Rabbit Care Guide: Basic Bunny Facts For New Owners

If you're considering getting a pet rabbit, then you'll need these basic bunny facts up front. These are by no means a comprehensive guide, but they do give a brief overview of a bunny's needs. This article is designed to give you an idea of what you'd be getting yourself into if you were to get a pet rabbit, or what you may have already gotten into if you are new to rabbit keeping.

Contrary to popular opinion, rabbits are not low maintenance pets. You will need to spend time socializing your rabbit, petting it, and allowing it to run free in a safe and confined space every now and then. Rabbits are very intelligent, highly active animals that need exercise and crave attention.

Depending on the breed of rabbit, bunnies range from about minis that come in at about, 3 ½ pounds, 'normal sized' rabbits, which can be around 9 to 12 pounds, and giant rabbits which can come in at 22 pounds or more and be bigger than a dog. A smaller rabbit may take up less space, but it may also be high energy and need to be allowed more exercise.

Rabbits generally thrive on a diet of pellets, an unlimited supply of hay (they should be allowed to free feed), and treats of fresh foods such as carrot, and apple. These last foods should not be given in large amounts as they carry high amounts of sugar and starch, which can make your bunny sick. Hay and pellets are the key ingredients to a healthy bunny diet. The pellets should not be filled with nuts, fruit and seeds. While this may look pretty, they are not part of a bunny's natural diet, and can cause health problems and icky fecal messes.

Rabbit CANNOT be fed lettuce, as it can kill them. Niether should they be fed broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, or similar gas causing vegetables. Rabbits cannot pass gas.

Rabbits can nip and bite, especially if time is not taken to socialize them well.

Rabbits also need to be groomed. Long hair rabbits may need daily grooming, and even short haired rabbits will need their nails clipped regularly to prevent them from over growing.

Rabbits should be spayed, as it can cut down on unwanted litters, and in does, reduce the chances of cancer considerably. Over 80% of unspayed does are likely to develop cancer within 4 years. Save your rabbit this painful and early death and get her spayed. Male rabbits should also be fixed as it improves their temperament and reduces marking behavior.

Rabbits are house pets and can be toilet trained. They have a strong natural instinct to go in one spot, which they establish fairly early on. Establish this spot as being in their cage, and they will return to their cage to go potty instead of going on your carpet.

Rabbits are huge chewers, so your home will need to be rabbit proofed. Houseplants and cords are two bunny favorites that can cause inconvenience, sickness, and death if chewed on, so make sure that these are not in the bunny's way.

You will need bunny toys for your bunny to play with. They delight in chewing, ripping things up, and tossing things around. A bored bunny is a bad bunny, and will take its instincts out on your furniture and fixtures.

Rabbis can be very mischievous and delight in doing things you don't want them to do. Like any pet, they demand care and attention. They are quite similar to cats in many ways, and rabbits are known to form strong bonds with their owners.

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Comments 39 comments

kab-yucatan profile image

kab-yucatan 9 years ago from Telchac Puerto

I have my house bunny in an open-topped cage on the floor (with a tarp underneath that I change daily). He spends almost all day free in the house and just sleeps in the cage. This is in the midle of my living room - are there any better-looking alternatives for a bunny bedroom?

P.S. I tried just leaving him out all the time and got no sleep!


Bunniez profile image

Bunniez 9 years ago Author

I'll have a hub or two on bunny housing alternatives ready at some point in the not too distant future, in the meantime, check out these ideas:

http://www.boingonline.com/building_a_cub.html (This is a great cheap way of doing things)

http://www.bunssb.org/cage.asp (Another take on the cube idea)

http://www.instructables.com/id/House-Rabbit-Palac...


johnr54 profile image

johnr54 8 years ago from Texas

I was wondering if rabbits could swim. We have a couple running wild in our yard, and I don't know if they might be attracted to the pool.


Val Keller 8 years ago

We have a femail dwarf bunny,she is about 14-15 months old.It looks like she is in heat.She is pretty affectionate but lately she started biting us or attacking when we try to pet her or change food in her cage.So I'm wondering why is she becoming aggrassive?What is the deal with biting and attacking? Thanks a lot.

