Caring for Your Rabbit

Rabbits are an exotic pet. They require special care, diet and handling as they are prey animals, have tiny delicate bones and a sensitive digestive system.

Rabbit Behaviour

Rabbit behaviour is very complex. Rabbits are territorial and this must be taken into account at all times. Rabbits need a bunny friend. Both must be desexed. Opposite sexes get on better as friends than same sex rabbits.

One or two rabbits?

If you have a busy lifestyle, consider 2 rabbits. They are social animals & enjoy company. Having two will not stop them loving you! The Rabbit Sanctuary can 'bond' two rabbits before you take them home.  

Learn more

Grooming

Rabbit care is essential when grooming your bunny rabbit. A grooming comb &/or slicker brush is ideal. It is made of steel with fairly fine bristles so care will need to be taken that you don't cause abrasions to the rabbits skin.

Housing

Rabbits are safest if kept inside away from insects and predators. In the home they are there to play their part in family life.


Our research and experience shows that if rabbits are inside the home that they are treated as part of the family & not be forgotten if they were outside.


The family can interact with the bunnies during their daily activities making them handleable pets.


Rabbits need room to run so a playpen in the home is best, with time outside in the fresh air daily. Rabbits need a place to hide away and view the world from.


Check out our setting up page for more info or download our Adoption Planner.

Setting Up

Water

Surprisingly, rabbits drink a lot during the day!  They also love to put their paws into the water then wash their face so a large heavy ceramic dish is perfect as it won't tip over. 


Change your rabbit's water twice daily as they love fresh clean water. Wipe out with a rag or sponge, rinse and refill. Keep the water in the shade or it will get too warm.

Water bottles are good as back up, but they need a dish of water first & foremost.


Note: Water bottles can quickly become infected with mould if not cleaned regularly.  They have also been known to stop working.

Litter Training

The best litter tray is a large one with high sides.


The bigger the litter tray the better the results. Put the tray in a corner. If the rabbits wee or poo in another area provide a second tray there. 


  • Fill with an odourless pet litter or hay.
  • A hay feeder at the end of the tray hung from playpen fence
  • Rabbit Pellet dish in the tray under the hay feeder

Sweep up any 'mistakes' and put into the tray & keep the floor of the playpen clean with white vinegar as it will stop them toileting there.


Rabbits love to eat and poo so having your premium hay and rabbit pellets in the tray will encourage litter tray use. 

Diet

Rabbits have an intricate digestive system & constantly growing teeth, so they require a balanced diet at all times.


1.  PRIMARY FOOD SOURCE - HAY


This is what rabbits should eat first & foremost & should be readily available at all times.


Do not choose a hay that looks brown, mouldy or no longer smells like fresh cut grass. Store in a dry place in a container that allows air flow.


Hay - Oaten, Timothy, Meadow, Barley

(Only baby rabbits can eat Alfalfa hay)


Lucerne is only to be given in small amounts as a treat as it is very high in fat.


2.  SECONDARY FOOD SOURCE - PELLETS


Look for 'rabbit only' pellets that are high in fibre and low in protein. Pellets that are high in protein can lead to obesity and other health issues in rabbits. 


Keep them stored in an airtight container so they stay fresh.  Rabbits will not eat stale pellets!


Give in accordance to the manufacturers feeding instructions as too many pellets can cause digestive issues.


3.  TREATS


Rabbits are definitely allowed treats but always in moderation!


Fresh leafy greens are perfect, but limit it to a 1 small handful per day.


Fruit has a high sugar content & needs to be kept to a bare minimum. 1 raison per day is more than enough for a rabbit.



Download our Food List & keep it handy on your fridge!

How to handle your rabbit

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Your donation will be used to provide over 1000 rabbits each year with essential veterinary care & everything they need to live a safe & happy life.

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All donations over $2 are fully tax deductible. Please keep the receipt for your tax return.

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