Rabbit owners guide for happy and healthy bunny
Let me tell you about my bunny experience
My rabbit’s name is Mruvcho (in Bulgaria, where I’m from, it is something like Titbit), but I called him also Bunny, Fatty and other funny names. He is a cutie pie. I love him so much and every time I look at him I feel really, really happy that I have him. He is by my side when I’m lonely and make funny things to cheer me up. Yes, I know that I sound like every other crazy pet owner, but only a pet person could understand me.
I receive him like a gift from my boyfriend on September 19th 2011. He was born only a month ago and was little and defenseless. He was fitting in a handful and his ears were too long for his little body. Now I’m going to share with you my home rabbit experience and some useful tips.
Hay. Your rabbit should always have fresh hay. It is very important for his feeding. The hay is rich of nutrients, necessary for the rabbit’s digestion. It will be great, if you have garden where you can grow your own hay, but I leave in apartment and I have to buy hay from the pet shop. If you decide to grown hay for your rabbit, don’t forget some basic things. First don’t fertilize with chemical substances – they could be harmful for your rabbit’s health. Also your garden shouldn’t be near the street, because the exhaust from cars, going directly into the plants.
You don’t have to overdose the hay you give to your bunny, because it will get fat. And this is the most terrible disease for your pet. Give him 2/3 hay a day and 1/3 granulated food for rabbits.
The grass hay is as good for the rabbit’s physics as well its mental health, because it makes him doing something, because it is a little bit harder to chew.
Carrots. It is not only because of Bugs Bunny, but rabbits really love carrots. The carrots are something like delicacy to your rabbit, so instead buying treats for rabbits from the shop, give him 2 or 3 carrots every day. Give them like an award, for a big jump, or not popping everywhere. You could also grow carrots in your garden, or even in a pot.
You could also give your bunny beet tops, sprouts and parsley. But don’t make these, rabbit’s main food.
Harmful food. Seeds, oats, cereals, bread and grains might sounds like a bunny food, but they are not recommended. Bunnies love chocolate and sweets, but the chocolate is completely banned, because could be toxic.
ATTENTION!!! If your bunny doesn’t want to eat and drink water, it is mandatory to go to the vet, because this is signal for a problem
Tell me more about your bunny
What is your bunny favorite food?
The water is one of the most important things to the rabbits. They provide it from the carrots and the fresh hay, but they always must have access the water. It is better to give him boiled water from the previous day. Don’t give the bunny mineral water, or directly from the tap because they contain unhealthy ingredients for your bunny.
Tееth. Rabbits’ teeth grow during their whole life. They have to be checked in every medical examination, because they could cause big problems. My bunny has problem with one of his teeth and now he has to eat only hay to rasp it. The hay is the most important food for the proper teeth growth. Its abrasive structure makes the rabbits chewing it longer than the other food. This is the only way to protect rabbit’s teeth from wrong growth.
Breeding. It is healthy for the rabbits to have little ones. My bunny didn’t have breeding season so far, but some rabbits could become really aggressive in this time of the year. Consult your vet, if the reproducing is good to your pet. Sometimes the vet will tell you that it is better to castrate your rabbit, if it is aggressive or irritable. After that it will become more friendly and calm.
Fur. In the summer rabbits could over heat. It is so hot and they are so furry. I was really worried about my bunny, because here in Bulgaria the winter is very cold and the summer is too hot. Last summer I just leave his cage in the no-window corridor. The bunny was really calm and happy there, and ate only one pair of shoes. No matter how hot it is, don’t leave the bunny just below the air-conditioning, because it could catch cold.
If the bunny has runny nose or runny eyes, it could be because of the dirt or bacteria. Immediately consult with vet.
At least once a month go to the vet to trim the bunny’s nails, because they could become really long and danger.
Bunnies are not so easy to breed, as many people think. They could get sick and have problems like every other pet. But if you treat it like it should, it will be your friend for long years.
Make your rabbit trust you. Don’t push the bunny. It has to decide to be your friend. From the beginning, leave it to run around and explore the area. After time it will come to you and start to ask for your attention. Start to caress it. The rabbits love being caressed. From the begging my rabbit was really scared of me, but after time start coming alone and search my hand. He just puts his head under my hand and closes his eyes.
Sometimes the bunny is not in the cuddling mood, so don’t make him angry. Just leave it and wait until it is ready to come to you.
Your bunny bites. It is ok, because every bunny bites. It is in rabbits’ nature to bite things. You are not an exception. Sometimes it bites you to defense and sometimes it just wants your attention. It is very important to realize that rabbits are really fearful animals and every little sound or sharp move could place him in a defensive position. Move slow and scud around your bunny. And if he bites you every time you put your hand in his home, it is the most normal thing for the rabbit to try to protect its home.
Bunnies rub their chins over everything. If your rabbit do this too, it is because it wants to show you this object is already his own. It marks territory, so don’t think this is strange or it is not normal.
Your bunny is annoyed. You rabbit needs attention. Don’t think it is happy to stay all day in his cage, or it is enough to leave him run throw the house for an hour. You have to play games with your bunny. Stand and distance your legs. Let the bunny make 8`s around them. It is a lot of fun, because after a few rounds the bunny become faster and faster. At the end of the game it is really exhausted, but happy.
You could make tunnels for your bunny. Use cardboard boxes, cut holes in them and link them with duct tape. In the nature rabbits live and use tunnels, so you have to be sure that your bunny will like his new amusement park. They will dig and chew the cardboard boxes.
You have not only take cares for your bunny, but also be his friend in the games. Spend as much time as you can with it and it will be really happy and amused.
Chewing everything. It is a challenge to preserve your house from the sharp bunny teeth. Because they grow all its life, it needs to chew all the time. Angles, the sofa, newspapers, wooden furniture, everything. You have to give your bunny special things to chew. Place old stool and teach the bunny to chew it. Other you could do is to put a duct tape to angles, place all the appliances cables high and give the rabbit access only in places without expensive furniture. Your rabbit will always chew, so don’t use force to unteach it not to chew everything. It won’t happen. And after all it is really healthy for every rabbit to chew and rasp its teeth. The chewing itself could be really amusing for your bunny.
Teach your bunny to not peeing and pooping in inappropriate place. This is the most common problem of every bunny owner. You have to teach your rabbit to use only permitted locations. Its cage is the perfect place. I have a little tip for you. The first day in your home, just leave the bunny in his cage. First of all it has to get to know his new home and second the nature will call. It will choose a corner and do its business in there. While your bunny is still baby, don’t let it on the furniture. It is soft and warm and the bunny prefers this kind of place to do its work. Leave it on the floor, without any carpeting. After that put it in his cage. This is the first place he used to peed and pooped, so it has to become its favorite. Never punish the bunny, because it couldn’t understand why you do this and it will become aggressive. After a few months your rabbit will know that its cage is the place to pee and poop.
Having a bunny is really responsible and serious work. But, if you take the right cares for your bunny, it will be happy and healthy. Give him or her your attention and it will repay you with love and joy.