Before you decide to bring a pet rabbit to your home, you will need to know about How to Take Care of a Rabbit, so that you can prepare secure housing, plan for your rabbit’s daily exercise, and choose a high-quality diet that is suitable for your pet rabbit requirements.
Although rabbits get more attention, they make for a wonderful first pet. Rabbits are very clean and will choose the same preferred area for elimination.
There are many different breeds of rabbits, you will need to do some research before going out and have a pet rabbit. So here’s a Beginner’s Comprehensive Guide on How to Take Care of Your Pet Rabbit.
here’s a Comprehensive Guide on How to Take Care of a Rabbit.
This article will help you gain a better understanding of how to look after your pet rabbit. It will also help you understand the best feed for your rabbit, and what are the best rabbit pet products you should purchase.
Keeping Their Environment Clean
Whether you have decided to keep your rabbit indoors or outdoors, the importance of keeping everything clean cannot be stressed enough. Simple daily/weekly cleaning will help ward off so many illnesses and stresses, and it will make for a much happier bunny!
Remember how strong their sense of smell is? Your cleaner of choice should always be white vinegar. It is safe for the rabbits, does a great job cleaning, leaves no smell, and it neutralizes urine odor. Cleaning all aspects of their environment at least once a week is the best way to start, but some things may require daily touch-ups.
The first thing I want to discuss about cleaning is how toxic it can be. When getting ready to clean or sterilize your rabbit’s cage, housing, or your home, it is important to remember that anything you use can be ingested or inhaled by your rabbit.
Many things are completely toxic, but the thing that is the safest for you to use is also the cheapest. I can purchase a gallon of plain white vinegar for less than four dollars, and it will last a long time. Just get a spray bottle and mix it 50/50 with water for basic cleaning. You can also use it straight if you need to sterilize something. You can use vinegar to clean the water bottles, food dishes, cage floor, and walls, and even in the laundry when washing bunny blankets or clothes.
Avoid using harsh or synthetic chemicals
Things that you should never use around your rabbit are any type of harsh or synthetic chemicals. Keep in mind that anything that they walk on, they will lick off their feet, and it has the potential of getting in their eyes. Anything that is in the air, they will breathe, and neither their respiratory systems nor their GI tracts will be able to stand up to strong chemicals. Rabbits are obligate nasal breathers, making them very sensitive to anything that is in the air. This is important to remember when purchasing products to mop the floor, clean the carpet, or even spray into the air
Don’t use baking soda
The number one thing you must not ever use in any way is baking soda. While baking soda is normally considered to be an all-natural, safe cleaning alternative, it is deadly to rabbits. Many small-animal bedding products and small-animal litters may contain baking soda, so it is vital that you read the ingredient list prior to using anything around your rabbit. Baking soda that your rabbit ingests will cause a massive buildup of gas in its stomach. Your rabbit has no way to expel this gas, as they are not able to burp, and it will cause a horrible case of bloat that will be very painful and most likely fatal. If you are using baking soda products to clean your carpets, it can severely damage their respiratory system, even causing pneumonia.
Using Diffusers and candles
This another way on how to take care of a rabbit, diffusers and candles are extremely popular, and we do use them sometimes. We are very cautious about the area we use them in, and where the rabbits are at the moment. Don’t diffuse oils, burn candles, or even use the aerosol sprays in small enclosed areas. I know it is tempting, but these items are airborne, and they will land on their fur. In turn, once on their fur, they will be ingested. We are not saying you can’t use them at all, but I wouldn’t run them constantly, and I would make sure it was in a well-ventilated area. Also, choosing all-natural products will keep many of the additives that are the most dangerous out of the air and off of your rabbit.
If you use blankets for your rabbits, make sure that you wash them in detergent that is all-natural, free and clear of any dyes and scents, and, of course, contains no baking soda. There are several options on the market. You can also mix a cup of white vinegar into your washing machine to help neutralize any smells or ammonia that are in their blankets.
Litter Box Cleaning
If a litter box isn’t kept clean, it will create all sorts of issues for your rabbits. A litter box should be changed based on your rabbit’s daily use. Some rabbits can go for a week between changes depending on the type of box you have, but some rabbits will insist on daily cleaning. It will be their preference.
However, if you have a very clean rabbit, and you don’t do daily changes, you may discover they will lose their litter box training, preferring a clean place. A dirty litter box may also mean that their poop will stick to them when they enter, which causes their fur to be dirty, and they will be accidentally dropping them outside their litter area.
