Are Rabbits Hard to Care For? A Practical Guide

Having a rabbit as a pet animal is not the same as owning a cat or dog. Many people might have doubts that whether it is a decent move to acquire a rabbit or not. Unlike other pet animals, rabbits are unique and different with particular necessities. Hence, it is better to know if you can fulfill these requirements even before buying the rabbit.

Surprisingly, rabbits need extra attention and care from their owners. Unlike other low-maintenance pet animals, you need to dedicate regular time to check on their health and well-being. If you want your rabbits to relax and be happy, it is essential to put them in a safe environment. These small details and high-maintenance sometimes make it hard for the owner to meet the rabbit’s responsibilities.

Explore the characteristics of rabbits before making them a part of your daily life.

Rabbits Are Highly Social Animals 

When you leave rabbits alone or in deserted places, they won’t perform well. These pets are very social-friendly animals, and they like to be around people or their other bunny buddies.

When a rabbit lives with one or more rabbits, its happiness and energy levels are much higher. It is better to acquire a pair that get along well together. Make sure you have the below things before buying them:

  • Extra or needed area for a pair of rabbits or more in your house
  • A decent budget for the maintenance of the rabbits
  • Last and most importantly, a minimum amount of time to play with every rabbit

When you buy two different rabbits that do not have any initial bonding with each other, you must have patience and willingness to familiarize them with each other. It requires quite an effort and time, and the entire procedure might need at least a few weeks. Here is a video on rabbit bonding.

When the rabbits have clashing or different personalities, the above process will become ineffective. Even when the rabbits are not spayed or neutered, they won’t get along with each other. Many rabbits can get along and are friendly with cats and sometimes dogs as well.

But it is effective for them to have other rabbits as a friend. When the rabbit is alone without any companion, it will be unhappy or grumpy and sometimes runs away from you. Make sure to question yourself whether you have the potential to maintain the rabbit’s emotional needs or not.

Rabbits Have More Energy Levels 

Rabbits are not the pets to chill and sit in the same space for a long time. Rabbits have excellent energy, and they like to have spacious areas to play with toys, run around, and mingle with other rabbits and the owner. It is never a good idea to keep the rabbits in a small pet house or fence, as they need more space that is almost four or five times bigger than their size.

Having a more spacious pen is very beneficial as they can roam around there most of the time. When you do not have enough space to accommodate a larger pen, rabbit-proofing your home is also a good idea. For proofing your house to meet rabbit needs, use protective items like wires, fencing, baseboards, and plastic gates to block entry to the kitchen and other dangerous areas.

Be sure to keep the toxic home trees and plants away from the reach of the rabbits. Like other common pets, when the rabbits have nowhere to release their energy, they are likely to develop poor habits and unwanted things.

Giving the rabbits some playthings, care, attention, and spacious room will make them more happy and well-behaved. Be sure to think of providing them a better homing place to improve their good habits and health. Also, make sure you have enough time to pay close attention and play with the rabbits.

Rabbits Like Clean Spaces  

Lie: Rabbits likes dirt places and are stinky 

Truth: Rabbits like to be in neat places, and they will clean themselves  

Like dogs and cats, it is possible to teach your rabbits to use the litter box for their needs. Mostly, rabbits need a specific space to use as their bathroom, so keeping a litter box helps them be clean and away from a dirty environment.

When you properly do not clean their resting area or the litter box, it starts to stink. Hence, you have to include some cleaning time in your daily routine to keep the territory fresh. The rabbits will be grateful for this, and you should be thankful for yourself for keeping their area tidy.

When the rabbits are not spayed or neutered, they won’t give much attention to the clean cages. The male and sometimes female rabbits or the owners will spray for marking their territory and own space. To reduce the mess of the rabbit hormones and the foul odor, get them neutered or spayed quickly.

When the rabbits reaches a certain age or matured, they will learn to use the litter box. Similar to the kids, young rabbits directly can not use the bathroom. When you buy an untrained or young rabbit, it is your responsibility to teach it how to use the litter box as a bathroom. Besides, be ready to clean their unavoidable mess.

