When it comes to caring for rabbits, there are many right and wrong ways. Listed below are things rabbits really don’t need in their life. Follow our advice to keep your bunny safe, happy and healthy.
Rabbits don’t need… carrots!
Just because it is a vegetable doesn’t mean it is healthy. Carrots are full of sugar and as you know, sugar causes may health problems. It can make your rabbit overweight and cause teeth problems, which can lead to many other health problems. Keep carrots (and also fruit, as that can be full of sugar also) to a small treat only for your rabbit.
Rabbits don’t need… Iceberg lettuce!
Iceberg is poisonous to rabbits, so never feed them this type of lettuce. Feed them romaine or flat lettuce instead.
Rabbits don’t need… muesli type food!
With a muesli type food mix, rabbits tend to leave the bits they don’t like, which means they are not getting all the nutrients they need. Go for a good quality pellet instead, as each pellet has all the nutrients packed into it. Please remember to introduce new foods slowly to your rabbit, to avoid upsetting their stomach.
Rabbits don’t need… a harness or leash!
Rabbits do not walk the same as a dog does on a leash. Rabbits (no matter how calm) can get spooked at anytime and they can panic and bolt very quickly. They could get easily tangled in the leash/harness and this can cause them great injuries. They can easily break their limbs or even their spine. Create a rabbit friendly garden instead & supervise them at all times or create a fun play area indoors.
Rabbits don’t need… a full bowl of dried food!
Never allow rabbits to have a constant supply of dried food. Dried food/pellets should only make up 10% of their diet. They should just have a small amount placed in the bowl at feeding time. Allow for the bowl to go empty & don’t panic. They will then move on to grazing on hay. A handful of pellets per day is a good guideline to feed one rabbit.
Rabbits don’t need… a home without any hay!
Rabbits need lots of hay in their home at all times. A rabbit without hay is just asking for many health problems. Place plenty of hay in hay racks and on the floor of their home too. Make sure the hay you give your rabbits is good quality hay. It needs to be fresh smelling and dust free, not damp and musty smelling.Try different types of hay to find what your rabbit likes the best. Alfalfa hay should only be given to baby rabbits or elderly rabbits that need to gain weight as it is very rich.
Rabbits don’t need… a tiny hutch/cage!
A rabbit stuck in a small hutch or cage is just cruel. It stems right back from the victorian times, when they used to keep rabbits for food. No longer should we be keeping them confined to small spaces. Why? because like any other animal, rabbits need space to live a happy life! The RWAF recommend a rabbit’s home should be a minimum size of 6ft by 2ft by 2ft, with an exercise area attached of 8ft by 6ft. Please remember, these are the minimum recommendations. The bigger the better! For great ideas on rabbit housing click here
Rabbits don’t need… a bath!
Never bath your rabbit. It’s dangerous and a rabbit can die of shock. You can use pet friendly wipes to clean your rabbit if needed, along with a metal comb. The comb works brilliantly to remove dirt or matted fur.
Rabbits don’t need… a Furminator!
A furminator was originally used for dogs and cats only, although you can now buy ones designed for small animals too. Rabbit’s fur is very soft and their skin is very sensitive, so a furminator could potentially irritate them. Use a pet brush or metal comb instead, as they can work just as well. Find clever tips on how to cope when a rabbit is molting by clicking here
Rabbits don’t need… to be tranced!
There is no need to trance rabbits and the people that do, fail to realise how dangerous it is. Please don’t do it. If you don’t know what it is, that is great. We are not going to tell you, as you don’t need to know.
Rabbits don’t need… expensive toys!
Rabbits need to have something to do to keep their minds active, but you don’t need to spend lots of money on toys for your rabbit to keep them entertained. A cardboard box or an inner cardboard tube from kitchen or toilet rolls are a real favourite toy for bunnies. They will enjoy throwing the tube around or demolishing it. You can stuff the tube with hay each end and put a treat in the middle to make another toy. With a cardboard box you can carve a couple of door ways out of it to make them a little house, which they will love. Plus many items around your house like jam jar lids, plastic bowls or hard plastic baby toys like stacking cups, are all a hit with bunnies.
Rabbits don’t need… a life spent on their own!
Rabbits hate to be alone and can become depressed from living a life of isolation. Make sure your rabbit has lots of company either from you or from another rabbit. If you decide to get a friend for your rabbit, then both rabbits need to be neutered/spayed and they need to be bonded properly. Never just put a new rabbit in with your existing rabbit. It is highly likely they will fight and cause injury to each other. For advice on bonding two rabbits click here