Rabbits are friendly and fascinating as pets. Their soft fur and gentle nature are worth adoring. They can be wonderful companions if trained with proper care. They have a long lifespan, hence by keeping them as pets, you are making a long-term commitment. Before raising them, make sure you understand the basic caring tips so as to create a wonderful environment for them.
Caring Tips for Pet Rabbits
Regarding food habits, rabbits enjoy eating vegetables, hay, and pellets. They love to feed on a wide variety of vegetables such as carrots, cilantro, broccoli leaves, mint, and parsley. Oats, alfalfa, and timothy hay should be included in their daily diet. Fresh pellets with high fiber and low protein content should be purchased. Reduce the amount of pellet in the feed as your pet ages. Pure water can be provided in a dish or in hanging bottles.
The cage should be large, spacious, and easy to clean. It should be built according to the size of your pet. For litter training, you can place a litter tray with raised sides (to avoid spillage) in the cage. If the bunny litters in the cage, then it is well and good. Otherwise, examine where it litters normally and place the tray in that particular area.
Speaking about handling, some rabbits can tolerate it whereas some do not. For doing so, place your hand under the torso of the bunny and scoop it up closer. Never pull a rabbit by its ears, legs, or tail. The nails should be clipped regularly; you can cut them by handling them carefully and gently isolating each paw.
Popular Breeds as Pets
There are several breeds of rabbits from which you can choose your favorite one. Following are some of the popular breeds that are excellent as pets.
The coat color of this breed resembles that of a real chinchilla. The fur is soft with slate-blue, wavy-white, and black surface color. It is a medium-sized breed weighing about 9-12 pounds. It exhibits upright ears and noticeably broad shoulders. It enjoys attention and loves to be handled. For grooming the coat, brushing with the help of a slicker brush once a week is advisable.
As the name suggests, the Flemish giant is an enormous breed which weighs about 14 pounds. It has a short, glossy, and dense-textured coat. The fur color may be white, light-gray, steel-gray, blue, or black. This breed is calm and affectionate as a pet. However, it may revert if handled incorrectly. Mild grooming is enough as the fur is short.
The Mini rex has the shortest fur among all the breeds. You can touch and feel its velvety and plush texture. The coat color may be white, opal, red, blue, or black. For removing loose hair, don't comb the fur, rather moisten your palm with water and run over the fur backwards. It is a small breed weighing about 3½ - 4½ pounds. It has small ears, a medium-length face, and a rounded body. It is a friendly breed which tolerates handling.
The Himalayan is well-known for its long, narrow, and flat body type. It is a small breed weighing about 2½ - 4½ pounds. It exhibits thin and upright ears and a long head. The coat is short and is usually white with brown, blue, or black colorations on the nose, ears, legs, and tail. It is extremely calm, making a great pet. Weekly grooming with a slicker brush is sufficient to take care of the coat.
Whatever the breed, it is necessary to select a healthy bunny for rearing as pets. Some of them are curious and active players which can remain occupied with toys. Any change in the pet's behavior may indicate discomfort and/or pain. Hence, a close examination of its health is necessary to prevent any problems.