Rabbits are intelligent, social animals and make affectionate and rewarding family pets when they receive plenty of attention. They can be trained to use a litter box and are more enjoyable, responsive pets when they live indoors as house rabbits. Given appropriate care a rabbit can live up to 10 years.
[ ] Spacious cage with solid bottom.
[ ] Litterbox.
[ ] Carefresh or other safe litter, not cedar shavings.
[ ] Hiding box.
[ ] Bowl or gravity feeder.
[ ] Rabbit pellets.
[ ] Hay/Straw.
[ ] Water bottle.
[ ] Digging box.
[ ] Chew toys.
[ ] Pet carrier.
[ ] Brush.
[ ] Comb.
[ ] Nail clippers.
Rabbits make good pets for a family, but children should not be expected to look after a rabbit without parental help and small children should be supervised. Rabbits should be lifted with their weight fully supported, never by the scruff of the neck or ears. They can easily be injured by improper handling. Rabbits can be taught to share your home, though hazards such as electrical cords and toxic plants should be removed or made inaccessible to prevent accidents. Rabbits will chew and dig, so provide acceptable items for these purposes, such as wood toys and a safe digging box filled with straw. Encourage your rabbit to use these items and you will minimize damage to your furnishings. Kind training, using lots of praise and treats, will teach your rabbit its place as a member of the family.
Rabbits should live indoors, safe from predators and extreme climates. Your rabbit may enjoy exercise in your yard, provided it is enclosed in a sturdy covered pen, but even the presence of a predator may result in a panic attack and cause injury or death due to heart failure or a broken back. It is safest to supervise your rabbit whenever it is outdoors. Always bring your rabbit in at nightfall. It is important to choose as large of cage as possible, at least four times the size of your rabbit. Give your rabbit a litter box filled with safe litter such as Carefresh, never cedar shavings which contain harmful oils. A hiding box will also be appreciated. Chew toys such as untreated wicker baskets, untreated wood blocks, cardboard boxes and dried out pine cones will keep your rabbit busy. Remember that your rabbit needs ample daily exercise outside the cage to stay healthy and fit.
A healthy diet is based on good quality rabbit pellets and ample fresh alfalfa, timothy or oat hay. Hay should be freely available, it is vital as a source of fiber for good digestive function. Add at least two cups of fresh vegetables per 6 lbs of body weight each day. Good choices are dark green leafy vegetables and root vegetables. Fresh water in a sipper bottle should be available at all times. A multiple enzyme supplement mat be given to aid digestion.
Remove soiled litter daily and wash food dishes, water bottles and the cage bottom once a week. Always rinse and dry the cage well before adding clean bedding and returning your pet.
All pet rabbits should be spayed or neutered to avoid unwanted babies. Spayed or neutered rabbits also live longer, healthier lives. Aggressive and territorial behavior is also reduced as a result of spaying or neutering, resulting in a more enjoyable companion. Be sure to find an experienced rabbit veterinarian to perform a spay/neuter operation on your pet.
Rabbits are prone to intestinal blockages, due to swallowing hair while grooming. Regular grooming can help minimize this problem. Be alert and consult an exotic animal veterinarian if you notice signs of illness or injury such as: lack of appetite; change in droppings; bloated abdomen; runny nose; labored breathing; head tilt; urinary problems; lumps or bumps.
Antibiotics of the Penicillin family, such as Amoxicillin, are toxic to rabbits and should NEVER be used.
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