How To Care For A Rabbit Outdoor: Complete Caring Guide

If you prefer to keep your pet rabbit outside all or part of the time, To keep your rabbit happy and healthy, you must take the required precautions. 

Raised in captivity rabbits require a spacious, secure, clean, dry outdoor environment that is not too hot or cold, is well-stocked with food and water, and is not sequestered from proper human and rabbit touch. Assist your canine companion in living a life that is both long and joyful!

1. Protecting Your Rabbit Outdoors

Make a proper house. The days of keeping a pet rabbit in a little, secluded “hutch” are a thing of the past. Rabbits require a dry, clean, well-ventilated, safe, well-placed, and moderately spacious environment to thrive.

As long as the bottom isn’t made of wood, modern outdoor “hutches” with numerous floors and/or rooms are ideal for pet rabbits. Wood absorbs ammonia from urine, making your rabbit unwell. You can even build your own rabbit house. Look for house plans online, but make absolutely sure it’s secure and in snow conditions.

As an example, you may build a daily exercise enclosure (or “rabbit run”) for your bunny out of timber framing, rabbit fencing, a plywood top, and vinyl or wire with rest surfaces.

To allow your rabbit adequate room to run and hop around, it should be at least eight by 2.75 by 2.75 feet (2.44 by 0.84 by 0.84 m).

2. Keep things dry

When it comes to an outdoor rabbit habitat, wetness leads to dirtiness, which leads to sickness, such as the previously stated “fly strike.”

Give your rabbit a rain-resistant roof, which can be made of plywood, corrugated panels, or even plastic sheeting or a tarpaulin. To keep the rain out, repair or replace the roof as needed.

Consider moving your rabbit (via a mobile home or second home) to a drier spot such as a porch, garage, basement, or simply inside the main house during severe rain or snow.

3. Give your daily rabbit exercise

Rabbits are designed to be active creatures, running and hopping around, and require at least 3 hours of “free range” time per day.

“Free range” does not, however, imply leaving your rabbit unaccompanied in the yard unless you want your bunny companion to become a meal for your neighbor’s cat. Your rabbit should be either supervised or kept in a safe “bunny run” with plenty of area for horizontal and vertical movement.

Rabbits are curious, gregarious, and intellectual, and they, like you, benefit from playtime. There are other games available, including “rabbit bowling” (the rabbit knocked over plastic bowling), 

Rabbits also love playing with toys made of paper, cardboard, or untreated wood. Avoid treated wood, as well as other kinds such as cherry, redwood, and peach, which may be harmful.

4. Beat the summer heat.

If you’ve seen wild rabbits near your house over the summer, they’ve most likely been relaxing in the shade or digging a hole in your yard. Rabbits prefer to be kept cool all year.

Put your rabbit’s house in a shady spot and/or offer shade with a roof or screening material. To avoid overheating, make sure the enclosure is well-ventilated.

You may also freeze plastic water bottles and place them in the cage. This will provide some cool locations for your rabbit to relax.

Another suggestion is to put a tile or stone slat on which the rabbit can rest its tummy. 

A wire floor’s ventilation can also be a strength. (galvanized 14 gauge 1 “x1/2”). However, rest mats should always be provided. If the temperature becomes too high, bring the rabbit indoors since heatstroke can kill them at 82 degrees.

In hot conditions, make sure your rabbit always has access to fresh water.

5. Cage Caring

Because it is their permanent home, the cage is the most important aspect of keeping an outdoor rabbit. Line the bottom of their hutch with newspapers, then fill it with soft hay or straw to cover the entire bottom surface. Wet straws should be changed every day, and cage cleaning should be done once a week.

Place one or two food bowls throughout their cage and give them constant access to them. The majority of rabbit owners choose to use one bowl for regular rabbit feet and another for goodies such as kale, cabbage, and broccoli. Once a week, clean the bowls with hot soapy water and allow them to dry completely before refilling them.

All animals require plenty of clean drinking water. Both bowls and bottles are wonderful possibilities. If you do decide to use a bottle, make sure the tube does not become clogged so they can stay hydrated. When the water supply runs low, replenish it so that there is always plenty for them.

6. Caring with Supplies and Equipment

Rabbits are not like cats and dogs, who are content with shelter and food. There is a lot to buy, and you want to make sure you have everything you need before they move in so that you are prepared for whatever situation may come. Here is a list of what you will require:

  • Hutch or cage
  • Litter box and scoop
  • Food dishes
  • Water bottle or bowl
  • Exercise run
  • Carrier
  • Brush
  • Hay
  • Toys
  • Rabbit-friendly cleaning sprays
  • Rabbit chews

You may wish to purchase additional items for your pet in the future, but this is a general list of fundamentals that will get you started. Their house constitutes one of the most essential items on the list.

Rabbits require space to grow and will not thrive without it. If they are confined in a cage that is too tiny for them, they may grow unwell or anxious, potentially injuring themselves. When purchasing a rabbit hutch, choose one that is large enough for your rabbit to grow into while also providing some extra space, just in case.

A run is another crucial item on this list. You wouldn’t want to be trapped in a cage with no place to run or extend your legs, so why should your rabbit? Exercise runs can be added to the hutch directly or independently. It gives your bunny extra area to run about in the open air and feel free.

