Lots of folks think of rabbits as small animals that are easier to take care of than a pet cat or dog. Actually, the opposite is true. They don’t need the same things but do need the same amount of time, effort and love to be happy. >
CHS recommends that pet rabbits live inside in a large, spacious cage. Something that will give Thumper plenty of room for his “things” and space to move and play is ideal. Their room should be temperature controlled and the cage should be up on a table or stand where your rabbit will feel safe. >
The cage should have a soft bottom rather than wire mesh which can injure your rabbit’s paws. Rabbits are easily litter box trained so the cage should have the box located at one end and food and water on the opposite side. Food and water dishes should either be latched to the cage or heavy enough that Thumper can’t knock them over. >
Rabbits need to eat constantly to keep their digestive tracts in good health. Contrary to popular opinion, they can’t survive on pellets alone. They need variety in their diets. Make sure Thumper has all the hay he wants. Timothy hay is a good variety to consider. Give lots of green vegetables but go easy on fruit and carrots as they both have a lot of sugar. Too much sugar can make your rabbit sick. >
Training and exercise:
Thumper needs to get out of his cage for playtime at least once a day for a minimum of one hour. This will give him the chance to run around, explore and have fun. Make sure to provide plenty of toys and use the time to enjoy each other. Rabbits respond well to positive reinforcement training (treats for tricks) so consider teaching your rabbit some new things during their daily “out-of-cage” time. Make sure to rabbit proof the room by covering wires/cords with PVC tubing or elevating them off the floor. Keep the floor clean and clutter free to prevent chewing. >
Groom your rabbit once a week. Brush his hair and make sure his nails are not too long. If they need to be clipped, get help from your parents. Make sure Thumper has wooden blocks for nibbling. This is how he’ll keep his teeth in good shape. A grooming session is also a great way to check out your rabbit’s health. Make sure eyes are clear and there is nothing running from his nose or eyes. Make sure his teeth are long enough to chew but small enough that his mouth can open and close properly. When you pet Thumper, look for bumps, cuts and pay attention to his size and weight. If he loses weight suddenly, he might be sick. If you see any problems, your rabbit might need to go to the veterinarian. >
Your pet rabbit needs to go to the veterinarian at least once a year, just like your cat or dog to make sure they can live a full, healthy life. Remember, a healthy rabbit is a happy rabbit.