Rabbit Care - How To Take Care Of A Rabbit
They’re cute, small and fluffy, but they also require a lot of care and attention. Owning a rabbit is certainly a big responsibility. Don’t confuse rabbit care with hamster care or other small animals, as they have very different needs and responsibilities. You’d be forgiven for thinking rabbits are a relatively simple pet to take care of, but there’s a lot to consider when it comes to taking care of rabbits as pets, especially when it comes to their diet, environment and ensuring they play well with other rabbits.
Before you welcome rabbits into the home as pets, you should make sure you have enough space to properly take care of them, and that you have enough hours in the day to make sure they get the care and attention that they need. Read on to find out more about owning a rabbit and how to provide proper bunny care in our rabbit care guide.
How Long do Rabbits Live?
On average, you can expect your the lifespan of a pet rabbit anywhere between eight and 12 years, but that depends on the breed. When they’re well cared for, some breeds such as dwarf rabbits, mini lops, and other smaller bunnies can live for longer than 12 years. Larger breeds, such as French lops and Flemish giants, have a shorter rabbit lifespan may not make it to double digits.
Rabbits are incredibly social and require regular interaction with other rabbits and humans in order to stay mentally healthy. Rabbits that are kept on their own are more likely to develop mental health issues such as depression and generally live shorter lives than rabbits kept in pairs.
Rabbits are prey animals and this plays a huge role in shaping their personalities. Their natural response to a perceived threat is to run and hide, so it’s important to ensure that your rabbits have plenty of space in their environment to hide if they ever feel threatened. Think about what other animals you have in your household. This is one of the most important parts of bunny care 101!
Rabbits love to play and have fun and can even be litter trained. They’re naturally inquisitive animals so it’s important to provide lots of enrichment toys to keep them mentally stimulated. Rabbits love foraging for food, so experiment by hiding treats in hay, in tunnels, or in food balls. You’ll know when your rabbits are happy as they’ll do a cute, exciting hop that’s called a binky.
How to Know if Your Rabbit is Healthy
As a prey species, rabbits will naturally hide signs of illness, so it’s important to know what to look out for.
Healthy rabbits have clear and bright eyes.
A rabbit’s coat should be well-kept, clean and never matted
Rabbits should be constantly gnawing away at hay. Lack of appetite could indicate dental or gut problems.
The area around the rabbits’ bottom should be kept regularly cleaned, as dirty bottoms can lead to the horrible flystrike.
Rabbits’ teeth are constantly growing. Their upper front teeth should neatly align with the bottom ones and not overgrow.