Easter is 3 weeks away, is there a Bunny Rabbit coming?

 

RABBITS AS EASTER GIFTS

Easter is just around the corner, many of us may think about buying a pet rabbit. It’s tempting to purchase a bunny if you have small children that get wrapped up in the Easter Bunny.  While rabbits do make wonderful pets who can be litter-trained, just like cats, remember to take the time to learn about what it means to be a rabbit owner.

Cost:  A bunny isn’t horribly expensive to have as a pet, but there are still the mainstay items needed – bowls, food, rabbit housing, vet costs, adoption fees — that play into the cost.  It can cost around $1000 per year to care for your bunny first-class.

Remember that rabbits are intelligent and energetic pets. Just like dogs, they want social interaction, plenty of exercise, and activities every day. Also like puppies, they chew alot.  They can easily damage household items, so make sure you rabbit-proof your home.  Purchasing some baby gates can be useful to keep certain areas of your home off-limits.  And remind your kids, to keep their homework out of bunnies way.  (Teachers don’t like “My bunny ate my homework” as an excuse!)

Rabbits’ main source of sustenance is hay.  Many people think that bunnies eat mostly pellets, but that is not the case.  Rabbit hay needs to be available to pet rabbits at all times and is important for great dental and digestive health. Bunnies are not a great pet if there are any individuals with hay allergies in the house. Rabbits also need to have their fair share of vegetables daily. Lacking a garden, you will need to purchase produce like lettuce, dandelion greens, and similar food items.

A bunny can be a joy, as with any pet purchase – make sure you are prepared.

How to Choose a Home for Your Rabbit

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RABBIT HOMES
Choosing a home for your rabbit is the most important purchase that you will make for your rabbit. Comfort is the most important feature to consider before you make your purchase.

Rabbits need some room in the home to comfortably move around, especially if your rabbit will be spending a lot of time in the home. Choosing a larger home is usually a good rule to follow. Here are some things to consider when choosing a home for your rabbit:

1. What is the adult size of your rabbit? If you have a baby rabbit, it is a good idea for you to consider what size he or she will be as an adult. You may want to buy a home that your rabbit can grow into to avoid purchasing a larger cage in the future.

2. How many rabbits do you plan on keeping in the home? Normally, not more than one or two rabbits are kept in home at one time. Rabbits need to bond to with one another, so it is important not to have more than one rabbit in the home at one time unless they have been bonded.

3. Should you purchase a cage or hutch? A wire cage is great for indoor use and allows your rabbit to have a great view. A hutch, such as the Super Pet Premium Rabbit Hutch 36 in., is great for outdoor use and is made to help protect your rabbit from predators or the elements.

4. Where should you place the home, indoors or outdoors? If you plan on keeping your rabbit indoors, place their cage in an area that won�t be affected by the sun, heat, or air conditioning. If you plan on using a hutch outdoors, place it in a covered area away from the elements. It is a good idea to place a wooden box inside the hutch to keep your rabbit covered on really cold days if your hutch is not covered on the sides.

5. Wire floor or smooth floor? A smooth floor is more comfortable on your rabbits feet, but a wire floor is easier to keep clean. Typically, rabbit�s feet are fine walking on a wire floor. In addition, many cages with wire floors have a slide-out pan to make cleaning much easier. You can also place a grass mat on the wire floor to make it more comfortable and your rabbit will also enjoy chewing on it.

Whatever home you choose for your rabbit, make sure that you spend some time everyday with your rabbit and keep their home clean. Check out the great selection of rabbit cages and hutches at RabbitMart.

GregRobert Dog Days of Summer is still on!

Fun, Great Gifts for Your Rabbit

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RABBIT GIFTS

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is a great time for you to give your rabbit a new food dish, carrier or hutch.  Your rabbit will be happy to have something new and fun to play with and will greatly appreciate it.  There are a lot of great products for your rabbit to make your rabbit happy and your life easier.  Here are a few of my favorite items for rabbits:

For a fun alternative to the traditional feeding bowl, the Vege-T-Bowl Orange Carrot has a fun, carrot shape and is brightly colored to spice up your rabbit’s living space.  It is made of durable ceramic that is easy to wash.  The carrot shape is perfect for any rabbit who loves carrots and doesn’t take up much space in your rabbit’s cage or hutch.  The Vege-T-Bowl Green Cabbage and the Vege-T-Bowl Orange Radish also make fun, colorful dishes for your pet rabbit.  Both of these dishes are also made of ceramic and easy to clean.

