Admittedly, even mum and dad might easily fall in love with a cute little bunny. And the purchase is so easy! Accessories like cage, litter, food and water dispenser are usually found right next to the rabbit hutch in the shop. But do you know that dwarf rabbits can live up to 10 years? Or that their teeth continue to grow throughout their lives, so always need special care? Do you know that rabbits don’t really enjoy being held in your arms? And that it becomes unhappy when it sits alone in a cage all day? If you want to be a good rabbit owner, it is important that you know your future pet’s needs well beforehand. Here’s what you need to know to prepare a good home for your little friend and what to expect once he has moved in.
Rabbits are very active and need a lot of space
Pet shops that offer dwarf rabbits usually offer a selection of hutches to choose from. Some are decorative, others smaller and cheaper. Most of them might fit in your room or on the terrace. But in fact, most of them are actually much too small to make your rabbit happy. How is he supposed to jump around in them when he’s in a good mood, or make hooks as is his nature? And if it can’t do that, its muscles will atrophy bit by bit. Your rabbit will become unhappy and show its displeasure by persistently gnawing at the bars.
So heed the advice of experts and consider whether you can offer your rabbit an enclosure of at least 2-3 m2. Anything else is not for your pet’s well-being, but only for the pet shop’s bottom line.
Another thing that nature teaches us: rabbits love burrows. They need them as a place to retreat and sleep – so a little house in the enclosure is a must. Here, the ideal room temperature of 18 – 20 º C comes closest to the rabbit’s feel-good factor. If you want to keep more than one rabbit, each of them should have its own little house of approx. 20 x 30 x 20 cm.
Rabbits are sociable animals and reproduce quickly
Rabbits are very social animals, feeling more comfortable living in a group. Even if you spend time with it before and after school – it’ll be all alone for hours in the meantime. Experts therefore advise keeping rabbits at least in pairs. But be careful: male animals should always be neutered when kept in groups. Otherwise you’ll have to expect offspring already about 3 months after acquisition. And yes, baby rabbits are incredibly cute, but be sure it will not be easy to place them in good hands. Ideally, combine a female with a neutered male. Two females might harm each other, as they tend to fight.
Rabbits are no cuddly toys
As fluffy and cute as they appear: dwarf rabbits are not cuddly toys. As prey animals, they are very skittish, and it is in their nature to constantly be on guard. Rabbits, even when they hold still, don’t really like to be held in your arms. If they don’t have all four paws on the ground, they wouldn’t be able to flee in case of danger. So be patient with your little friend, move smoothly in its presence and don’t make too much noise. Only then it’ll become a tame and trusting family member.
Rabbits always need fresh food and water
Rabbits are herbivores. They feed mainly on hay, vegetables and fruit. They love apples, carrots, pears, lettuce, broccoli and spinach, but also fennel and dandelion. Please make sure that the fruit and vegetables are sprayed! You’ll also find varied and healthy pellet mixes in pet shops, but remember that your rabbit always needs plenty of hay to wear down its constantly growing teeth. Fresh drinking water should also always be available. So check daily that your rabbit has everything it needs to get through the day.
Dwarf rabbits like it cosy and clean
Make your rabbit as comfortable as possible in its hutch. For the floor, old newspapers, tree bark and hay are suitable. Do not use sawdust or peat, as these materials might lead to eye inflammations. Clean the enclosure at least once a week so that your pet is dry and comfortable and the place does not start to smell. Dwarf rabbits only feel comfortable in a clean and hygienic environment.
By the way: If mum and dad don’t allow you to have a rabbit in the house, there is no space for it or you don’t have the time to give a rabbit daily care, we have a nice solution for you! Visit our rabbit enclosure at Fresopolis – you will surely fall in love with one of our cute bunnies. Choose one and become an animal sponsor. If it doesn’t have a name yet, as a sponsor you can give it one and visit it on our farm for free, whenever you want! What do you think?