Rabbits Small Pets

How to Care for a Pet Rabbit

how to care of rabbits
Written by Arlene S. Lane

How to care for rabbits is one of the most searched topics these days among the pet community. If you know how to care for rabbits then rabbits are the best pets for you. They are one of the cutest animals to be kept as pets. While people will prefer cats and dogs or birds as pets keeping rabbits is also a great option and choice as pets. Domesticated pets have a life span of 8-12 years and they will require a lot of attention from their owners. Yes, they are great pets but due to their size and lifespan, they require commitment from their owners to be taken care of. They are unique in their own way and they have specific requirements that should be fulfilled to make them feel comfy and happy in captivity. 

Pet bunnies having long fur will require plenty of time and constant grooming as their fur can be matted quickly. They are cute and adored heavily by children but when children hold them or take care of them you should supervise them. A specific pet care guide for rabbits can also be helpful in keeping rabbits as pets like the one we are about to share with you. Before we answer how to care for rabbits let’s discuss why they are good pets.

Are Bunnies Good Pets?

If this is your first time owning a pet then you will be wondering that “are bunnies good pets” The simple answer can be “it depends”Rabbits mostly have small sizes but some can grow significantly larger. However, a definite answer to “are rabbits good pets” isn’t available. Despite their small size, they have their own requirements that should be fulfilled so they will remain stress-free. They are sensitive animals and do not like to pick. If you have a family with small children then make sure to do a lot of search or rabbit care tips. They can be great pets if you made sure that they can display natural behavior. As a pet owner, you will need housing where they can hop, play and stretch. If you have enough time, money, space, and caring time then you can enjoy rabbits as pets. Here is a guide for you. 

How To Care for Rabbits?

Now addressing the elephant in the room. Here is how to care for rabbits.

Bunny Proofing Your House

When it comes to raising a pet rabbit then you should understand that rabbits require space where they can run and explore. You should protect your stuff while providing them space that is safe to explore for bunnies. A bunny-proof house will not only be safe for the rabbits but for you as well. Start by lifting all the wires or covering them with flexible tubing or sleeves so they will stay out of the reach of rabbits. If you have a wooden floor in your house then cover it with some plastic guards or furring strips. Raising a pet rabbit means you will also need to take care of the other wooden items of your house from beds, and bookshelves to other wooden household items as they will just want to chew everything they have access to.

Safe Indoor Housing

When pet bunnies are inside the house they can move freely and play around and it will be stress-free for both of you if you just bunny-proofed the rooms as well. You can contain pet bunnies in a bunny condo, rabbit cage, and puppy pen. Bunnies like to hop which means that you should provide them enough space even when they are contained so they can hop. Don’t just keep them in their pen full day instead you should take them out for a while so they can walk around. Pet bunnies are social animals so they shouldn’t be isolated. While raising a pet rabbit, make its primary place near your family and you. So, they will not feel lonely.

Get Them Fresh Hay

When you are wondering what you need for a bunny then consider their dietary requirements as well. The diet of the bunny largely consists of hay. You should consider providing fresh hay all the time. When the pet bunnies are young then provide them with alfalfa. For adult rabbits, you can consider buying timothy hay, oat hay, and grass hay. You can also get a large hay feeder as it can contain a large amount of hay dry, accessible to rabbits, and clean. Remember to take care of their dietary requirement to start caring for rabbits as pets.

Safer Outer Space

When it comes to caring for rabbits as pets then it isn’t just the house that should be bunny-proof but the outside of the house should also be safe for them. When they are outside then they will be suspected of insects, poisonous plants, and attacks from other large animals. While keeping rabbit as pet, if you have created a hutch for them outside then make sure to cover the top and bottom of it for better care. Make sure you understand how to care for rabbits outdoors as well to keep them secure and safe from further outdoor dangers. Removing any suspicious plants such as types of mushrooms or even your own grown plants such as Wisteria and Lily of the valley.

Setting Up A Litter Box

Rabbits are naturally clean nature animals and they have a natural habit of pooping and peeing in one single area. You can take advantage of this by providing them with a medium-sized cat litter or any other shallow box near their eating area. You can add recycled newspaper pallet litter at the bottom of the litter box. Don’t try to use clay litter or wood shavings because they aren’t safe for rabbits. To take good care of pet bunnies you can foster the habit of cleaning litter by placing litter near their haystack because they poop while eating.

Groom The Rabbit

Grooming is one of the most crucial things when you want to know how to care for rabbits. Even though they are naturally clean animals you will still need to clean them regularly.  They will shed every year for some time. If your rabbits have large fur then you should trim the fur and brush them regularly. This will help them to get rid of extra fur while keeping rabbit as pet. If not then your pet rabbit may digest it and may suffer from serious digestive issues. Don’t forget to trim the nails when you have raising a pet rabbit. This is because long nails may hinder their moving and playing habits. You can look at our guide for how to trim rabbit nails.

Have Fun Activities

Rabbits are popular for being active pets. And when it comes to caring for rabbits as pets then their physical and mental stimulation is crucial. They will like to play or hop most of the time to have some fun activities. Or else they will start to feel bored very easily. You should provide the space for exercise to provide mental stimulation. If you are a craft lover then raising a pet rabbit with fun activities would be a dream come true moment. You can make cardboard castles because they love to chew new windows and doors for hours. They are also great to provide temporary shelter for bunnies. You can search for DIY cardboard castle guides for a better idea. You can go for some good-quality rabbit toys for mental stimulation.

Visit a specialized Vet

Keeping a rabbit as a pet can be fun and stressful at the same time. Because of their prey nature, they will naturally hide any signs of illness. This is why you should keep an eye on their health status. Search for any information about healthy and ill rabbits. You can keep an eye on their pooping habits, urination, drinking, and eating habits to see if they are normal or if there is any serious change. Regular visits to some specialized vets are crucial. They can guide you about pet bunnies’ health status, and tips and tricks to keep them healthy. And they will also let you know if they need any treatment or vaccination or not.

Spend Time With them

If you ever wonder how to care for pet bunnies while doing everything mentioned in this guide then you should append time with them. This is something that many new pet owners will overlook. They will just leave the rabbits in cages or in pens, and feed them but will not spend time with them. Bunnies as house pets require attention and they will socialize in this way. Make sure to spend time with your pet rabbits to keep them calm and stress-free.

Bottom Line

We tried to answer your question regarding whether are bunnies good pets and how to care for rabbits raising a pet rabbit can be great pets. Their fluffy bodies and cute looks are hard to resist especially for kids. While bigger rabbits are rabbits good pets the problem only arise with smaller rabbits. However, knowing how to care for pet rabbits is crucial so they will live healthy for longer.

About the author

Arlene S. Lane

Arlene S. Lane is a veterinary technician and hospital manager with over 12 years of experience. Arlene has been contributed expert content to The Pet's Rise for over 10 years.
Arlene has worked in veterinary medicine since 2017. Arlene's veterinary experience ranges from routine wellness care and preventive medicine to emergency and specialty care, where she has performed duties ranging from specialized nursing to clinical administration.

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