CONGRATULATIONS on your new pet rabbit! Rabbits are ideal small pets for young and old. Here is a simple guide with some facts and instructions on how to care properly for your rabbit.

LIFE SPAN: Between 8 – 12 years.

NATURE: Rabbits are normally calm and timid animals. They scare easily and need to be in a safe environment to feel comfortable. They are social and don’t mind living in groups. They do burrow into soil and will dig out of enclosures if not properly set up. Male rabbits may fight with one another for dominance.

DIET: Mainly rabbit pellets, lucerne and maize. You can also give your rabbit some fruit or vegetables as a snack. As well as fresh water to drink. They can also have various treats occasionally like Timothy Hay and herbs.

HABITAT: Rabbits need a suitable size cage with clean hay or paper bedding to keep the cage dry. They will need a hide or wooden box, as well as a bowl for food and water. Water bottles are preferable as rabbits tend to tip bowls over. A few chew toys as well as tunnels, play logs and ramps keep rabbits entertained. They can also be kept in enclosures outside, provided they cannot dig out and have shelter from the rain or cold.

CARE: Rabbit cages should be cleaned weekly to avoid the smell and accumulation of decaying food. Fresh hay bedding should be used and the cage should be rinsed with a weak bleach and water or F10 solution. Clean food and water should be available at all times. Rabbits can be house trained to use a rabbit toilet or even go outside when necessary.

Various toys and chews are available to entertain your rabbits. When handling your rabbit be gentle and calm.

Bathing is not recommended as they don’t tolerate water too well, there is however bath sand that can be used safely. A bowl of bath sand can be placed in the cage for the rabbit to roll around in. Karbadust is suitable to use on your rabbit should it be itching from mites or fleas.

If at any time your rabbit looks unwell or is not eating or drinking, a vet can assist you in diagnosing what could be the problem. They are in general quite easy to keep and take care of.

Enjoy your new pet and be kind!

~Author:  Chene Bush

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