With their adorable fur and affectionate nature, rabbits can be wonderful pets. They are calm animals that adore their owners and can even be trained to do a few tricks. However, rabbits require more attention and care than people often expect, as much as a dog, in many ways.
With a life expectancy of 7 to 10 years, pet rabbits are long-term companions. Read on to find out if a rabbit is the right pet for you and your family.
How do rabbits feed?
Rabbits are herbivores, eating only plants, and have sensitive digestive systems. Hay is the main staple of their diet. Since rabbits are rodents, hay should be available at all times. You can combine a cup or two of fresh green vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, broccoli and celery with a small amount of special rabbit food twice a day. Carrots, root vegetables and fruit should be offered in moderation as treats.
Where should rabbits live?
Domestic rabbits require their own space that is safe, clean and spacious. As far as their hutch/cage is concerned, it should have enough space to move around easily and comfortably. The cage should have a designated area for food, a litter area, a sleeping section and space to move around and even play. Rabbits can be trained to use a litter box to relieve themselves, which should be cleaned at least every other day.
How to keep a rabbit happy?
Rabbits are social animals and can get cranky if left alone for too long. Although they love attention, rabbits do not usually like to be picked up or held. They are generally not the best pet choice for families with young children, as they are fragile and can be injured or bitten if frightened. Rabbits enjoy activities that include digging, chewing, exploring.
Can rabbits live with other pets?
Rabbits are prey animals, so owners should think twice before putting rabbits together with predators such as dogs or cats. These pets can live together, but it takes time and effort to socialise them properly. A well-trained adult dog or calm cat is most likely to get along with a rabbit, although they should always be supervised when together. The best option for socialisation is to get two rabbits so that they can meet each other’s needs for play and companionship.
What kind of veterinary care do rabbits need?
Spaying or neutering your rabbit is probably the wisest decision you can make to ensure your pet’s health. Annual visits are recommended to inspect the coat, teeth, eyes, ears and weight. It is essential to see a vet who specialises in small animals, such as our team at Hospital Veterinari Glòries. If you decide that a rabbit is the right pet for you and your family, bear in mind all the advice we give you.