How to care for your pet rabbitPosted: February 1, 2012
As the owner of a pet rabbit, you should know the basics on how to create a safe, loving environment for them. There are many things you should know about as a rabbit owner, diet and housing being just two of them. Here are some valuable tips and facts:
What to feed your pet rabbit:
Fresh hay should be the main ingredient in your rabbit’s diet and it should be available to them at all times. Hay is vital for a rabbit’s digestive health because it contains essential fibers. It also helps wear down their teeth, which continuously grow, resulting in good dental health, too. A variety of vegetables should be available to your rabbit every day, as well. When choosing vegetables, try to find something fresh and free of pesticides and wash the vegetables thoroughly before feeding to your rabbit. As for pellets, look for something with high amounts of fiber and lower amounts of protein. Pellets that are high in protein can lead to obesity and other health issues in rabbits.
Housing options for your rabbit:
A neat idea for housing would be to set up a puppy pen in a certain room. A puppy pen can be found at many pet supply stores. They are big enough to hold all of the essentials for a rabbit and it gives them room to move around. Pens are also easy to move when needed. If you are worried about your flooring or carpet, try putting a plastic chair matt or a piece of linoleum at the bottom of the pen.
Another idea would be to build a custom enclosure. Many stores sell wire storage cubes that can be customized many different ways. This option is more affordable than buying a large cage. Remember; never build a rabbit enclosure with chicken wire, because rabbits can chew the wire. This could result in injury. If you decide to build with metal, the slats should be close enough together so that your rabbit can’t get their head through the slats.
Handling your rabbit:
First and foremost, never pick up your rabbit by their ears, feet, tail or scruff. Remember, rabbits are fragile - be gentle with them! Some rabbits don’t enjoy being picked up or handled. Some will tolerate it, but many are unwilling. If this is the case, approach your rabbit slowly, and get down to their level. It will help put them at ease. Petting them also has a calming effect.
When you feel confident that your rabbit is ready to be handled, scoop them up from underneath their torso and hold them close to your body. They need to feel secure. When putting your rabbit down, slowly kneel while holding your rabbit close and let them down gently.