7. How Cold Can Rabbits Tolerate?

If rabbits are left outside in extremely cold weather, they might develop frostbite. To avoid frostbite, you should transfer your rabbit’s hutch to the garage. Rabbits can endure temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit if they have adequate shelter, food, and water.

8. Special Care For Outdoors Rabbit In The Summer

Rabbits are more prone to heatstroke than other animals since they do not pant. A rabbit’s only way to cool down is through the veins in its ears. In the summer, shady regions are ideal for placing their hutches because they will keep their hutches cooler. Also, make sure your outdoor rabbit has enough fresh, cool water. To keep your rabbit’s ears cool, spray them.

9. How Hot Can Outdoors Rabbits Tolerate?

If summer temperatures exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit, rabbits are at risk of heat stroke or other heat-related disorders. If the weather is really hot, many rabbit owners will relocate their rabbit’s hutch to a cool garage or a cool shady patio area. 
To keep your rabbit’s hutch chilly, place a frozen milk jug inside. To keep the rabbit hutch cool, some owners place an oscillating fan near it. Never let the fan directly blow on your rabbit.

10. Utilize Toys to Stimulate Your Rabbit

Toys keep your rabbits both emotionally and physically stimulated.. They thrive on a healthy mind and body. They may become bored after a while, so rotate them every couple of weeks, so they are always doing something fresh. Here are some items that rabbits enjoy playing with.:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Shredded paper
  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Balls

11. Special Care For Outdoor Rabbits Food and Water

Hay is an essential component of your rabbit’s diet. Hay is abundant in fiber, which aids digestion and intestinal health. Hay is nothing more than cut grass and legumes. Rabbits enjoy alfalfa hay, but if they consume too much of it, they become ill. For your rabbit’s digestion, mix Timothy hay with alfalfa hay.

Because rabbits use the bathroom while eating hay, some rabbit breeders place a hay rack over their rabbit’s litter box. If your rabbit is new to its hutch, start with the litter box. You can add the hay rack once they are used to utilizing the litter box. In this manner, the rabbit will not become confused.

Ceramic or stainless steel food dishes are preferred. This is because rabbits enjoy chewing. They won’t be able to destroy these sturdy bowls. Every day, feed your rabbit leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, or collard greens. Carrot tops and turnip greens are additional favorites.

Every day, give your rabbit new, clean water. Rabbits are constantly thirsty. Water dishes don’t always work for outdoor rabbits since they get dirty quickly, and bunnies have a tendency to tip them over.

Water bottles are the most effective. Simply hang the water bottle on the hutch’s side so your rabbit may drink readily and frequently. Rabbit pellets are safe to feed to your rabbit as long as you don’t overfeed it. Some rabbit breeders believe that hay and water are sufficient for a rabbit.

12. Handling Rabbits

As previously said, rabbits are extremely cautious, and loud noises or fast movements may frighten them. Allow them to get used to your approach before you pick them up. If they appear calm, pick them up gently or wait for them to approach you. 

Never pick them up by their ears. You need a decent grasp on them, so they don’t slip, but you also don’t want to damage them. Many rabbits enjoy being cradled against your body and having their feet rest on your forearm.

13. Register the Rabbit at the Vet’s Office

Rabbits, like cats and dogs, require regular health checks, and the sooner you register them with your local vet’s office, the sooner the vet can affirm that they are healthy. 

how to care for a rabbit outdoors

They will also vaccinate your rabbit and advise you on how to neuter it. Don’t be scared to ask your vet any questions you have regarding your new pet in order to get the most accurate advice.

14. Pet Insurance

Accidents and illnesses happen, and if you don’t have pet insurance, you might be on the hook for a costly payment. Insurance protects you against loss, theft, and death as a result of disease or accident. Look around for the finest policy and determine whether it is a worthwhile investment for you.

Grooming Your Bunny Bunnies requires some upkeep, and you must be committed to grooming them. They develop hairballs and enlarged teeth, which you must monitor. Brush your rabbits several times every week. Rabbit chews are widely available at pet stores and will keep your bunnies stimulated and their teeth at a reasonable length.

15. Give Your Outdoor Rabbit A Safe Hutch

Hutches are typically constructed of wood and sturdy wire. The hutch’s roof should be sloped so that rain can run off. This will keep moisture from accumulating within the hutch. For optimum protection, the back of the hutch should be solid rather than open.

The hutch should also feature a hinged front door for easy opening and closing. This will also make cleaning the cage easier. To keep predators out, choose robust door latches. Hutch sides must be made of robust wire, not chicken wire, with windows large enough for your rabbit to breathe enough air while remaining tiny enough to keep predators away.

Some hutches have solid wood floors, but this hinders waste from draining. This is not the best design. Therefore select a floor with drainage. Check that the hutch is level and won’t tip over if your rabbit leaps about. Hutches should be elevated to keep predators away from your rabbit.

Final Thoughts

Pet rabbits are a lot of effort, and if they’re going to live outside, you should provide them with the cleanest, healthiest, and safest environment possible. If you make an effort to spend time with them, their personalities will begin to peek through, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t buy one sooner.

Caring for a pet rabbit involves some forethought, especially if your rabbit will be living outside. Many people have asked me if a rabbit can live outside. I do recommend that you make particular provisions for your outside rabbit.

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