5 Ways to Take Care of a Pet Rabbit

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5 Ways to Take Care of a Pet Rabbit
5 Ways to Take Care of a Pet Rabbit

Adopting a pet bunny can be fun, but it's important to understand that this pet needs time to adjust to its new home. It is your duty to ensure that the rabbit has everything he needs so that he can get used to it more easily and make the transition. The decisions you make during the beginning of your life together can shape what your future relationship will be like!


Method 1 of 5: Housing the Rabbit

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 1

Step 1. Decide whether the bunny will live indoors or outdoors

Before bringing your pet home, decide whether it will be a house rabbit or whether it will live outdoors, with plenty of space (in a garden, for example). Home rabbits are very popular pets, but there are certain factors that need to be taken into account. It will be necessary to clean and train it when living inside the house, but social contact will be much greater than with a rabbit that stays outside.

  • If you decide to keep your rabbit indoors, you will need to protect it from it. Rabbits gnaw on anything and everything, including electrical cables and old furniture feet. There are ways to prevent the animal from "destroying" the house; leave wires out of reach. Only items that you wouldn't mind being gnawed on should stay close by.
  • If you define that he should be indoors, you will need to train him to "use the bathroom". It is not hygienic to let the rabbit do its "needs" wherever it pleases throughout your home. The solution is to train him to use a litter box.
  • If you prefer to leave it out of the house, dedicate yourself to "socializing" with the pet every day. Make this part of your routine or he may become anxious and afraid of your company.
Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 2

Step 2. Buy a rabbit hutch

It should be at least 60 cm wide and 1.25 m long, and tall enough to allow the pet to stand fully upright.

  • Outdoor huts are usually made of wood with a front door made of chicken wire, which allows the rabbit to see the outdoors as well as providing good ventilation. The wood offers a good degree of thermal protection to insulate the animal from the elements of the weather, in addition to being resistant and strong, preventing predators from getting close.
  • When setting up the outhouse, attach a cage so the rabbit can run and exercise. It must be a minimum of 1.20 m by 2.40 m by 0.6 m for an animal of less than 2 kg.
  • Many indoor houses are just made of plastic with a wire roof. Its advantage is its light weight, allowing it to be easily transported around the house.
  • If you can't find a house you like, make your own! It's not as simple as just buying one, but it can be even better for your pet. Make sure you line the sides with wire, but not the floor.
Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 3

Step 3. Cover the bottom of the house with comfortable materials

They should be soft, absorbent and warm. Cover the entire base leaving the maximum depth between 7.5 cm and 10 cm, as this will cushion the rabbit's hind legs, which are susceptible to pressure injury if the padding provided is not sufficient.

Among the materials that are commonly used are hay, wood chips or straw. Among these, straw is the softest and most cozy, being the best option, followed by hay (which is more expensive than straw) and then sawdust

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 4

Step 4. Buy a litter box for the animal's "needs"

It is imperative to train him to pee and poop if he is going to be indoors. The box should fit inside the rabbit hutch, taking up no more than a third of the floor space.

Method 2 of 5: Establishing and Accustoming the Rabbit to the House

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 5

Step 1. Very carefully, transfer the rabbit from the cage that carries it into the house

Rabbits are prey species, which means that when they are nervous and under high stress, they try to hide. Moving house is very important for these pets; then, when you bring him home, leave him in a quiet place for him to settle down and get used to it.

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 6

Step 2. Don't bother the rabbit for 24 hours

This will help you get used to the new smells, sounds and sights of the new home without the "challenge" of having strangers staring at you.

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 7

Step 3. After the initial 24 hours, start interacting with the animal

Take it very calmly and spend as much time as you can every day by the side of the house, talking to it. If you notice that the rabbit is already tame, open the door of the house and pat its back.

Avoid putting your hand over the rabbit's head as this is something a predator would do

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 8

Step 4. Try to catch the animal

If he doesn't run away by running a hand on your back, sit down on the floor and gently lift him into your lap. For the rabbit, it is less frightening to be on your lap while sitting on the ground, as they are land animals and are always on dry land. Therefore, it is stressful when they are lifted into the air.

