How to Give Your Rabbit a Healthy Start
Rabbits are hardy animals that can be great pets. While they don't require a lot of veterinary care, they do need help staying healthy.
- Rabbits need clean, cool water all the time. Rabbits are prone to heat stroke, will not eat if they are thirsty, and can develop fatal bowel obstruction when dehydrated.
- Rabbits need a fibrous diet. In addition to pelleted rabbit food, they need hay. Rabbits that are growing can have alfalfa hay, but adults should have timothy or grass hay. Angora rabbits must have hay at all times. If you rabbit stops eating hay, rearrange it to get your rabbit's interest.
- Rabbits need protection from weather. If your rabbit lives outdoors in summer, it needs cool water, shade, and an ice bottle or frozen ceramic tile to lay on. Rabbits are surprisingly hardy to cold weather. They need to be able to stay dry, have liquid water and as much food as they can eat. Like horses, rabbits' digestive systems keep them warm.
- Rabbits can breed when they are very young - even before they are 3 months old! It's hard to determine baby rabbit's gender, so it's important to keep young rabbits separated. Rabbits can be spayed and neutered to prevent unwanted litters and health complications from having babies too young.
- Young rabbits usually have sweet and affectinate personalities. But it won't last! When rabbits mature, they often become grumpy to aggressive, and start unwanted behaviors like urine spraying. These changes are irreversible, but can be prevented by spay or neuter.
- Rabbits that are allowed to be in the grass should be dewormed. Call us to get started.
- Rabbits need spaces that are clean with no flies. Fly strike can kill rabbits quickly.
- Call us right away if your rabbit has a runny nose - particularly if the discharge is white, or if your rabbit has crusty paws from wiping its nose, is sneezing, or has white discharge from its eye(s). These are serious symptoms of a potentially fatal - but treatable - disease.
Rabbits are pets full of personality. They can be littertrained, leash-trained, and some rabbits are even trained to jump like steeplechase horses! Just in case you don't believe me, I included a link to a popular YouTube video showing competitive rabbit jumping. Click here.