Rabbits rank very high in popularity as family pets. They do not require a lot of attention and their fluffy fur makes them absolutely adorable. These gentle creatures can establish a close bond with humans and are easy to grow to love.
A pet rabbit, like any other pet, describes the best care that you can possibly give them. Fortunately in the case of rabbits, this care is minimum and easy to provide. A few simple rules can ensure that your pet rabbit is healthy and safe and can enjoy a long life hopping along at your side.
A rabbit's home is called a hutch. Though almost any secure structure will work, you want to give the rabbit as much space as possible, especially if the rabbit will be spending a lot of time confined. At a bare minimum the height of the hutch should allow the rabbit to easily stand on its hind legs. Width should allow the rabbit enough room to hop freely back and forth a few hops. A defined sleeping area with some type of warm padding should be designated. Make sure the hutch is well ventilated but also that is warm enough for the rabbit to remain comfortable. If in doubt, err on the side of too cool since rabbits have extremely warm fur.
Rabbits should have bedding material that is kept clean. You can use straw and newspaper, but e aware that the cost of straw can quickly add up. The hutch should also have some sort of cover that can be put on at night to regulate the temperature. In some areas, this will also serve as protection from predators looking for a tasty rabbit meal.
Rabbits need to be able to get out of the hutch and get exercise. If you have a large yard then the rabbit should be fine as long as there are no dogs or other predators around. If not then some sort of fenced in area is needed. Some people let their rabbits run free in the house but keep in mind that rabbits are not exactly house breakable and you should not be surprised to find some surprises.
Rabbits live just fine off of a diet of hay and grass. They require a large amount of fiber for proper digestion. Ensure that both digestible and indigestible fiber sources are includes. Bugs Bunny's love of carrots, real rabbits prefer lettuce. Pellets specific for rabbits should also be included in the diet. Try to avoid processed food such as cereals or other foods that contain sugar. Other fresh fruits and vegetables can be given to the rabbit if they prove to enjoy them.
Just like dogs and cats, rabbits can benefit from vaccinations. Myxomatosis in particular can have a deadly effect on an unvaccinated rabbit. Pet vaccinations can be costly so prepared for the price before you decide to adopt a rabbit as a pet.
That's pretty much all there is to rabbit care. Make sure to keep them safe from dogs and other predators and your rabbit should be around for several years.