Bunnies are irresistibly adorable! Everyone knows this. But what most people don't understand is the complicated needs of these fluffy creatures.
Rabbits are unfortunately stereotyped as 'easy beginner pets'. In reality, they require care similar to a house cat... Maybe a little extra work than you originally anticipated.
Bunnies, particularly the Holland Lop breed, make for great companions, and the below eight sections will provide you with all the basic resources you need to have a happy and healthy bunbun, based on our honest opinions and real-life experiences.
The average lifespan of a rabbit is about 10 years. This estimate will fluctuate slightly, depending on the breed of the rabbit and the conditions they live in. But when you get a pet rabbit, you need to understand that this is a long-term commitment!
Before you decide to adopt or purchase a rabbit, take the time to ask yourself: do I intend to still have this animal a decade from now?
PART 1: DIET
Let’s start with the basics. A balanced diet is key for every rabbit's well-being. They have sensitive digestive systems, so it is important to know the recommended portions and brands of healthy foods.
Continue reading: Daily Diet Plan
Part 2: INDOOR HOUSING
In the majority of pet marketing, the cages sold for rabbits are much too small. The leading cause of this is misinformation flooding the internet. The enclosure size depends on the adult animal size, but for an average rabbit (about 5 lbs), you should aim to have a solid floor area of at least 4'x4', and 3' tall.
Continue reading: Housing Options
PART 3: POTTY TRAINING
Did you know that rabbits are clean animals? They naturally want to keep themselves and the surrounding environment tidy. Bunnies can be trained to use a litter box, just like a kitty.
Continue reading: Litter Box Training
PART 4: BUNNY PROOFING
One of the most frustrating aspects of bunny ownership is destructive behavior! Rabbit instincts are the chew and dig.
To keep everyone/everything safe, we recommend doing some prep work to 'rabbit-proof' the house: wires, carpet, and baseboards especially.
PART 5: ENRICHMENT
Rabbits are very intelligent animals and need toys to keep their mind active, teeth filed down, and prevent destructive behavior. They need toys they can throw around, pull on, and dig into; Snuffle mats with buried treats are a great way to encourage their natural foraging instincts.
Continue reading: Supply Checklist
PART 6: GROOMING
Rabbits can shed a lot of fur and they have two big molting seasons to shed their winter and summer coats. Always keep your rabbit groomed to prevent matted fur or ingested fur - the latter of which can cause gut blockages.
Continue reading: Grooming Basics
You will also need to clip your rabbit’s nails. This is a task that is much easier with two people, but it’s possible to do even if you’re a single rabbit parent.
Continue reading: Nail Trimming
PART 7: SOCIALIZING
Anyone who owns a rabbit knows how bunnies crave human interaction and get lonely without attention. If you want your companion to live the best life possible, you need to spend a minimum of one hour daily bonding and cuddling. Rabbits prefer to be stroked on the top of their heads and behind their ears.
Rabbit body language is unique. They use their ears, tail, nose, and body position to tell us exactly what they feel! All we have to do is learn the behavioral signs and pay attention.
Continue reading: Body Language
PART 8: VETERINARY CARE
Rabbit biology is very different from a cat or dog, so you need to find a veterinarian that specializes in rabbits. Usually, the terms you want to look for are ‘small animal veterinarian’ or ‘exotic animal veterinarian.’ But you should always double-check to make sure this vet has experience with rabbits.
If your rabbit has not been spayed or neutered, you’ll want to make sure you get that taken care of as soon as you can.
Continue reading: Rabbit Savvy Vets