(Article Trader) – Raising rabbits and caring for them can be an incredibly fun and rewarding experience. Anyone who has seen a cute baby bunny and thought they would make a great pet is right – they can be interesting pets and great companions. But you should know that these cute little creatures need a lot of careful attention should you decide to befriend one and take him home.
Rabbits live about 10 years, so keep in mind that you’ll have to make a long term commitment should you decide to raise a baby rabbit until adulthood. One of the first questions most people have is whether or not the rabbit should live inside or out. Rabbits should live inside. Domestic rabbits, unlike their non-domestic relatives, cannot take the heat and weather of the outdoors, even when kept in a safe enclosure. The stresses of outdoor stimulus such as dogs and other loud noises are also very unhealthy for rabbits and can make them extremely nervous.
Whether you keep your rabbit in a cage part of the time or let them roam free, be sure to bunny safe your house. This involves keeping electrical cords that they may chew out of the way, covering up electrical outlets, and keeping items which can poison them at bay, including chemicals like everyday household cleaners and certain plants which can cause rabbits digestive issues.
If they will spend most of their time in a cage, make it comfortable and spacious, and at least five times larger than the rabbit. Also be sure that it is tall enough so he can stand up on his hind legs without bumping his head. Your rabbit should also be able to stretch completely out when laying. Your rabbit must also be given a comfy surface on the bottom of the cage, whether it’s cardboard, a blanket, or an old towel. Don’t use wood shavings, as these can cause liver damage or trigger allergic reactions.
Wire enclosures should have wood or cardboard on the bottom to protect your rabbit’s soft feet. Cover the cage during the rabbit’s sleeping times or provide him with a little cardboard box inside the cage to lay in when he rests. Limit their cage time and give them a good healthy amount of exercise each day. Have fun spending time with your pet rabbit during this free time.
For bathroom purposes, rabbits can use a litter box like a cat with the proper training. Unlike pet cats, pet rabbits may also relax in their litter box, and may require more than one box throughout the house if they have a large area in which they are allowed to play. Use an organic kitty litter instead of a clumping litter, which could harm your rabbit, and include some grassy hay in the box for your rabbit to munch on. Certain hays will make them sick so be careful.
Besides hay, be careful to make sure that they receive the right diet. Vegetables such as leafy dark greens like lettuce, are a good source of food for rabbits. Feed a good variety of items to keep the rabbit’s diet healthy and keep him from getting bored. For a treat you can also give your rabbit fruits like apples, berries, plums, pears, melons, bananas, grapes or raisins. Rabbit pellets can be added in small amounts.
Rabbits need plenty of water as well. Avoid feeding your rabbit people foods and sweets like chocolate. Provide them with a wood block, cardboard toilet paper roll, or other pet store approved item to chew on to keep them from gnawing on your furniture or other items in your house.
Be gentle with your pet rabbit, especially if you have children. Teach them to hold the rabbit carefully and not to squeeze them or play roughly with them. Rabbits enjoy being touched and stroked, so it’s okay to rub their heads and bodies in a calm way. Most importantly, take your rabbit to the vet to get them the proper medical care just like you would with any other pet. Get a few books or do a keyword search on the net for other proper rabbit care, rabbit breeding, or rabbit rearing information.