Rabbit Quick Care Guide

Soft, cuddly and sociable, these pocket pets are true honey bunnies.

Did you know?

Rabbits can live for up to ten years.

Rabbits’ teeth never stop growing.

They need lots of fresh hay every day because chewing it wears the teeth down. Keeping a wood block or fruit branch in their enclosure also helps.

They love a chance to kick up their heels.

Fence off an area in the garden to watch them sprint around.

Rabbits can form strong bonds with humans and most will be affectionate pets.

They also form strong bonds with each other.

It’s a bad idea to ever separate two rabbits that have lived together.

In a natural environment they do a lot of pushing and digging.

A pet rabbit with a sand pit nearby would be a lucky rabbit indeed.

They can be trained to come when called and to return to their hutch.

To express happiness rabbits sometimes ‘binky’ or leap and twist in the air.

They also make honking or buzzing sounds when happy.

A rabbit will sometimes nudge their human to get their attention or to get them out of their way.

Gear

  • Hutch – at least 1830 x 610 x 610 mm with an attached run of at least 2400 x 900 x 900mm for one or two rabbits
  • Water bottle
  • Bedding hay
  • Grass hay: timothy or lucerne hay
  • Pellets
  • Heavy ceramic food bowl
  • Treats and chew toys

Care

  • Place hutch away from rain, wind and direct sunlight
  • Layer bedding hay over an absorbent base like shredded ink-free paper, cat litter or wood shavings
  • Feed two large handfuls of timothy or lucerne hay daily as well as 1/4 cup of fresh vegetables and 1/4 cup of high-fibre rabbit pellets
  • Give occasional rabbit treats
  • Change water daily to keep fresh
  • Remove droppings, wet spots and uneaten vegetables daily
  • Replace bedding hay weekly
  • Allow exercise in a large fenced area
  • Handle gently and frequently. Pick up with both hands, one under the front legs and the other supporting the hind legs.
  • Hold rabbit close to the body

Beware

  • Overgrown teeth. Provide a gnawing block if needed
  • Overweight rabbits
  • Wood shavings from cedar or other fragrant woods — they can be poisonous
  • Giving access to things that shouldn’t be chewed, like electrical cables
  • Dropping the rabbit from a height. Place it gently back to the ground

For more detailed information on keeping rabbits, check in with RSPCA New Zealand.

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER GUIDES:

 

  • Chicken Quick Care Guide
  • Guinea Pig Quick Care Guide