It is estimated that around 12 million rabbits are reared each year in the US, and this number increases significantly during Easter when many parents buy rabbits for their kids. Rabbits make wonderful pets and with proper handling and care, they can become friendly and social. Also, rabbits can be taught their names and certain simple commands.
Here are some tips on taking care of rabbits if you are planning on getting a rabbit as a pet:
Before getting your pet rabbit home, make sure that you have a cage. If you intend bringing a pair, then you need one cage per rabbit. The size of the cage is dependent on the size of the rabbit. Typically, you should have 1 square foot for each pound of the rabbit. In addition, pay attention to the lighting, ventilation, and cleanliness. Rabbits are clean animals and do not require bathing or grooming. Make sure that the cage is placed within an enclosure, which should be built from wire.
In addition, get a sipper bottle and food bowl. Remember, rabbits tend to overheat very quickly and can get dehydrated. So, always have fresh water in the enclosure for the rabbits. If you are keeping them outside, then line the enclosure with hay to provide warmth during winter. Also, cover the enclosure with a tarp to protect the rabbits from the cold and wind.
Make sure you clean the rabbit enclosure everyday. This will prevent your rabbit from falling ill and getting infections. The cage should be lined with aspen shavings. Do not use pine or cedar shavings as it can lead to respiratory tract problems.
When it comes to food, rabbits have a simple diet. However, they do require certain nutrients. So, go for rabbit pellets that are made from a mixture of alfalfa, clover, hay, added minerals, cereals and whole grains. You can also feed them fresh vegetables like carrots occasionally.
Remember, rabbits are prey animals and do not like to be handled too much. So, if you have kids, teach them the correct way of handling rabbits and never leave them unsupervised around the rabbits.
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