How to Take Proper Care of a Pet Bunny?
Some adopt bunnies because of the misconception that they are low-maintenance. Though, that is not the case. You can't just shove in a few carrots and neglect them for the next few days and expect them to be in great shape.
This can hurt their tiny heart as they are social animals that crave contact and attention.A little flaw in your way of maintaining them, such as wrong food or bedding, can already damage their health in certain extent.
They are known to be fragile creatures, and breaking their trust can create a fracture in your rabbit-human relation.
In order to prevent these mishaps, here is some information that can be useful in taking care of the fuzzy creature.
How to Care For a Rabbit?
A domestic rabbit has the potential of being a fun addition to the family. But in this process, a question may come to mind, and that is “How can I take care of this fuzzy creature?”
Having them as pets can be a long-term commitment, for they can live up to 12 years. Knowing the right supplies and movement can ensure that their lives are worth living for. In line with this, here are the guidelines for the owners to know what should be done, and what to get for their little pet.
Decide the Ideal Rabbit
In finding a right pet, you should consider the breed that is the most suitable for you. There are many factors in considering this, such as their behavior, fragileness, and movements.
Determine the appropriate age that you would want, as well as the size and coloring. If you don’t have a specific kind that you want, you can adopt at your local rescue animal centers for abandoned bunnies.
Find A Veterinarian
You should always be prepared in having a rabbit as your companion, and that includes sudden health failure. Find someone who has plenty of experience in dealing with rabbits, and also perform check-ups every once and a while.
Ensure That Your Place Is Rabbit-Proof
As your rabbit hops around and plays with you, there should not be any potential harm lying around.
Make sure that all of the wires, cords, and cables are hidden, covered, or inaccessible. You can wrap them with tubes, secure them on the wall, or place them behind the furniture.
See Also: Why Do Dogs Eat Rabbit Poop?
Buy the Needed Supplies and Accessories
While preparing their expected arrival, it is best to be ready regarding their needed supplies. Here is the stuff that they would need:
- Cage- Their shelter depends if they will be staying inside or outside your premises. If they will be in the outdoors, a hutch is more suitable. Indoor rabbits prefer a haven, specifically a cage that is at least six times its size.
- Bedding- The right bedding depends on the preference of your rabbit. It can be either hay, straw, or shredded paper. Never use wood shavings as hay for it can cause serious health problems.
- Litter Box - In their process of potty training, they would need a litter box. In this case, you can use a cat litter tray. Also, think about buying several tables, for a rabbit often has more than one spot to defecate. The type of litter can be shredded paper, hay, or silica cat litter. Do not use clay, for it is harmful to them.
- Food- They need an unlimited supply of fresh hay. You would also need pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Do not give them unlimited pellets, for they can become overweight.
- Furthermore, there are some fruits and vegetables that they are not allowed to eat because of sugar levels and other extraneous variables, such as nuts, seeds, and dairy. Carrots, in contrary to popular belief, cannot be fed to rabbits daily for they don’t naturally eat root vegetables.
- Food and Water Storage - Make sure that the bowls are made of heavy material, such as ceramic, to ensure that the rabbit won't be tipping their bowl right side up. The water storage can also be in forms of a bottle and is mostly preferred because they cannot knock it over. However, if they seem annoyed in using this, switch to a bowl.
Know How to Properly Handle A Rabbit
To properly pick them up, scoop them using one arm from their side, with your other hand under their rear end. When successfully lifted, rest them on your body for added support. If they seem scared, don't attempt to do so. They may hurt their spine as they struggle, and break their trust.
Also, avoid cuddling with your bunny too much, for they don’t enjoy this action as they are often afraid of the gesture. It reminds them of potential predators that may hurt them. If they nip you, it is an indication that you should stop.
Spend Quality Time with Your Bunny
Rabbits crave for company and attention, for they are known as social creatures. Consider making or buying them toys for them to play with, especially when you are not around. You should provide interaction daily, even with just a few hours to spare
They get depressed overtime when no one pays attention to their adorable actions. If you know that you cannot allot time daily, consider giving them a bunny buddy.
Pay Attention to Him
See how it adjusts to the new environment. Keep in mind and mark where it usually defecates, for these are the potential areas of the litter box in the process of potty training.
Let It Travel in The Open Area Outside Its Cage
It is only advisable to do this if they are already potty trained, for we would not want any ‘accidents' happening, especially on your beloved furniture. Make sure not to lift them when taking them out of the cage. Instead, just open the door and let it decide.
If it hops over to you, let him be and offer a few pieces of vegetables. Don’t move to fast! You might scare their tiny heart and think of you as a predator.
Know How to Pet Correctly
When it comes to you, feed them and once they've finished eating, gently stroke their head.
If it lowers its head, then that means your move is successful. If it flinches or runs, don't chase them. Just simply let them be and wait for the right moment when they come back to you.
Additional Key Points
Have patience, and keep trying. Don't rush them in handling out their trust, for they may feel threatened and may injure your relationship. Instead, wait for the right timing.
If it heads butts you that means that you are now buddies. Try giving vegetables and stroke him when he does this.Do you find the fuzzy creatures adorable? Adopt them and ensure that they would receive the best possible care!