And importantly, never keep the typical cat litter or timber shavings in the rabbit litter box, as they are dangerous to the rabbit’s health.

You can use the pellet litter to keep in their litter box. Besides, when the rabbits use the bathroom, they love to chew hay grass, so keep a handful of hay on the pellets for rabbits to have decent bathroom manners.

Indoors Is The Best For Rabbits 

Even though many of us know that rabbits live in the wild and open areas, it is better to keep the household rabbits indoors or in your home for safety and health reasons. Unfortunately, the out-of-mind and other similar mentalities apply to the outdoor cage rabbits.

When you keep them away from you or outdoors, they won’t get the care and attention they need. When they are indoors, it is easy for you to monitor the daily life of the rabbits. When rabbits are caged outdoors, they are weak to harsh weather conditions.

The outdoor parasites can harm or even kill them, and lastly, the rabbits will become an easy target to wild predators. The pet rabbits depend on you for their safety, and you have to keep them healthy and safe by giving them spacious indoor areas.

Even though you may think it is better to keep them outdoors, it is not a good idea as the rabbits are the kind of pets that need a safe place to walk around and more attention. Make peace by thinking of them as indoor pet animals when you want to buy rabbits to keep them in your home.

Rabbits Have Fragile And Soft Bodies 

Many factors can harm or even kill the rabbits, so you have to be extra careful while playing or treating them. For medical treatment, you need to find an experienced and certified rabbit veterinarian.

Temperature

Rabbits are not good at handling the heat. Unlike other animals, rabbits can not release their inner body temperature. It is crucial to give them a cool area and watch them when your surroundings are a bit warmer than usual.

Make sure to provide them with a fresh water source, good enough airflow, and moisten their feet and skin with cool water from time to time.

Food

When you do not know which foods are pleasing to their digestive systems, the rabbits might face a few health issues. Unlike the popular belief of rabbits liking carrots, carrots are not the best choice of food for feeding rabbits. The crucial source of food for your rabbit must be fresh and green hay.

The hay is the primary fiber-rich food, and it reduces the constant growing teeth of the rabbit. Before this, check whether any of your family or housemates have allergies related to hay grass or not. In the broad list of healthy vegetables, mostly rabbits like to eat leaves such as dark leaf lettuce, basil, watercress, collard greens, clover, cilantro, parsley, bok choy, and dandelion leaves.

Avoid feeding them cabbage leaves or iceberg lettuce leaves. One tip is to use green vegetable leaves as their food rather than hard food like broccoli and carrots. Make sure to wash these veggies properly before feeding them to the rabbit.

Always provide the bunnies with cool fresh water. Be sure to change the water from time to time and never give them hot water.  Freshwater boosts their internal body temperature and keeps their digestive tract healthy and far away from being blocked.

Except for rare occasions, it is better to avoid giving treats to the rabbits. The store treats come with high sugar and fat levels, so feed them finely washed fruits such as seedless apples, berries, bananas, nuts, and peach.

Stress

Even from a pretty small spook, rabbits will have sudden heart attacks. Generally, they are fearful pet animals, so they have to be in a safe, noise-free, relaxed habitat to survive. A noisy house with antisocial pet animals or wild kids is not a good choice for the rabbits’ health.

Cancer

The female pet rabbits acquire uterine cancer, so you must get them spayed quickly to reduce the risks of developing untreatable and dangerous tumors.

Rabbits Live Long Lives 

With proper care and maintenance, you can make the rabbits long-term pets. In general, they can survive up to seven to ten years.

The longevity of the rabbits is identical to the dog’s, and when you are buying them consider their lifespan and ask yourself if you can care for them or not. Mainly in between the Easter holidays, people are likely to buy the rabbits on a whim.

Before making any crucial decision, you have to consider whether you are going to give them lifetime responsible dedication or not. When you are sure that you have everything, such as enough space, time for giving attention, budget, you can get home a cute fluffy animal friend.