Here are some tips on basic care for your rabbit to keep your companion at your side as long as possible.
Cage and litter
* Rabbits like to chew everything they find. In your absence, your rabbit should always be kept in a cage in order to avoid inconvenience (like chewing at your chair legs or corners of walls, or ingesting foreign objects or toxic products).
* It is important that your rabbit's cage is large enough, strong and screened for proper ventilation.
* On the other hand, the bottom of the cage, in no way should be screened, even if the bottom of the cage must always stay as dry as possible. A wire mesh or bottom with bars might cause serious injuries to his legs. Choose a solid bottom, but clean it as often as possible.
* A rabbit can learn to do his stools and urine in a litter or a specific corner of its cage. The wood shaving of pine and cedar must be avoided completely, as this is very irritating to their skin and respiratory system. It is rather preferable to use a bedding of recycled paper.
Cohabitation and general care
* The ambient temperature must be between 4 and 20 degrees Celsius either in the summer or winter.
* It is important to provide your rabbit with at least 1 hour of activity every day, outside his cage. A lack of exercise can lead to significant health problems as well as obesity.
* Rabbits are sociable and can coexist in the same cage with other rabbits. By cons, some males can be aggressive especially if they are not neutered. One can observe frequent battles that can sometimes lead to serious injury.
* Although it can coexist with other rabbits, it is not recommended to put yours with other species such as guinea pig or ferret.
* The claws should be cut about every 2 weeks.
* It is recommended to neuter your rabbit to prevent overpopulation problems, aggression in males and uterine tumors in the female.
* Finally, rabbits also need a special diet. It is therefore very important to follow this diet to avoid deficiencies.
* The diet should consist mainly of Timothy hay (unlimited), mixed vegetables (1-2 cups per day) and a slight portion of pellets.
* Fruits can be given as treats only. Some fruits and vegetables can cause health problems, so it is important to check if each food is safe for your rabbit.
For questions about your rabbit, do not hesitate to contact the team at the Veterinary Hospital Ste-Rose.
Karine Beaulieu, Veterinary Technician