How Do I Take Care Of A Pet Rabbit?

All you need to know to take care of a pet rabbit.

Rabbits can live to be around ten years old or older. They can make furry, friendly, lovable pets if they are treated gently and taken care of well. Before you decide to keep a rabbit as a pet, though, you should first consider its needs.

Rabbits can be kept either inside the house in a cage, or they can be kept outside in a rabbit hutch. If you keep a rabbit indoors, it needs to have shavings, sawdust, or straw put on the floor of its cage. These shavings need to be changed every day as they will become soiled. For a rabbit that is kept outdoors, you will need to build it a hutch. Some pet rabbits grow to be a considerably large size, so their hutch must be big enough to accomodate them. A hutch for a single rabbit should be a wood frame at least four feet long and a couple feet wide. Section a place off at one end of the hutch with pieces of wood as this will be its sleeping quarters. THe hutch will need to be raised up off of the ground by attaching legs to it. It should be about four feet high. Cover the entire structure with chicken wire.The roof should be made with wood, and attached to the frame with hinges on one side.The roof will need to be opened so you can clean the cage and also get your rabbit in and out of it. THe floor should be wood too.

In the winter time, if you live in a cold climate, you should cover the front of your rabbit's hutch with old rugs, blankets, or tarps to help keep the cold winds off your rabbit. In the summertime, you can hang tarps above the top of the rabbit's hutch--do not lay it directly on it, or it will just hold in the heat--in order to help keep your pet shaded from the hot sun.



Feeding your rabbit will be an easy task. Remember the childhood story of Peter Rabbit? RABBITS love vegetables, espeically carrots. Pet rabbits also need to eat rabbit pellets to ensure they get the proper nutrition they need. You can purchase these at your local feed store. You can also feed your rabbit hay, clover, oats, and grass. Be sure to keep a water bowl in its cage too and keep it filled with clean, fresh water.

The proper way to lift your rabbit up is to gently pick it up by the scruff of the neck. HOld it against your chest and keep a hand underneath its hind end, especially its legs, to support them. Supporting the back legs also helps to make your rabbit feel secure. Never pull or pick your rabbit up by its ears! Nowhere except by the scruff of its neck if you are lifting it up.

Your pet rabbit will also need to visit a veterinarian on a regular basis to make sure it stays healthy and in good shape. Signs of illness may include loss of appetite, hair loss, diarrhea, constipation, blood in its stool, dull eyes, or general inactivity. Be sure to watch for these signs in your pet rabbit.

© Demand Media 2011