March 12, 2017 0Comment
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If you are thinking about how to make your rabbit feel happy to consider following.

Bunny diet

bunny_diet_allthestufficareabout.com_

 

  • Food

Make sure your rabbit is getting high quality food. The amount may vary so it is good to check with your vet. My rabbits are getting a table spoon twice a day. If they are still hungry (you will find it out quickly as they will be frequently checking their feeder and try to gain your attention- by biting their cage). It is better to give less pellets and more fresh veggies as fresh veggies tastes better, smells better and provide water. There was once a situation where I got food for overweight rabbit for my rabbits, this food contained more hay than protein in the pellet and I was giving 3 table spoons. It is a good workaround if your rabbit insists on not eating hay and demands pellets. Here is the food my rabbits are currently getting:

This is their preferable food as there is plenty of dried fruits, seeds and veggies so it is considered a treat 🙂

Less preferable but great quality.

 

For more cute bunny photos click here:

  • Water

Cold, clean water should be available for your bunnies at all times. Especially in summer make sure the water is cold and you can also add ice cubes. Some rabbits drink water from water bottles, and some, like mine drink from the cup. Water bottle is much easier to maintain, with cup you need to change it more often, as rabbit fur, and hay  can get there and usually will. My rabbits also find it funny to play with the water cup and spill the water all over the cage.

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  • Hay

If you plan to take good care of your rabbit make sure your rabbit always have plenty of hay. Their digestive system needs fiber to work properly. Timothy hay is by far the most recommended by veterinary. It needs to be dry and fresh.  It have to be kept in dry place to avoid accumulating mold and fungus. If you find any insects in the hay throw it away. It is better to buy hay in smaller amounts rather than being in bulk. I have 2 rabbits and usually buy the below pack once a month.

  • Treats –> veggies and fruits

My bunnies eat 1 cup of fresh vegetables per day. They enjoy kale, romaine salad, carrots, broccoli, pepper, tomatoes and parsley. As a treat they also get banana, berries, mango, pear and apple. As for fruits they get it in a really tiny amounts and I never give them citrus fruits.

bunny_veggies

Play time

Everyday I aim to have my bunnies running around the house as much as possible. They are kept in their cages when I am at work or asleep. They usually get around 3h per bunny to run around.

The best companion for your bunny can be another bunny.

If I could go back in time I would get two bunnies that grow up together and like each other. It is still possible in many cases to get another bunny later and bond them, but don’t force them to bond if at least one of them is not tolerating the other. This is unfortunately our case. We got Daisy in August 2014, she was only 2 months old, and 2,5year later we got Charlie, also a 2month old baby. Rabbits are territorial and Daisy is like that, she would not tolerate Charlie and she will try to bite and fight him. He on the other hand, no matter how many times she will be trying to bite him through the cage he would always try to get as close as possible. For a long time we tried to bond them, let them play together but it always ended with a fight or catching Daisy right before she bites Charlie. One day I found this video (I do not recommend to watch it with children) and after that I stopped trying.

If you have one rabbit I would recommend to participate in a bunny meet up. Just make sure to have a close eye on your bunny, you never know if he won’t attack other rabbits or get attacked by others. There is also a good chance they would play and have a lot of fun.

If there is no other bunny around you can also be your bunny’s friend. It won’t be the same bond but still. In my case Daisy is very friendly to human, not friendly to other bunnies at all. Charlie on the other hand is not looking for a human companion but would like to play with other bunny instead.

How can you play with your bunny?

You can let him run after you, I noticed they like to accompany me when I am opening fridge or bathroom doors, they like to go to the wardrobe and smell everything you just bought. They like to smell everything and even mark it as theirs. They are also very interested when I train. Holland Lops love to cuddle, or at least the three I know:)

I like to lie with them and when they grind their teeth it means they like it.

Toys for your bunny.

What if you are busy or not have time to play with them? They can still play with toys. My favorite way to have them involved is to build a box tunnel. They will be walking through it, sitting there or biting the box. Anyway they are occupied, they rub their teeth so it is good for them. They also like to move stuff from one place to another.

playing_with_your_rabbit

 

Lastly, make sure they can run and jump. If you do not have a carpet, let them play on the sofa, you will see how crazy they can get. This was the reason why I decided to get the carpet so they can run and play even more. On the floor, it can be too slippery

Bunny Health

keeping_your_bunny_healthy

Bunnies are not too demanding  but you need to keep an eye on following:

  • Nails

Their nails grow all the time, like a human, so you can either cut them if you can or take your bunny to vet to help with that. Some rabbits are great at rubbing them so you don’t even need to cut them but for some, it is required. Don’t let your rabbit run with too long nails as they can break them and you don’t want your bunny to be in pain.

