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Hello Bunny! - How to Care for Rabbits

Hello Bunny! - How to Care for Rabbits

Posted by Grange Co-op on 11th Jul 2023

Rabbits make super pets that are lots of fun. They are fairly low maintenance, and they don’t require a lot of space. Rabbits make wonderful companions, but they do have specific needs to keep them healthy and happy. Knowing how to care for rabbits can help your pet live a healthy, happy life. Our rabbit care guide will provide tips on the essentials of bunny care.

Set Up Housing – People do this in different ways. One is to give them free rein in their own room. If you choose this option, it’s important to bunny-proof the room. Cover all electric wires and try to cover the outlets with furniture. Get protective covers for your baseboards and corners. Rabbits will chew anything they can reach.

If you opt to keep your bunny confined, it’s crucial to let it out to exercise for at least a few hours every day. You might opt to keep your bunny confined while you aren’t at home and then let it roam during the evenings. Since rabbits are crepuscular, they are most active during the mornings and evenings. That makes the hours when you are at home the best time for play too.

A Pet Lodge Rabbit Hutch is one option for housing that is easy to clean and chew-proof. The Kaytee Giant Rabbit Habitat provides 8 square feet of living space, secure tab locks, and chew-proof latches. You can also use an indoor wire crate.

If you keep your bunny confined, place its house in an area with a lot of traffic. Allow your pet to be close to its family members even when it isn’t running loose.

Feed a Balanced Rabbit Diet – Rabbits are plant eaters that graze continuously in nature. They have complex digestive systems and require very specific nutrients. Feeding the wrong foods can cause an imbalance, making your bunny sick.

Hay is an integral part of a rabbit diet and should be offered in unlimited quantities. Timothy hay is a good choice, while alfalfa should only be fed to young rabbits. Oxbow Essentials Young Rabbit Food contains 100% of the daily recommended vitamins and minerals and includes Oxbow Alfalfa hay for high fiber and protein. At around 4 or 5 months of age, phase out the alfalfa and start feeding Timothy.

You should also feed your rabbit a small amount of fresh vegetables daily. Focus on green, leafy vegetables like kale, dandelion greens, and Swiss chard. Stay away from those with high carbohydrates like carrots and potatoes. When introducing a new vegetable into their diet, monitor them for soft feces, diarrhea, or other signs of digestive distress. Not all vegetables are safe for rabbits, make sure to do some research before feeding a new food to your bunny.

It’s okay to offer rabbits a special treat in addition to their regular rabbit diet. Ideally, though, you should keep these treats to a minimum. Feeding too many pellets or treats reduces how much hay they eat. This can cause serious digestive problems and damage their teeth.

Any time your rabbit isn’t eating well or doesn’t seem to be feeling well, Oxbow Critical Care Supplement may help. Always talk with your veterinarian about your rabbit’s symptoms and recommendations for feeding Oxbow Critical Care Supplement. Keeping it on hand in case your rabbit becomes ill is a good idea. The ideal rabbit diet is:

1. Unlimited high-fiber hay

2. A small amount of fresh vegetables

3. Limited amount of pellets

4. 1 – 2 Tablespoons of treats per day

Your bunny also needs fresh water that is always available. You can offer water in a sipper bottle or a bowl. Inspect the sipper bottle regularly for clogs and rinse it out every day before filling it with clean water. If you give your rabbit water in a bowl, make sure it doesn’t get spilled in its house or get soiled with droppings.

Provide a Litter Box - Rabbits like to take care of their elimination needs in a single spot. Use this to your advantage by setting up a litter box near their feed and hay. Only use recycled paper litter that is made for small animals. Never use clay or clumping cat litter, as these aren’t safe for rabbits.

Once you line the littler box, place hay over the top of it. Having hay readily available will help your bunny learn to use the litter box.

Pick Up Some Rabbit Toys – Rabbits need toys to help entertain them and to satisfy their need to chew. The best toys for rabbits encourage them to perform natural behaviors such as chin rubbing, digging, jumping, and chewing. They should be made of hard plastic or wood to ensure no small pieces break off. The Kaytee Rabbit Perfect Chews is designed for your pet bunny.

Rabbit Grooming Tips – Like most animals with fur, rabbits require some grooming. Depending on the length and thickness of its fur, you need to brush it every 3 to 7 days. Use a soft brush for cats like the Safari Soft Slicker. Rabbits shed their entire coat about every three months. When your bunny starts shedding, it will need brushing every day. Remove any loose tufts by gently pulling with your fingers.

While brushing your bunny, check its eyes and teeth for anything unusual. Also, look for parasites such as fleas, ticks, or mites. Check the ears for dark debris that might signal ear mites.

If your bunny has soiled fur, it might require a spot bath. Dip the bunny in a shallow pan of warm water and use your hand to wash the soiled areas. Once it is clean, dry it thoroughly.

Another option is to massage a little cornstarch onto the soiled area and then comb it out. Bunnies often prefer a dry bath to a wet one.

You might need to clean the bunny’s scent glands from time to time. These glands are on either side of the rabbit’s genitals that release their scent. If you notice an unusual odor coming from your rabbit, it might mean that the glands are clogged. Use a cotton ball with mineral oil to gently clean them.

Depending on your rabbit, you might need to trim its nails. If your bunny is resistant to trimming, wrap the half of it you aren’t trimming in a towel. Be careful not to trim the nails below the quick. Keep styptic powder on hand in case you trim too close.

Shop Grange Co-op Before You Bring Your Bunny Home

The best time to prepare for your new bunny is before you bring it home. Get everything you need for your new pet at Grange Co-op. We offer an extensive line of rabbit-friendly products to help you keep your bunny healthy and happy. Have Questions? Contact Us to talk with a knowledgeable Grange expert.