Rabbits

Rabbits

Keeping rabbits as pets is fairly popular nowadays, especially among children. The great thing about these animals is that not only are they cute and cuddly, it also doesn’t take much to take care of a pet rabbit. In fact, children around seven are already old enough to properly take care of this pet provided they have the barest essentials which are paltry in comparison to a dog’s needs. Rabbits have a life expectancy of 7 to 8 years and come in a variety of colors from black, white, brown and every shade in between. They can also portray a combination of several colors with different patterns – allowing for an endless array of choices when it comes to pet rabbits. Having a rabbit as pet is not tantamount to having a cat or a dog. For one thing, one couldn’t just let a rabbit wander around an open space – especially if there are possible predators lurking about. These animals would only require a small space for them to move in specifically barricaded to keep enemies out. Unlike cats and dogs which would take an instant liking to their owners, rabbits take longer to tame. Hence, these animals would need to be cuddled or stroked constantly in order for them to be familiar with human touch.

Why choose rabbits as pets?
One of the primary reasons why people choose a rabbit as a pet is because of their physical features. They not do the look cute and cuddly but they are – in fact – cute and cuddly. Hence, children love to watch, hold and play with Bug Bunny’s real life counterpart. At the same time, rabbits are fairly easy to take care of – compared to cats and dogs. For one thing, they do not roam all over the house and would only occupy a small space. This same space will accommodate their bed, their playroom, eating area and bathroom, which means easy clean up for the owner. Rabbit droppings are also small and tightly packed which means that getting rid of it is fairly easy. A rabbit’s diet is a bit on the sensitive side though – meaning owners couldn’t just give them any type of food. However, the good news is that a rabbit’s staple diet comprised of hay is fairly easy to come by.

Accessories for Pet Rabbits
Like dogs, getting rabbits as pets would require the owner to purchase a few essential items to keep the animal happy and healthy. Following are some of the accessories needed for rabbit care as well as the correct process of choosing them.

  • Cage

The cage must be big enough for the rabbit to make a 360 degree turn and tall enough to stretch to its full height. It should also be large enough to contain containers for food and water. Rabbits usually urinate and excrete waste in just one area of the cage so their container must be long enough to keep the “bathroom” and the food area separate.

There must be an opening big enough to conveniently place food and water inside the cage. At the same time, the area must be designed for easy clean up – preferably with a wire mesh for the floor and durable walls for long use.

  • Food and Water

As mentioned above, a rabbit’s staple diet is hay – specifically the grass type – and not carrots. In fact, carrots are not really included in their daily food intake which consists mainly of herbs.

Despite their small size, rabbits eat a large amount of hay every day. In fact, owners should take care not to leave the cage empty of their food since rabbits are always looking for something to munch on. The hay itself should be healthy and well dried to make it ideal for the animal.

Occasionally, fresh greens should be fed to the rabbit for them to reach their daily water needs. Of course, a container of water should be kept full at all time within the cage .Fruits may also be served but only as a special treat.

Currently though, there are pellets or commercial rabbit food and they are OK too. However, natural food types for rabbits are always the safer option.

  • Bedding

Rabbits prefer hay as a bedding option but old newspapers are also possible. However, these should be changed every two days since rabbits have a tendency of messing up the bedding or even eating the newspapers when they feel like it.

Tips on Taking Care of Pet Rabbits

They may not look it but rabbits are incredible fragile and when handled incorrectly can easily have their vital parts injured. For this reason, following are some tips on how to lift a pet rabbit as well as other caring techniques.

Lifting the Rabbit
Hold the rabbit on its hind legs while placing the other hand on its chest area. A rabbit’s backbone is very fragile and could not take the hind legs weight – making it necessary to support this particular area of the body.

Baths and Hygiene
One of the perks of having a pet rabbit is that giving it a bath is not necessary. These animals are very clean creatures and may be spotted keeping their faces clean every time. In fact, giving rabbits a bath can be bad for their health since they are not used to the cold water.

Visits to the Vet
With the right food, exercise – visiting the vet may not be an option. However, owners should always look out for their pet rabbit and see if the animal shows any abnormal behavior like loss of appetite, sudden weight loss, diarrhea or extreme aggressiveness and bring the pet straight to the vet.

Keep in mind that although rabbits look easy to take care of, they require the same amount of attention one provides for cats and dogs. Even though they may not show it much, rabbits as pets are greatly affectionate and provide the same level of satisfaction one gets for pet cats or dogs.