and Health Care:
    • Regular checkups are essential for your little companion.
    • If your rabbit's behavior suddenly changes and especially if your rabbit stops eating, a visit to the veterinarian is in order.
    • Spaying or neutering your bunny is a good idea to improve its long term health, prevent unwanted behavior and to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Be sure to use a veterinarian with training in rabbit surgery.
    • Rabbits require regular grooming with a soft brush or a damp cloth, especially when they are shedding excessively. Rabbits do a lot of grooming of themselves and each other and ingestion of too much fur can cause intestinal blockage.
    • Nails should be clipped monthly since long nails can cause painful deformities of the foot.
  • Exercise and playtime:
    • Rabbits should have some free time out of their cage every day in a supervised and rabbit-proofed area.
    • Rabbits need exercise and they love to run and jump, go through tunnels and in and out of boxes.
    • Give the bunny plenty of toys. They like to chew up cardboard boxes and old phone books. You can also try playing with your bunny by tossing a small ball or stuffed toy.
    • A cardboard box with a few holes cut in it placed in the middle of a room will entertain a rabbit and provide lots of exercise for the rabbit and entertainment for you.
    • Rabbits need company and people to play with them. When you first get a rabbit leave it in its cage/hutch so it can get used to its home, don't approach it straight away and start playing with it because it hasn't really settled in yet and doesn't really know you and trust you yet.
  • Handling:
    • Rabbits are fragile animals that must be handled carefully. Their bones are so delicate that if not properly restrained, struggling rabbits can break their own spines.
    • Put a hand under his rear area and his front area and hold him close to your body.
    • Never let a rabbit’s body hang free, never lift by the stomach, and never pick a rabbit up by his ears.
    • Don’t forget that rabbits are prey animals and many will not enjoy being picked up. Be sure to go slowly with your rabbit and practice. Let your rabbit get accustomed to being handled.
  • Getting one another rabbit:
    • Rabbits are social animals, and they enjoy playing with other members of their species.
    • Caring for two bunnies isn't much harder than caring for one, so you might want to invest in a second pet so they'll both be happy.