Rabbits are absolutely delightful and playful pets. They are generally quite tamed and tend to develop close bonds with their masters. Rabbits basically are social animals and serve as good companions to their owners. Keeping rabbits as pets also helps relieve stress as these rabbits are entertaining and playful. They are one of the most noted favorite pets, for their attractive appearance, playful characteristics, and their ability to bond with humans. These rabbits are timid and delicate creatures. They have a fragile body, hence require good care and attention, to keep them in their right spirits.
Basic Rabbit Care for Beginners
Cleaning and grooming the rabbit is very important. Rule of thumb is never to bathe a rabbit unless he is very dirty or spoils himself. The reason being, rabbits tend to go in a state of shock if you immerse them into water. You can damp a towel or some paper napkins and rub them clean. Usually, the rabbits clean themselves and do not require external help as far as cleaning is concerned. But if you want to bathe him, you can do so, but try to be extra careful and gentle. Don't be surprised if the rabbit goes into his zone or sulks after the bathing session.
Rabbits would need help cleaning their ears, eyes and nails. Rabbits have a whole lot of wax or other goop built-in there. Make sure you check his ears regularly and clean them. You can also see the vet in case of anything serious. The gunk or dirt accumulated in the eyes need cleaning everyday too. Just wipe it with a clean soft cloth or soft paper napkin. The claws of the rabbit needs to be trimmed and cleaned once in every 4 weeks. Trimming and cleaning the nails is quite a skillful job, hence, it is only better you take your rabbit to the vet and allow him to do it for you. Rabbits no doubt are good at keeping their fur clean and tidy, but you can always brush out the excess hair once in a while.
Rabbits are vegetarian, and eat almost every vegetable available. But rabbits being very delicate pets, are susceptible to digestive disorders, hence their diet requires the most attention. A rabbits favorite being the unlimited timothy grass or oat hay. The fresh grass hay is fibrous and provides the necessary roughage for the normal functioning of the digestive system. A young rabbit who is less than 1-year-old can eat pellets or alfalfa grass mixed with the timothy grass, since they are high in proteins and calcium, that provide the necessary energy for the young bunny.
Restrict the amount of pellets and alfalfa grass as the rabbit grows up, as they tend to put on weight and become lazy. The amount of pellets and alfalfa grass should be substituted with a variety of fresh vegetables like carrots, carrot tops, parsley, broccoli, dandelion greens, turnip greens, lettuce and spinach. For a grown up rabbit, vegetables should make a large portion of their daily diet. It would take a little time for their digestive system to adjust to the new diet, but give them some time. Beans, potatoes, cauliflower, etc., would cause some digestive problems, hence should be avoided. You can also treat the bunny with an apple twig or other interesting foods. But one has to remember that carbohydrate rich foods and foods containing high sugar content may cause serious digestive problems.
Getting a cage made for your bunny is absolutely important, for it needs some space of its own. The bigger the better. Get a cage that is 4 times bigger than the size of the rabbit, this makes the rabbit roam around freely in the cage. Make sure the cage does not have wired floors or at least get the wired floor covered with a wooden plank, grass or hemp mats. The door of the cage should have smooth edges and should be large enough for the rabbit to get in and out. Keeping the cage clean and tidy is another important aspect of rabbit care. Allow the bunny to run around the house or let him out in the garden for sometime of the day, to enjoy the fresh air and scenery. As you know, rabbits are timid animals, hence, make sure you protect them in all ways to avoid any serious complications or consequences.
Rabbits have a long life span, therefore you are sure to develop a tight bond with this little bunny. Also find a good vet and discuss with him about a preventive health plan and vaccinations for the well-being of your rabbit.