When it comes to owning a rabbit, there’s plenty to think about and lots of decisions to make. What will you call it? What will you feed it? What type of hutch will it have?
However, arguably one of the most important questions is where you’d like your bunny to live – indoors or outdoors. Understanding what each situation involves will result in a happier lifestyle for everyone involved.
If you have made the choice to let little Flopsie enjoy the quiet of the garden, then you will need to know how to keep her safe and healthy. There is much more to looking after an outdoor rabbit than frolicking around in the grass, thumping and being the apple of your eye.
Here is what you need to know about caring for outdoor rabbits:
Keep an Eye on the Weather
A life in the great outdoors can be hindered by what’s happening in the sky. Bunnies are at risk of overheating in the summer, so ensuring there is plenty of shade and providing plenty of water is essential.
In the winter, keep rabbits out of storms or the snow and if the conditions are severe, take Flopsie inside.
Always make sure that your hutch is weatherproof and will repel that pesky rain.
Find the Best Bunny Home
Small hutches will limit a bunny’s quality of life. Make sure to get a hutch, or build one yourself, with plenty of room and private space for Flopsie to enjoy.
Extra security and good quality straw bedding will minimise the risk of waking up to an unhappy bunny.
Check the Hutch Daily
Damp, mites, droppings, excess food and general dirt can prove a health risk to rabbits −no-one wants to live in those kinds of conditions!
Check the hutch every day to remove any health risks and replace the water and food. Flopsie will be forever grateful for the fresh digs.
Make Sure the Run is Roomy
Rabbits like to hop, jump and stretch. They have more energy than a toddler!
Therefore, it’s really important to make sure flighty Flopsie has plenty of room to really enjoy the outdoors and the sun in a completely safe way. Build your own run, or invest in a pre-built solution – either way, Flopsie will be one happy bunny.
Set Aside Bunny Time Every Day
Bunnies love company, which is why it is always suggested that you have more than one. Their social nature means they need that extra bit of love to keep them going, so make sure to head outside to give them a cuddle every day.
Predator Proof the Garden
Predators can be lurking at any time of the day.
When keeping a rabbit outside, you need to take extra measures to ensure that you don’t lose your fur baby to a hungry lurker.
It’s worth noting that rabbits can quite literally be scared to death, so keep them safe in the hutch and the predators out of sight.
Loud and surprising noises like fireworks are just as dangerous to Flopsie as it is to Mittens from next door, so consider taking your bunny inside on those occasions.
Remove any Poisonous Plants
Regardless of how pretty your garden may look in Spring, some of your plants may pose a risk for your little companion, or even prove fatal.
While supervision is a must when letting Flopsie go free range, you should also be mindful of your garden, removing plants that have a hidden agenda.
The RSPCA says the most common poisonous plants are ivy, foxglove and rhubarb, but this list is by no means exhaustive. Other poisons can come from buttercups, lilies, poppies and plants that grow from bulbs,.
Many rabbit owners have kept their bunnies safe and sound in their gardens for decades (or centuries), but only by providing proper care for their little thumpers. Keeping Flopsie safe and healthy should keep your bunny going for many more memories and laps around the garden.