Pet Rabbits

30
April

People have been keeping rabbits as pets for many years, as they make perfect companions for the young and old alike. Very young children, on the other hand, should never be left unsupervised with a rabbit until they are old enough to understand how to handle one correctly. There are a variety of different breeds to choose from, and they can vary in size, colour and coat length. Longhaired varieties may only be suitable for those who have plenty of time to spare, as their fur will need to be groomed on a daily basis to prevent any matting.

At one time all rabbits tended to be kept outdoors in hutches, but these days many people keep them indoors and allow them to wander freely around the house. They are very clean animals and can easily be trained to use a litter tray. If you do decide to keep your rabbit indoors, you will need to make sure that any cables, poisonous plants, etc., are out of the way as rabbits will chew anything.

If you are going to house your rabbit outside it will need a good sized hutch with a run attached to the front. It is very important to keep the cage scrupulously clean, particularly during hot weather, otherwise flies can lay their eggs on the soiled bedding and this can result in a condition known as fly strike. You will probably soon notice that your rabbit begins to use one particular corner of its cage as a toilet, and this will allow you to place a litter tray there for ease of cleaning. Paper is the best thing to use for lining the floor of the hutch, and fresh straw should be used for bedding.

A large part of a rabbit’s diet is made up of hay or grass, along with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and water. There are many dried food preparations on the market these days too, such as pellets, and these are often used by rabbit breeders to build up the strength of their stock.  As well as providing your rabbit with hard vegetables, such as carrot, swede, turnip, etc., to help promote healthy teeth, you should also provide  a variety of other chewing materials like edible wooden chews, willow or apple wood.

Rabbits can live up to ten years if they are well cared for, but they can be prone to a variety of health problems, such as teeth and eye complaints. They can also contract myxomatosis and VHD (Viral Haemorrhagic Disease) if they are not vaccinated regularly. It is also a good idea to have your rabbit neutered, as this can lessen the risk of disease and can help to combat any behavioural problems.

Rabbits are generally quite sociable creatures, but are best handled regularly from a young age if you want to be able to pick them up easily. Dwarf varieties are probably best for children as they are easier and lighter to handle. If you wish to keep more than one rabbit together, it is better to purchase two of a similar age at the same time. Although rabbits do like company, they can be quite territorial and reject a new comer once they have become accustomed to living alone. Although single rabbits appear to live quite happily on their own, you should still strive to give them plenty of love and attention to make sure that they do get all the companionship they require.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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