|A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down. - Robert Benchley|
PET RABBIT INFORMATION
Pet Bunny Rabbits are an all time favorite. People are attracted to pet bunnies because they are so cute and because of their sweet and quiet dispositions. They are so soft and cuddly. They do not demand a lot of attention, although daily exercise and playtime out of the cage is a necessity. Easily tamed, rabbits are social and interactive, playful and entertaining to watch. And, the best part is, they can be litter trained. They normally live about ten years or more if they are taken care of well.
There is quite a variety of rabbits. The American Fuzzy Lops (also known as the Fuzzy Lop) are a great first rabbit. They are loving and affectionate and are good for showing. Their fur is long once they reach adulthood so weekly grooming is needed. They normally weigh 3-4 pounds, come in a variety of colors and have loppy ears.
The Angora Rabbit has the finest, soft and silky coat. Their fur, which is quite long, is referred to as "wool." And thus they look like a big ball of fluff. This breed of rabbit has been recognized since 1765. They are a big responsibility because of the required regular brushing.
Mini Lop Rabbits are adorable with their droopy ears. They are smaller than regular rabbits and are the best at being litter trained. They have a muscular build and can weigh up to six pounds.
Netherland Dwarfs are very small, weighing only 1 to 2 ½ pounds, with short hair. They look a lot like Thumper in the Bambi movie. They are happy and friendly. However, when they reach breeding age they can become protective of themselves and their cage. Usually this passes after they have bred.
Silver Martin Rabbits are often raised for showing. They grow to be about 8 pounds and have very soft fur with a beautiful polished look. The fur presents a striking contract from their silver-tipped guard hairs and silver white markings to the eyes, mouth, chin and under parts. They are a timid bunch but still make great pets.
While rabbits make fairly calm and controllable pets, they are not necessarily a good match for active young children. Children are usually not careful enough when picking them up or playing with them. Rabbits like to be near their people, but they prefer not to be held.
They will likely require some veterinary care, which can be expensive. They should be spayed or neutered (by a vet experienced with surgery on rabbits) and they may require vaccinations depending on where you live.
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PET RABBIT CARE
The Rabbit Cage
A rabbit can live inside or out, but it needs a relatively large rabbit cage, big enough so your bunny rabbit can move around and stand upright. Sawdust, straw, hay and shredded paper can all be used as bedding.
Ensure that your pet rabbit does not have access to electrical wires and that the rabbit hutch is waterproof and kept off the ground so that it doesn't get damp, cold or draughty. Rabbit hutches need two compartments, one for sleeping and another that has more light and is well-ventilated.
Also ensure they are not in danger from other animals like cats, foxes or coyotes.
If you plan to have a house rabbit, you'll want to train it to use the litter box. You can start training with a small box in a corner of the cage. Use shredded paper pulp, recycled paper products or compressed sawdust pellets for the litter. If you place the box in one corner of the pen and find your pet rabbit relieving itself in another corner, move the box to the corner it normally uses. Your rabbit will eventually get the message. After your bunny is trained and he begins to roam around your house, add a second litter box in a corner of his roaming area.
Pet Rabbit Toys
Whether indoors or out, your pet rabbit's home should have all the comforts. Just like humans, rabbits need entertainment or they may become bored and destructive. Entertainment can be provided in many forms, from toys, such as baby toys, chew toys, cat or bird toys to small empty boxes, magazines or cardboard tubes. Rabbits chew a lot, so lots of chewable toys should be provided. The gnawing helps prevent the teeth from growing too long. NOTE: You better be sure that you rabbit-proof any places where your pet is allowed to run or you may find they have gnawed furniture or woodwork.
Your rabbit will keep itself clean up to a point but it may need some help. Make sure you clean the rabbit hutch regularly and replace the bedding. Groom your rabbit regularly, especially if it has long hair that can become matted.
Rabbit Food. What Do Rabbits Eat?
A continual supply of fresh food and fresh water is essential, so it is important to check their supplies more than once a day. Their diet should consist of fresh hay, pellets and fresh vegetables. Introduce vegetables slowly as rabbits have delicate systems. They will come to love beet tops, broccoli stems (great for chewing), brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots (including the tops), green peppers and radish tops. Hay should be fresh and fed in unlimited quantities. Rabbits also like fruit, such as apples, whole oranges, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. If your bunny rabbit does not immediately eat its supply of fresh fruits and vegetables be sure to remove them quickly as they can grow bacteria.
If you know and follow the proper basics for caring for your rabbit, they can be a wonderful addition to any family. It can bring years of enjoyment and companionship.
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