When toting your rabbit around town, a great rabbit tote is a fun and stylish alternative to the traditional pet carrier.  One of my favorite tote bags this season is the Tote Around Town Pet Carrier Bag by Sherpa Pet Group.  This tote has a classic shape in black and makes toting around your rabbit easy and convenient. The sides have mesh panels to provide your rabbit with great ventilation.  In addition, this tote is lightweight to carry and has lots of pockets for storing all of your essentials. It is constructed to be very durable and is made of nylon that is easy to clean.

Expand your rabbit’s living space with the Premium + Double Decker Hutch for Rabbits.  This double floor hutch will make the perfect home for your rabbit.  Great for one or two rabbits who get along well.  This hutch may be used indoors or outdoors and has plenty of room for all of your rabbit accessories.  It is made to be very durable and each floor has a separate hiding space for your rabbit to snuggle in and take a nap.

This holiday season give your rabbit a special new food bowl, a stylish carrier, or a cozy, new hutch.  For a variety of great products, check at Rabbit Mart.

A Rabbit is a big Responsibility!

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Its important to understand the nature of rabbits so that their wants and habits are known and attended to.

Often, rabbits are purchased for children and are considered to be a lessor responsibility than a cat or dog. This can be similar to an impulse purchase to in response to a child’s request. Baby rabbits can be irresistible and are easy to handle for the child. Then quickly the rabbit grows up and takes on the personality of an adult animal. Information on rabbit behavior can be found in on websites such as House Rabbit Society and Rabbit Advocates . There are many positives for kids in owning a rabbit. It is an educational experience in animal care and behavior. Gentleness and love required when interacting with a pet bunny can give your child lifelong lessons on kindness and responsibility. After educating yourself, it will be clear to you that adopting a rabbit is a family decision and not based on an impulse. 

Things to consider before adopting

  • Rabbits live about 8 to 12 years. Are you willing to take care of the rabbit after your child grows older? Children develop different interests as they grow and may show less interested in the pet.
  • Mature rabbits prefer to be on the ground and are not typically content being carried around or being held for long periods of time. A child, trying to hold his pet, may get nipped or scratched in the rabbit’s efforts to get away. The child may become frightened and not want to interact with it any further or the pet could be injured if dropped. You can watch your child interact and hold a rabbit before bringing home a rabbit to see how they respond to the pet. You can make a judgement at that point whether a rabbit appears to be an appropriate pet for your child.
  • Rabbits are very sensitive to sound. Children and their friends can be quite noisy and active. This can place the rabbit bunny in a continuously stressful situation that leads to health and temperament issues.
  • Rabbits are not low maintenance pets. Attention to their needs on a daily basis required. Cage or pen cleaning, feeding, and daily interaction are required. It is unlikely a child will be able to take on all these responsibilities themselves. Therefore, consider the rabbit as the adults responsibility which can be integrated with the child.

Supplies needed to care for a rabbit?

Below are rabbit supplies you should consider before purchasing your pet. 

  • Housing: Cages and pens are the primary choices for rabbit’s living quarters. The enclosure needs to be large enough for the rabbit to move around freely. Consider the adult size requirement if your rabbit is not fully grown. You will need space for the litter box and bowls. It may be worthwhile considering a movable pen/cage in the case that your location needs may change. 
  • Litter Box: Rabbits need to be trained to use a litter box to keep the pen clean. If you are having difficulty you can start with a flat pan to make use easy for the rabbit. Upon success you can switch to a larger litter box. 
  • Litter: The litter should be dust free and safe for the rabbit if ingested. Consider litters that are organic such as plant fiber, recycled paper and wood. 
  • Bowls: Use bowls; one each for pellets, fresh vegetables and water. Heavy, flat-bottomed bowls work best so the rabbit cannot tip them. 
  • Water: It is a good idea to use a water bottle in conjunction with a bowl. This provides a supply of fresh water if one is out of water (or knocked over).
    Cage bottom board: If the rabbits pen has a wire bottom it is necessary to have an area with a flat bottom (such as a board) for the rabbit to rest on off of the wire mesh. This should be large enough for the pet to rest, stretched out, in all directions.
  • Toys: Toys are important not only for stimulation but also to keep the rabbit out of trouble.  Toys for small pets are sold at retailers. You can also use, hard plastic baby toys (rattles, key rings), a towel to push and bunch, cardboard boxes made into forts and tunnels… Use your imagination. 
  • Feed: Pellets should be high quality and contain at least 13% fiber. Store food in an airtight container and the pellets will last approximately six months.