Val


Bunniez profile image

Bunniez 8 years ago Author

She is becoming aggressive because she is mature now. You should have her spayed by the way, if you don't there is an almost 80% chance that she will get cancer and die in the next few years. Quite apart from that, a mature rabbit is a territorial animal. When you put your hands in her cage you are entering her teritory unbidden, which is a big bunny offence. I would recommend that you take her out of the cage before you mess with it. A bunny who gets grumpy if you mess with their cage when they are in it quite often doesn't mind so much if they are already outside it.


Sugar 8 years ago

Uhm, hi.

My rabbits' name is sugar. she is a cutie!

Anyways, shes shaking a LOT, and im wondering if shes scared, or what.

I just got her yesterday. Im so terribley sorry, but please email me back at my personal e-mail:

nikstough@hotmail.com

thank you so much!

please, send back.


mark  7 years ago

daq ka ug mata mak2 tamvok ka ugh mta pa2


sherry_flopsy 7 years ago

where can u buy the spray? I live in Mwlbourne GLen WAverley

how much does it cost normally? do i hav to get the spray now? My bunny is only 5 weeks old

and can I just feed it a pellet mix for now?


peper 7 years ago

what does spraying your bunny mean?!?!


vanessa123 7 years ago

you idiots it means getting here fixed


rachel 7 years ago

I have been looking through your page and I think you offer really good advice I am now going to go away and try socialize my rabbit now thanks for the advice

Rachel


rachel 7 years ago

I have been looking through your page and I think you offer really good advice I am now going to go away and try socialize my rabbit now thanks for the advice

Rachel


Skatergirl 7 years ago

Hi im gonna get a bunny about palm sized and they are really cute but im kind of nervous and don't know where to put him inside or outside cuz i live in a condo soo yea... can you plz email me at Humak123@aol.com Thnx!!


anonomous 6 years ago

hol"a coma de'iz to la nica kddina el paso?


Cameron 6 years ago

I got a new born wild rabbit does goat milk work as substitute as milk or formula?


Cameron 6 years ago

I got a new born wild rabbit does goat milk work as substitute as milk or formula?


rhs1997 6 years ago

omg i just got a new rabbit this info is really helpful thnx


lovemybunniboi 6 years ago

I have a young male lop and he loves romaine and green leaf lettuce i feed him some every morning and evening. his stool is perfectly normal, and i rarely if ever see his cecotropes in his litter box. i also feed him a mixture of pure timothy pellets and alfalfa/timothypellets along with unlimited timothy hay from a bale. and filter his water through our Brita pitcher. his treats include apples a few times a month. he seems to be doing great on this diet. his coat is beautiful and his demeanor is fantastic. i have a manual that said lettuce was highly recommended for rabbits because of the nutrition and fact that it doesn't contain a lot of sugar. just wondering where you got your information. rabbits don't pass gas or burp because their digestive systems are different from animals that do flatulate. they are herbivores.


AnomynousXbitch 6 years ago

is it normal to rape a bunny?

mine died (no question ask please)

His name is penuslove and i accidentally...never mind

but is it normal?


daisybunny profile image

daisybunny 6 years ago from Canada

I feed my rabbit lettuce ALL THE TIME and she is perfectly healthy...


6 years ago

You can feed your rabbits veggies only after 4 months. if you feed them veggies before then they could die.


6 years ago

You can feed your rabbits veggies only after 4 months. if you feed them veggies before then they could die.


Elizabeth 6 years ago

hi i was thinking of getting a bunny. I don't think i have the money to get her fixed, but if i did save the money, would i just take her to a normal vet office or is there is speical bunny vet i hafta take her to?


Lilly R. 6 years ago

i'm trying to convince my mom to give me the ''o.k.''to get a rabbit,but i don't know what type of rabbit to get,what type of cage i need and what my rabbit will think of me.i need some ideas-please?=D