If the pet is not used to being carried on people's laps and ends up running away, don't force it. Instead, get used to it and present "temptations" for him to leave the house, such as snacks he likes. Once he's used to your voice and realizes you're not a threat, he'll eventually try to pick up the food. The moment he starts going out regularly to get the treat, try stroking the rabbit's back. When he accepts, it's a sign that you can already try to pick him up

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 9

Step 5. Pet the rabbit

Petting and smoothing the pet's fur is another way to bond with him. With a comb and a soft brush, comb it with the first one and when the rabbit is satisfied, smooth it with the second.

This is another way to teach your pet that your company is good and positive. Try this technique first if the rabbit still resists your attempts to pick it up

Method 3 of 5: Feeding Your Rabbit

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 10

Step 1. Ask the previous owner what the rabbit was eating

To summarize, give him the same food, as too many changes at once will likely make him nervous and the food is something that doesn't need to be changed (at least for a few days).

As your rabbit becomes more confident and feels that its diet is not ideal, start changing its diet

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 11

Step 2. Know what can be fed to the rabbit

These animals are herbivores and the ideal food for them is fresh grass, as it provides nutrients and fiber in the right amount, leaving their teeth well-sawed and moving their intestines. However, it is impossible to have good quality fresh grass all year round, especially for those staying indoors; therefore, it will always be necessary to reach an "agreement" on this matter.

The best food for the rabbit is fresh grass, but you will probably have to supplement it with others. Fresh green hay is the best alternative; if you feed him nutritious grains, give him only small amounts and supplement his diet with hay

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 12

Step 3. Know which foods to avoid

Just because they are herbivores doesn't mean that rabbits should be eating any plant-based diet.

  • Try to avoid muesli rations. They are far from ideal for these animals and should not be given under any circumstances, if possible. Muesli foods have ingredients that can be identified, such as crushed peas, wheat, corn, nuts and crackers. The problem is that rabbits eat the tasty parts and ignore the nutritious ones, leading to brittle bones, oversized teeth and even overweight.
  • It is said that rabbits under 6 months of age should not be fed fresh fruits or vegetables, but this is legend - the important thing is to feed them in moderation, as if it were a daily treat.
  • Furthermore, any food can cause problems if it is eaten in excess. Carrots contain a lot of oxalate and, if given every day, can predispose rabbit kidney stones.
  • A safe way to feed him vegetables is never to feed him the same food two days in a row; in this way, you can give cucumber on Monday, red pepper on Tuesday, carrot on Wednesday, broccoli on Thursday, and so on.
Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 13

Step 4. Don't feed the rabbit too much

Find out how much food your pet needs based on its breed and weight. Feeding should be daily, but don't overdo it, always based on weight.

  • If your rabbit is large or normal and you are feeding grass, the amount should be high to make sure they get the proper number of calories per day. This means they must be eating almost constantly. If you're feeding them grains (not recommended), in about 20 minutes they'll have had enough calories for the day.
  • Try to maintain a constant daily feeding schedule for the rabbit.
Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 14

Step 5. Provide him with fresh water at all times in a clean container

Use a clean, algae-free container. Mix water with Apple Citrus Vinegar (the cloudier type is better) for your rabbit. Add two caps of vinegar to the four liters of water you feed the rabbit. Apple Citrus Vinegar greatly improves your rabbit's health, leaving its coat shinier, improving the immune system and keeping up-to-date healthy gut bacteria.

  • Rabbit drinking fountains are also good for this, as the water is in a reservoir attached to the hut and will not be contaminated by food, grain and hut lining material that may end up in the water bowl. They can also be dropped by the animal, which is disastrous if the animal is alone in the house and has nothing to drink.
  • If the rabbit drinks from a bowl, give it a heavy, hard-to-turn one.
  • If the rabbit prefers to drink from a bowl, buy one that is heavy and impossible for him to drop.