How do rabbits stay warm?

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The rabbits’ fur coat is very good at insulating the rabbits skin.

Once the rabbits’ body temperature heats up the coat, the coat will stay warm like a blanket that just came out of the dryer. The fur is the main way they stay warm.

The other way is snuggling next to each other for warmth. All the heat is shared between the rabbits. They feel warm, happy, and cozy!

The perfect temperature range for a rabbit is 40 degrees to 75 degrees. They can survive in higher and they can survive in lower with proper housing and protection from the elements.  It’s best to bring them indoors for the winter, but if you do have them outside – make sure they are protected from the elements.

A wood rabbit hutch is a necessity if you keep them outdoors in the winter.

 

Keep Your Rabbits Cage Clean

RABBIT LITTER
Keeping your rabbit’s cage clean and neat is essential for a healthy rabbit.

Generally, rabbits are clean animals and like to be in a clean environment. Your rabbit’s cage should be cleaned out at least every two to three days. It depends on the amount of waste your rabbit makes. If you notice that your rabbit produces a lot of waste, clean out the cage once every day.

Using a litter box is great for helping to keep the cage clean. Rabbits can be litter trained with a little effort and using a litter box makes clean-up much easier. Use a litter box, such as the Long John High Side Litter Pan, that is designed especially for small animals or rabbits.
When using a litter box, always use litter made for rabbits.
When cleaning up waste in your rabbit’s cage, use a litter scoop for removal. Litter scoops are designed to easily pick-up litter and make cleaning waste much easier.
After the waste has been removed, replace the litter with fresh litter if your rabbit uses a litter box and wipe the cage clean with warm soapy water.
Once the cage has been cleaned, you may want to give your rabbit some fresh water and some food or a treat. While you are cleaning out the cage, let your rabbit have some play time in the house or in an outdoor playpen to make the experience more enjoyable for your rabbit.

How Often Should You Clean Your Rabbit’s Cage?

Keeping your indoor rabbit’s cage clean is an important responsibility for all rabbit owners.  For the health of your rabbit, and for the health of your family, you will need to do certain types of cleaning daily, and other types weekly.  Here is an outline of your responsibilities:

DAILY CLEANING:  Daily cleaning is not as in depth as weekly cleaning.  I recommend doing daily cleaning at night time.  You will need to remove any food that should be refrigerated.  This includes fruit and veggies.  No need to throw them out, just keep them separate from people food and give it back to your rabbit in the morning.  You also need to hand wash your rabbit’s food bowl and water bowl.  If you use a water bottle style waterer, you do not need to wash it daily.  If any pieces of hay have fallen from the hayrack, put them back.  If anything else is out of place, put it back!  Your rabbit will thank you.

WEEKLY CLEANING:   This is a much more thorough cleaning than the daily cleaning.  You will need to take everything out of your rabbits cage and completely disinfect it.   Not only will this get rid of any odors that may be lingering, but not doing this can leave your rabbit susceptible to many health problems.  You can never skip this.  Use a disinfectant formula like the Clean Cage Deodorizer for Small Animals, pictured above.  The formula of Clean Cage Deodorizer for Small Animals is non-toxic, so it is safe to use to clean your bunny’s cage and his food and water bowls.  After thoroughly spraying the entire cage you will need to leave the solution on for 30 minutes.  You want it to be able to fully penetrate for maximum sanitizing power.  You will also want to soak your rabbit’s food and water bowls in this solution.  After 30 minutes, you will thoroughly rinse of the Clean Cage Deodorizer for Small Animals from the cage and bowls with clean water.  Let everything dry completely before putting your bunny and his cage accessories back into the cage.

