Ways to Take Care of Rabbits

Ways to Take Care of Rabbits

As we all know rabbits make a good pet as they truly enjoy human companionship. They are very shy and timid in the new environment but eventually if they are given time and freedom to explore then they are super friendly and give good company to people. They spend their time digging, running, jumping, eating, and socialising with other rabbits. If they are given great care and affection then they can correspond to mutual feelings and become human best friends. So,  there is a growing culture of keeping rabbits as pets worldwide.

Best Ways to Take Care of Rabbits

As rabbits are quite sensitive in nature so they need great attention and care. Hence the question is how do we take care of Rabbits. Here are the ways to take care of rabbits:

Suitable Housing

Since rabbits are very active they need a lot of space to jump, stretch, dig, hop and run. They are mostly active during dawn and dusk so they need access to large space all the time rather than just a day. Rabbits can happily adjust indoors and outdoors but they need suitable housing so that they can live comfortably. If we keep rabbits indoors then it is better to give a single room to rabbits. The room should be sectioned using tall puppy panels fixed together.

Since rabbits are very curious pets they dig everywhere using their teeth and can eat dangerous objects like wire. So, if we are keeping rabbits inside then we should make sure that all the wires and cables have a protective covering so that they don’t chew or touch and get electric shock. Any poisonous or chemical added substance should be kept away from their reach. We should concentrate on their protection so protecting well from other pets like dog, cats is also our responsibility.

Ways to Take Care of Rabbits

And if we are using outside housing then we should make sure it is near to the owner’s house so that they can be within the vision of the owner. Outdoor rabbits’ housing are usually housed in a large hutch made up of wood or metal or wire cages. Although a wire cage is cheaper, in the view of protection it is not safe. Housing must be very clean and sanitized. There shouldn’t be any dampness and the house should be warm and dry.

We should make sure that rabbits cannot dig out and predators cannot dig in. The size of the hutch depends on the size of our rabbit. The larger the housing the better it is for rabbits. The hutch must have a place for food and plenty of water. There should be sufficient ventilation and heat inside.

Comfortable Bedding

Rabbits need to feel warm, safe and comfortable. So, providing the proper comfortable and warm bedding is very important. Bedding helps a rabbit to create a specialist zone in their hutch. This appeals to their territorial nature. A rabbit will learn that bedding is for sleeping which reduces the risk of them lying in their urine or faeces. Long time exposure to their own  waste can make them unhealthy. It can also cause the colour of rabbit fur to turn to yellow.

While choosing the bedding for the rabbit we need to consider many things. It should be made of soft materials which have absorption quality. Rabbits seek comfort from several materials that are harmful to them. So we should ensure that their bedding is safe even if they eat that. 

The body temperature of rabbits drops when they sleep. And they cannot  get too hot either. So we should choose a substance which balances these. We should try to choose environmentally friendly substances that are compostable or biodegradable. So shredded paper, cellulose, Aspen, hay, rabbits litter, pellets , an old towel can be generally used for bedding while cat litter, straw, saw dust, cardboard pine and cedar wood , newspaper shouldn’t be used for bedding.

Balance Diet

Good quality hay and grass, fresh and clean drinking water make up the majority of our rabbit diet. Rabbits’ digestive systems need grass and hay to function properly. Muesli is often mistakenly chosen as rabbit food, but it can actually lead to serious teeth and stomach problems. Muesli is a commercial food containing many components such as flaked maize , peas, pellets, grains and seeds. And a new study shows that muesli style food is not good for rabbit health .

We should make sure that water is algae free in summer and doesn’t freeze in winter. Rabbits prefer water in water bowl and if we are using bottles then we should check them everyday to make sure rabbits can access the water . We should give access to rabbits for grazing. It is better to give well washed leafy green vegetables, herbs and weeds daily. Some green vegetables like cabbage, kale, broccoli, and parsley can also be fed. It is recommended to feed small amounts of good quality pellets or nuggets daily in the right amount.