I want one too!! 6 years ago

Look on petfinder.com for a pet bunny near you.Petfinder shows all of the bunnies without a home in the shelters near you. You and your mom go to a bunny shelter and she'll be won over. Check pet stores for commercial INDOOR rabbit cages or you could make your own (check the URL). Petsmart or petco will provide all of the other things you need. I'm getting a bun too, so that's how I know all of this :)


nd 5 years ago

I want a bunny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11


Mt 5 years ago

I was wondering if dandelions were ok to feed my bunny cause on another website they said they were ok. What do you think? Thanks:)


iknowaboutrabbits profile image

iknowaboutrabbits 5 years ago

Popular music has changed. Radio set lists that were once filled with Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, or Jimi Hendrix, are now inhabited with Justin Bieber. The substance has changed as well. Once, lyrics described epic detailed scenes filled with vivid imagery, or confided in you about past, present, and future lovers through the use of extended metaphors. Even the instruments have changed; so much so, in fact, that it is rare to hear music not created by a computer on the radio. Overall, music used to require thought, introspection, and deep analysis on how the music applies to one’s own life. Now, however, music has been reduced to weak similes at best, the majority of the time just telling you straight-out what the song means. Today, artists such as Justin Bieber require minimal thought to listen to because of the growing depreciation of music as an art form, which can be traced back to the exploitation of the sexuality of children in popular music. If this trend continues, I fear music as we used to know it will cease to exist.

Justin Bieber is a Canadian-born singer who was discovered by Usher on Youtube. His songs are all about love, girls, and more love. However, what confuses me is that he is 15 years old. Some of these songs he wrote (or so he says) starting at the age of 12. I feel left out. I feel like I must have missed out on the true love every 12-year-old experiences. The fact is, he doesn’t know anything about love yet sings these songs as if he has been broken up with a girl one too many times. Now, I wouldn’t be so aggravated by him and his music if he was a small flicker in the fires of music, but he is famous. I have repeatedly been forced to listen to his music in shopping malls, cars, and grocery stores. One of his videos on Youtube reached 44 million hits. Tony Royster Jr., a drummer who rivaled seasoned drummers by the age of 12, has less than 4 million hits.

In general, Bieber’s vocal lines are incredibly simplistic and cliché. Many of the melodies to his songs are directly transcribed from existing pieces of music but sung with different lyrics. Unfortunately, since the reigning majority of his fans are largely unfamiliar with non-popular music and/or are incapable of recognizing melodic sequences, they are unaware of this fraud. His popularity can be directly related to musical artists being seen as sex symbols as opposed to musicians. The importance of the image of the artist is placed high above musical acuity now, causing this depreciation of music as a form of art.

Justin Bieber’s image is one that we have seen the likes of before, but not nearly to this extent. When it comes to child pop stars the first name that comes to mind is Brittany Spears. However, she started at the age of 17. Justin has been in the public eye since he was 15. We all know that the music industry is fond of selling sex indirectly through music, but when it comes to 15-year olds being marketed as a sex symbol, a line must be drawn. As Americans, we toil relentlessly to prevent the exploitation of our fellow humans, yet we support the exploitation of America’s youth by endorsing one cliché pop star after another. In general, we are prone to being the cause of our own distress, falling into a vicious circle of ambiguous situations. In recognizing this trend of convoluted thinking on the part of Americans, I am not alone. Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon noted this theory in Signs of Life: American Paradox, Culture and Contradiction in the U.S.A. They point out that, “An America that once judicially banned James Joyce’s classic novel Ulysses because it contained a brothel scene, a soliloquy on oral sex, and the “F” word now can transform a classic children’s story like The Cat in the Hat into a movie filled with off-color humor, while selling to preteen girls revealing tops and trousers that might have once embarrassed a prostitute” (483). The authors use this as an example to explain what they state is “America’s curious dichotomy between cultural Puritanism and a capitalistic tendency to exploit sexuality on behalf of corporate profits” (483). And that is precisely what it is. America’s capacity for hypocrisy is outstanding. On one hand, it will vigilantly prosecute child molesters and pedophiles in the name of morality. Yet, on the other hand, they will not only allow, but endorse, the sexualization and exploitation of minors in the entertainment industry. Justin Bieber is a mere corporate puppet in this deception and the casualty is quality music.

Justin Bieber is famous not because of his music, but his image. If an obese child sung his songs the same way, I guarantee he would not get a fraction of the fans that Bieber has. The fact is Bieber is painted as the cute, clean-cut, Christian boy from down the street. Simultaneously, his image is poorly augmented with an African-American hip-hop vibe. For example, his song, “One Time” contains the lyric, “Many have called girl but the chosen is you/Whatever you want shawty I’ll give it to you.” Hip-hop artists use “shawty”, which originated in Atlanta by rappers, as slang to refer to a sexy woman. Justin Bieber grew up in Canada’s suburbia. He has neither the background, style, nor the understanding of the hip-hop culture to use words such as “shawty” in his songs. Perhaps his recent relocation to Atlanta and association with Usher can explain why he portrays a clean-cut puritan image while emulating the vocal style of a rapper. Nell Berstein explores this trend of Caucasian suburban teenagers who dress and imitate nonwhite inner-city gangsters. She refers to this as “‘claiming’ – kids who try on a racial identity not their own”, and are “…facing the complicated reality of what their 21st century will be” (695). The music industry would not use these tactics if they did not produce results. Crossing racial boundaries and selling sex hidden beneath a puritan image are actions that were encouraged by a massive positive reaction from the public.

