Domesticated rabbits are a joy to care for. Since they do have strict care requirements, you may wish to consult a veterinarian if youâve never kept a pet rabbit before. A veterinarian in San Jose can advise you about the basics of spaying or neutering, feeding, and housing your new bunny.
Spaying and Neutering
Itâs best to spay or neuter your new rabbit not long after bringing him or her home. Spaying or neutering helps protect rabbits from certain health issues and reduces hormone-influenced behaviors. You can transport your rabbit to the vet in the same type of carrier that youâd use for a cat. Make sure itâs large enough, and place some soft bedding and hay in the carrier.
All pet rabbits must be kept indoors. Although rabbits may enjoy fresh air from time to time, they should never be kept outdoors because of the risk of parasites, diseases, heatstroke, and predators. The mere sight of an approaching predator may inflict enough stress to cause a rabbit to die. Help your rabbit settle into a jumbo-sized cage with a solid floor. Many rabbit owners block off a safe area of the home and let their rabbits roam free during the day. If this isnât possible, let your rabbit out of the cage for a few hours of supervised playtime each day.
All rabbits should have access to freshwater and plenty of Timothy hay at all times. Provide Timothy hay-based pellets in the amount recommended by the veterinarian. Your vet can also give you a list of vegetables and fruits that are safe for rabbits to eat. Dark green leafy vegetables are ideal. Fruit should be given in small quantities as occasional treats. Ask your vet for a list of foods that you should never give your rabbit, which includes beans, potatoes, and iceberg lettuce. All rabbits have the desire to chew; itâs a natural behavior. Give your rabbit untreated wood blocks or willow wood rings to keep him or her busy.
Rabbits are quite fragile and they require very careful handling. Do not let young or irresponsible children handle the rabbit without close supervision. Pick up your rabbit by placing one hand underneath the rump and the other hand underneath the front. Hold the rabbit close to your body. Rabbits often do not enjoy being held; give your rabbit time to adjust to being handled.