Do not forget that you should never clean your rabbit litter box (or any other items that contain waste) in the kitchen sink.  Always wash it in the bathroom sink or bathtub.

Where Should You Keep Your Rabbit’s Cage?

You have a rabbit, and you probably have a rabbit cage.  One of the most important things to know is good places to keep your cage.  A cage that stays in a bad spot in your home can make your bunny unhappy, and even unhealthy.  Pay attention to these tips:

1.  Place your rabbit’s cage in an area of the house where the temperature does not often change.  This means that it should not be be near a door that is frequently opened, or near an air conditioner or heat vent.  Just like humans, rabbits are fine with slight fluctuations in the temperature.  You just do not want to expose them to high heat (especially humidity), or frigid temperatures.

2.  Keep the cage out of direct sunlight.  As mentioned above, rabbits are very susceptible to high heat temperatures.  Setting the cage within direct exposure to the sun can cause heat stroke.

3.  Keep your rabbit out of the basement and attic.  These areas are usually damp, and have barely any ventilation, which can be unhealthy for your rabbit.

4.  Keep the cage in an area where people frequent.  But at the same time you need to ensure that your rabbit has quiet time where he can rest.

5.  Rabbits need 8 hours of sleep, so be sure your bunny is not exposed to light for at least 8 hours a day.  They have circadian rhythms based on light just like we do!  If you keep your rabbit’s cage in an area that is always light (ex: if you leave a lamp on 24 hours a day,) then be sure to cover the cage with a towel to be sure your bunny can get proper sleep.

6.  Make sure the cage is not in a place where there is lots of noise.  An example would be next to TV or music speakers.

If you do not have a rabbit cage, you have plenty of options.  You can get a relatively simple cage, like the My First Home for Rabbits – Large Teal.  Or you can get a more sophisticated cage, like the Habitat Defined Home for Rabbits, pictured above.  This huge cage gives your rabbit plenty of room to play and explore.  The best part of the Habitat Defined Home for Rabbits is that it sits on wheels, so it can be easily moved to a good place in your house where your rabbit will thrive!

Your Rabbit Would Love an Exercise Pen

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Rabbits need plenty of exercise.  Without exercise they can become bored, which can lead to destructive behavior like going to the bathroom in inappropriate places or chewing items that are not supposed to be chewed!  A bored bunny can also become agitated, withdrawn, and even depressed.  A great way to give your rabbit exercise is to get him out of his cage!  Rabbit cages are usually not big enough for your rabbit to hop around.

A great idea is to get your rabbit an exercise pen, like the Clean Living Playpen for a Small Dog or Pet.  This circular pen has 8 panels, and is 43 inches in diameter.  With its height of 29 inches, your rabbit will always remain safely inside because he will be unable to hop out!   The cage can be used indoor or outdoors, and it is light enough so that it can be easily moved.  It is also collapsible so it can be easily stored when you do not want to use it.

When you have an exercise pen like the Clean Living Playpen for a Small Dog or Pet, you will probably also need a plastic mat to protect your carpet or other types of flooring from rabbit waste.  Luckily, the makers of the Clean Living Playpen for a Small Dog or Pet also created the Clean Living Pen Cover or Floor Mat, seen in blue in the picture above.  You can use it as a cover for your rabbit if you keep him outdoors.  This will protect your rabbit from sun or rain.  Or you can use it as a mat to protect your floor from rabbit messes.  Buy two if you want to have both a mat and a cover!

These pens are good for exercising your rabbit, but you can also use them as a regular cage.  One great thing about the Clean Living Playpen for a Small Dog or Pet is that it is specially designed to attach to any Clean Living Rabbit Cage, like the Large Clean Living 2 Level Cage for Small Animals.  All you have to do is open the door of the pen and place the small cage right at the opening with its door open.  Your rabbit is free to either spend time in his small cage or the exercise pen!  Your rabbit will love having so much more space to live.

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