You’ve decided you want a rabbit? Well, there are a few things you need to know in order to keep a healthy, happy pet. It’s important to know how to interact with your rabbits, how to feed them, and how to keep them from tearing up the house.
Let’s start with how to approach and interact with your rabbit.
Rabbit Social Society
Rabbits are social animals, much like humans. It’s best to have more than one, and ideally have them paired up.
You will also want to give them so attention, but there are a few things to remember before sticking your hand out and grabbing your rabbit. Social animals have social norms they like to follow.
Just like your human friends, a hug or a gentle touch can really make a difference in your relationship. But, also like your human friends, you wouldn’t just go up and touch somebody without first introducing yourself.
Before you reach out and grab your rabbit, which may scare them, approach them slowly. Let your bunny know you’re there and have time to adjust to you.
Much like you might do with our canine friends, let your rabbit get used to your hand being around before you touch them. Rabbits can see nearly 360 degrees, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be surprised by a hand darting out to them!
Once your rabbit is comfortable enough for you to touch them, be gentle. We all have different preferences…maybe your rabbit is very sensitive and only likes a very, very gentle touch. Start out slow and gentle, and see what your rabbit likes.
A gentle touch going with the grain of your rabbit’s coat is a good first step. Don’t forget the ears, but again be gentle and slow.
Pay attention to what gets a positive response, and what doesn’t. Use your rabbit’s responses as your guide, they will let you know what they like and do not like by their reaction.
It’s Not All About The Carrots
The first thing we think of (thanks to Bugs Bunny cartoons) is to feed our rabbits as many carrots as they want. However, the truth is that rabbits need more than this to keep them healthy.
They need fiber, like hay or grass. Also, household vegetables and leftover lettuce and fruit don’t contain all the nutrients they need. Just like us, rabbits require a variety of nutrients. Make sure they get a well-rounded diet.
In the wild, rabbits stay very active. If you’re going to have rabbits as pets, it’s best to give them some exercise. It’s not exactly the same as taking the dog for a walk, but they do need some basic items to stay happy and healthy.
A sand or earth pit to dig in is a great idea. Rabbits naturally dig, so they’ll love it. Also, some climbing toys like tree stumps or twigs (or something that mimics these items) is a great option.
The most important item, though, is a shelter. Rabbits need to feel protected and have a safe place to go. This may be a bush or log pile or something similar in the wild, and they want to have a place like this to hide.
There you have it. You now know how to feed, socialize, and keep your rabbit exercised. Your rabbit will be healthy, happy, and you’ll enjoy each other much better. Maybe you should have a carrot now, too!