Rabbits make wonderful pets for both adults & children.
However, sometimes that cute little bunny that you bought home from the pet shop can turn into a furry monster that the kids are frightened of, or worse, a forgotten toy left in the back yard to live out its days alone.
To prevent this , there are a few things you need to remember.
1. Rabbits are social animals! Rabbits will naturally seek out the company of others & just love to spend time with people. Most rabbits love nothing more than having their muzzle rubbed or their ears stroked. One of our female rabbits will jump up onto our laps when she wants attention. Learn what your rabbit likes & handle them a much as possible! We even play chasing & hide & seek with our rabbits. Get to know their personality, some bunnies are shy, some gregarious, just like people, cater your interaction to suit.
2. Rabbits like to sleep during the middle of the day. Our rabbits have a special place in their cage where they like to nap but they also have several places in the house where they like to rest, such as the tiled laundry floor on hot days or under the coffee table when they need some "time out" from the children.
3. Rabbits like to be clean. Change their bedding reguarlly & empty the litter tray daily. Most rabbits may be trained to use a litter tray but males may still "mark" their territory by spraying urine. This is why our boys are outside bunnies only!
4. Rabbits should have a varied diet. 80% should be pellets & grass & the rest a mix of vegetables & greens. Our bunnies also enjoy the occasional piece of fruit as a treat but this is only in very small amounts as bribery, too much sugar is harmful to rabbits.
5. Keep your bunny safe. If you live in an area with foxes or other predators, ensure your rabbit has a predator proof cage including a wire floor so that your bunny can't dig out. In Australia cover the cage with insect netting to protect your pet from mosquito borne diseases such as Mixamotosis.
6. Rabbits are temperature sensitive, just like us. While they cope with cold reasonably well, on hot days they need extra water & a cool place. We even give our rabbits ice cubes which they eat or lay on & we often bring them inside to the tiled laundry or bathroom when the temperature is over 35oC.
7. Rabbits like to chew! Provide your rabbit with fresh branches of apple, pear, mulberry or roses. This will keep their teeth healthy & also make the bunny less likely to chew on your house woodwork & cables. Keep your rabbits temptations to a minimum. Remove or protect electrical cords, baskets & books.
Following these guidelines should make living with your bunny happy for both of you!