Tips to keep your bunny happy and healthy.
Make a comfortable home
The best way to make your rabbit’s life happier is to give them a comfortable home base. This means a safe place where they can relax and play. The enclosure needs to be appropriately sized for your rabbit and you need to make sure to give them mental enrichment activities to keep them occupied.
Rabbit enclosures: are not one-size-fits all. You need to be careful to make sure your home base is not too small for your rabbit.
A rabbit enclosure should be at least 3-4 times the full length of your rabbit, with at least 1-2 times their length in width. They should also be able to stand up on their tippy toes without bumping the top. A rabbit ex-pen is usually the best option for a rabbit home base, since most cages sold for rabbits are too small.
You can instantly increase the size of your rabbit’s habitat by attaching ex-pens around the entrance!
Give them a variety of toys
Giving your rabbit lots of toys to chew on and toss around keeps them occupied and prevents boredom while also encouraging your rabbit to
move around and exercise more. The greater variety of toys you can give your rabbit the better.
Chew toys: Allow rabbits to use their natural chewing instincts and wear down their ever-growing teeth. These can be wooden chew toys for your rabbit to pull on and dig their teeth into, and they can also include some natural toys. Apple or willow sticks, dried pinecones, and woven hay-based toys can be a lot of fun.
Puzzle toys: These help to give another level of mental enrichment for your rabbit and keeps them active. With these toys, you can hide a treat inside the toy for your rabbit to find.
Having a good variety of these toys will help to keep your rabbit interested in their environment. You can even try to rotate the toys in and out every week so that your rabbit always has something new to play with.
Unsure what toys to get your rabbit? Visit our online store to get a nice variety of safe and healthy toys.
A healthy diet with variety
A balanced diet for your rabbit helps to keep them happy and healthy in the long run.
Keep your rabbit on a hay-based diet: About 80% of your rabbit’s daily diet should be grass-based hay. You also want to give your rabbit some yummy leafy greens daily depending on their weight. A 5-pound rabbit should get up to 2.5 cups of greens per day.
Rabbits should only be given a little bit of pellets per day. Only give them max 1/8 - 1/4 cup for every 5 pounds that your rabbit weighs.
Instead of indulging your rabbits on too many sugary foods, you can make them happy by introducing some variety into their daily diet. Give them multiple types of hay so they can have different flavours every day. You can also give your rabbits a wide variety of leafy greens.
Giving Rabbits 3-4 types of leafy greens per day is ideal because they get a wider variety of nutrients.
Give your rabbit yummy treats
There is nothing that rabbits love more than some yummy treats!
While you want to avoid giving your rabbit too many treats since that would be bad for their digestion, you can still reward them with their favourites sometimes. This can immediately give rabbits a reason to zoom around the room and binky up to you for a taste of something yummy.
The best kinds of treats to give rabbits are pieces of fresh or dried fruits and vegetables. Strawberries, carrots, bell pepper, and banana can be great hits with most rabbits, but every bunny has their own preferences.
Try to introduce new foods every once in a while, to see what your rabbit likes best. Then you can use it to reward your rabbit for coming to hang out with you, or for having good behavior and chewing on their toys instead of the baseboards.
Have regular vet visits
Like any other pet, your rabbit will need to check in with the vet every so often.
Not only should you be prepared to take your bunny to the vet if you see any unusual behaviours, but you should also have an annual veterinary check up to make sure your bunny is in tip top condition and identify any possible signs of disease. It’s also a good way of getting some up-to-date pet care tips.
Have their teeth checked at their annual veterinary check up and make sure you give your bunny’s mouth a regular once over. They have molars that need special equipment & advanced training to properly assess.
Rabbits are good at hiding signs that they are in pain so look out for a lack of interest in food or digging at their mouths with their paws or drooling.
Did you know: A rabbit’s top front teeth grow at a rate of 3mm a week!
Spay or neuter your rabbit
Getting your rabbit spayed or neutered can help get rid of extra frustration that comes from raging hormones and more importantly, prevent types of life threatening cancer.
As young rabbits grow to maturity, they will often become grumpy and aggressive. This is possible for both male and female rabbits all year round since they don’t have strict seasonal mating. However, after your rabbit has been altered, their hormones will calm down. Your rabbit will start to be calm and content with life again.
