What is a Rabbit?
Early rabbits were natives of the land bordering the western Mediterranean sea. They were first domesticated about 4000 years ago and do well in captivity. Today there are over 45 recognized breeds in the US alone so you can choose which breed is best for you. Rabbits make wonderful pets, especially for working adults as they are most active in the early morning and late evening. They have their own version of a purr and communicate through a variety of ways like stomping. They range in size from 2 to 20 pounds, can be litter box trained, are very quiet, and are easily contained.
Like rodents, rabbits have incisors that grow constantly, and must be worn down. However, rabbits are not rodents. It is estimated that about 12 million rabbits are raised in the USA every year and that number is increasing. Rabbits do not readily acquire diseases from humans and they are not likely to transmit them.
Always supervise your rabbit when out of its cage, so that they don't gnaw on furniture, electric cords or eat house plants.
Rabbits are very loving pets and some prefer to be held whenever possible. With patience they are easily tamed and socialable and can become your new best friend. When rabbits stretch out that means they would rather not be disturbed. Rabbits love the company of other rabbits and guinea pigs. Always talk to your rabbit in a calm voice so that they never feel threatened, they will listen better.
Before you pick up a rabbit you should approach them slowly and talk to them so they get used to how close you are getting to them. This will make it so you are not frightening them. When picking up your rabbit be gentle they are very fragile and if picked up in a rough manner it can result in spine injury or other harmful injuries.
Your pet has special needs just as you do with hygiene, teeth, hair and nails. Rabbits are very clean animals and pretty much take care of their fur themselves, however every spring when a rabbit is changing their fur you should brush them with a soft brush every once in a while. You should never bathe your rabbit unless needed, soap can be harmful. Rabbit’s teeth never stop growing so there for you will have to provide your rabbit with something hard to chew on such as our Timbo Smaks Cubes or Apple Sticks Smaks. Every once in a while a rabbit needs their claws trimmed. Asking your veterinarian to help you is recommended. If you do prefer to do it on your own be very careful not to cut the ends of the nerves and the blood vessels that are in the claw.
A rabbit’s cage should be cleaned every so often. The bottom of the rabbit’s cage should be cleaned out with a wet towel once or twice a weak. Every month the entire cage should be cleaned with hot water.
Rabbits love green food. They do best on a high percentage of roughage like our 4 varieties of hay such as Timothy Gold, Timothy High Fiber, Mountain Grass, and Alffy Alfalfa Hay, minerals, fruit, greens, vitamin B and Critter Be Better Digestive Health Feed. Digestive Health Feed helps keep beneficial bacteria in your rabbit’s digestive system which will keep your rabbit healthy and keep the bad bacteria which cause diseases out of the digestive tract. When it comes to feeding your rabbit feed twice a day at set times, this will allow your rabbit to be on a steady feeding schedule. Always provide your rabbit fresh hay and water; this is crucial to help a rabbit stay healthy. Also provide fresh lettuce and/or parsley. To give your pet a nice nutritional treat try our line of Smaks Treats.
Feed a daily ration of American Pet Diner Alffy Rabbit Complete Pellet Ration, an alfalfa based pellet ration for young, growing, gestating, lactating rabbits. Feed Timmy Rabbit Complete Pellet Ration (Timothy Based Hay), which is high fiber and low calorie and protein and is a complete ration to animals that are adult, overweight or with urinary track problems.
Feed Alffy Alfalfa hay only to young, growing , lactating or gestating animals. Provide adult or overweight animals with as much high fiber hay as they can eat. A good choice is our Timothy High Fiber (1st crop timothy), Timothy Gold (2nd crop timothy) and Mountain Hay (Orchard Grass and other Grass Hays). As with all animals, keep a supply of fresh water.
Rabbits like to gnaw, so provide them with things to gnaw on such as Timbo Smaks Cubes, or Apple Stick Smaks. Feed fresh vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, pea pods, dark green lettuce (no iceberg), herbs, grass, apples, pears, pineapple, and papaya in moderation. Always introduce these items slowly as they can have adverse reactions including diarrhea.
Get your pet spayed or neutered as soon as they are fully grown. The rabbits disposition makes them a better pet after. Before housing two or more rabbits together, make sure they get along and don't fight. Most rabbit will be happier if they have a friend to live with. Just make sure they are compatible by spending time with them.
In order to know the size of cage you will need for your rabbit, you will need to know how big the rabbit is going to get. So, you will need to know the type or breed of rabbit you are getting. An adult rabbit should have one square foot of floor space per pound of weight. Smaller varieties need no less than four feet of floor space.