Dogs need to go out all the time, be walked and have that whole, ‘potty training,’ stage, while kittens can host their own set of obstacles. For these reasons and more, rabbits are a growing popular choice for a family pet. If you are considering a rabbit for your family, there are plenty of things you should be taking into consideration, such as rabbit housing, feeding and general health maintenance.
How Do You Find A Rabbit?
The best spot to get a rabbit is from a reputable breeder. You can find these breeders at rabbit shows listed with the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association. Another good place to get a rabbit is by rescuing from humane societies and rescues. Please keep in mind, if you rescue a rabbit you run the risk of receiving the rabbit from someone who neither knows its past nor really knows how to care for the animal so do your research first. Try to avoid free bunnies off of online classified sites as these rabbits may be sick, old or both, which can leave you with a heart breaking first experience.
Housing Your Rabbit
One of the first parts of rabbit ownership is considering how they will be housed. Whether you decide on an indoor bunny or one that lives outdoors will dictate much about the cage. Many people choose to keep theirs in the house or garage. Often this decision is based on one of the biggest misconceptions about rabbits, which is that they may have a hard time with the cold. In truth, rabbits have a much harder time with sun and high temperatures and can suffer from heat exhaustion quite easily. Please take their surroundings into consideration in regards to direct sun, heat and air flow when considering cage structure and placement.
Your available space may weigh a little on what breed of rabbit you are able to bring home. If you don’t have very much space you may need to look at some dwarf breeds such as the Netherland Dwarf, Holland Lop, Lionhead or Polish. If you are looking for something that serves homesteading purposes and space isn’t an issue then larger breeds such as Angoras, French Lops and New Zealands may be on your list. There are some cages as small as 18” x 24” sold for dwarf breeds but remember that the more space you can give, the more active and healthy your rabbit will be.
Indoor Housing For Bunnies
These cages will need to have a solid bottom so their droppings don’t spill over into your home. There are many types you can find online or in pet and feed stores. You should take into consideration both the size and available levels of the cage. More levels can allow for more exercise by making use of vertical space. If you are planning on allowing your rabbit free run of your home, be prepared they will never stop chewing nor can they simply be taught not to. That said, many house rabbit owners have discovered little problem as long as their pets have plenty of natural wood items to chew on.
When keeping your pet bunny completely outside in what is called a hutch you need to make sure to place it in a shaded place that gets a nice breeze. In addition, you want to make sure the hutch has a roof protecting it from the elements and that the rabbit has a box or nest out of exposure. If the entire floor of the hutch is wire you want to make sure it’s galvanized to protect from rust and to insure support. Your rabbit will also need a resting area to get off of the wire floor as well. (Continued…)