Preparing for a Pet Rabbit

rabbit header

Rabbits make wonderful indoor or outdoor pets. They are packed full of personality and with those fluffy long ears, twitching nose and fluffy little tail, what’s not to love about a rabbit! Cute, fluffy and all that hopping….we can already hear you say “aww”.

How do you prepare for your rabbit? How do you make sure your home is rabbit proof? Let the Somerzby team answer these questions and more, to help you get ready for your new rabbit….Let’s hop to it!

Preparing the home

rabbit
Fresh air and daily exercise are important
to help your rabbit stay healthy and happy.

The first thing you need to decide on is where your rabbit will primarily live. If you want to provide the best care, we recommend that you let your rabbit/s live inside the house with you. This way, you will socialize with the rabbit more and you will protect it from the outside predators and weather conditions.
Rabbits need social interaction, plenty of exercise, and a lot of enrichment activities.

When you have decided on the space where the rabbit will live, make sure that you rabbit-proof the surrounding area so that the rabbit doesn’t damage your possessions. Rabbits are very curious and persistent creatures. They will find a way to get into your computer cables, wires, molding, couch piping, slightly frayed rug, etc. Cover all the cords, and remove all wooden furniture, because it can attract your rabbit to chew.

For more information on Rabbit-proofing, you may wish to read our blog article on Protecting your Rabbit from Household Dangers, Disease and Predators.

Hutches and Cages

Rabbit hutch
Somerzby rabbit hutch with run:
essential to make your rabbit feel at home.

When it comes to your rabbit’s house – the larger the better as rabbits need enough room to run, stretch and play.

Your rabbit’s hutch or cage should provide plenty of space for them to move around freely, and feature an enclosed compartment providing a safe place to sleep and hide as well as another section allowing plenty of room to play.

Somerzby sell the Deluxe Cottage and Deluxe Mansion Rabbit Hutch. These Rabbit Hutches feature wire underneath to stop your Rabbits from digging out and full screening for protection from mosquitos.

Other hutches are safe for your rabbits as well, but if you are putting a hutch on grass you will need to add wire so your Rabbits don’t dig out!

Remember to make sure you thoroughly clean your Rabbits hutch/Cage on a regular basis.

For more information on choosing appropriate housing for a pet rabbit, you may wish to read our blog article here on Caring for a pet Rabbit.

Exercise and Enrichment:

Rabbits will get into trouble if they’re bored. They’ll make their own fun chewing your possessions if you don’t provide alternate forms of entertainment.

Toss toys, noise makers, and hiding spaces are excellent for keeping your rabbits amused. The more toys your rabbit has, the less likely he is to use his natural instincts to dig/chew on inappropriate items like furniture, cables, plants, trees etc.

Suggested Rabbit Toys

  • Paper bags and cardboard boxes for hiding, digging and chewing.
  • Untreated wood or fruit tree branches for chewing. Never give gum tree wood.
  • Untreated wicker baskets or boxes full of shredded paper, junk mail or other organic material for digging.
  • Batting balls or other cat/rabbit toys that can be rolled or tossed.
  • Parrot toys that can be tossed or hung.
  • Kitty condos, tubes or tunnels

Nutrition

It’s important to have a good understanding of a rabbit’s nutritional needs throughout his/her life. Proper nutrition (and in the correct amounts) is vital for a rabbit’s well-being. The staple of a rabbit’s diet is fiber. Rabbits must have access to unlimited grass hays at all times (e.g. timothy, oaten, wheaten, pasture, paddock, meadow or ryegrass hays).

Rabbit eating
Fresh grass is essential for health and development,
grass also helps to keep rabbits teeth clean

You can also feed the bunny with fresh vegetables and pellets. Serve a few fruits and vegetables each day, make sure you introduce one new food at a time.

As rabbits teeth continue to grow thoughout their lives they need to chew to keep their teeth trimmed. Help keep their teeth healthy by giving them chew toys.

If you see a change in their stool, then you will know they have a sensitivity to that particular vegetable and to eliminate from their diet.

Any food which is high in sugar, such as fruit, should be served as a treat only. This means only several times a week with each serving being no bigger than your thumb. Vegetables that are high in calcium should be served in moderation.

Do not feed your rabbit cereals, crackers, and oats as they are simple carbohydrates and will be digested as sugar. Too much consumption of these foods will cause diarrhea.

Your bunny needs to always have access to clean and fresh water and fresh food, so make sure that you only provide the best there is. Purchases food dishes and water bottles that can be hung within the cage to avoid it being knocked over.

Grooming

Regular grooming will help to keep your rabbit’s coat in good condition. This also means that the rabbit will ingest less hair themselves and thus help to prevent hairball blockages in their gastrointestinal tract. This is especially important for long-haired breeds.

While brushing, take the time to check their fur for any parasites or dirt, especially under the tail because if left it can lead to a fatal condition called flystrike. Check the length of your rabbit’s toenails regularly and if they are too long, have them clipped.

Rabbit Preparation Checklist

We know setting up for a new pet can be overwhelming, so we have included a handy dandy supply check list to help you get ready for your new pet rabbit.

Home

  • checkbox A Cage or Hutch with room to stretch and a sheltered area
  • checkbox A Rabbit Run with fully enclosed screening
  • checkbox Bedding for your bunny: Towel, Newspaper, Hay and Grass

Supplies

  • checkbox Brush or Comb
  • checkbox Nail Clippers
  • checkbox Boxes or cardboard tubes (for playtime)
  • checkbox Food dish
  • checkbox Water bottle
  • checkbox Chew Toys (untreated wood, fruit tree branches- NOT gum tree wood)

Food

  • checkbox Fruits (in moderation)
  • checkbox Vegetables
  • checkbox Food Pellets
  • checkbox Hay and Grass

SEE ALSO:

Sources

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