With long ears, a tense nose and a swollen ball tail, rabbits have long been a popular pet. Caring for your pet rabbit can be time consuming, but if done right it will give you the affections of a beloved family member.
Choosing the right crib: indoors or outdoors
In the past, rabbits were largely kept outside. Equipped with a robust hutch, they can be kept safe and clean outside. We can also give them an enclosed space of grass for a race.
However, many now prefer to keep their rabbits indoors. Indoors, they can be kept in a hutch or allowed to roam free as domestic rabbits. In both cases, they should be given enough time to exercise.
Exercise for your rabbit
The main exercise of a rabbit will be to run or jump. The larger the area, the more they will be able to do it, but any exercise area should give them enough space to make several fully stretched jumps. It is also possible to train a rabbit to walk on a leash, but many rabbits do not like to wear a harness or leash.
Another way to exercise your rabbit is to get it to look for food. Rabbits naturally graze on plants throughout the day, looking for hidden treats. Your pet rabbit should have lots of good quality hay and free access to water throughout the day. Rabbit meatballs and fresh fruits and vegetables can complement hay. Each rabbit will have their own favorite food, but there are some that can cause problems for any rabbit.
What to feed and understand your rabbit
Keeping your rabbit away from dangerous foods, such as tomato leaves and stems, iceberg lettuce, cucumbers and too many processed treats, can do a lot for their health. The biggest health problems in rabbits are related to their digestion, including intestinal stasis and bloating.
It is important to understand the signals from your rabbit. In the wild, they are an animal prey and a large part of the prey behaviors are present in pet rabbits. In particular, they do nothing to express their illness or pain. As a rabbit owner, you should be able to notice small changes in your pet’s behavior or eating habits and be ready for medical treatment as soon as possible.
Are rabbits good for you and your children?
The need to closely monitor rabbits explains why they are often not suitable pets for children. Although children can have fun with a rabbit, they may not be able to give it the necessary veterinary care. Depending on training and socialization, rabbits may also bite or not tolerate being handled, which many children simply do not understand.
Like any pet, a rabbit is no small undertaking. Whether you choose a smaller breed, such as a dwarf from the Netherlands, or a larger breed, such as a Flemish giant, your pet rabbit will need food, health care and a lot of attention. You may also need to prepare your home for a rabbit by making sure there are no exposed wires through which they could chew. However, a rabbit can also be a great pet, bringing a lot of love and joy to a family.