This trend of sub par mindless music must end. The only way to end it, however, is to stop supporting the artists that are a part of this trend. Once their marketing tactics prove unsuccessful, I guarantee the quality of music will return to how it once was. Justin Bieber, I believe, has the capacity for being the last bullet in the back of the music industry. On that point, Americans must take a stand against the sub par nonsense shoveled at us by the music industry and the media.


Meggy 5 years ago

Thanks for the tips! its so cool that you love bunnys so much! I love it! >"<


CyclingFitness profile image

CyclingFitness 5 years ago from Nottingham UK

Fantastic hub. My brother has a house Rabbit which thinks it's a cross between 'the Godfather' and a Dog! He and his partner are getting married in the summer so i've bought all the males involved with the ceremony some bunny rabbit cufflinks to wear.


Emma 5 years ago

So I have a male bunny he hasn't been fixed yet because well there is nothing to fix. But every time I try to pet him or even get him out he attacks bites and it hurts. I don't know how to handle it.


Sabin 4 years ago

Hi, I recently bought 2 rabbits. First day, the male was very active and the female was something like very shy and sitting in one place, say inactive. I fed them pillets, mixed rabbit foods with different nuts, hay and water. The second day, everything went reverse, the male become inactive and the female active. Then today morning, I saw he was lying down and before I could take him to the vet, he was gone. I am new to pets and I don't know what happened. Anyone help me what may have happened to him. There was food and water in his place, and he was having it. Did i overfed him, or is it because of the change in surroundings or no other life forms coexist with me?

Please help because i have one more and i don't want her to leave me like this..


Anita 4 years ago

I hate to be the barer of bad news but not all your food facts are right. My rabbit would only eat pellets if he couldn't find something else. He would rather go hungry then eat pellets. The alternative was to give him a wide variety of other things such as unsalted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, carrots, lettuce (which is not harmful to them considering much of their natural diet is from plants), bananas, apples, other dried fruits, and hay of course. Its more about moderation then it is anything else. My rabbit is now 8 years old and as healthy and spry as ever.


timothyhay profile image

timothyhay 4 years ago

Rabbits make wonderful companions, but you want to be sure you’re a rabbit person before making it a part of the family. Some questions to ask yourself before committing to owning a rabbit are:

Are you patient?

Does your schedule permit you enough time to spend at home to tend to your rabbit?

Can you manage an extra expense each month for food, housing and veterinarian visits?

Can you provide an adequate space indoors to house your rabbit?

Will the primary caregiver be an adult and does the entire family want the new rabbit?

This site will greatly help if you are adopting a new rabbit or getting used to one... http://www.rabbitholehay.com/rabbit-care/


adam gardin goldfine 4 years ago

I have a rabbit called olimpia and she is 7 weeks old.

Are these really good to buy for a rabbit?


adam gardin goldfine 4 years ago

i be rolin wit ma possom

cute iz how wez rol


adam gardin goldfine 4 years ago

I have a bunny called olimpia. She is 8 weeks old I love her. how do you get to take of dirt from a bunny.

Well that front thing in the front page it's very cute

ok I love It where did you get it? please answer back because last time you didn't or I will lock down your website.


Grant 4 years ago

I came here looking for info before getting a rabbit to add to our pet family. The information in the article was great. However, the comment section is in serious need of cleaning up. Weird, offensive and inappropriate posts need to be hidden or deleted. You should really get a moderator for the comments


Elli Indifferent 4 years ago

I recommend picking up a copy of Rabbits for Dummies 1 & 2 or another informative book BEFORE adopting a rabbit and reading them front to back and back to front. That way you're less likely to accidentally harm your bunny and cause yourself or family members unnecessary stress and grief.

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