Monday, September 25, 2023 Weblog How To Take Care of a Bunny Weblog How To Take Care of a Bunny

By Adrienne A. Kruzer, BBA, RVT, LVT
woman holding and taking care of bunny
David Prado / Stocksy
There are many causes rabbits have grown in recognition as pets (together with the enjoyment their large ears, mushy fur, and fluffy tails convey), and there are actually over 50 breeds of rabbits for bunny lovers the world over to look after. Some breeds have particular concerns, however total, caring for any rabbit breed requires the identical fundamental gear and data. When you’re desirous about adopting a rabbit, or even when you have already got one, right here’s your information to what to know and need to preserve your rabbit wholesome and comfortable and ensure they stay a protracted life.

Setting Expectations 

The lifespan of a wholesome pet rabbit is between 5 and ten years, however in your rabbit to have a cheerful life, you’ll must do your half in offering them with correct care. Rabbits have particular person personalities and supply superb companionship, however in trade, they require house, common cleansing, correct diet, psychological stimulation, and veterinary care. Additionally they ought to have a rabbit buddy, so for those who’re planning on getting a bunny, it’s best to ideally plan on getting two. A rabbit requires extra work than a hamster or guinea pig, so it’s necessary to know the whole lot that’s required to correctly look after them earlier than deciding {that a} rabbit is the precise pet for you.

What To Feed a Rabbit 

Rabbits are herbivores, in order that they solely eat plant matter, however the particular varieties and ratios of various plant issues are necessary. As a younger rabbit, alfalfa hay ought to make up about 80% of your rabbit’s eating regimen, with some darkish leafy greens and fortified rabbit pellets making up the remaining 20%. As your rabbit matures into an grownup, you’ll wish to swap your grownup rabbit from alfalfa hay to a grass hay akin to orchard or timothy hay. Restrict rabbit pellets to about 1/4 to 1/2 cup a day, however you possibly can present as much as two cups of darkish leafy inexperienced greens. When you have a dwarf breed or different smaller breed of rabbit, you might must lower the quantity of greens and pellets you present.

There are a selection of uncooked greens that may be fed each day to rabbits, together with:

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Arugula
  • Basil
  • Beet greens
  • Bell peppers
  • Bok choy
  • Boston bibb lettuce
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Butter lettuce
  • Carrot tops
  • Cilantro
  • Clover sprouts
  • Cucumbers
  • Dill
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Fennel
  • Inexperienced leaf lettuce
  • Mint
  • Okra leaves
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Pea pods
  • Radicchio
  • Radish sprouts
  • Radish tops
  • Pink leaf lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Watercress
  • Wheatgrass
  • Zucchini

The next greens and fruits will be ate up a restricted foundation (a few times per week) to keep away from digestive points:

  • Apple (with the seeds eliminated)
  • Banana
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli (solely the stems and leaves)
  • Calendula flowers
  • Carrots
  • Chamomile flowers
  • Chard
  • Clover
  • Cranberries
  • Cherries (with no pits)
  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion greens (pesticide-free)
  • Day lily flowers
  • Dianthus flowers
  • English daisy flowers
  • Grapes
  • Hibiscus flowers
  • Honeysuckle flowers
  • Kale
  • Marigold flowers
  • Melon
  • Nasturtium flowers
  • Nectarine
  • Orange
  • Pansy flowers
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Plum
  • Raspberries
  • Rose flowers
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

Additionally make certain to supply contemporary water from each a water bottle and a water dish. Rabbits will drink extra water for those who present a water dish, however select one that can’t be simply tipped over.

Spaying / Neutering 

Rabbits sadly have a excessive prevalence of reproductive organ cancers, so spaying or neutering your rabbit is a good suggestion to maintain them wholesome. Neutering males will even assist lower territorial behaviors akin to aggression and urine marking, and when you’ve got each male rabbits and feminine rabbits dwelling collectively, getting them spayed and neutered will stop an undesirable being pregnant. Not all veterinarians are ready and keen to carry out surgical procedures on rabbits, although, so you might want to perform a little research to discover a vet close to you that treats them.

It’s best to spay or neuter your rabbit once they’re between 4 and 6 months of age, however the process will be carried out later in life as effectively. There’s all the time a danger when anesthesia is concerned, so talk about the professionals and cons of those surgical procedures along with your veterinarian to find out what’s greatest in your rabbit.

Rabbit Enclosure and Setting 

Rabbits should not the type of pets that may simply sit in a cage. They require house to run, play and discover safely exterior their cages, in addition to an enclosed space to eat and sleep.

Relying on your house, your rabbit could possibly stay outside year-round in a hutch, which will be made or bought. Simply make certain your rabbit’s hutch is safe sufficient that predators like hawks and raccoons can’t get inside them. If you wish to let your rabbit run round exterior, use a harness and leash or x-pen to offer them some further house — however all the time carefully supervise them.

When you select to deal with your rabbit indoors, buy a big rabbit cage or make an enclosure out of a canine crate, x-pen, or massive storage container. Along with a cage, your rabbit must also have a rabbit-proofed room or space to run round once they’re not sleeping of their enclosure.

Rabbits don’t do effectively in environments above 77 levels, so that you’ll wish to restrict out of doors time when it’s hotter and make sure you present them methods to maintain cool. When you don’t have air-con, make certain your rabbit’s house has frozen water bottles, followers, and different issues that assist them keep cool.

Train & Enrichment 

Rabbits like to run and play — actions which might be additionally good for his or her bodily and psychological well being. Present your rabbit with ample house every day to train, in addition to toys, meals puzzles, and different types of enrichment. Toys that your rabbit can choose up, roll, or throw are common choices along with toys that may be chewed. Retaining your rabbit’s physique and thoughts busy is necessary for its total well-being, so you possibly can present psychological stimulation by stuffing hay and greens into empty bathroom paper roll tubes, tissue packing containers, and store-bought meals puzzles.

