What should rabbits eat?
A healthy rabbit diet should consist mostly of grass-based hay (such as timothy hay). You also want to give your rabbit fresh leafy greens on a daily basis. Rabbits should only be given a small amount of pellets per day and treats (such as fresh fruits and vegetables) should be kept to a minimum.
Do young rabbits need a different diet than adults?
Young rabbits (up to about 6 months) should have a basically unlimited supply of pellets to help them grow. You also want to make sure they are given alfalfa hay instead of timothy hay, since this will promote a healthy weight gain and bone growth.
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How do I get my picky rabbit to eat their hay?
Purchasing fresh brands of hay and placing the hay near the litter box can help encourage a picky rabbit to eat their hay. You can also sprinkle pellets or small treats into the hay trough. A rabbit who is suddenly refusing to eat their hay may have teeth problems and you should schedule an appointment with your vet.
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My rabbit is overweight, what can I do to help them lose weight?
Obesity can be a dangerous condition in rabbits because they have a sensitive digestive system. In most cases you will have to reduce the amount of treats and pellets a rabbit is given on a daily basis. When changing a rabbit’s diet, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.
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What should I avoid feeding my rabbit?
Rabbits should not be given processed human foods, including cereal and grains. You should also avoid giving them any milk products and avoid added sugars. Most fruits and vegetables are safe for rabbits but should only be given in small amounts.
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What is the best kind of cage/enclosure for my rabbit?
A rabbit exercise pen is typically the best option to use for your rabbit’s enclosure. This is a large enclosure that gives you more flexibility. It is also easy to clean and transport. Other types of enclosures that can be suitable for rabbits, are large dog crates and large wooden hutches.
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Should I free roam my rabbit?
Free roaming a rabbit is an excellent idea, but you do have to take some steps to make sure your house is completely rabbit-proofed and your rabbit is litter trained. Some rabbits are big troublemakers and need to be supervised more than others, so free roaming is not always the best option depending on your situation.
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What items do rabbits need inside their enclosure?
In addition to their food and water bowls, rabbits should have a litter box and a hiding house available. You also want to make sure your rabbit has a variety of toys available so that they can play while they are inside their enclosure
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Why is it so important to keep rabbits indoors?
Indoor rabbits are typically much safer and happier than outdoor rabbits. They won’t face predators, disease-spreading insects, or harsh climates that can cause hypothermia and heat stroke. Indoor rabbits are also much easier to include as companion pets, making them a part of the family.
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How can I understand my rabbit’s body language?
The best way to learn rabbit body language is by simply spending time with your rabbit and observing their behavior. You can read guides online to give you an idea of unique rabbit body language, but there is not substitute for seeing these behaviors in practice.
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How do you know if a rabbit is happy?
Happy rabbits will do a twisty jump, called a binky, which will tell you they are energetic and happy. Other signs of a happy rabbit include zooming around the room, a soft honking sound, circling your feet, clicking their teeth together, and flopping over next to you.
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How do I know if my rabbit is depressed?
Depressed rabbits will lose their adorable bunny curiosity. They will stop exploring and exercising and often will stop grooming themselves, causing their coat to become matted and bedraggled. Your rabbit may also have a reduced appetite and only sit around all day even when they are allowed time out of their enclosure.
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Why is my rabbit being aggressive, and how can I prevent this?
Rabbits are usually only aggressive toward people when they are scared or territorial. Most territorial behavior can be addressed by getting a rabbit spayed or neutered. If a rabbit lashes out because of fear, you will need to work with them to teach them that people are friendly.
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How do I know if my rabbit is sick?
The signs of sickness in rabbits can vary a lot depending on what illness they are suffering from. However, common signs of a sick rabbit include a lack of appetite and a lack of pooping. It’s also important to look out for a decrease in energy levels. These subtle signs can help you catch illness in your rabbit early so you can get them the help they need.
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My rabbit keeps getting poop stuck to their butt, how do I prevent this?
Elderly, disabled, and obese rabbits may have trouble keeping their behind clean because they can’t reach or find it painful to bend over. For disabled rabbits there is little you can do and you will need to give your rabbit regular butt baths. For other rabbits you may be able to prevent this by giving them pain medication or a healthier diet.
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How do I find a good rabbit veterinarian?
Since rabbit anatomy is very different from cats and dogs, it’s important to find someone who specializes in rabbits. The House Rabbit Society (HRS) has a good list of US-based vets to help you get started (they also have some international listings. The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) has listings for veterinarians in the UK.
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How long do rabbits typically live?
Different breeds of rabbits have slightly different life expectancies. Typically a rabbit’s lifespan is around 8-12 years, but many breeds are able to live even longer. Larger breeds of rabbits tend to have a shorter life expectancy than medium and smaller breeds.
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How do I keep my rabbit from digging the carpet?
Digging is a natural behavior in rabbits that can’t be unlearned. The best way to discourage a rabbit from digging into carpet is by covering it up with plastic mats. You’ll also want to provide your rabbit with areas where they can dig as much as they want, such as a digging box.
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How do I keep my rabbit from chewing on baseboards and furniture?
When rabbits go after baseboards and furniture, the best thing to do is keep these areas out of your rabbits reach. Keep gates around the perimeter of the home to keep your rabbit away from the baseboards and wrap the legs of your furniture with cat scratcher mats.
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What other items do I need to rabbit-proof in my home?
It’s important that you rabbit proof your home by covering any electrical wires your rabbit might have access to. You’ll also want to keep any poisonous houseplants away from your rabbit, along with any human foods.
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Bonding with your rabbit
My rabbit keeps running away from me, how can I teach them to trust me?
Many rabbits are shy and can take some time to open up and trust people. If you sit quietly with your rabbit every day without forcing an interaction and without picking them up, your rabbit will eventually get curious and come up to you. This process will go a lot faster if you have treats for your rabbit.
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What can I do to bond with my rabbit?
The best thing you can do is simply spend time with your rabbit on a daily basis. Training a rabbit to do some cute tricks and petting your rabbit can also lead to a deeper bond with them. As long as you are respecting your rabbit’s boundaries, your friendship will get stronger with time.
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How much attention do rabbits need?
Rabbits are social animals that need a lot of attention to prevent depression. If you don’t have a second rabbit to be a bonded partner, this means you’ll need to give your rabbit hours of attention on a daily basis. You can do this by treating your rabbit like a companion animal and allowing them to spend time as part of the family on a daily basis.
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How do I litter train my rabbit?
Most of the time, a rabbit will choose one corner of their enclosure to use as a bathroom. Simply place the litter box in that spot and your rabbit will learn to use it. Sometimes when introducing your rabbit to a larger area, they will find another place to use the bathroom. You’ll need to give your rabbit multiple litter boxes until they are able to use them without having an accident.
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Can rabbits learn to come when called?
Rabbits can learn all sorts of tricks, including how to come when called. They are actually very intelligent animals who can have a lot of fun learning new tricks. You can teach your rabbit to give you kisses, high fives, and even run through a whole obstacle course.
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What techniques do you use to train a rabbit?
When training rabbits I use a combination of classical conditioning, luring, and clicker training techniques. Using these and some knowledge of rabbit behavior and psychology, you can teach a rabbit to do almost anything.
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