How to Care for Your Pet Rabbit
Owning an exotic animal has several benefits, including the fact that many exotics are hypoallergenic and require a smaller habitat than a cat or a dog, making them perfect for apartments. Pocket pets, like rabbits, are a perfect option for people, and many owners prefer rabbits to the traditional pet. Rabbits are loving animals that will bond with the owner and provide years of companionship. These animals require special care though and finding a veterinarian that will examine pocket pets can be difficult. Luckily, the experts at Paws and Claws Pet Medical Center are here to help. Below, let’s look more closely at rabbits and the specialized care they require.
Habitats for Rabbits
A rabbit should have a large enough space within the cage to be able to move about freely and have a separate litter box area. Rabbits must be housed in a wire cage to allow air to freely flow through their environment. Avoid cages that have a wire floor, as the wire can damage delicate rabbit feet. Cages that have a plastic or flat tray across the bottom are preferred. Make sure that the rabbit also has a safe, hiding area. This should be an enclosed box structure where the rabbit can escape to in order to feel safe.
The number one food requirement for a rabbit is hay. There should always be fresh hay available to the rabbit at all times. A rabbit’s diet should also contain a mixture of pellets and dark, leafy greens. It is important to vary the rabbit’s diet and not rely on pellets as the only source of food. Vegetables can be given as a treat, but avoid the amount of sweet vegetables fed to the rabbit. Of course, always make sure the rabbit has fresh water available at all times.
Rabbits need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation both inside and outside their cage. Within their cage, rabbits need to have space to move around. Adding enrichment items for the rabbits, such as different foods and chews, can help engage their brains and keep them active. Adding new cardboard boxes can help give them an opportunity to chew and “reconstruct” their cage environment. Rabbits are very social animals and rely on human interaction to remain happy. If possible, rabbits should be let out of their cage daily for at least an hour to spend some time bonding with their owners and exercising. Make sure the area where the rabbit is let loose is rabbit safe and free of dangerous, low hanging wires and objects that can be easily chewed.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
At Paws and Claws Pet Medical Center we care about all animals, large and small. We are happy to see you cat or dog but also specialize in exotic pets including pocket pets like rabbits. Our veterinary team is passionate about caring for each animal that comes through our animal hospital doors. Our office is conveniently located at 26745 S.E. Stark Street, Troutdale, OR 97060. To learn more about our services, or to schedule an appointment, call our office today at (503) 661-1833. We look forward to helping your pet live a long, happy, and healthy life.