Bunnies are popular and unique family pets. They have specific needs for them to live longer, healthy, and happy. They are cute, snuggly, and furry. They are quite easy to take care of, as long as you keep a bunny’s needs in mind.
Some people want to believe that bunnies are vegetarians, but they are a completely different pet with different health and care requirements.
There are many different varieties of domestic bunnies.
- Some of them are white
- Some are sandy brown
- Some have Himalayan points similar to a Siamese cat
- Some even have speckles in different patterns
Bunnies also come in many coat patterns and different sizes. The very popular mini lops do not get bigger than 3.5 pounds, and the dwarf lops only grow to 5 pounds. These bunnies have extremely long ears that touch the ground.
On the other hand, the Flemish giant can weigh up to 14 pounds, more massive than many kinds of pet dogs and cats. They are the ones with ears that stand upright.
The rex is smaller than a Flemish giant but bigger than a dwarf lop. They are known for their curly fur and can weigh about 6.5 pounds.
All breeds of bunnies can be ideal pets. Young children, however, should be supervised when around them. It is easy to scare a rabbit, and they can be easily injured when handled awkwardly.
Having Bunnies in your Home
Bunnies make good pets because they do not require too much space, they are quiet, and they bond well with their owners. A bunny can, therefore, be a fun and exciting addition to the family.
Bunnies need the same care as a cat or a dog. They typically live to as much as eight to twelve years, so if you want one of them as a pet, you will need to have a long-term commitment. They are, however, low in maintenance and are trainable. You also do not need to walk your bunny.
Bunnies are incredibly social animals and love to interact with their owners. They need more attention and time than most people assume, but in exchange, you get a playful and curious companion who will be part of your family for many years.
Bunnies are ideal pets, whether you live in an apartment or a large home. There are certain precautions you need to take, rules to understand and follow, and preparations you need to do before deciding to take home a bunny.
If you are ready to take home a bunny, read on, and learn the best ways on how to take care of your new pet.
Before taking home your new pet, set-up the habitat of your bunny, and bunny-proof your home.
- Choose a cage.
Choose the right hutch or cage for your bunny and fill it up with the right beddings and accessories.
Your bunny cage should be big enough to accommodate your bunny until he or she reaches adult size. The cage should also be large enough to allow him to take three hops in one particular direction.
If you chose a cage with a wired bottom, cover the bottom with a piece of wood because it is not proper for bunnies to sit on wires. Bunnies spray their urine; thus, the cage’s base needs to have a urine guard all over.
- Have a litter box.
Place a triangular litter box in one corner of your bunny’s cage—place bunny litter or newspaper on the bottom of the litter box and top with hay. Never clump cat litter on the box because they are toxic.
Place about 5 inches or more of bedding made of hay or straw. You can also opt for commercial paper bedding.
Place a heavy-bottomed food dish on one corner of the cage (opposite the litter box) with a water bottle. The water bottle should not be too near the food dish to prevent water from dripping into the food.
- Additional items.
Complete your bunny cage with a tunnel where he or she can hide and some toys which the bunny can nibble on. They will also love to have small cardboard with a shredded newspaper where they can hide and dig. Also, include a nail clipper and a brush for grooming.
- Cleaning your bunny’s cage
It is essential to clean your bunny’s cage every day. Remove bunny litter, shake up their straw bedding, remove any cardboard they chewed, empty their food bowl, replace it with new food, clean and refill the water bottle.
Wash the cage once a week and do a thorough cleaning at least twice a month. When cleaning the cage, make sure to keep your bunny in a safe place. Remove everything inside the cage and throw away any chewed-up toys and cardboard.
Wash your bunny’s litter box, food bowl, water bottle, and accessories with hot and soapy water. Thoroughly scrub the case with vinegar and warm water. Never use harsh cleaners as these can harm your bunny.
Prepare an exercise and play area for your bunny. Your bunny will need a few hours every day to be out of his cage to socialize and play.
- Bunny-proof your home
Keep your home safe for your bunny if you allow him or her to roam around your home.
- Bunnies love to chew, and cords and wires look attractive to them: cover cables and wires in your home to prevent your bunny from getting electrocuted.
- Choose a place where you will allow your bunny to roam around and section off the area with a baby gate.
- Keep any poisonous houseplants such as holly, tulips, tomato leaves, and poinsettia out of reach of your bunny. These houseplants are toxic to bunnies.
- Handling your bunny
Your pet bunny is a fragile animal. Mishandling bunnies may cause their bones to break. They will also panic and try to get lose from you.
- Always move calmly and slowly when attempting to carry your bunny.
- Bend close to the ground and always use both your hands when you pick up your bunny, so when you may drop them, it is only a few inches from the ground.
- Always lift your bunny with one of your hands under their bottom and another hand by their scruff to have a firm hold of him.
Always interact with your bunny because they are social animals. Give them treats while you are carrying them so that they will look forward and enjoy being handled. It would also be helpful to set aside toys that your bunny can play only with you.
- Feeding your bunny
Your bunny will love hay, especially timothy, alfalfa, oat, and grass hay. He or she will also like good-quality and high-fiber rabbit pellets, and fresh vegetables such as green leafy vegetables and some carrots.
Give some treats once in a while, such as bananas, apples, pineapple chunks, or bananas. Your bunny should have fresh water within reach at all times.
- Grooming your bunny
Your bunny will love to be groomed, and you will also like to cuddle a clean bunny.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe the ears of your bunny gently.
- Clean their secret glands near their anus. Gently clean their bottom with a damp cotton swab if you smell a foul odor. If you are not comfortable doing these, take your bunny to the vet.
- Trim their nails every month. You can also take them to a groomer or vet to clip their nails if you are scared.
- Your pet bunny will shed all year round. When they shed, gently brush their fur to loosen it from their coat.
Take your bunny to the vet at least once a year for their annual check-up to make sure he or she is healthy.