- How To Care For Rabbits At Home
Proper education on the appropriate way to care for rabbits, especially if you are raising them at home here in Greenville, SC, is so important to ensure the health and well-being of your bunnies.
In this article, we provide you with the necessary information on how to house rabbits, feed them, ensure enough exercise, keep them healthy, and train them. Our goal is to make available that education that will make you a great parent to your pets.
Raising and caring for rabbits requires knowledge and diligence on your part, so they can live their entire life expectancy. Follow the guidelines provided in this article, and your pet rabbit or rabbits will be most grateful that they have you as their parents.
Essential Things To Know About Rabbits
If you are starting, perhaps you still need to get your pet. Here is a bit of information on rabbits.
They Are Social
Rabbits are social animals, territorial, and have social structures. Although they enjoy socializing, not all rabbits enjoy humans holding them. It is necessary to note the nature of the rabbit you have or are about to get. And position yourself to act accordingly.
They Are Intelligent
Their intelligence shows in the complicated social structures they form. They can also respond to directives—especially those accompanied by positive reinforcement.
They Have A Unique Digestive System
Their system, after feeding, produces droplets called caecotrophs, which serve as food too. It is an alternate form of regurgitation.
They Are Preys
Rabbits are at the bottom of the food chain. They are herbivores, so they don't eat other animals. However, they are food for other predatory animals. They need protection from the risks to their lives.
Caring For Rabbits At Home
With the above information, we will discuss how to care for your pet at home under the following sections.
Shelter for rabbits
Shelter is a crucial aspect of their existence. And with the knowledge of rabbits being prey animals, "caring" for them by putting them in a hutch outside your home endangers them. Apart from predators, the weather is another issue they might need help with.
So, their housing should be indoors. You can get a crate or large cage with a protected bottom. However, the best option will be, creating an enclosure if there is space. The height of this enclosure should be taller than your rabbit at its full size to prevent escapes.
Whether you are using a crate, cage, or enclosure, your bunny should have enough space to stretch to its full measure. There should be a hop platform like a shelf to encourage movement. Make available chew toys, feeding, and drinking bowls too.
Your pet rabbit should have bedding to protect it from the hard floor and give warmth during sleep. Their housing also needs a litter box for their waste and to ensure a measure of cleanliness.
Food for your rabbit
After shelter, comes food. We've noted that rabbits are herbivores. Providing them with hay every day is an absolute necessity. It makes up a large percentage of their diet. It helps their dental hygiene and their wellness in general.
However, mixing up their diet with leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, herbs, watercress, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower is crucial too. Since, hay is not all they eat.
Apart from leaves and hay, they enjoy carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, green beans, peas, pumpkins, and some others, such as fruits and commercial pellets, especially sugary fruits. Although because of your rabbit's digestive system, these fruits must be in controlled quantities during feeding. Commercial pellets, just like fruits, should be delivered in controlled amounts to prevent obesity or health complications.
Rabbits need adequate water
With their food, provide clean, drinkable water. You must monitor your pet drinking from the bowl or trough. Because, your rabbit may not know how to drink from the system you have provided, so observe and be convinced they are drinking water.
As we have mentioned, rabbits are intelligent creatures and can obey clear directives from pet parents. The most effective method to train your rabbit is positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement is when you reward your pet for doing or obeying a command. It is so effective that it is the go-to training method regardless of the pet animal. One primary training you want your pet to undergo is litter box training. Rabbits are clean animals, so this would be easy. Often a rabbit will choose a corner of the shelter as a toilet. If you have observed such a place, put an appropriate-sized litter box there.
The litter box can contain hay and old newspaper as its flooring to attract your dear pet to use the box and be safe while eating from it. Keep the box clean, and empty it every day or every other day. Refill it with fresh hay or paper.
Your rabbit needs exercise just like humans. It helps their overall wellness. Providing 4 to 6 hours for them to run around, hop, play and even socialize in a harmless area is a boss-level pet parenting move.
If you do not have enough space for a separate playpen, you can rabbit-proof your rooms for your pet to roam. If your floors are hard and slippery, you can get a carpet to cushion falls. Cover up wood and electric wires that are within reach of your pets.
In as much as we have provided you with much information to ensure the proper caretaking of your rabbit. It would be remiss if we didn't advise you to get a veterinary doctor with good rabbit knowledge. You can pay a visit at least once every six months for a complete check-up, even if your pet is okay.
Caring for your pets at home is easy enough, with available care services like ours around Greenville. And as a caring animal lover and pet parent, you can reach us through our website if you need our services. Because we know no matter how much care we give our pets, they always find a way to give back so much love.