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Contemplating on adopting a Rabbit? If yes then you have landed at the right place at the right time! Surely you would want to prepare yourself in more than one way before you bring home your new companion. Tune in to our basic guide below for some informative facts and stress free living for you and your furry friend.
Gear up for an 8 to 12 year long joyous association!
Owning a rabbit or any pet for that matter is no child’s play. Rabbits if given proper care and not to forget loads of love; may live up to 8 to 12 years. Hence rabbit ownership entails a commitment on many levels ranging from food to annual vet check ups and nursing during occasional illnesses. Many a times a family adopts a rabbit on insistence of the children in the house, but an adult family member must be willing to take the major responsibility of the pet.
Housing for Rabbits
Rabbits are best housed indoors within the cozy confines of your security and companionship, hence giving them a chance to merrily interact with their human mates. Outdoors exposes your bunny to dangers such as predators and extreme weather.
The enclosure that you intend to provide to your bunny should be preferably four times its size. In case you are using a wire mesh cage, please ensure that the surface of the cage should be lined with a mat, pieces of carton boxes or plywood or Hay bedding. Your pet rabbit does not have sufficient padding on the soles of its feet unlike dogs and cats.
More the Merrier!
If you plan to bring home more than one bunny, be sure to provide separate cages once they attain maturity unless you get them neutered. In a scenario where your bunnies are not spayed/neutered, their `let loose time’ should differ as well. As even two adult males might not necessarily get along and display a territorial streak in them.
Exercise and Play time
It is very important for your pet to spend a great deal of supervised time outside its cage on a daily basis. Rabbits are supposedly very playful and agile during early mornings and evenings and afternoons are spent mostly napping in some comfy corner of your abode. The times when you let loose your bunny from its cage, provide him with toys such as wooden chew toys, cardboard boxes, toilet paper tubes, (bunnies love to shred) paper towels, cat toys, baby toys and pesticide free wooden twigs and branches to prevent it from chewing on your rugs, wooden furniture or electrical wires. Rabbit Toys provide the right kind of stimulation and entertainment even in the absence of your company.
Your furry pal might be tempted to explore the outside world but you must ensure that the outdoors is free of any predator before stepping out with it. Perhaps a short and sweet trip to the garden or verandah of your home in your company can be undertaken every once in a while.
Daily Food for Rabbits
Rabbits’ love for greens is known to all. Fresh and nicely washed fenugreek, beans, coriander, mint, cabbage, broccoli, radish as well as its leaves along with spinach in moderate quantities should be part of your bunny’s diet chart. Carrots can be given as occasional sweet treats and as a reward for positive behaviors. The idea is to provide the bunny with variety and a healthy mix.
Therefore as a rabbit parent (along with the greens) I treat them to chunks of banana, grain or an occasional bread and rotis, so as to introduce them to a varied palate.
A variety of Rabbit Pellet foods are also available in the market that may be supplemented with natural daily diet of the bunnies
Other easily available fruits that we can share with our pals are apples, papaya, mango and berries to name a few.
Drinking water should be supplied in a clean bowl or water bottle (that can be attached to the cage or hutch mesh) and make sure it’s always and re-fill it once empty.
Hygiene and Litter Training
Rabbits do not like getting wet, in fact a `once in a blue moon bath’ could turn out to be an unpleasant and stressful experience. Hence it’s best to avoid giving them one even if it gets infested by fleas. There are many alternative flea control treatments. Bunnies groom and lick themselves in an attempt to appear clean and well turned out at all times. Though we can brush their coat every once in a while and trim their nails (care must be taken to trim the clear part and not the part of nails containing blood vessels).
In order to promote litter box training a litter box can be kept inside the rabbit’s cage and it can be filled with materials that are absorbent in nature such as shredded newspaper or non-clumping litter. The bunny’s toilet should be cleaned daily.
My personal experience with rabbits can be summed up as follows; they can prove to be amazing companions just like dogs and cats or even better in a way that their upkeep seemed simple and fuss free to me at least!
Spoil them! Pet and cuddle them but make sure not to hold too tightly as being prey animals, they may feel smothered and intimidated.