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What Do Bunnies Need to Stay Healthy and Happy?

As a pet owner, it is important to understand the basic needs of their furry friend. This is especially true regarding the care and well-being of bunnies. Bunnies require special attention and care to ensure they remain happy and healthy. 

This blog post will look at what bunnies need to stay healthy and happy. We will focus on their diet, exercise, environment, and overall health and wellness needs. 

Additionally, we will discuss how to recognize signs of sickness so that you can promptly address any health issues that may arise. Following these guidelines allows you and your bunny to enjoy a long and healthy life together.

Rabbit Behaviour

  • Rabbits are naturally active and curious creatures that need a stimulating environment to keep them entertained. The best time for you to interact with your rabbit is in the early morning, late afternoon, and evening when they are most active.
  • Additionally, their well-being needs to provide them places to hide since rabbits are prey species and can be easily scared. Bunnies also use scent as a form of expression. Moreover, rabbits have natural behaviours such as chewing things (for dental health), nest-building, thumping their feet, and playing with objects.
  • If your rabbit starts acting differently, like hiding, let us know or excessive cage chewing, or over-drinking, contact your vet immediately – they may be feeling stress or pain.

Basic Rabbit Needs

Housing Your Rabbit

Housing your rabbit indoors is essential for its well-being and happiness. Rabbits that live outside are exposed to many risks, such as diseases, predators, and extreme weather conditions.

In addition, rabbits are highly social animals that crave companionship and need daily playtime with their human family.

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As a result, rabbits should not be kept in traditional cages but given ample space—such as an 8-panel x pen or a condo cage—for running around and playing for exercise. 

To ensure your rabbit’s safety, ensure the space is bunny-proofed by covering any potential hazards like cords or placing items out of reach that your rabbit could pull on or disturb. With proper care, housing, socialization and playtime, indoor rabbits can live up to 10 years or more!

Feeding Your Rabbit

Feeding your rabbit is essential for their health and overall well-being. Rabbits are strictly herbivorous, meaning that a significant portion of their diet should consist of young leaves from plants or bushes, grass, weeds, and sometimes bark from trees or bushes. 

Giving your rabbit access to the highest quality hay and grass is important. Alternatively, if your pet is an indoor rabbit and can’t access any fresh vegetation constantly, then provide them with abundant amounts of hay as a substitute fibre source. 

You may also incorporate fresh vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce or broccoli into their daily diet (around 2 cups), but always be sure it is only one of the things they’re consuming due to its low fibre content.

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Commercial rabbit nuggets/pellets should also be given once to twice daily with added caution towards high-fat/sugar items such as carrots and other root vegetables – these can still be given in small amounts occasionally! 

Ensure all toxic food and plants are avoided and speak to your local vet about the most suitable diet for your loved one. A tablespoon of water must be provided at all times too!​

Health Problems

Rabbits may experience various health issues, including fatal diseases like Myxomatosis and Calicivirus. These ailments are commonly introduced in Australia from the wild rabbit population, and mosquitos can carry Myxomatosis to your pet bunny. 

The Calicivirus comes with a vaccine which should be given to rabbits every six months by your vet. In addition, dental problems can arise from insufficient chewing on hay and grass or gnawing blocks so that their teeth don’t overgrow, causing weight loss, severe pain, and discomfort

Finally, mites are also present, which manifest in hair loss and itchy skin. Treatment for this is a thorough hutch clean followed by medication prescribed by a vet. Ultimately, have your local vet remain on call for any health issues concerning your furry friend!

Running Space

Running space is important for bunnies, indoors and outdoors. Rabbits need a bunny-proofed room or rooms with plenty of toys to chew and dig. Outdoors and supervision are necessary. 

An enclosed patio, porch or playpen with floors makes an excellent place for bunnies to roam safely!

Provide Fresh Hay

For a healthy rabbit diet, always provide fresh hay. Baby bunnies need alfalfa, while grown rabbits should be given timothy, oat or grass hay. A large hay feeder is recommended to ensure the hay stays dry and clean while keeping it accessible. 

For more details on the importance of hay and where to purchase it, visit the website Hay for Rabbits: The Basis for a Healthy Diet.

Exercising Your Rabbit

Keeping your rabbit fit and healthy is important, so it’s essential to ensure your furry friend gets enough exercise daily. If your rabbit lives in a cabinet, ensure it has access to an exercise area for at least four hours a day.

What Do Bunnies Need to Stay Healthy and Happy

You can make the experience more enjoyable for your bunny by providing toys, obstacles and food treats as environmental enrichment that will encourage them to stay active even when you are not home!

Set Up a Litter Box

  • Setting up a litter box for your pet rabbit is relatively simple and can be done in two easy steps. First, choose a medium-sized cat litter box or shallow storage bin and place it near the rabbit’s food/water bowls and hay feeder. 

 

  • Then, add a thin layer of rabbit-safe, recycled newspaper pellet litter to the bottom of the box, followed by some hay. The hay will help encourage them to use the litter box – rabbits like to eat and poop simultaneously! Get more tips for training your furry friend at Litter Training Your Pet Rabbit.

VetCare Pet Hospital

When seeking veterinary care for a rabbit, it is important to find a professional who is experienced in working with rabbits. Rabbits should get a check-up when they are first obtained and annually for those five years and older. 

A variety of common health problems need medical attention from a veterinarian, such as fleas, ear mites, parasites, ear infections, tooth issues and more. Warning signs of an emergency health issue include lack of eating or normal eliminations (even over five hours), diarrhoea and limpness. 

Other signals to be aware of include laboured breathing, bleeding from the mouth or body, open wounds, head tilt and balance issues. VetCare Pet Hospital provides specialized care for rabbits and can even point you in the direction of an emergency vet if needed. Take your time – ensure your pet gets proper care with VetCare!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Rabbits Need Hay For?

Rabbits need hay for a variety of reasons:

  1. It helps to keep their teeth healthy and trim while they are constantly growing and can be difficult to trim with regular brushing.
  2. Hay is the main component of their diet and provides them with important nutrients to stay strong and healthy.
  3. Hay helps to stimulate their digestive system by providing them with plenty of fibre which aids in nutrient absorption.

Heat Lamps for Bunnies: When Are They Necessary?

Heat lamps are generally unnecessary for bunnies, as they can keep themselves warm if they have access to the right environment. 

However, providing extra warmth with a heat lamp may be beneficial in certain circumstances. 

Factors such as age, health, and living conditions should be considered when deciding whether your bunny needs a heat lamp.

How Do Bunnies Have Whiskers?

Bunnies have whiskers just like cats and other animals. These whiskers are touch-sensitive specialized hairs called vibrissae, which help them to explore and navigate their environment. 

They also have an important role in helping bunnies communicate with each other and react to changes in their surroundings.

In Conclusion:

In conclusion, bunnies need much love and care to stay healthy and happy. They require a balanced diet, lots of exercise, plenty of playtimes, and a comfortable home. 

Additionally, regular vet check-ups, nail trims, and spaying or neutering are essential for a healthy and happy bunny. With a little effort, you can ensure your pet rabbit lives a long and happy life.

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