Rabbits look like cute little balls of fur when they are young, usually growing in size as they age. But did you know that some rabbit breeds always stay small? They could be ideal for people in small living spaces or people with kids! If you’re looking for a pet, small bunnies may just be right for you. While these small rabbit breeds are adorable pets and wonderful companions, they need to be taken care of in a special way. Like any indoor pet, they need a cage, some furniture to go with it, and an unending supply of food and water. They need to be handled with care and groomed regularly too! Not to mention regular visits to the vet. Here are some things you need to know about caring for these sweet creatures.
Buy an Indoor Cage
First things first, you need a small cage for your animal friend to live in. Even if you are planning on letting your rabbit run free, it is still important for it to give it some personal space. The size of the cage should be 4 x 2 feet, with about 2 inches of bedding on the floor. Make sure the floor of the cage is either wood or plastic; wire cages will hurt your pet’s feet
The cage must have certain essentials to be comfortable. Your small bunny needs its own litter tray, food bowl, hay rack, water bottle, and a hideaway spot. Remember to get a separate water bottle for each rabbit to prevent territorial conflicts.
Teaching a bunny to go potty only within the confines of its litter box can take a bit of effort. Usually, rabbits pick out a spot to use on their own. Bring in the litter box and place it where your rabbit usually goes. <p”>If it still doesn’t understand what it has to do, you can pick up some of the spoiled bits and spread them in the box. The smell of urine tells the rabbit that it is okay to pee here.
Use either rabbit-specific litter or an organic variety made with alfalfa, oats, or paper. Clean the litter box with vinegar when it gets clumpy or smelly.
Build an Exercise Pen
Rabbits, especially small ones, are active animals. They need ample space to play around and be themselves. Build your bunny an exercise pen that you can keep in the garden (if it is unfertilized). This way your pet can stay safe while also fully enjoying the outdoors.
Never leave the rabbit unattended outdoors where predators could be lurking. Also remember that while some sunlight is great for the production of vitamin D, too much of it can cause overheating.
Provide an Unlimited Supply of Hay
It may seem like your rabbit is always hungry, but hay is the main part of its diet. You should have a fresh and unlimited supply of hay on hand at all times. Remember to avoid alfalfa hay and only buy timothy hay or any kind of grass hay.
Try to add one fresh fruit or vegetable to the bunny’s diet whenever you can. Pieces of carrot, a cut-up apple or banana, or a strawberry are all great treats for your small-breed rabbit.
Rabbits are prey animals that are used to running away from predators. This is why they scare so easily. Speak to your rabbit in a calming voice and approach it slowly from a lower height. Keep your body close to the rabbit so it feels comforted and loved. Give support to its hind legs and don’t grab too forcefully.
Try not to handle your rabbit more than is necessary. They don’t particularly like being picked up or carried. If trust is developed over time, it might be willing to sit still in your lap. Remember to never pick up your rabbit by its ears!
Rabbits like to play around in their litter box, which often makes them dirty. Check your bunny’s back and fur every day for dirt, grime, or fecal material. Clean the fur with a pet wipe or a cleaning rag as you see fit- and you’re good to go! Brush it every day with a soft-bristled brush and clean its ears with a wet Q-tip every week. Don’t forget to be as gentle as possible.
The rabbit’s nails need to be trimmed each time they grow too long. So, do some research on how to go about cutting their nails to prevent possible mishaps.
While all these practical steps are necessary for the healthy upkeep of your pet, you should also remember that pets love to play. Get your bunny some rabbit toys or hard plastic baby toys. Bunnies are smart and they will grow tired quickly if left to their boredom.
Some rabbit owners make rice-filled Easter eggs for their rabbits to use as rattle toys. You can get innovative too, or go exploring your local pet and toy stores.
Give your rabbit wooden toys to chew on. Rabbit teeth constantly grow, becoming uncomfortable for the little creature after a while. At this point, your bunny will want to gnaw on something to wear down its teeth. Buy non-toxic wood toys so your rabbit can have fun playing while also caring for its ever-growing teeth.
Do not try to trim the teeth yourself if they seem overgrown; this is a job better suited for a vet!
Vaccinate On Time
Vaccinating your pet on time is very important for the prevention of diseases. Your rabbit can be given the RHD1 vaccine when it is five weeks old and subsequent annual vaccines to maintain protection.
Speak with your vet to find out what is the best course of action for your particular breed of rabbit. The doctor will be able to help, keeping in mind the rabbit’s particular circumstances.
Spay or Neuter Your Pet
Contrary to what it may seem like, spaying or neutering your pet is the best decision you could make for its health. Not only does it eliminate unwanted pregnancies as an obvious result, but it also reduces aggression and the risk of certain cancers.
Desexing will also make the rabbit a better companion, as its health and personality will both improved. Spaying or neutering can also help your rabbits co-exist if you have more than one. You will see an immediate improvement in the temperament of your furry friend.
The best time to neuter a male dwarf rabbit is when it is 2-3 months old, and a female can be spayed between 4 and 8 months of age.
Small Animal Vet
Your tiny rabbit has its own special needs that are different from regular domestic pets. Look for a vet that specializes in small animals. They will have the necessary skills required to provide quality care.
All of these are important tips that need to be followed for your pet rabbit’s wellbeing. While providing care is one of your duties as a pet owner, you must remember that you and your pet are first and foremost close friends. Make the most of your time together; you two have a special bond one that spans across species!