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Rabbits as Pets - All about Your Pet Rabbit Care
Rabbit as a Pet
Rabbits are known to be an excellent indoor pet. These cute and cuddly creatures are not only a joy to hold but make a good companion for any family as well. Rabbits are also quick to form close bonds with family and are friendly with people. However, they are not as easy to maintain as one would assume and there are steps to ensure before picking out a rabbit for your home.
With over thirty different domesticated rabbit breeds to choose from, each with their own behavioral traits and quirks, some less manageable than others, picking a rabbit breed that fits you or your family is crucial. Breeds like the common Lop are generally well-rounded and can adapt easily into any home, while breeds like the Flemish Giant, derived from its huge size are not suitable for families with toddlers. Show breeds like the Chinchilla or the newly domesticated breed Lionhead are not for those who are new to the pet rabbit world and are usually meant for the more experienced rabbit owner. Rabbits can also be adopted at the nearest pet shelter or pet rescue service where the volunteers would be more than happy to provide assistance to any questions regarding pet rabbit care and safety.
Pet RabbitsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Choosing a Pet Rabbit
Once you have settled on a rabbit breed, it is important to choose the rabbit wisely when you are at the pet store or pet shelter. Pointers to look out for are the rabbit’s movements; the rabbit should move freely without any reluctance, a rabbit that is less likely to hop about is a tell-tale sign that it is sickly. Also keep a look out for the rabbit’s eyes and coat. The eyes should be clear and bright and the coat should not be patchy and has to be well-groomed, a patchy coat or slightly red eyes could mean the rabbit is ill or is susceptible to diseases. Before finalizing on a rabbit, ensure that you pick up the rabbit and notice its behavior. A rabbit that is calm and does not flinch or hop away in fear shows that it is approachable to people and will learn to adapt into your home quickly.
Pet Rabbit Cages
With the rabbit picked out, you can now think about the housing for your pet rabbit. Rabbits can be taught litter training and even if the shop owner or the rescue volunteer insists that the rabbit is toilet trained, it is good to get your pet rabbit a cage instead of letting it run around the house throughout the day where its safety could be compromised (letting your rabbit roam around the house for a part of the day once your house is rabbit-proof is encouraged though).
When it comes to getting a cage for a rabbit, bigger is always better. Rabbits are active creatures and getting a cramped cage would only stress the rabbit out and make it susceptible to illnesses. A rule of thumb for getting a rabbit cage is to get a cage four or five times the size of the rabbit. Avoid getting cages with wire floors as well as this can cause injuries and is uncomfortable for the rabbit to roam around in. Pick out a big cage with a wooden floor or a solid floor that is easy to clean for the best rabbit housing.
Buy Rabbit Food Online
Finally, once you have settled on most issues, it comes down to feeding your rabbit. Rabbit diet consists mainly of fiber so while rabbit pellets sold mostly in pet stores promises the best nutrients for your pet rabbit; they do not offer the complete diet for rabbits. These pellets contain high amounts of calories and if overfed, could lead to obesity and other weight-related problems. Rabbits should be fed a considerable amount of hay (high in protein and fiber) and vegetables such as carrots, spinaches and lettuces. It is important to note that rabbit teeth are ever growing so getting your rabbit to chew down on carrot is a good way to keep its teeth healthy and at a good level.
With good housing and proper food, and once you have picked out your rabbit, you are well on your way becoming a rabbit owner. Remember, rabbits are small furry creatures so approach your rabbit from a low elevation, you surely do not want them thinking that you are a hawk swooping down to get them! Here’s hoping you are successful in keeping your rabbit happy and healthy!