Hop Into Spring with Rabbit Care
It is starting to feel like spring has actually sprung here in Indiana, and what better way to celebrate than talking about bunnies? Rabbit care happens to be one of our specialities here at New Haven Pet Hospital – let us be your official source for information about all things that hop!
Rabbits can make great companions, but just like with any other pet it is important to know a little bit about them before jumping into a big commitment. Rabbits don’t fit in to every household, but lagomorph lovers everywhere will tell you that they are great for a lot of people!
A few fun facts about rabbits as pets:
- Rabbits are herbivores and will add to your weekly produce budget!
- They require room to move and can get themselves into trouble. Areas they have access to will need to be rabbit-proofed.
- Rabbits require gentle and quiet handling and are often stressed by young children.
- Bunnies are crepuscular, meaning their highest levels of activity are at dawn and dusk.
- They need daily activity (about an hour) and regular social interaction.
- Healthy, well-cared for rabbits can live ten years or more.
- Bunnies are social critters, meaning more than one is usually ideal.
- Domestic rabbits do not have the skills to survive outdoors like a wild rabbit would – once you have made a commitment to one, it is your responsibility to keep it healthy and safe.
All About Proper Rabbit Care
Once you have decided to jump off the deep end into bunny love, there are some important components of good rabbit care that you should learn about.
Rabbit nutrition — Proper care of any pocket or exotic pet often begins with good nutrition. Of course rabbits should have unrestricted access to fresh water at all times. Hay is a huge part of a healthy rabbit’s diet. Timothy or grass hay should also be freely available (pelleted hay is also an option), with alfalfa being only a very small and occasional treat. Fresh fruits and veggies are also important, the average rabbit needs about a cup of vegetables per four pounds of body weight each day. Vitamin A in the diet should come from veggies such as beet tops, broccoli, kale, or pea pods. Most veggies will do, but there are a few to avoid, including iceberg lettuce. Fruit should be considered a treat.
Home is where the hop is — A proper home is also important for good rabbit care. Be sure that your rabbit’s enclosure is large and tall enough for play and to stretch out. It should have a solid floor and good air circulation. Direct sunlight and drafts should be avoided. Be sure to provide chew toys and other safe but stimulating toys. Daily exercise is encouraged. Be sure that your rabbit’s play space if free of electrical cords, house plants, and other dangers.
Veterinary value — Rabbits also require veterinary care. Spaying or neutering is an important part of good rabbit ownership, as well as regular nail trims and dental care.
We are passionate about rabbit care and urge you will call us if you need any help when it comes to bunny ownership!