Finally, a dirty litter box will also attract flies, which will greatly increase the risk of warbles. Most people think that rabbit litter stinks, but this is only if you don’t do a decent job cleaning. Whether you have a box that has a grate on it, which separates the poop from them, or you have a large box full of hay, you will always need to clean it at least once a week; twice is better.
Water Bottles and Bowls
Fresh, clean water is essential to your rabbit’s health. A rabbit may drink up to 10 percent of its body weight daily. However, once the water isn’t fresh, rabbits don’t drink as much as they need. They will always prefer cool water from a clean container. Once again, cleaning with white vinegar will be the safest way. Change the water and clean the container daily, making sure to rinse it well to remove all vinegar. During the summer, you will need to change the water even more frequently, especially if you have an outdoor rabbit.
Food Bowls and Hayracks
Food bowls also need to be kept clean. Fresh food bowls can get grimy quickly, and even bowls to hold pellets will get dusty. Any unclean area that contains food will quickly attract bugs. Hayracks aren’t difficult to keep clean. I add fresh hay daily and toss everything that wasn’t eaten once a week. Hay, even dust-free hay, tends to be dusty. This can cause eye issues and sneeze. So, maintaining a clean environment will prove beneficial not only for your home but also for their health.
Even though my outdoor rabbit has straw bedding and my indoor rabbit has a blanket, I choose to clean out both completely once a week. I will change either at any point if I notice them soiled.
Dirty bedding will once again attract flies, fleas, and ants. If you use pine shavings or straw outdoors, keeping it fresh will be the best way to help keep your rabbit healthy and free from mites, fleas, parasites, warbles, and flystrike.
Indoors isn’t much different; a dirty blanket or litter box will attract flies. Also, make sure that their blankets don’t have any holes in them. Rabbits can get tangled up in the holes and panic. Worse yet, they can get the hole around their neck if they are digging in their blanket. This could actually choke them.
You should never purchase more than six weeks’ worth of rabbit pellets or hay at a time. Any older and it will become old, and if there is any moisture in your environment, it can begin to mold. This is terribly dangerous, and moldy food can cause death quickly.
All food should be examined and checked for freshness each week. Any food older than six weeks should be tossed out. At least once every six weeks, all containers should be completely cleaned out with vinegar, rinsed, and allowed to completely dry inside. Once you are sure it is completely dry, you can replace the food and start over.
Litter Box Training
Litter box training your rabbit is an extremely important part of maintaining a clean environment for your rabbit. Rabbits are naturally clean animals and prefer to keep their living areas clean also. We are going to rethink the concept of training. Your rabbit will litter box train you (more on this below). When you first bring your bunny home, it will be important to keep them in their new living area, temporarily, while you are being trained. They can get out to play, of course, and explore some, but should be returned to their area to ensure that they learn this is where they are to eat, drink, and go to the litter box. If you have given them appropriate housing, then they will have a nice area to be active in while they are training you.
Grooming is an important part of your rabbit’s health. The amount of grooming required and the frequency will depend on the breed of the rabbit you choose, their personal cleaning habits, and the environment that they are kept in. Rabbits are continually grooming themselves, and they prefer to be extremely clean. Rabbits view grooming as a social activity; they groom each other in wild colonies. So, take time while grooming, and your rabbit may learn to enjoy the interaction.
Basic rabbit hygiene care will include brushing, nail trims, and checking the ears. If you have had a bunny who has had a round of diarrhea, you may have to do a “butt bath,” and spot clean.
Rabbits should never be given a bath. Let me repeat. Do not bathe your rabbit. No matter how cute that video you saw on the Internet was, or just how sure that person on the forum sounded, bathing is not natural for rabbits. They are self-groomers. Normally, they will be able to clean anything that they need to be cleaned. Rabbits who are submerged in water can easily and quickly go into shock, which can be deadly. It is also dangerous for them to get water in their ears. This can easily cause ear infections, fungal infections, and so much more that can be so easily avoided.
Before you decide to bring a rabbit to your family, always remember that rabbits are typically not appropriate pets for children. Rabbits are not easy to pet—psychologically, socially, and physiologically and you have to learn how to take care of a rabbit. They need very special care. If you want to bring rabbits to your family, please try to adopt one from a local animal shelter or rabbit adoption group and not from a pet store.