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As a pet owner, you want to ensure your furry friend lives in a safe and comfortable environment. Setting up your rabbit’s home is essential to rabbit care and can overwhelm beginners.
This guide will discuss everything you need to know about setting up your rabbit’s home, including the right type of housing, bedding, food and water, toys, and more.
This is Chapter 2 of The Beginner’s Guide to Rabbit Care
Before setting up your rabbit’s home, you must consider the type of housing suitable for your rabbit’s breed and size. Rabbits need more space than you would expect for such a small creature.
Rabbits are incredibly active animals and need space to do zoomies and run around. We recommend that an average breed rabbit’s enclosure or running space be at least 4.5ft x 2.5ft with a 3ft – 5ft height. We always recommend bigger if possible, though!
Sadly, most cages or enclosures you can buy in pet stores will be too small. One common fix is to buy multiple pet exercise pens and put them together. Alternatively, if you have an indoor rabbit, you can simply block areas off with fences and baby gates.
Looking for more ideas? Here are some options to choose from:
Indoor housing is the most popular option for rabbit owners. It provides a safe and secure environment for your rabbit and allows you to bond with your furry friend. Here are some tips to keep in mind when setting up your rabbit’s indoor housing:
Outdoor housing is an excellent option for rabbits that live in a mild climate. It gives your rabbit space to run around and enjoy the fresh air.
While rabbits can make great indoor pets, many owners keep their bunnies outdoors. If you plan to keep your rabbit outside, providing them with a safe and comfortable living environment is essential.
Wire or mesh flooring can be painful and uncomfortable for rabbits. Their sensitive feet can become injured (Leading to Sore Hocks) or even develop sores from constantly being on a wire surface. It is best to avoid using wire or mesh flooring altogether instead of solid floorings, such as wood or plastic.
Rabbits need plenty of space to move around and exercise. While a hutch may seem like a good option, it can be quite cramped and limiting for your bunny. Instead, consider converting a shed or enclosed space into a rabbit living area. This will provide your bunny with much more room to explore and play.
Rabbits are sensitive to extreme temperatures and should always have access to shelter from the elements. This can be achieved by providing your bunny with a covered area, such as a sheltered hutch or a covered section of their living area. Be sure to provide plenty of insulation, such as blankets or hay, during colder months.
A clean living area is crucial for your rabbit’s health and well-being. Regularly clean out the area and remove any soiled bedding or litter. It is also essential to regularly inspect the area for any potential hazards or safety concerns.
Providing shelter from the elements is vital. However, your rabbit’s living area should be well-ventilated. Poor ventilation can lead to harmful gases and bacteria buildup, negatively impacting your bunny’s health.
In summary, creating the ideal outdoor housing for your rabbit involves providing a spacious living area, solid flooring, shelter from the elements, regular cleaning, and adequate ventilation.
Avoid wire or mesh flooring, and consider converting a shed or other enclosed space into a living area for your bunny.
Choosing the right bedding and litter is essential for your rabbit’s health and comfort. Here are some options to choose from:
Hay is an excellent option for rabbit bedding as it is comfortable, absorbent, and safe to eat. It also helps to wear down your rabbit’s teeth and promotes good digestion.
Paper-based bedding is an excellent option for rabbits with allergies or respiratory issues. It is also easy to clean and maintain.
Wood-based bedding is an excellent option for rabbits that enjoy chewing, as it provides them with something to gnaw on. However, it can be dusty and cause respiratory issues if improperly maintained.
Providing your rabbit with a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for its health and well-being. Your rabbit should always have access to an unlimited supply of fresh hay. Hay can be given to your rabbit via a Hay Feeder or trough. Alternatively, you can place the hay directly in their litter box.
Much like how we read or scroll on our phone on the toilet, rabbits like something to munch whilst on the loo!
We keep the food and water station next to each other for our rabbit’s convenience. However, some rabbits like to have their places and can take their hay to their favorite eating spots. Keep an eye out for this!
Here are some tips to keep in mind when feeding your rabbit:
Toys and enrichment are essential for your rabbit’s mental and physical stimulation. Here are some options to choose from:
Rabbit chew toys are toys designed specifically for pet rabbits to chew on. These toys can be made from various materials such as wood, straw, or other natural fibers.
Chew toys are essential for rabbits because their teeth continuously grow, and they need to chew on objects to wear them down and prevent dental problems.
Chew toys are also great for enrichment because they provide a form of mental and physical stimulation for rabbits.
Rabbits are natural chewers, and they enjoy gnawing on things to relieve boredom and stress. Chew toys help to satisfy this natural urge to chew and can also help prevent destructive chewing behavior in other areas of their enclosure.
Providing a variety of chew toys can also help keep rabbits interested and engaged. Some rabbits prefer soft, chewy toys, while others enjoy gnawing on harder objects. Offering different textures and types of toys can help keep rabbits mentally stimulated and happy.
Additionally, chew toys can promote healthy teeth and gums, which is important for a rabbit’s overall health and well-being.
Rabbit tunnels are a type of enrichment for pet rabbits that mimic the experience of tunnels and burrows that rabbits would naturally use in the wild.
These tunnels can be made from various materials such as cardboard, PVC pipes, or even fabric. They can be set up inside a rabbit’s enclosure or outside in a secure area for the rabbit to explore and play in.
Rabbit tunnels are good for enrichment because they provide a form of physical and mental stimulation for rabbits. Tunnels offer rabbits a place to run, hide, and play, which can help prevent boredom and reduce stress.
Additionally, tunnels can promote exercise and improve a rabbit’s overall physical health. By offering a rabbit the opportunity to engage in natural behaviors like running and hiding, tunnels can also help to create a more stimulating and enriching environment for the rabbit.
Puzzle toys are excellent for rabbits that enjoy solving problems. They provide your rabbit with mental challenges and promote good cognitive function.
Rabbit dig boxes are a type of enrichment activity designed for pet rabbits. They are essentially boxes filled with materials that mimic the feeling of digging in dirt or sand, which is a natural behavior for rabbits in the wild.
The boxes can be filled with items such as shredded paper, hay, straw, or even soil.
Providing a dig box for your rabbit can help satisfy their natural instincts, promote exercise and mental stimulation, and prevent destructive digging behavior in other areas of their enclosure.
A rabbit hiding house is a small shelter or structure designed for pet rabbits to provide them with a secure and comfortable hiding spot. These houses can be made from various materials such as wood, cardboard, or fabric and can come in different shapes and sizes. We typically suggest avoiding plastic as rabbits will chew on it.
They typically have an entrance hole for the rabbit to enter and exit and may include a removable roof or side for easy cleaning.
Hiding houses can be placed inside a rabbit’s enclosure to offer them a sense of security and privacy, which can help reduce stress and promote a more natural environment for the rabbit. We suggest putting them in the corner of a room to help keep your rabbit feeling safe.
Once you have prepared for the introduction process, it is time to introduce your new rabbit to its home. Here are some steps to follow: