Hoppy Easter! The Care of Rabbits

With Easter rapidly approaching, we wanted to write a blog post about the care of bunnies just in case the Easter Bunny visits your home…and decides to stay as a family pet!

Bunnies make wonderful pets provided they receive the proper care.  Before you purchase a rabbit as a pet, be sure you understand the care and commitment required to provide your new pet with a good quality of life.  Here to help with this is one of My Zoo Animal Hospital’s resident rabbits, Thumper.

 

Thumper the My Zoo Rabbit

Hi!  My name is Thumper! I am a Lionhead Rabbit so named because of my lion-like mane!  I’d like to take a moment today to talk about the care of rabbits.  I’ll be talking about how we should be housed, what we should eat, and some other facts you should know.

Where does a pet rabbit live?  A pet rabbit should have a cage that is large enough for him to move around.  He should be able to stand on his hind limbs and stretch out.  I like having a box or hut to hide in.  For bedding, we recommend newspaper, carefresh, or recycled newpaper bedding.  Soft woods (ie., pine or cedar) are not recommended because they can predispose us to getting respiratory infections.  Rabbits can be litter trained so make sure there is a litter box.  Carefresh (or similar product), shredded paper, or grass based pellets are excellent choices as litter.  Since they can be litter trained, some rabbits are allowed to roam the house.  We will chew on furniture, curtains, carpet, house plants (which can be toxic), and just about anything else.  It’s best that rabbits stay in their cage unless you are directly supervising your rabbit.

What does a pet rabbit eat? I eat fresh, commercial rabbit pellets and unlimited hay.  I have access to unlimited grass or timothy hay.  Alfalfa hay is too rich for adult rabbits, so we recommend using Timothy, orchard, or other grass (not legume) hay.

How long do rabbits live? On average we live 5 years, but we can live up to 15 years!

 

If you have a rabbit, we recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our veterinarians for an examination.  Our vets would be happy to answer any questions and help you and your rabbit start off on the right foot.  Call us at 573-875-3647 (573-875-DOGS).

 

The House Rabbit Society has a great website with rabbit care information.  Visit it at http://rabbit.org/

 

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