Litter Coaching 

Nobody likes to search out urine and feces everywhere, plus having a delegated space in your rabbit to eradicate waste matter makes your cleansing routine a lot simpler. Select a litter field with low edges so your rabbit can simply see and entry the world and place it someplace your rabbit already prefers to urinate, akin to in a nook. A nook of an enclosure or room is a well-liked place for a litter field to be positioned, however rabbits additionally usually defecate whereas they eat, so you might wish to place your rabbit’s hay hopper in order that they’ve to take a seat within the litter field whereas they eat.

Place absorbent, dust-free substrate within the litter field, and put a few of your rabbit’s feces and urine within the litter field in the event that they eradicate exterior of it through the coaching course of. It will assist entice and remind your rabbit of the place they need to go. Keep away from cedar, pine, or different wooden shavings which might trigger well being points for some rabbits. And don’t use clay or cat litter both; they’re unsafe for rabbits.

You may reward your rabbit with wholesome treats for those who see them utilizing the litter field however don’t punish your rabbit in the event that they don’t.

Rabbit Proof Your Residence

Select a rabbit-proofed room or space in your house in your rabbit to spend time in every day. When you can’t rabbit-proof a complete room, an x-pen can create a big house inside a room in your rabbit to run round in. Ensure that there aren’t any carpet, strings, or wires on this space that your rabbit might chew on, get tangled in, or pull up. Additionally, preserve canines and cats away from the house and canopy or shut up any areas the place your rabbit may be capable to get caught, akin to ground vents, areas beneath doorways, tables, or cabinets.

How To Deal with and Pet a Rabbit 

Rabbits ought to by no means be picked up by their ears or scruffing. Each of those restraint strategies are hectic and may injure a rabbit. To soundly choose up your rabbit whereas additionally making certain they really feel safe, place one hand beneath their chest and the opposite beneath their hind finish. Maintain the rabbit near your physique whereas supporting them. In case your little one desires to carry your rabbit, have them sit on the bottom to keep away from the rabbit unintentionally falling or being dropped. Don’t let your rabbit dangle whereas kicking their legs or restrain them so firmly that in the event that they kick their legs arduous in opposition to a floor, they’ll injure their again.

To pet a rabbit, gently stroke their fur within the route that the fur naturally lies. Rabbits take pleasure in having their head scratched and their again pet, however particular rabbits can also take pleasure in having their chins scratched and even request a stomach rub by flopping over onto their sides.


Whereas they are often held and cuddled, bunnies might reply fearfully at first, maybe with a sudden motion that might startle a small little one and outcome within the bunny being dropped. For that motive, a rabbit will not be a great pet for youths beneath 5. In case your rabbit isn’t well-socialized, gaining their belief might take a while. Tasty treats ought to be reserved to offer to your rabbit throughout socialization time, however persistence is the important thing ingredient. Transfer slowly and permit your rabbit to come back to you, and keep away from grabbing or startling them. Sitting on the bottom in your rabbit’s play space encourages your rabbit to hop as much as you however allow them to come to you — don’t chase them. It’s also possible to hand feed your rabbit their common hay and greens every day in the event that they aren’t used to being round individuals in any respect. It will assist them be taught to belief you. Rabbits can nip, however they aren’t sometimes aggressive and usually tend to run away if they’re scared relatively than chew.


Some rabbits want extra grooming consideration than others, however your rabbit might require common grooming, together with brushing, haircuts, nail trims, baths, and ear cleanings. In case your rabbit has fur that recurrently tangles, has mats, or will get feces caught in it, it might require common brushing or haircuts. Most rabbits want nail trims until they spend sufficient time on surfaces that may naturally put on their nails down. Your rabbit can also want ear cleanings, particularly if they’ve an ear an infection, mites, or floppy ears. They often solely want baths in the event that they get soiled and particular care ought to be taken to not stress, chill, or overheat them whereas bathing them.

Bunny Verify-Ups 

As of 2021, one vaccination is on the market for rabbits in many of the United States: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Illness Virus (RHDV2). This vaccine isn’t legally required like rabies vaccines are for canines, cats, and ferrets. Due to this, many pet house owners don’t assume that rabbits want common check-ups with a veterinarian, however this isn’t the case. Rabbits ought to obtain annual bodily examinations similar to different pets so their vet can search for any adjustments of their well being and hopefully tackle them earlier than they turn into issues. Your veterinarian will take heed to your rabbit’s coronary heart, lungs, and intestine sounds, look of their eyes, ears, and mouth, really feel their physique for any lumps or different abnormalities, watch them transfer across the room, and talk about their habits, surroundings, and eating regimen.

Contemplate Adopting a Rabbit 

Since many individuals don’t perceive on a regular basis required to correctly look after a pet rabbit, many relinquish their rabbits to shelters and rescue teams. Whereas you should purchase a rabbit from a pet retailer or breeder, you might wish to contemplate rescuing a rabbit by adopting one as a substitute. Contact your native humane society, SPCA, ASPCA, or rabbit rescue group to see if any rabbits can be found for adoption. Even in case you are in search of a particular breed or age of rabbit, you might be stunned to search out that actual kind of rabbit is close to you, ready for a brand new dwelling.


Rabbit Weight loss program: What to Feed a Bunny

Primary Rabbit Care Handout and Infographic

Practitioner’s Information to Pocket Pet and Rabbit Theriogenology

Preserve Rabbits Cool in Summer season

Rabbit Vaccines: Every part You Have to Know

Adrienne Kruzer is an completed veterinary technician and author with over 15 years of hands-on expertise caring for home and unique animals.


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