Method 4 of 5: Exercising, Training and Playing with the Rabbit

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 15

Step 1. Release the pet when it is in your house (and if it lives in it)

Home rabbits will be physically and mentally stimulated, especially if they are allowed to go out when they are not alone; so leave him free to follow you and even watch TV with you!

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 16

Step 2. Take him out of the house

If the rabbit is homegrown, allow it to go out for a while, but not run away; if he lives outside, let him run around the garden from time to time.

  • If you are away from home, the rabbit house should have a large cage so that the rabbit can "train" (it should preferably be connected to the house) at will. However, the interaction will be greater if you let him loose in the garden to play and exercise with you.
  • Never leave him alone outside the house! Birds can catch your precious bunny.
  • A good idea is to buy a harness and collar so you can take your pet for a walk.
Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 17

Step 3. Spend time with the rabbit

Do activities with him, exercising, smoothing his fur or just playing. They take time to learn, but it is possible to teach simple tricks and train you by sounds.

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 18

Step 4. Give the pet toys

Rabbits love to play and are also active and curious, needing a good variety of toys to keep them busy and out of trouble. Cardboard boxes of all sizes and shapes are great distractions.

  • A good cheap toy suggestion? A roll of toilet paper filled with hay (the roll should be out of paper, of course). Most rabbits love this toy as it is easy to toss, nibble, and even eat. It's also a great way to recycle!
  • In general, toys for cats are also suitable for rabbits. A plastic ball with a bell inside usually amuses rabbits. Another idea is to offer rattles. Rabbits love to play with them.
  • Remember that rabbits will gnaw on everything they can get. Check toys every day and remove anything that doesn't feel safe anymore. Unpainted and unvarnished wood is usually safe for rabbits, as are paper products, but keep your common sense. Keep an eye out for anything problematic toys may have, such as tips, glue, paint, varnish, stickers, and more. Remove any plastic toy that has lost pieces.

Method 5 of 5: Keeping the Rabbit in Good Health

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 19

Step 1. Clean the litter box and its liner frequently

The poop of these animals is generally round and dry and is not difficult to clean. Try putting some hay in the litter box as rabbits like to eat while "using the bathroom". This encourages them to continue doing the "needs" in the same place.

Don't wait too long to clean the cage as it will become dirty, smelly and harm the rabbit's health

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 20

Step 2. Neuter the rabbit

After this procedure, rabbits become better pets because they won't care so much about the territory and will be less aggressive. After about 12 weeks of age, they can be neutered; if you have more than one (of any gender), it is highly recommended that the operation be performed, or a rodent boom could appear in your house overnight!

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 21

Step 3. Get your rabbit vaccinated

From 12 weeks of life, this animal can already be vaccinated against myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic diarrhea, diseases that are fatal to rabbits. One injection a year is all that is needed to keep you protected.

Also talk to your veterinarian regarding fenbendazole treatment against a common parasite, Encephalitozoon Cuniculi. A high percentage of rabbits carry this parasite, which can cause blindness, neurological problems and kidney failure in old age. A single dose per year will be adequate to keep the pet safe

Care for a New Pet Rabbit Step 22

Step 4. Do not bathe the rabbit

There is no need to bathe them as they will clean themselves with frequently, keeping body oil (which is natural and not harmful). Water can enter the ears and infect them, not to mention the level of stress that the process can cause, something dangerous for the rabbit's health.

If the rabbit's house does not prevent damage caused by adverse weather conditions (storms, rain, snow, etc), protect the pet so that it remains healthy


  • In summer, put ice bottles in the house if it is outdoors. This will keep the rabbit cool and he will love rubbing himself against it.
  • Put a heater and some blankets in the rabbit hutch during the winter.
  • It is interesting to purchase a cage not only with a solid bottom, but also with raised edges, so that the rabbit has no way of getting debris out of it.
  • If you want to get two rabbits, you might be able to have them bond. It is necessary to neuter them if you want them to stay in the same cage; otherwise, they may engage in aggressive behavior or breed.
  • If you want to get him out of the house, don't force him. Just open her door and wait for him to come out. Look at the pet from the sides because that's how it can see you best.


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