Looking After Your Bunny

Looking After Your Bunny

 Rabbits can make wonderful pets, but there are many different things to consider when finding the newest member to your family, so how do you choose the rabbit is right for yours? Like any pet, rabbits will require lots of love and care to help keep them healthy and well, so in this blog we are taking a look at what you need to care for your little bunny.

What Do Rabbits Eat?

Rabbits are herbivores, which means they only eat plant-based foods. Throughout the day, make sure your rabbit is receiving:

  • Fresh Hay

Hay makes up 80-90% of a rabbit’s diet, and it is important they have access to fresh hay during the day. Make sure to feed your rabbit grass hays such as timothy, orchard grass, and oat hay. You can feed your rabbit one type or a mix of different grass hays.

Hay helps aid digestion  and is full of fibre, which is essential to stimulate motility of their gastrointestinal tract. Hay also promotes healthy teeth as it encourages chewing and wears down their continuously growing teeth, preventing dental disease.

  • Leafy Greens

Greens and veggies are packed with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also contain water which is essential to keep your bunny hydrated. A handful of leafy greens such as rocket, kale, cauliflower, carrot tops, or parsley, twice a day is a sure-fire way to a happy, healthy bunny rabbit.

  • Pellet Foods

A small cup of high quality pellet food, once a day. Pellets make up a small fraction of a rabbit’s overall diet (other than occasional treats). Adult rabbits should only receive approximately 1 tablespoon of pellets for every pound that they weigh.

Rabbits can also have special-made treats like bananas, apples, and tomatoes. Don’t give too many fruits however, as it can head to urinary issues.

Always ensure there is plenty of fresh water for your rabbit to drink during the day, especially during warmer weather. During cold weather, make sure the water doesn’t freeze.

Where Rabbits Like to Live

Rabbits can be kept indoors or outdoors. Your rabbit will need a cage or hutch which is at least four times larger than it is [consider its adult size when buying their cage], to ensure is has enough space to move around. If you have more than one rabbit, you will need a larger cage, or multiple cages to accommodate them all.

Your rabbit can be kept outdoors all year round but ideally they should be brought into a shed or shelter provided for the winter to protect them against harsh weather conditions. A hutch cover is recommended to provide extra protection from the elements. Your rabbit’s hutch should be draught free and fully waterproof. It should also have a separate space where the Rabbit can exercise, and should be raised off the ground to provide protection from predators such as cats and foxes.

If your rabbit is going to live indoors, choose a cage which is specifically designed for indoor rabbits. It should be positioned in a cool room out of direct sunlight, away from radiators and clear of any draughts. Indoor rabbits will also like time every day out of their cage to get some exercise.

Brown Netherland dwarf rabbit. cute Brown bunny.

Signs of a Healthy Rabbit

Every day you should be carrying out checks on your rabbit to ensure there are no issues that may require medical attention from a vet. This includes petting them, checking for lumps on their body, inspecting their ears, feeling their fur and examining their hygiene areas.

  • Eyes-There should be no discharge from the eyes and they should be clear and bright. If you pull up or down their eyelid, the eye tissue should be pink. If you notice it is a red colour, this could be a sign of infection, and if it’s very pale, it could indicate illness. In both cases, it is important your rabbit is taken to see a vet right away.
  • Ears-Like the eyes, there should be no discharge from the ears and watch out for a build up of wax and dirt. If you notice a scabby, crusty material in their ears, this could be ‘ear canker’, an infection which can cause irritation and mites.
  • Nose– Your rabbit’s nose should be free from discharge. If you do notice any discharge coming from the nose, I recommend calling your local veterinarian. Rabbits usually like to use their paws to wipe their noses, so it is a good idea to check their front paws for any crustiness or wetness from the discharge.
  • Teeth-Check your rabbit’s front teeth regularly and make sure they are not loose and that they are aligning with the lower teeth, with a slight overbite. Inspect the gums and make sure they are pink and healthy. If you notice that your rabbit’s teeth don’t meet properly, he could be suffering from malocclusion, and could lead to your rabbit avoiding eating. If you notice this, bring him to your vets immediately.
  • Breathing-Your rabbit’s breathing should be normal, and not wheezy or crackly. If you think your rabbit’s breathing may be off, consult with your vet immediately as issues with breathing can be signs of an emergency.
  • Hygiene Areas-Inspect their bum area for signs of diarrhoea. This can lead to fly-strike, which is where flies will lay eggs at the hygiene area and cause a lot of discomfort. This is especially important to check if your rabbit is being kept outside.
  • Fur– It is a good idea to run your hands and through the rabbit’s fur. This will allow you to check for any skin irritations, fur loss or fleas/fur mites. Alopecia could be a sign of ringworm, which a fungal infection causing hair loss. Consult with your vet right away if you notice any of these symptoms.

Any More Questions?

If you have any concerns regarding your rabbit’s health, we recommend you consult with your local veterinarian. For more on feeding and caring for your rabbit, speak to a member of the Petmania team in store today.

Share this post

You've just added this product to the cart: