Keeping House Rabbits

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Rabbits make great pets. They are quiet, they don’t need shots, they don’t typically bite, they can be fed inexpensively, and they live for a long time. They even get along great with other pets in my house. When the weather is too warm or too cold, you really want to bring your bunny indoors, but where and how? Here’s what I do:

Step1

Please adopt a rabbit from a shelter. They are just as cute, no matter where they come from. I got mine from a school that could no longer keep him because he was not neutered and could not live with the other rabbits there. Sometimes the local pet stores will host a rabbit rescue event and have some rabbits on display. Your local animal shelter is also likely to have rabbits.

Step2

Find a area in your home with no carpet and no dangling wires from electronic devices. Rabbits tend to chew wires and have even been known to electrocute themselves. The kitchen, a bathroom or the garage might be good places.

Step3

enclosure_Thumb.jpg In the kitchen or bathroom, try using a baby gate to keep the rabbit contained in the one room. Some people do let their bunnies have run of the house, but they do tend to get into carpet and wire chewing trouble. Both of those things are not healthy or fun for anyone. Tile or linoleum is much more rabbit friendly.

Step4

shelter_Thumb.jpg Most bunnies like to feel “enclosed” with shelter of some kind on three sides. A cardboard box with one end open works great. Or, a small trashcan tipped on its side would work well too. I like to put an old towel or some newspaper inside, for extra comfort. My bunny likes to chew and play with the paper, too.

Step5

felinepine_Thumb.jpg Set up a litter box for your bunny. They naturally like to “go” in one place. They will get the idea if you give them a litter box. They seem to like to sit on something soft. Some people buy “carefresh” which is made of recycled paper, but it is very expensive. I take paper shreds from my workplace (which will just be thrown out anyway) and use those. I also like to put a couple of scoops of pine nuggets such as “Feline pine” at the bottom, as it is more absorbent and controls odor.

Step6

Offer your bunny plenty of fresh water. Change his water bowl every day. Some rabbits have a habit of tipping their water and food dishes. You can solve this problem by getting a type of bowl or water bottle that can be attached to something stationary in the room.

Step7

Rabbits need to eat hard things to control the growth of their teeth. Some rabbit foods include extra hard bits for this reason. You can also offer an number of different types of chew toys designed for rabbits, or a simply, a stick.

Step8

Rabbits also need to eat hay. You can buy a small bag of timothy hay or buy it in compressed blocks. The latter is much neater for an indoor bunny.

Step9

dogcrate_Thumb.jpg When the weather cooperates, I do like to put my bunny outside for a change of scenery and/or to clean his area. I keep my bunny in the kitchen, so I like to scrub the tile floor just about every weekend.

Step10

I like to store all my bunny food and litter in galvanized pails with lids in the garage. They are mouse proof, and out of the way.

  • Do not give your bunny too many treats or his poops will be “messy” and will be harder to clean up.
  • Expect to find stray bunny poops outside of the litter box daily. This is normal. I don’t think bunnies have much control over a stray one here and there during the day. My bunny never has urinated outside his litter box, though, which is really nice. The poops are easy to clean up with a dustpan and brush. Just toss them from the dustpan to the garden for extra fertilizer.
  • Rabbits can be spayed or neutered. PLEASE do this if you plan on having more than one rabbit.
  • Rabbits can tolerate cold weather much better than they can tolerate the heat. Please bring your bunny indoors in hot weather.
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