Baby Rabbit Care Guide

A Beginners guide

 

This article is only written as a baby rabbit care guide and before you decide on a rabbit as a pet please take the time to learn about them. They are lovable creatures and do make great pets. This guide will help you with your decision, but remember a rabbit can and often does live for more than ten years, so it will pay you to learn as much as possible about them before you bring one into your home.

 

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Where will you keep it?

 

It is important that domestic rabbits should never be housed outside under any circumstances, as they are not like their wild cousins. They do not like extremes of temperature, particularly the hot summer months. Also they can literally die of fright. The sight, or even the sound of a nearby predator is enough to set off a heart attack, and kill them.

 

Will it be allowed to roam.

 

It is better to confine your rabbit to a small limited area, especially at the times when you can’t be watching it. They love to chew on things, so it will be necessary to make certain that items such as electrical cables (which seem to be a favourite ) are kept well out of harms’ way. You will need to provide it with toys that are safe for it to chew on.

Plants like Lily of the Valley, aloe and azalea and a number of others are toxic to them so if allowed into the garden be careful what is planted there and be sure that things like insecticide are kept out of their reach.

 

Caged

 

When caged they need ample room to move about. The cage should ideally be five to six times larger than your rabbit, so be sure when you buy or build it you allow for the groth of your baby rabbit. It needs to be long enough for it to be able to stretch out fully and tall enough that can stand on back legs without bumping its head.

If it’s cage is wire floored then you will need to line it with something firm like cardboard or something similar to protect its’ feet as rabbits do not have pads as cats and dogs do. You should also provide it with a cardboard box or a shop bought nesting box for it to hide away in. Your rabbit will want a quiet area as they normally sleep in the day time, feeding and playing in the morning and evening time.

indoor cage

Picture for illustration only the choice is so varied.

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If your pet is going to be caged most of the time it will need to be allowed out for exercise, so you will need to provide it with a safe area where it can run around and play during that time.

 

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Litter box

Your rabbit, as with a cat will learn to use a litter box so you will need to provide it with one and encourage it to use it. I would advise buying two or three if you intend letting it roam around freely. Do not use cedar or any other wood shavings to line the box as rabbits are allergic to this and they can cause liver problems. Better to use shredded absorbent paper, not newspaper.

 

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Your rabbit’s diet.

 

A lot of health problems are caused for rabbits when they are fed foods not compatible to their digestive system. It is extremely important that they receive a well balanced diet .

They need hay

Rabbits need a continuous supply of Timothy grass hay, this supplies the fibre needed to prevent health problems. Without it they are prone to suffer from diarrhea and obesity. If you can only get alfalfa this should only be fed to adults because it has a high content of protein and calories. Only use in small quantities.

Vegetables

You should feed your pet a mix of three different vegetables at a time. Things like parsley dandelion and collard greens are good. If giving a new vegetable do it in stages one at a time and small amounts.

Fruit

Contrary to popular belief carrots are not the best food for your rabbit. They can have them but again in limited amounts as they have a lot of starch in them. Fruit can be used treats do not over do it and if giving apple etc remove the pips and stems.

fruit-face

None of these

The following should always be avoided. Iceberg lettuce, cabbage, peas, beets and onions. Potatoes, corn, beans, tomatoes, bamboo and rhubarb. Also, you should never feed them anything containing grains or seeds of any kind. Human food of most kinds are not good either especially chocolates and candy. If uncertain do not give it at all until you obtain veterinary advise.

If you wish make Timothy based pellets a part of your rabbit’s diet then use them as a supplement to the dark green leafy vegetables, not as a substitute. These pellets should only be given in small quantities (1/8 -1/4 cup per five pounds of body weight per day), fed over two meals daily. Check before buying to make sure the pellets you buy do not contain seed or grain.

Fresh water

As with all pets, your rabbit should have an ample supply of fresh water available at all times. You can use either a bowl or sipper bottle, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure the bowl can’t be tipped over, or in the case of a sipper bottle the tube should be cleaned every day.

 

rabbits

Veterinary care

Rabbits, the same as any other pet will need veterinary care from time to time and it also a good idea to have them spayed or neutered as the female rabbits extremely reproductive and it is best to avoid unwanted litters. Rabbits are very fragile creatures so please be careful when handling your pet and try if possible to chose a vet that has experience with rabbits or small exotics.

 

Two’s company

Your pet is an extremely social animal and will be much happier with a partner than being a solitary animal. For this reason it is better keeping a pair, preferably obtained at the same time.

Baring in mind that they are fragile, although children are attracted to them they are not the ideal children’s pet. If you have children always supervise them with your pet. I know children love to pick them up to cuddle etc, but they are delicate and need to be treated with great care.

 

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If you follow this basic baby rabbit care guide, get as much advise as possible from more qualified sources than this article, then there is no reason for you and your pet to have many happy years together.

 

 

 

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