Bunny Love: 10 Tips for New Rabbit Owners
1.) Do your research. Before you decide to purchase or adopt a rabbit, make sure to research as much information as you can regarding rabbits such as illnesses, proper dietary needs, and housing.
2.) Find a Vet. It is important when finding a veterinarian that you find one who is experienced in rabbits as they are not common animals like dogs, cats, etc. Make sure to sit down with your vet and talk tips and tricks, veterinary needs, emergency plans, and make sure they are the right fit for you and your new furry friend.
3.) Prepare your home. Before bringing your rabbit home, it is essential to have your home prepared for the new family member. Rabbits are great indoor companions. A great place for a rabbit is in a central area of your home and a place where they can roam around freely without feeling trapped, as this provides the social interaction, protection from predators and severe weather that your bunny needs to feel happy and safe. A puppy pen or a bunny proofed room would be ideal.
4.) 10-year commitment. Before jumping into rabbit ownership, it is important to keep in mind that although they are fluffy and cute, they do require a lot of time, attention and responsibility. Bunnies can live up to 10 years or more, so it’s important to that you can commit to care for them.
5.) Spay and Neuter. A fixed rabbit can live a longer, healthier life as the risk of cancer and urinary tract infections are greatly reduced. Once a rabbit is spayed or neutered, it will become much calmer and easier to bond with and manage.
6.) They can be litter box trained! Just like cats, rabbits can be litter box trained and have free range around your home! Don’t be alarmed if they eat their soft feces though, it is an important part of the rabbit’s health. Rabbit’s need to be spayed and neutered before they are litter box trained as it is nearly impossible otherwise.
7.) Safely introduce your new rabbit to your other animals. Your new rabbit and your other animals are going to take some time to get used to each other. It is important to introduce them through a divider first, then with close supervision after. This allows the animals to get to know each other in a non-threatening way.
8.) They need lots of active time. Rabbits are crepuscular, they sleep during the day and during the night, but are most active during the dawn and twilight times. During these times, if your rabbit is caged, they need to be let out to run around and have social interaction with you.
9.) They love toys. Rabbits like to be amused and occupied, just like humans and most other animals. Some options for safe toys for rabbits are: newspaper, cardboard boxes, old towels, toilet paper and paper towel rolls.
10.) Rabbit’s NEED Forage! Although rabbits do like fruits and veggies, it is essential that their diet is made up of 25% forage to maintain a healthy way of life. Standlee Premium Western Forage® has a range of products for your new rabbit - Check them out here!