Taking Care of Rabbits


Small Pets / Thursday, October 27th, 2016

All About Rabbits

Rabbits can be excellent family pets and their owners can develop extremely strong bonds with them. They are fascinating creatures with their own behavioural quirks. In the wild they spend a great deal of time foraging for food and that can mean that they lack stimulation when in captivity. It is crucial that owners fully understand their rabbits’ needs in order to prevent behavioural issues from developing.

MRF Pet Rabbit 4 2012-09-01

The Warren

Rabbits are territorial creatures which live in loose social groups when in the wild. They occupy underground warrens which feature a series of tunnels and a number of exits. It is easy to see why rabbits in captivity favour the company of other rabbits and love to have tunnels and boxes at their disposal. Your rabbits will be happier if you create an interesting environment for them to explore. Bored and lonely rabbits are likely to exhibit behavioural problems and can be aggressive towards their owners.

Wild rabbits rely on an intimate knowledge of their warren and the local terrain for safety. Dramatic changes to their homes can be stressful and so these should be kept to a minimum. However, rabbits are intelligent creatures and so small changes such as the addition of new toys will keep them entertained but without disconcerting them.

Digging

In the wild, digging is a natural behaviour for rabbits and so it is beneficial to provide them with an opportunity to dig. If they don’t have access to earth in the garden, then a small sand pit or earth pit would be a great addition to their environment.

Hiding Places

Wild rabbits must remain vigilante to protect themselves against predators. These instincts are present in captive rabbits and so they will feel vulnerable and stressed if they don’t have somewhere to hide. Their enclosure must always feature a hideaway even if there are no threats to their safety.

Interaction

Rabbits will feel far more comfortable in your home if they are exposed to the routine sights and sounds as early as possible. They need to feel relaxed in their environment. They should also be handled from an early age and introduced to the other pets in the household. The time that they spend with your other pets must always be supervised.

Most rabbits can be trained to negotiate jumps and obstacles and it is a good idea to do this in order to ensure that they receive a healthy amount of exercise. It is all too easy for captive rabbits to become obese.

Diet

A good diet is crucial for pet rabbits. They need fibre and this should be in the form of hay and grass. This is essential for their digestive health, and they can die without it. A small daily ration of green veg is also beneficial.

The Costs

If you are looking for a good family pet and have a limited budget, then rabbits may look like a great option. But they are a significant commitment and their care will impact your finances. A Rabbit can cost you as much as £3,000 during its lifetime. You must be sure that you have the time and money to provide your rabbit with everything that its needs.