Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How to Care for Your New Pet Rabbit

*The bunny we found in an alley and found a forever home for*

Having a new pet rabbit in your home can be a rewarding experience as long as you know what to expect and have all the necessary supplies to take care of him properly.

It's important to have all the necessary supplies on hand before bringing a new pet home, no matter what kind of pet it is. For a rabbit you'll want to have a large wire cage, Timothy hay, water bottle, fresh vegetables, leash or harness, nail clippers, brush, rabbit pellet food, salt wheel, wood chew block and a litter box.

Bunnies will over eat if given the chance. They may give you the sad eyes and look down at their food bowl like they are starving but they do not need to eat all day long. You should only give them food according to their weight. So if you have a 6 LB bunny, you should give them approximately ½ cup of rabbit pellet food per day. Do not feed rabbits the mixed foods that have pellets mixed with dried fruits, seeds or beans. This is not good for your rabbit.

You may leave unlimited amounts of Timothy Hay or Grass in their cage for them to eat. They need this for good digestion. Treats are to be given sparingly and only certain foods can be given as treats. You should avoid iceberg lettuce, onions, tomatoes or potatoes. These foods can give them diarrhea and cause a bunny to become dehydrated.

Good treats would be apple pieces, carrots, strawberries, bananas, pineapple and raspberries.

Your bunny needs exercise everyday. You must take your bunny out of his cage and let him run or as it may be, hop around. This is where that leash or harness would come in. You can buy a bunny leash or harness and take him for a walk. Bunny harnesses can be found at most pet stores.

Bunny proofing your home.
You will have to make sure that your home is safe for your rabbit to hop around in. Using a baby gate to keep your bunny in one room is essential if you only bunny proof one room. This will make it easier for you and safer for your bunny.

Bunnies like to chew on things, everything. Electrical wires, important papers, remote controls, and everything else you don't want chewed up should be put up out of the bunnies reach while he is out running free.

Health Concerns
While most bunnies don't need vaccines like a dog or cat would. There are things every rabbit owner needs to be aware of. If your rabbit stops eating and drinking and is lethargic, you should seek immediate medical attention with a veterinarian that specializes in either rabbits or exotics.

Diarrhea can be a very serious condition in rabbits and should be dealt with by a veterinarian. Also if you notice mucous or other liquid substances coming from the bunny's nose or eyes, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Rabbits are labeled exotic like most other small animals. Other exotic animals are rats, hamsters, mice, and gerbils.

Spend time with your bunny and let him get to know you as you get to know him. Before you know it he will be hopping up in your lap waiting to be cuddled and petted.