There is no doubt: rabbits are adorable! Some of them really look like stuffed animals, and maybe that’s why so many people want them as pets. But before adopting a bunny one must first research the correct way to take care of them and thus avoid several health problems.
Preparing the house to receive a rabbit
Before you take your big ear home, prepare his house. Rabbits can be accommodated in fences or cages, and they need a feeder, water dispenser, bathroom and toys.
The cage should allow the rabbit to stand on its hind legs without hitting its head on top,it needs to have space for the other accessories and should be kept in a cool and well ventilated area. Rabbits should never be kept in a cage all the time. They need daily exercise to stay healthy and avoid physical or behavioural disorders.
These are the items which you will need to provide for your bunny:
- Feeder: this container will only be destined for the rabbit?s ration. Choose feeders made of resistant materials (aluminum, ceramics) because there is the possibility that the bunny will try to chew;
- Drinking trough: opt for automatic models and adjust to the ideal height so that the rabbit does not need to bend down or stand to drink water;
- Bathroom: rabbits have a natural inclination to poop and pee in a single area, so getting used to using the bath will not be difficult. You will be able to choose from the various models available on the market. To encourage your ears to use the correct place, put hay and some of the pet’s own poop, so he little by little create the habit of using only that space for your needs;
- Toys: it is very important to offer entertainment to your bunny, otherwise he will chew other objects that are nearby. Among the options are burrows, tunnels and snacks such as vegetables and fruits;
Because they are curious animals, they like to chew a lot, so it is necessary to leave out of reach electrical wires, cleaning products, food that is not for them and any object that is too sharp or too small.
Rabbits are herbivores so their diet consists mainly of large quantities of hay, vegetables, some fruits and also feed. The rabbit food must be specific for rabbits and of good quality which contains the necessary nutrients. Offer daily and it can be left available in the feeder or in small portions, always according to the quantity indicated on the packaging of the product.
Hay is one of the most important foods in a rabbit?s diet,for this reason it should always be at your disposal. This food is rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins and stimulates healthy gastrointestinal motility and the proper wearing of the teeth through chewing which reduces inadequate chewing (objects and other items). In addition,hay helps to create a feeling of satisfaction in the rabbit?s stomach to avoid excesses and obesity.
Vegetables and fruits are also part of the diet,such as cabbage,broccoli,watercress,rocket,apple,pear and others (know more here). Green foods have the same nutritional benefits as hay, but they contain a wider selection of nutrients and also provide water to the diet.
This is very important because rabbits do not always hydrate themselves as much as they should. But the diet should not consist only of green foods because they do not have enough calories to sustain the normal body weight of a rabbit.
The spine of the rabbit is fragile and can fracture very easily if it kicks hard so it is always important to support the rear end.
When catching the rabbit, avoid holding it by the belly, instead offer support for the paws, so that it feels safe, with the feet supported on your hand, on your lap or on your chest, this avoids it to struggle and end up causing scratches. In the first times it is recommended to sit on the ground, so if the rabbit jumps out of his arms it wont? be a big fall. Under no circumstances hold the animal by its ears, it is extremely painful for it.
Can I have a rabbit in the company of a child?
Rabbits can be stressed easily and small children in general are agitated, for this reason the coexistence is not always indicated. Very active children can scare rabbits, making them jump and get hurt. Besides, as there is the right way to catch the ear, children should always be supervised when close to the animal.
Take your rabbit to the vet (specialized in wild and wild animals)
Rabbits are prey and therefore their natural instinct is to hide any symptom of disease. You should keep an eye on him to make sure that he is eating, drinking, pooping and peeing regularly. If you notice any change in behavior, it is important to call the vet immediately.
In addition to the consultation in case of any illness it is also essential to take your rabbit for regular examinations. The vet can check the ears, eyes, teeth and intestines to make sure that the rabbit is in good health.
Finally, consider castrating your rabbit, this action can reduce any aggressive behavior, improve hygiene habits and increase the life expectancy of your big ear. It is very important to have as much information as you can before you have a pet so you tutor it and it can have a healthy and happy life!