There is a lot to learn about rabbits! Here is a snapshot of what it takes to care for a rabbit.
For housing needs you want to have a roomy cage, resting board, running space and bunny proofed room(s). You might want to have a fenced patio/porch or playpen for outdoors when the weather permits.
Some items you will need are a litter box, pellet bowl or feeder, water bottle or crock, pet carrier, and toys. You want to have both chew and toss toys.
Rabbits eat pellets, hay/straw, fresh salad veggies and fruits, barley/oats, and they will need multiple enzymes for digestive aids. They also need wood for chewing recreation and a petroleum laxative to help in passing hair from grooming.
Rabbits need to be groomed regularly. You’ll want to have a brush, flea comb and toenail clippers. You’ll also want to have a flea product safe for rabbits.
Other supplies needed are dust free litter and a pooper scooper. Having a hand vacuum and a broom/dustpan would be a good idea. You can use white vinegar for cleaning up urine accidents.
Caring for your rabbit means having lots of interaction, play and being aware of how your rabbit is acting or behaving. Seek veterinarian treatment if you see these danger signs:
- Diarrhea with listlessness
- Sudden loss of appetite with bloat or abdominal gurgling
- Loss of appetite with labored breathing
- Loss of appetite with runny nose
- Head Tilt
- Incontinence (urine soaked rear legs)
- Abscesses, lumps or swelling anywhere
- Sudden change in behavior
Rabbits groom themselves constantly and they get furballs just as a cat does. However unlike cats, rabbits cannot vomit and so the excessive hair swallowed can cause a fatal blockage. Keeping your rabbit brushed is the best solution.
Rabbits need at least 30 hours a week in exercise time/space. They do get along with cats and dogs and if you want to add another rabbit it is easiest if the rabbits are neutered or spayed adults of the opposite sex. Rabbits do not tolerate the heat well. Teeth grow continually throughout life so you want to be sure that their teeth align properly to aid in keeping the teeth normal length and shape.
Rabbits don’t like to be held and hugged. They like staying on the ground. They can get hurt if they jump out of your arms.
The average life span of a rabbit is 7-12 years. There are many breeds of rabbits such as the Netherland dwarf, Rex, Himalayan, New Zealand, Lop Eared, Lionhead, and Polish.
This a brief overview on the care of rabbits. I hope this helps you in determining if a rabbit is the pet for you. If you do think a rabbit is the right companion for you—consider adopting.