How to Care for House Rabbits? (With Pictures)

Perhaps, you have already adopted a bunny or planning to get one. Anyway, rabbit is a great source of pleasure to a family, especially for the children. They are peaceful and need moderate space for maintenance.

Before going to get a rabbit, you should have a long-term commitment as a pet parent. Pet rabbit lives 8-12 years generally. Consequently, they need long-term care and maintenance. So, without real interest and enough time, don’t go for a pet rabbit.

Anyway, I am a proud father of 3 bunnies. They are incredible. When I adopted them, literally I became confused. I only know that hay and fresh grass are the main food of bunnies. Except for this particular information, I was in the darkness literally.

Then I started reading different blogs, watching YouTube videos, consult with vets and real rabbit parents to understand the proper care of the bunny. After a tedious journey, I got a neat and clean idea of bunny care.

In this article, I have discussed the principle of how to take care of a rabbit at home. Though It is impossible to discuss everything in a single article, I just have mentioned the principle with a summary.

Hope, you will get a proper idea. Without further ado, let’s get started.

How to Take Care of Rabbits at Home

How To Take Care Of Rabbits At Home?

Here is a short but precise step-by-step guide on taking care of your bunny at home. Let’s move on.

1. After Bringing Bunny at Home

First thing first. This is a very crucial point indeed. Bunny needs some time to adjust. Please follow the tips to get the best result.

Carefully observed at the initial stage

You must be careful and provide some quality time while you bring a new rabbit into your house. No matter if it is adult or young. Usually, rabbits can quickly adapt to any new environment.

Moreover, you should be aware of creating favorable conditions for your rabbit. But during the winter, it is tough to keep your rabbits warm and cozy. So, you should take special care during the winter like providing a heating pad to the cage.

Be friendly with your rabbit

Always be friendly with your rabbit. At the very initial stage in the cage, your bunny may feel uncomfortable and clumsy. That’s why you should feed them their favorite food like fruits, vegetables, or pellets with great Care.

You could provide some delicious treats to your bunny. It will be really helpful to create a strong bond between you and your bunny.

Be patient until she looks friendly

Despite your friendly behavior, your bunny may not be as friendly with you as you expected. In that case, don’t be frustrated or panic. Some rabbits may need extra time to adapt to the new condition.

Bonding With Rabbit

Rabbits love to spend quality time with his or her master. At the initial stage, as a pet owner, you need to play the crucial role of being friendly with your bunny. To increase the relationship between you and your rabbit, just follow the following tips.

  • Give some delicious treats like pellets, fruits, and vegetables
  • Curdle your bunny carefully
  • Allow free movement all around your home
  • Ensure a continuous supply of quality hay
adorable bunny

2. Habitat of Bunny

First thing first. Before getting a bunny in your home, you must have ready the habitat. You might keep your bunny in a small wire cage initially until the completion of their dwelling place.

You can keep your bunny in the indoor habitat or Outdoor habitat. If you want to keep your bunny in the outdoor habitat, you could buy a large outdoor rabbit hutch or you could make a DIY large hutch.

When you are not in your home you could keep them in the outside hutch. When you are available, you could free them.

But I like to keep my bunny in the indoor cage. If you have enough space in your house, you could use an indoor rabbit cage.

It may be wooden or wire-made. Usually, Bunny is a calm and gentle pet. You just follow the steps to bunny-proof your home.

Bunny proof Home

Rabbits love to chew and explore new things. That’s why they need more free space inside of your Home. To keep both your bunny and house resources safe, you must ensure your Home is bunny-proof.

To make your Home thoroughly bunny-proof, just follow the following steps.

  1. Move out all the open cables as much as possible. For the rest of the cables, use plastic sleeves. Also, you may use flexible tubing. Furthermore, you can lift all the wires 3-4 feet up so that your bunny can’t reach it.
  2. Baseboard is another favorite item for your bunny to chew. Use plastic guards to protect them.
  3. Keep out your bunnies from the family things like bookshelves, sleeping beds, house plants, furniture, etc. by using a baby gate.
  4. To deter chewing, you can spray bitter apples on the furniture.
  5. Keep out your bunnies from the Yogurt, Bread, Pasta, Avocado, Walnuts, Oatmeal Cookies, and Crackers. They are not appropriate for the rabbit.
  6. You could use a playpen for your bunny. They are affordable and effective indeed.  
bunny care

