Did you finally make the decision to adopt a rescue rabbit?
If so, this guide for how to prepare for a pet rabbit will be a great first step before bringing your new addition home.
Preparing for a pet rabbit requires some very specific needs.
You will need a large cage, hay, fresh food, a litter box, water bowl, food bowl and of course some toys.
In addition, you must rabbit-proof your house by removing items that may harm your rabbit or that your rabbit may damage.
You will also want to ensure that you acclimate your rabbit properly to dogs or cats in the home.
By accomplishing these tasks, you will be prepared for a pet rabbit.
This article will get into a checklist to follow to ensure you are prepared for your new friend.
By completing the tasks below, you will be more than prepared to go and purchase your pet rabbit.
Buy A Large Cage For Your Rabbit
When preparing for a new rabbit, purchasing a properly sized cage is pivotal for its well-being.
Often, new rabbit owners wildly underestimate how much space their rabbit needs.
They may assume that as long as it has enough space to sleep and eat, their cage is large enough.
However, this is not the case.
Rabbits need plenty of space within their cage for toys, food, sleeping, litter box, and exercise.
If the rabbit you are purchasing is not fully grown yet, still buy a cage that will be large enough for them when they are fully grown.
This will eliminate the cost of having to purchase two separate cages.
Rabbit-Proof Your House
Making your rabbit an indoor pet is a great idea!
Having your rabbit be kept indoors protects it against the weather, predators, and becoming neglected.
However, if you do choose to dedicate a room in your house to a rabbit, there are a few changes you may need to make to your house.
1 | The first change to rabbit-proof your house is to ensure all wires are out of reach of your rabbit.
If your rabbit gets a hold of any wires, they will be able to easily chew through them, resulting in damaged household items and perhaps, in worst-case scenarios, the death of your rabbit.
If you cannot remove the wires within reach of your rabbit, cover the wires with flex tubing.
This will prevent your rabbit from being able to chew straight through the wires.
2 | The second change you need to make is to make sure your rabbit is enclosed within a space.
Unless you want to rabbit-proof your entire house, you will need to make sure your rabbit stays within only one section of the house.
To do so, purchasing a baby gate to block off a room is a great option.
This will ensure your rabbit stays within one room.
However, if you do not want to dedicate an entire room to your rabbit, then purchasing a large wire playpen is the perfect option.
3 | The third change you need to make to rabbit-proof your house is to add protection to your baseboards.
Rabbits commonly chew on baseboards, so to protect them, add a hard covering over them.
Related: Do rabbits hibernate in the winter?
Hay will be needed in large amounts for your rabbit.
Your rabbit will be eating hay as its main food source, so purchasing it in large amounts may be a good idea.
Timothy Hay is the most common type to feed pet rabbits due to the nutrition it provides.
However, your rabbit may appreciate it if you switch the hay you give them occasionally.
Most pet stores will have hay for purchase for your rabbit.
Remember that hay is essential for your rabbit’s diet and that they need to have free access to hay at all times to keep them in optimum health.
Buy Fresh Food
Although rabbits primarily eat hay, they do enjoy other foods as well.
For example, fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables are common within the diet of a rabbit.
Fresh vegetables that rabbits typically enjoy are:
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
Many of these should be used in moderation and not as the main source of food.
Fresh fruit that rabbits enjoy are:
Fruits provide a different texture for your rabbit to try and will be a nice change for them.
But just as vegetables, refrain from giving them too much fruit.
Also, some fruits and vegetables can do more harm than good for your rabbit.
Some of these are avocados, iceberg lettuce, onions, and garlic.
Related: Can rabbits eat cherries?
Buy A Litter Box
Rabbits can be litter trained at any age, so it is important to have a litter box right away.
This is because rabbits have to do their business a lot!
Which means that they will be spending a lot of their time in the litter box.
This is because of their high fiber diet with how much hay that they eat.
Having a litter box in preparation for your rabbit is essential and will allow you to start litter training them as soon as possible.
Litter training will teach them to keep their business to a specific location and keep the unwanted mess from happening.
Make sure to follow this 10-step process to set up the rabbit litter box properly.
Buy A Food And Water Bowl
Buying food and water bowls is necessary for your rabbit.
To prepare for your rabbit, purchase the two bowls ahead of time, so they are ready when your rabbit arrives.
When you have bought these bowls, make sure that they will be difficult to tip over.
Your rabbit will occasionally tip over the bowls, causing a mess in the feeding area.
This will then take time out of your day from doing things that you need to do.
Make sure that there will be little to no risk of the bowls tipping over.
Buy A Variety Of Toys
Having toys for your rabbit is extremely important.
Rabbits love playtime and need about 3 hours of exercise each day.
The toys you purchase for your rabbit will provide them with the stimulation they need and will prevent them from boredom, depression, and irritation.
Having multiple toys for rabbits is important as well.
Your rabbit will chew them to bits, so to save trips to the pet store, remember to buy a collection of toys at a time.
Toys don’t have to be super durable, but they should not be able to be swallowed to keep the hazard of choking down.
Rabbits can take a lot of effort, especially once you get one.
But the more you prepare now, the better equipped you will be when it comes to bringing your new friend home.
As long as you follow the areas which were talked about (i.e., getting a hutch, food, toys, etc.), then your rabbit will enjoy its new life, and your new pet will be comfortable.
You can begin to grow a bond that will persist for years to come.