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CARING FOR YOUR RABBITS :Considerations when Purchasing a Rabbit

CARING FOR YOUR RABBITS :Considerations when Purchasing a Rabbit

A rabbit has a long lifespan of up to ten years so bear this in mind when making a purchase. They are very cute and cuddly but require a little more care than your average pets. They should ideally be housed indoors as they are sensitive to extreme changes in temperature, loud noises and predators. 

Rabbits also love to chew so make your home a safe environment for your bunny. This means removing electric cords from their reach and ensuring that they don’t come into contact with any poisonous substances or plants that could kill them such as Calla Lilly’s, Aloes, Azaleas, Philodendron and Lily of the Valley together with a variety of other bulbs.  Because they are sociable, it is advisable to purchase two rabbits.

Rabbit Housing

Provide a large enclosure for your rabbit without wire flooring as this is too hard on their feet. In addition, your rabbit will have to be let out of its cage several times during the day for exercise to prevent its muscles from atrophying. Provide your rabbit with a suitable litter box containing paper, wood pulp or citrus but avoid wood shavings that may be toxic. Purchase some balls, rings and other toys and provide him with non-toxic cardboard toilet roll holders to keep him entertained.

If you allow your rabbit to roam free in your house then provide a litter box in every room as they are easily trained to use these. Add a little hay to your litter box as they enjoy a snack while relaxing in this space. Also provide a sleeping area where he can lay down his head every night. Rabbits have extremely delicate musculoskeletal structures and must therefore be handled very gently. If your rabbit starts to struggle when being petted put him down gently to avoid serious injury. Your bunny also needs to have a veterinary check-up at least once a year.

Feeding your Bunny

Rabbits have a sensitive digestive system and need a constant supply of hay in their diets to aid digestion. Dark green leafy vegetables are the mainstay of their diet so they will also enjoy some types of lettuce, dandelion greens, arugula, parsley and others.  Contrary to popular belief your bunny should not be fed carrots regularly as these contain a lot of starch. Carrots may however be sparingly fed to your rabbit as treats together with blueberries, strawberries, deciduous and tropical fruits.  As with all your pets, they too should have their favorite snacks in moderation. You may add small amounts of high quality pellets to their diet together with a constant supply of water.

Last but not least, never give your bunny human foods such as chocolate or candy. Consult your vet as to what foods should be avoided as these may be harmful to your rabbit. Examples of such foods include tomatoes, beans, potatoes, iceberg lettuce, cabbage, corn, peas, beetroot, onions, rhubarb, bamboo, seeds, grains and several others.

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