  • Ears, Eyes, Nose, Stomach and Skin

As long as you can take care of bunny nails on your own, you need to see a vet specialist to review their ears, eyes, nose, stomach and skin.

Especially with Holland Lops as they have long ears falling down, there is not enough fresh air in their ears so they can easily clog. Veterinary will be able to clean their ears. Never attempt to do it on your own, you can easily hurt your bunny this way. Veterinary will also look into your bunny eyes, look at nose, review skin if there are no worrying signals. Vet can also look at your bunny feet as they can easily be injured if kept in a wired cage. This is by the way not recommended.

When we got Daisy and took her to the vet for the first time she had fungus on her head and ears, it took us almost 6 months of treatment until she finally was healthy. She was only 2 months old and antibiotics were not recommended for such a young organism.

  • Vaccinations and deworming

Bunny needs to be vaccinated once a year to prevent illnesses caused by mosquito bites.

Deworming should be done every 6 months. As much as we always strive to give our bunny all the best, there can be insects or insects eggs in the food and hay.

  • Digestive system

Bunnies are mounting around 4 times a year. You need to be prepared for a lot of cleaning, especially clothes, carpet and pretty much everywhere else the fur will be found.

To help your bunny deal with the fur in their digestive system I was recommended by my vet to give Papaya tabs. When they mold very intensively I will give them one tab twice a day, but as they clean themselves all the time and swallow their fur daily I give them 1 tab all year round. By far this is their favorite treat and they are very excited when I give them their pill directly to their mouth. They bite it and look for more, always:)

The other thing I would also highly recommend is to comb your rabbit with furminator, be gentle, rub their head and give them treats. It will help you get rid of tons of fur.

To help you deal with the fur I can recommend Roomba for house cleaning and lint rollers for your clothes and couch.

 

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Living conditions

  • Cage

Aim for the biggest cage you can get as rabbits need to get enough space.

My both bunnies have below cages that measure 37.8 inches length x 22.4 inches width x 22 inches height. This are comfortable, well ventilated, easy to clean and assemble. They come with a water bottle ( I am not using this unfortunately), hay guard and food bowl (that is what we use for water:). There is a hiding space and “balcony”.

  • Outside the cage

Make sure your bunny have a chance to run around the house, their cage, no matter how spacious is not enough, they need to run and jump. Think about some activities for your bunny, build some tunnels. You can find lots on ideas on Pinterest.

  • Take your bunny outdoors

To be safe do not let your bunny run around in unsafe place, where a dog or other animal can get him. You can take him to the park, on the sand so they can dig holes and jump. You will see how happy it makes them feel. Also be cautious and vaccinate your rabbit before going out. You do not want him to get sick.

 

Dont’s

  • Bathing

Do not put your rabbit into the water, it is not fun for them, they get scared and stressed and it is unnecessary. They are clean animals and are able to handle their showers on their own.

The only time you can wash your bunny is when they get diarrhea. If they are not able to clean themselves properly you can help them by washing only their dirty parts with water and a small amount of bunny shampoo. There is no need to wash the whole rabbit. Do not use your shampoo or shower gel as it may irritate delicate skin your bunny has. If your bunny will tolerate it use kitchen towels to dry him and hair drier. If you see it scares your bunny let them dry on their own, make sure it is not windy or cold in the room he is in. I would put some towels in his cage as well so they can either sit and let the water sink in the towel or just let them bite the towel so they are not focusing on their wet bunny tail:)

  • Lying on the back

I remember first time I had Daisy on my hands and I put her in baby position and it looked like she momentarily fell asleep. I thought it was cute and that she probably is resting but I googled and it seems your bunny is terrified when you put him on his back and he is pretending to be dead so the predator will leave him alone. No more lying on back. No-one wants to terrify their bunny.

  • Don’t shout

That is a good advice, do not shout, especially not when you are near your bunny. They get scared so easily, do not do it to them.

  • Don’t tease

I know bunnies are cute, they are but you are bigger and smarter so do not take it as an advantage to tease your bunny. Be calm and gentle, let them know you are there for them like a mum or dad so they can come to you when they are scared and not run away in fear.

Uff…that was a really long post. The longest I wrote so far. I will list all the products I mentioned below. Also if you are interested here is a Flying with Rabbit post I wrote some time ago. I relocated to the US with my bunnies and they flew with my in the cabin, if you are interested click here.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinary, none of my advice is a specialist advice. Always consult your veterinary regarding your bunny.


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