Words of Advice from Our Veterinarian on Rabbit Care
Rabbits make wonderful pets. No matter what type of rabbit you bring into your Durham or Chapel Hill home, you can rest assured that your pet will be happy and healthy if you follow these rabbit care tips from our veterinary staff at New Hope Animal Hospital.
Although they are small in size, rabbits need a cage that allows them to move freely and jump around using their strong hind legs. Cages with solid bottoms are preferable because wire-bottom cages can cause foot ulcers. In order to create a nest, your rabbit will need hay, straw, grass, or alfalfa.
You should also provide your rabbit with a water bottle, a food dish, and a litter box. Although it can be fun to let your rabbit out of its cage, it should not be allowed to roam freely within your home; because they love to chew, rabbits can cause a lot of damage to the furnishings in your home.
In fact, chewing on wires, such as lamp and telephone cords, can cause serious injury and even death. For this reason, it is important to keep an eye on your pet when it is out of its cage in order to avoid an emergency trip to our animal hospital
. Marrow bones and small dog toys are good things to give your rabbit so it has something on which to chew.
If your rabbit will live outdoors, it is important to provide the animal with a spot in which to hide. Rabbits are anxious creatures that can easily be frightened by other animals; giving them an area to which they can retreat when they are scared will help ease this anxiety. Rabbits are also very sensitive to heat, so it is vital to provide them with shade if they live outdoors.
Animal Hospital Tips for Feeding a Pet Rabbit
One of the most common questions we get at our Durham veterinary clinic
concerns what to feed rabbits. Fresh, clean water should be made available to your rabbit all the time. In order to ensure that your pet gets complete nutrition, offer a good quality grass hay (such as timothy) to make up 50% of the rabbit's food source; commercially formulated rabbit pellets should comprise only 20% of a complete diet. As a special daily treat, you can also give your rabbit spinach, carrot tops, beet greens, and other dark leafy greens to make up the additional 30% of the diet. Apples and carrots should be given only sparingly as treats.
With the right tools and a little knowledge, having a rabbit as a pet can be a fun and rewarding experience. At New Hope Animal Hospital, we offer veterinary care for a range of different pets, including rabbits, so hop on in with your rabbit for preventative and routine veterinary care.
Do you have any questions you would like to ask our veterinarian about caring for rabbits?