In honor of Easter, we’re giving a shout out to an often-understated companion: bunnies! Rabbits are a great alternative to a dog or cat with most of the same perks – like being trainable, playful, and (for some) affectionate – plus some! Like being great for apartment dwellers or those allergic to dogs or cats. Yep, these fluffy little bunnies are often overlooked in the wake of their more popular peers, but they can be just as beloved members of the family. For those with pet rabbits or those considering adopting one (oh yes, there are adoptable bunnies at nearly every shelter!), we’re offering up a few care tips for the loveable underdogs.
- Rabbit Proofing. Time out of their cage is necessary for the mental well being of your bunny, which makes rabbit proofing your home important – not only for your things, but for the safety of your pet. The easiest thing to do is to dedicate a room, or block off a portion of one, and only let your bunny roam that area (provided you give them something to do). Otherwise, if you plan on letting your rabbit roam most of the time, it’s imperative to cover wires or hang them at least 3-4 feet out of their reach. Consider covering floorboards, desk corners, bed corners, or anything else you think a bored bunny might decide to take a bite out of.
- Cage Maintenance. Keeping their main living space clean plays a huge part in your bunny’s health. Be sure to clean your rabbit’s cage at least once a week, if not two times. Other cage tips: make sure the cage is big enough that they can hop around and have some space, and place the cage somewhere inclusive – you don’t want your bunny to feel isolated.
- Their Diet Matters, Too. Just like dogs and cats, proper nutrition is important when caring for rabbits. Fresh hay is a staple in their diet, so make sure to keep clean, dry hay accessible to your bunny; supplement with fresh greens and fiber-rich pellets. And, as always, fresh, clean water is a must.
- Provide Playthings. Mental stimulation is important, so be sure to provide toys and other fun things for your bunny to play with. (Hint: cardboard boxes are a huge hit, not only can your bunny chew it to their heart’s content, they can eventually use it as a safe retreat if they’d like.)
- While they’re naturally clean pets, brushing your bunny every now and then to prevent excess shedding ensures your rabbit doesn’t ingest too much fur and cause digestive issues. It’s also important to clip their nails, whether you learn how to do it yourself or have your vet or other professional do it as necessary.
Is your best buddy a bunny? Have a care tip we missed? We’d love to see and hear more on Facebook!