Getting a pet rabbit is a big decision, but one well worth it. Rabbits are great companions, and introduced early on, they can also become good friends with pet cats and dogs.
Picking out the right rabbit is as important as picking out the right products for your rabbit. Choose the right ones, and your rabbit will be happy for years to come. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Shelter is important for rabbits. If outside, it will prevent them from getting lost or eaten by other animals. It will also prevent them from getting into trouble if situated inside.
Depending on where you want your rabbit situated and how you plan on cleaning out their droppings is a factor in what kind of shelter you will want to get. If you would like either the rabbit to be inside or out, a metal cage (pictured above) would work fine. These metal cages are similar to cages used for dogs, except ones for rabbits will be smaller. Metal cages for rabbits will also allow for you to put a tray at the bottom below the metal so that their droppings will be collected that way.
Rabbit hutches are a little pricier compared to regular metal cage, but many last for a very long time and is a great choice for making sure they have room to exercise. If you are unsure of whether or not you will like a rabbit (or whether they get along with your other pets), I would recommend trying out the metal cage first and then upgrading to a hutch. For those carpenters out there or DIY’ers, this might be a good opportunity to hone your skills.
Bedding/ Rabbit 'Den'
All rabbits need their privacy to sleep and relax. Many rabbit hutches include something like this- a spot where its enclosed and very dark. Rabbits are natural burrowers, so something like this is very important.
If you have a simple crate, you can easily construct something out of wood for your rabbit and then put something inside for bedding. For example, when I had rabbits, my father built a box out of wood with just a small circle cut out in the front where the bunny could fit in. We would then stick some straw inside it to make it comfortable and snug.
You may also want to put a litter box in the shelter, depending on whether or not you have a tray for their droppings. Rabbits easily adapt to cat’s litter boxes and it can be a good alternative to a tray in a hutch.
If you’ve never had a rabbit before, you would soon find out that rabbits drink their water differently than most animals. That’s because rabbits lick their water from a metal rod- style mechanism that attaches to what looks like an upside down plastic water bottle. Your rabbit shelter will need one of these- with water in it at all times.
Other than that specific requirement, your rabbit shelter can have any receptacle for food. Do you have an old dog food bowl lying around that you don’t use anymore? Even that will do perfectly!
When it comes to food, simple is best for rabbits. The first thing you’ll want to buy is rabbit pellets. Most rabbit pellets are small cylindrical pieces of food that are greenish or brown in color.
(Example of rabbit food)
Other than pellets, rabbits love vegetables like lettuce and carrots.
Toys and Grooming
Rabbits need to be entertained and groomed just like cats and dogs.
As far as grooming goes, all the usual suspects you will need to pick up. That includes brushes, shampoos, nail trimmers, and the likes.
Rabbits love to play. Getting all the right toys for them will keep them mentally sharp and their teeth well taken care of, as their teeth do tend to grow. Check your local pet store and ask for toys specifically for rabbit toys, as they can vary from place to place.
You can also make your own rabbit toys. To give you an idea, the picture above is an example of what a common rabbit toy looks like- as you can see, it would be something that would be fairly easy to assemble.
These are the basics of products you should buy. Having a bunny is a fun experience and you will slowly learn what things your bunny likes and doesn’t like, so you don’t need to spend a fortune in the long run in maintenance.
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About the author:
I like many different kinds of things- traveling, eating new kinds of food, running, and I love writing as well! I work as a counselor currently, helping people with many kinds of issues. Previously, I had worked as a teacher and professor.