Rabbits as Pets
There are a few things you will need to know if you are owning rabbits as pets. They have a life span of approximately 10 years. If they are kept indoors, they tend to live longer than those living outdoors.
Rabbits are popular pets and can live a full and healthy life if they are well taken care of and eat a healthy diet.
Rabbits as Pets – Housing
When keeping rabbits as pets, it is necessary to choose a cage or a rabbit hutch. It should be large enough for your rabbit to move around and stretch. Cover the bottom with something solid like cardboard to protect their feet, if it is a wire cage. The cage should be easy to clean, so keep that in mind when you’re setting up the home. Rabbits can get lonely so place the cage in a quiet, draft-free area. Be sure family members can be seen.
A litter box layered with newspaper or aspen bark should be placed in a corner. Some materials, like pine and cedar, can be toxic to your pet. So avoid these types of wood. Hay makes good, warm bedding in the nesting box which can be purchased or hand made.
Either a water bowl or a water bottle can be used in the cage. A bottle will keep the water cleaner and will not tip like a bowl. If you are switching from a bowl to a bottle, your rabbit should drink from the bottle before removing the bowl. Sometimes, it takes a while for them to get used to drinking from a water bottle.
Rabbits as Pets – Diet
Keeping rabbits as pets requires a little research into what diet is best for a long, healthy life. A good nutritious diet to keep your rabbit healthy consists of hay, pellets, vegetables and fruits.
Hay—As rabbits’ teeth are constantly growing, hay will help wear their teeth down. Keep it available at all times.
Pellets—Rabbits need a good supply of balanced nutrients in their diet. Try adding low fat pellets to their diet. It will help give them the type of diet needed for their health. Half a cup to 3/4 of a cup is recommended depending on their size.
Fruits and Vegetables—A rabbit’s diet needs to be nutritious and carefully planned. This will ensure they stay healthy and live to their full life expectancy. Some of the vegetables they enjoy are carrots, broccoli, kale, cabbage, lettuce (not iceberg), and green peppers. Keep the amount of fruit given to 1-2 tablespoons a day, even though it may be a favorite. Giving them a very small amount of suitable fruits is preferred over sugary treats found in pet stores.
Water—Rabbits need a lot more water than similar species. So, it is essential to keep fresh water available at all times.
Owning rabbits as pets requires responsibility. Make sure that they are comfortable and happy in their environment. Learn everything you can about rabbit care before you decide if these pets will fit into your lifestyle.