Rabbit Basics

This is a crash course on what you need to know when you first bring a rabbit home, from their diet, grooming, protecting your home and much more. But please take the time to read through my website to thoroughly educate yourself. To begin, a proper diet consists of the following:
  • Hay – good quality hay such as timothy, orchard grass or organic meadow.
    1. Oxbow carries a variety of hay.
    2. Small Pet Select also carries a variety of hay.
  • Pellets – limited amounts of pellets should be fed to your rabbit. Take a look at the fiber percentage as it should be, at minimum, 18% and protein should not exceed 14%.
    1. Oxbow
    2. Small Pet Select
  • Freshwater – it’s natural for rabbits to drink from a bowl as in the wild they would drink from any water source from the ground, not a bottle. Make sure to change their water daily!
  • Vegetables – your rabbit should eat about 2 cups of fresh vegetables daily. House Rabbit Society has a great list of vegetables suitable for rabbits.
  • Nails – your rabbit’s nails should be trimmed monthly. If your rabbit’s nails are light in color you should be able to see the quick inside the nail. If you are not afraid of trimming them you can try the Bunny Burrito method, or you can take your rabbit to the vet to get them trimmed.
  • Teeth – rabbit’s teeth never stop growing, so it’s important to check on a regular basis. Check House Rabbit Society’s website to learn all about oral health in rabbits.
  • Be aware of your rabbit’s eating, drinking, and a bathroom behavior, the slightest change in behavior can be a sign of illness. Please read this article to learn more about your rabbit’s digestive system.

    Taking the time and learning your rabbit’s daily behavior can be life-saving. Rabbits don’t show signs of pain, symptoms can sometimes show when it’s too late. Always take the necessary precautions when you notice the slightest change in behavior, especially if you suspect GI Stasis.

  • Housing & Chew Toys – Your best source for all your bunny needs is always House Rabbit Society’s website. There you will find everything you need to know about rabbit-proofing your home, housing, chewing and outdoor & indoor dangers.
  • The most comment question people asked me was “How did I litter box train, Cooper”. Each rabbit is different, and what worked for me may not work for you. Litter box training is essential if you want to have a free roaming rabbit, so take the time to educate yourself!

    litter box

  • Treats – Never buy yogurt treats and junk food sold at your local pet stores. These “treats” have ingredients that your rabbit’s digestive system cannot process. Try giving your rabbits natural treats like carrots, apples, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, raisins, craisins and dried fruits (with no additive sugars). A proper rabbit’s diet is very important for a long, healthy life!
    1. Oxbow has a variety of healthy treats that your rabbit will love.
    2. Small Pet Select also has a variety of healthy treats that your rabbit will love.
  • Training & Obedience – To everyone’s surprise, rabbits are very easy to train, but like with any animal you need to invest time and be patient. A rabbit will not understand your frustration, so never hit in any way a rabbit. They simply will not understand. Rabbits will react to snapping fingers, slapping your hands together, stomping on the floor or a mist of water. These are great alternatives when trying to train your rabbit, so never, ever hit them!