Set Up Your Rabbit Cage

  1. Though your bunny will remain outside in the cage most of the time, it needs a large cage for comfort and safety. Consider your adult’s bunnies size while buying the rabbit cages. You can keep your bunnies in cages at night.
  2. If the cage is made of wire, please make sure of the presence of a wood or plastic cover or flooring on the bottom of the cage. However, you shouldn’t let the bunny sit on the wire without a cover.
  3. Also, make sure the presence of a urine guard in the cages. Otherwise, the floor of your room will be messy and stink.
  4. Keep a litter box in the corner of the cage. Rabbit tends to pee and poop on a particular corner of the cage or area. By using this behavior you could easily litter training your bunny. Different types of rabbit litter are available in the market. You could get the best one for your bunny.
  5. Keep a heavy-bottomed water bowl or water bottle and food bowl in another corner of the cage. If the bowl is light, your bunny will through away the bowls on the floor.
  6. Place comfortable bedding on the floor of the cage. The dimensions of the bedding should be at least 6 inches by 6 inches. You can use hay for this purpose. Or you may use commercial bedding. Using straw as bedding is not good for bunnies because straw is not smooth.
  7. Create a hiding place in the cage. If your bunny becomes frightened, it will hide in the hiding place. Also, they can use it for playing purposes.

3. Food and Diet

The food habits of a wild bunny and a pet bunny are not the same! Just follow these tips for your pet rabbit.

  1. Provide unlimited hay to your bunny when she or he starts eating hay. Hay is the leading food for the adult bunny. You could provide alfalfa hay to the baby rabbit. 
  2. Provide quality rabbit pellets. Young Rabbits need a high amount of fiver-containing granules for them to grow out. For a young bunny, around 80 gm of pellets are enough. Remember, the ingredients of pellets are different for young and adult bunnies. Give pellets as a treat to your bunny. It is not a regular food for the bunny.
  3. Clean water is a much-needed item for the bunny. Don’t give dirty water. It will be the cause of the illness of your beloved bunny. Likewise, Clean the water bowl or bottle regularly.
  4. You could offer rabbit-safe fresh vegetables twice or thrice a week. For an adult bunny, 1-2 cups of vegetables are enough. Carrots are a favorite to rabbits. But don’t provide it for a lot at a time. Consumption of a lot of carrots is toxic for rabbits.
  5. You could provide some fresh fruit like bananas, apples, pineapples, watermelon, and other seasonal fruits to your bunny. Fruits contain high sugar. So, give seasonal fruit as a treat to your bunny.
  6. Always beware of providing unhealthy food to your rabbits. Just make sure only the fresh pellets, hay, vegetables, grasses, and fruits are provided. And you must clean the food ingredients and the bedding daily.

4. Keep Your Bunny Healthy and Safe

  1. You should handle your bunny with great Care and also be cautious while picking it up. Don’t make surprise moves or sudden actions when you want to pick your bunnies. As they are frightened animals, they will try to escape. So, pick them with great comfort.
  2. Never use the ears, legs, scruff, or tails of rabbits to pick it up. If you do so, she will be injured.
  3. Place your palms under the chest of rabbits and pick it up. Then balance it with the other hand.
  4. Also, you can use the loose screen behind the neck of the rabbit to pick her up. But you shouldn’t do this suddenly. Just pick her gently.

Grooming Your Rabbit

Rabbits are nice-looking creatures and they are naturally clean. Moreover, as a pet owner, you should groom your rabbit regularly. 

Grooming includes the removal of excising far, removal of debris on the fur, brushing of fur, necessary cleaning, trimming the nails, cleaning the eyes and ears, and cleaning parasite.

Related: Looking for a perfect nail clipper for clipping the nails of your bunny? read this article here.

Without proper grooming, your bunny can be ill suddenly. That’s why it is necessary to groom them regularly.

Teach Your Children How to Handle Bunny

Kids are excited and love to play with the bunny. As a bunny is an adorable and nice-looking pet, your kids usually try to pick up and cuddle it. But you know, there are some specific rules to pick up bunny.

So, teach your kids how to handle, care for, and feed them also. Otherwise, the whole scenario can be turned into a messy condition.

How to take care of rabbits at home

Keep Male and Female in a Cage or Hutch

It would be great if you keep two bunnies (male and female) in a cage or hutch. Mating is an important part of every animal including human beings. So, why will you deprive them?