Getting a rabbit spayed or neutered often solves behavioral problems and prevents reproductive cancers in rabbits. Aggressive biting and territorial spraying will often disappear completely in the weeks after surgery. In addition, female rabbits have an incredibly high chance of developing uterine cancer if they are left unspayed.
It is very important for a rabbit’s happiness and health that they get spayed or neutered once they reach maturity.
Create fun play areas
Rabbits can have a lot of fun playing in a bunny-sized obstacle course.
Create a fun play area by giving your rabbit a variety of tunnels, platforms and caves where they can hide, dig, and chew to their heart’s content. The platforms also help your rabbit to have different vantage points of the room.
Give your rabbit the chance to be curious:
Like people, rabbits can get bored if everything is the same all the time. Make small changes every once in a while, to give your rabbit a chance to be a curious bunny and explore everything as if it’s new. They’ll be more excited to explore and discover the happy new changes.
Some easy ways to encourage curiosity in rabbits include:
Rearranging the furniture. Even just moving one piece of furniture can make a rabbit’s world drastically different. Every once in a while, try moving something around and watch as your rabbit explores the change.
Introducing new foods. New types of leafy greens or treats can be a great way to encourage curiosity in rabbits. They’ll sniff out the new scent before munching on it to try out the new flavor.
Giving your rabbit a new toy to check out. A new toy can be a whole lot of fun for rabbits. They’ll sniff it out, chew on it, toss it around. A great way to renew interest in old toys too is to take them away for a couple weeks and then return them as if they were new.
Make sure they get lots of exercise
Rabbits are built to run:
Without time and space to exercise they are likely to get bored or depressed, so it’s important to encourage your rabbits to move around and enjoy themselves every day.
You can start by giving your rabbit as much time outside of their enclosure as possible. Rabbits are sprinters and not long-distance runners, so they will usually exercise for short periods interspersed with longer periods of rest. To make sure your rabbit is getting enough exercise, it’s best to make sure they have plenty of time for it.
You can also encourage your rabbit to exercise in other ways:
Giving them their daily pellets in a ball dispenser instead of a bowl can help them to move around while they are eating.
You can also hide small treats in places around the room to encourage your rabbit to explore and search for more.
Let them use their natural behaviours
Don't get frustrated with the way their rabbit digs and chew into everything.
What you want to try to do is distract your rabbit in productive ways. This way they can continue to be a happy bunny and perform their natural behaviors without destroying your carpet or furniture.
To do this you first need to make sure your rabbit has access to toys and areas where they can have fun without causing damage.
Try putting cardboard down on the floor for your rabbit to dig into or using old fleece or cotton blankets for your rabbit to tunnel under.
Block of all the areas where your rabbit shouldn’t be digging or chewing.
Block off areas with fencing
Cover the carpets with plastic mats to prevent digging.
Give your rabbit massages
Most rabbits really love to be pet:
Their favorite places are usually scritches on their forehead and behind their ears. You can even give your rabbit a massage by giving them strokes down their back or rubbing their cheeks and shoulders.
A rabbit being pet is the most common time you will find them purring. Once your rabbit is really settling down you might start to feel a vibration on their forehead. If you look closely, you’ll also see their whiskers twitching a little. It’s a clear sign that your rabbit is happy and enjoying the experience.
Young rabbits might not want to settle down for a nice massage, but as they get older rabbits will almost always be happy to sit next to you as you pet them.
Some rabbits will even lick you to groom you. This is a way that rabbits let you know that they love and care about you too!
Give your rabbit lots of attention
Domestic rabbits are descendants of a very social species of rabbits:
In the wild they would have lived with a family group living together in underground tunnels. Because of this, rabbits have social needs that need to be met to be happy bunnies. If you don’t have a partner for your rabbit right now, then that means you need to give your rabbit lots of attention so they can get enough social interaction.
This means rabbits should not be treated as cage animals, but instead as companion animals that spend the day interacting with you and your family. They can hang out with you as you work or watch TV in the living room.
Introduce your rabbit to a companion:
By far the best way to make a rabbit happy is to introduce them to a companion rabbit. Other rabbits are able to socialize with your bunny like no human can. They can spend all their time together, groom each other, and make each other very happy.
The only problem is that it’s not usually easy to bond a pair of rabbits. Rabbits can be very territorial and slow to trust other rabbits. It can take many months of slowly introducing rabbits in a neutral space before they are a happy couple.