Buying a Rabbit? These Tips Can Make Its Life Better
A rabbit may not seem as complicated as a dog or a cat, but it still requires your attention. These cute little animals have their own needs and preferences, a certain daily regiment, nutrition requirements, and much more. If you are reading this, you are a responsible owner, and the following tips can help you become even better at caring for your pet rabbit.
Come up with Sufficient Space
Rabbits are big hoppers. Don’t limit their space. If you are purchasing a bunny house, it must be large enough so that the animal can make at least three hops inside. The happiest rabbits get to run around their house freely. But would this make you the happiest owner?
If you decide to confine your rabbit in a cage (even if it’s large and comfy), you still need to let it out at least once a day for a hopping session.
Arrange a Loving Companion
Your rabbit is not a solitary pet. It needs company. So if you want a happy rabbit, get two. Of course, accommodating two rabbits is more complicated, but it’s more fun as well. Two pets bring twice as much joy as one.
If you aren’t ready to adopt two rabbits, you must keep your pet company. Don’t stash its house in the farthest room of your home. It loves watching and hearing what you are doing, so keep your rabbit close by.
Neuter Your Rabbit
Even if you don’t plan on getting a second rabbit, neutering your first pet is always a good idea. Neutering keeps these animals healthy. It reduces the risk of cancer, especially in females. Meanwhile, neutered rabbits are less aggressive and easier to house train. Neutering is a common surgery, and is safe for your pet.
Check Your Rabbit Daily
Rabbits are complicated animals, and they are prone to a variety of diseases. Rabbits can feel pain but they don’t show it, so you will never know if your rabbit is suffering unless you pay close attention to it.
Watch out for changes in behavior or eating habits. Check the pet’s fur and bottom. If urine or droppings are stuck to it, it may attract flies, which will lead to the animal’s eventual death. If you have suspicions about the animal’s condition, bring it to the vet.
Care for Your Rabbit’s Teeth
Do you know that a rabbit’s teeth grow about 2 mm every week? One of the most common health issues in rabbits is overgrown teeth. Check your pet’s teeth every week to catch this problem before it damages the animal’s health. Common symptoms include:
- Wet front paws
- Eye discharge
- Not grooming itself properly
- Weight loss
- Misaligned teeth
All of the above may be caused by overgrown teeth. The best way to avoid this problem is to feed your rabbit properly.
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Feed Your Bunny Properly
Do you think bunny pellets contain all of the sufficient nutrients for a bunny’s diet? After all, they are accessible, easy to give, and don’t leave any residue. While pellets are convenient for owners, rabbits need much more. The most important food for rabbits is hay, so even if it’s harder to get, make it your first priority.
Check out local farms to find the freshest and cheapest hay for your pet. You can also look for large quantities of hay online. The hay at your nearest pet store is probably more expensive than it should be.
Don’t forget about greens and veggies. Bunnies should have access to fresh food every day. However, it’s better to forget to give a rabbit greens than to overlook a hay feeding.
Study Litterbox Habits
This may seem strange, but bunnies like eating while going to the bathroom. Thankfully, these animals prefer to use the same place for their business, so you can set up a litterbox. Fill it with special rabbit litter pellets. Don’t use cat litter, as most of them aren’t suitable for bunnies.
Place a box of hay near the litterbox. The bunny will be much more inclined to use the box if you allow it to eat and poop at the same time. Sounds gross? A lot of toddlers love eating while sitting on the potty too.
Keep up Grooming Habits
Rabbits shed once every three months. They enjoy grooming themselves the same way that cats do. In fact, they are very keen on keeping themselves clean. The big problem is that unlike cats, they don’t cough up hairballs. The loose hair stays in their stomach and can cause fatal digestion problems.
It’s up to you to help your rabbit groom itself. Get ready to brush the animal at least once a week. You can pull loose hair out with your hands. Whatever you don’t take care of will end up in your pet’s stomach.
Handle Them Right
Rabbits may look tougher than hamsters and guinea pigs, but they are fragile. When you pick your rabbit up, do it by putting your hand under its belly. Never lift the bunny by the ears, scruff, or legs. You may cause irreversible damage and terrible pain. Rabbits don’t get excited about being picked up at all, so it’s better to touch them as little as possible.
Talk to Your Kids
A rabbit is a dream pet for many children. However, it’s a wild animal at heart and doesn’t enjoy too much physical interaction. Make sure your children know how to handle a bunny. You may need to watch over them at first. Incorrect handling can kill a rabbit before you even realize you’ve done something wrong.
Provide a Calm Environment
Rabbits are nervous creatures, and they need a calm environment to live in. If you own a dog, make sure it doesn’t enter the room where the bunny’s house is. Interactions with your rabbit should be calm and gentle. By the way, bunnies that live in pairs are usually less nervous.