With their adorable fluff and affectionate nature, rabbits make wonderful pets. They are quiet, clean animals that adore their owners and can even be trained to do tricks. However, rabbits require more attention and care than people typically expect, as much as a dog in many ways. With a life expectancy of 7-10 years, pet rabbits are a long-term commitment. Keep reading to find out if a rabbit is the right pet for you and your family.
What Do Rabbits Eat?
Rabbits are herbivores–eating only plants–and have sensitive digestive systems. Hay is the main staple of their diet. Since rabbits are nibblers, hay should be available at all times. You can pair one-to-two-cups of fresh green vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, and celery with a small amount of rabbit pellets twice a day. Carrots, root vegetables, and fruit should be offered sparingly as treats.
Where Do Rabbits Live?
Pet rabbits require a living area that is safe, clean, and roomy. Their enclosure, also called a hutch, should be at least four feet long and two feet wide. These dimensions are often much larger than a typical bunny cage. The hutch should have an area for food, a littering area, a section for sleeping, and space for movement and play. Bunnies can be trained to use a litter box, which needs to be cleaned at least every other day.
How Do I Keep My Rabbit Happy?
Families will want to spend as much time with their rabbit as possible. Rabbits are social animals and can get grumpy if they’re left alone for too long. Even though they love attention, rabbits don’t like to be picked up or held. They are usually not the best choice of pets for families with small children since they are fragile and can be injured or may bite if they get scared.
Rabbits enjoy activities that include digging, chewing, exploring, and affection. Bunnies are easily entertained by simple activities like laying on the floor and letting them hop around you or playing with baby chew toys. Bunny lovers might try teaching tricks like “spin” and “high five” or playing games like bunny bowling.
Can Rabbits Live with Other Pets?
Rabbits are prey animals so owners should think twice before bringing bunnies together with predators like dogs or cats. These pets can coexist but it takes time and effort to socialize them properly. A well-trained adult dog or calm cat are the most likely to get along with a rabbit, although they should always be supervised when together. The best option for socialization is getting two rabbits so they can meet each other’s needs for play and companionship.
What Kind of Medical Care do Rabbits Need?
Getting your rabbit spayed or neutered is probably the most important decision owners can make to ensure their pet’s health. Annual wellness visits are recommended to inspect fur, teeth, eyes, ears, and weight. It’s critical to see a vet that specializes in small animals, like our team at BEEVET Animal Hospital. If you decide a rabbit is the right pet for you, reach out to our staff anytime for help keeping your bunny happy and healthy.