You should spay or neuter your bunny for birth control purposes. You know there are a lot of bunnies in the shelter home. They are deprived of proper care and a house. So, you should be careful when you are not keeping bunnies for a commercial purpose.

If you are not interested in keeping multiple bunnies in your home, you could keep a single bunny. In this case, you must take intensive care. Otherwise, he or she will be lonely. And you know a bunny is a sensitive pet. Even they could die due to mild stroke in a frightening situation.

Another important thing is maintaining the ratio of males and females. One male and one female are good to go. But if they are the same gender they will start fighting. in this case, you could neuter or spay them.

Provide Enrichment

Bunnys love to get companions. Without a companion and a free environment, she or he becomes lonely. 

Additionally, the bunny loves to chew. If you don’t provide materials for chewing, then she or he will start chewing on your bed, bookshelves, wooden furniture, and other belongings.

That’s why you should give some enrichment like interactive toys for your bunny. Cardboard Castle can be a good option for your rabbit.

treat for rabbit to make bonding
credit: @henryandhistwowives (instagram)

Connect to someone who is an Expert

As a rabbit parent, you should connect to a rabbit expert. Yes, they may be commercial rabbit farm owner or someone who has had a pet rabbit for a long time. The rabbit has its own language.

It is tough to understand initially. Get help from an expert on the behavior of the rabbit. Try to learn when your rabbit is happy and when it is unhappy. Besides, you will get a lot of instant help from them.

Consult a Vet at Least Once Per Year

You already know that the rabbit has a long lifespan. The rabbit does not become ill quickly. However it is recommended to consult with a vet at least once per year to make sure that your bunnies are healthy and sound.

All the vets primarily who treat cats and dogs are not experts in rabbits. Just make sure that your vet is an expert on exotic animals.

So, Here is the recap of the tips.

A. After Bringing Bunny at Home

  • Carefully observed at the initial stage
  • Be friendly with your rabbit
  • Be patient until she looks friendly
  • Bonding with Rabbit

B. Habitat of Bunny

  • Bunny proof Home
  • Set Up Your Rabbit Cage

C. Food and Diet

  • Unlimited hay
  • Continuous water supply Water
  • Pellet
  • Vegetable
  • Fruits

D. Keep Your Bunny Healthy and Safe

  • Grooming Your Rabbit
  • Teach Your Children How to Handle Bunny
  • Keep Male and Female in a Cage or Hutch
  • Provide Enrichment
  • Connect to someone who is an Expert
  • Consult a Vet at Least Once Per Year
rabbit food

Understand the language of your bunny

language is the most important way to communicate with others. As a human, we can’t understand the language of a rabbit or other pets. But, it is quite possible to understand their demand by observing their physical behavior. So let’s explore.

Chinning

The chin of rabbits contains their smell glands. They indicate their belonging by rubbing on the items, just like cats.

Binky

Binky means dancing and bouncing. It indicates their happiness.

Tooth grinding

Tooth grinding means satisfaction. But loud grinding implies pain.

Tooth chattering

Tooth chattering loud chattering and grinding indicate pain.

Sniffing

It means your bunny may be annoyed with something.

Grunts

Grunts Mean anger. May be biting you. So be careful and watch out.

Honking

It is a sign of hotness. We have especially seen this in the un-neutered male.

Shrill scream

This means extreme pain or fear.

Feet circling

Sign of love and indicates sexual behavior.

Spraying

Un-neutered male marked female in his area with spraying. Also, mark their territory. Females are also spraying.

Collecting hay

Sign of pregnancy. It may also be a false pregnancy. During their pregnancy period, they build a nest by gathering hay.

Final Thoughts

So, we are at the end of this blog post on how to Take Care of rabbits at Home. Hopefully, you have understood the ABC of taking Care of your pet rabbits in the Home. It is not a very difficult task, indeed. Don’t be anxious about seeing any unusual things about your rabbit.

Long story, short, rabbit care, is a practical thing rather than theoretical knowledge. Use your common sense and instincts when needed. Consult with a professional or experienced person in the time of emergency.

I hope you have enjoyed this article. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share.

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Alex

Alex is a full-time rabbit lover and part-time Biologist. He is a proud parent of two rabbits. It's his childhood dream to rescue endangered animals and make the world better for living.

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