Pet rabbits are easy to look after. However, simply because they are easy to look after does not mean that you can spend very little time with them
Many people who have finally decided to become the masters (or is it slaves?) to pet rabbits have many surprising discovery. The pet that they hoped will stay in the cage the whole day turns out to be more adventurous than what they think. The docile pets love games, demands attention from their owners and even know how to throw tantrum occassionally. That is why they have often be referred to as great characters packed in a small body. Rabbits make wonderful family pets and can bond well with children. Compared to many other pets, rabbits are relatively easy to look after.
There are few important factors to provide proper care to rabbits. The most important one is to provide proper housing. Rabbits are quite habitual creature and because they are at the bottom of the food chain, they need to feel secured from harm. That is with a proper housing where rabbits can retire whenever they felt being harmed is important. This is of course, unless you are dedicating one room to them. Even, if rabbits have the entire room for themselves, it is still recommended that you keep your rabbits in the cage at regular hours of the day. Rabbits that stay in cage, learn to use the cage for their toilets. This is a good habit for both the rabbits and for you.
Rabbits cage should be cleansed on daily basis. Cage with pull-out tray is great for keeping rabbits and easier to clean. You may want to line the pull-out tray with old newspaper which can then be conveniently thrown away each time you clean the cage. When cleaning the cage, you may wash the pull out tray on daily basis or with septic solution. Bleach or vinegar works best in killing off bacteria, but you need to ensure that you clean them off thoroughly as they are quite toxic and may kill the rabbit.
If possible, try to get some soft rubber mat and place them in the cage for the rabbits to rest on. Wire cage can be especially bad for rabbits as they can be quite painful for the rabbits tiny legs to stand on wire cage. You would also want to be more careful if you have a senior rabbit to take care of. As senior rabbits rest most of the time, it is crucial that they have comfortable spots to lie on and rest.
Many people are also not aware that you can actually toilet-train a rabbit. Spending time to toilet-train a rabbit is worth all the effort as it means a cleaner house for both you and the rabbits. When your rabbits are clean, they have better and healthier life and are less prone to falling sick. It is a good idea to train your rabbits from young. Even thoug senior rabbits can also be trained, but it is easier to train rabbits when they are young.
Young rabbits love to explore the entire house and if you let rabbit roam free in the house, it is important to bunny-proof them. Bunny proofing a house, such as keeping all electrical cables wrap-up helps to ensure rabbit's safety and at the same time, prevent your appliance from getting damaged. You can use PVC tubes that you can buy from either a home improvement mart or from an IT store that is used to keep your cables together. Young rabbits love to chew on cables and wooden furniture and you will be amazed at how much cables and furniture that they can chew off.
Rabbits should be fed with commercial pellets that you can buy from a pet store, hay and occasional treats of vegetables and fruits. Rabbits have sweet tooth, and you should refrain from feeding them too much sweet food. Pellets should only be provided in adequate amount at regular time of the day. Hay may be provided the whole day. When young, rabbits may be fed with alfafa hay but as they grow older, they should be introduced to timothy hay gradually. You should provide your pet rabbits with fresh water on daily basis. There is some who had mentioned that since rabbits are provided with vegetables, they do not need water to survive. This is simply not true. Rabbits can get dehydrated quite easily and can die from heat exhaustion.
Rabbits do not get sick often which makes them inexpensive rabbits to care, medical-wise. However, it is also hard to find rabbit-savvy vets. So, always keep the contact of vets close at hand. It is easy to tell when a rabbit is not feeling well. They becomes extremely passive, rest most of the times and refuses food. Most probably, they would just hide in one corner. It is extremely crucial to bring your rabbits to see a vet immediately if you find that your pet rabbits are not feeling well. Any delay can sometimes result in worsening condition that can quickly lead to death.
Rabbits need to keep eating in order to maintain its intestinal tracts' function and once a rabbit stop eating for just one or two days, the gut bacterial in their colon may kill them. If a rabbit refuses food, you would have to force-feed them. Use commercial pellets and pounce them to powder. Add some camomile tea to the pellet and use a feeding syringe to force-feed the rabbit.
Overall, pet rabbits are quite easy to care for and in the next article, we shall explore more on developing strong bond with your furry friends.