Ways to Take Care of Rabbits

Groom your Rabbit

Although rabbits are very conscious about their personal hygiene and spend a good portion of their day grooming themselves, they need more extra care and effort on grooming. They need to be taken care of like a little human baby. Their grooming activity includes many things.

Regular brushing jeeps our rabbit coat in great condition and prevents the formation of matts which can irritate the skin and lead to infections and serious diseases like flystrike. A good brush helps to check for lump or bumps that are on their body. Since rabbit skin is delicate to take care of, a moistened cotton wool ball can be used to clean around the eyes.

Rabbits’ nails grow rapidly so we need to clip their nails on a regular basis. Clipping should be done with extra care. Firstly we should examine the claw to locate the veins inside the nail. Cutting the vein  makes the rabbit experience some pain and bleeding. Rabbit feet don’t have pads like the paws of cats and dogs. Their  feet are covered in fur so to ensure that rabbit doesn’t develop sore hocks, we must provide soft flat substance for our rabbit to lean on. It is important to make sure our  area is clean and dry at all times. Damp conditions can further aggravate sore hocks and lead to infection.

Entertainment and Socializing

Ways to Take Care of Rabbits

Rabbits are active and curious pet animals. But they quickly get bored if they don’t have enough space to explore or have enough toys to play with. So it is very important to entertain them. Hence, we should provide them enough space to play and perform their entertaining activities like hopping, digging, jumping, running. Rabbits don’t prefer to live alone. So, it is recommended to keep rabbits in pairs. If we are keeping rabbits of the opposite gender they should be desexed before keeping. Providing them some toys which they can hold using their mouth will be a better idea.

Like cardboard, soft balls so that they can entertain themselves. Giving them full attention and talking with them is also very important. They should be socialized with the owner and owner family so that they feel comfortable and homely in that environment.

Understanding their Unique Body Language and Behavior

Rabbits are very intelligent and sensitive creatures. If we are very familiar to them then they show certain behaviour to communicate with us. So, it is essential to understand their body language and behaviour. They dance , leap in the air, twist their body, kick their feet out or blink to show their emotion. When they have to show affection they lick each other. A happy and excited rabbit may make honking or buzzing sounds while circling around. It may also show their sexaul excitement.

But when they grind louder and more frequently then it is because of pain and if they grind normally relaxed then it demonstrates contentment. They have the habit of growling or groaning when they  are angry or stressed. They show other different signs like chinning, nose bonking/nudging, digging, nipping, thumping to show their emotion. It is very compulsory to understand these body language so that we can understand what they are going through. So we can realize if they need any help.

Concern over Everything

As an owner we may ignore many basic things. Like rabbits need a safe-litter box. In Fact they can be litter box trained. Litter box is an open or covered container that is filled with materials that absorb liquid and is used as a toilet for pets. So it is very beneficial to provide a safe litter box to rabbit 

Ways to Take Care of Rabbits

Another thing to be concerned about is water. It is recommended to give water in a heavy ceramic bowl or metal bowl. Plastic bowls should be avoided as much as possible. Water bowl should be placed away from bedding and the bowl should be cleaned daily by using bleach or disinfectant. Water bottles may freeze in the winter so to prevent this insulated bottle cover should be used. It is very important to keep our rabbit hydrated. A medium sized rabbit will drink 50-300ml of water per day.

So we should provide  a sufficient quantity of water. We can even add flavor to the water like a small amount of Pedialyte or unsweetened apple or carrot juice to the water if our rabbit is not drinking enough water.

Regular Veterinary Service

As rabbits don’t want to appear weak to predators they often pretend to be healthy even when they are feeling ill or in pain. So it is very important to have their health checkup from time to time. Their special checkup should be done of following parts:

  • Eyes
  • Ear
  • Teeth
  • Mouth
  • Feet
  • Nails
  • Scent gland
  • Fur and skin

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