Thinking of owning a rabbit? Then check out the Twootz guide to essential items for first-time owners!
Create the ideal home for your rabbit by ensuring you buy everything he needs to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle.
When purchasing a cage/hutch for your rabbit you need to consider the following:
- Buy the biggest size you can afford that will fit comfortably into your home/garden
- The minimum hutch/cage size for an average rabbit (around four kilograms in weight) is approximately 75cm long x 75 cm wide
- Ensure that your rabbit’s cage has enough height to allow him to stand on his back legs at least 45cm
- Rabbits like to chew, so opt for a cage made of solid wood or wire (depending on whether your rabbit will be housed in or outdoors)
- Wooden hutches should be coated with a non-toxic weatherproof treatment
- The spacing between the bars of wire cages should be small enough to prevent your rabbit escaping
- Ensure that your rabbit’s cage is free from dangerous protrusions that could cause him injury
Twootz provides Fruity Rabbit
food, Premium Rabbit Food
and Small Animal fruity mix
which are both ideal for your Rabbits well being.
Your rabbit will require the following feed accessories:
- A heavy earthenware or metal bowl to stop him from tipping it over
- A gravity-feed water bottle to prevent contamination
- A bottle-brush to clean out his water bottle
Suitable bedding materials include:
- Wood shavings – ensure they are derived from untreated softwood (eg pine), as are usually sold in pet stores, otherwise your pet may suffer respiratory ailments and allergic reactions
- Hay – only use clean, fresh hay and remember to offer an additional daily source for eating
- Straw – use wheat or barley straw as oat straw can be extremely palatable and if eaten may cause intestinal blockages
- Shredded paper – ensure it is free from ink in case your rabbit decides to chew it
Avoid sawdust as the fine particles may irritate your rabbit’s eyes and respiratory tract.
Toys and treats
Suitable toys include:
- Rabbits enjoy a variety of toys and treats and these help to keep them mentally and physically stimulated, particularly if you rotate your pet’s access to his favourite toys to help keep him even more interested.
- Don’t forget that toys should be of durable material to withstand your rabbit’s teeth! Treats should be given in moderation to prevent selective feeding and obesity
Suitable occasional treats include:
- Drainpipes – ensure they are large enough to prevent him from becoming stuck!
- Terracotta flowerpots – avoid plastic ones as these are chewable
- Deciduous tree branches – rabbits particularly enjoy apple tree branches
- Cardboard boxes – cut holes in the sides of them to allow your pet to play hide-and-seek
- Feed balls – fill with his favourite food/treats; they will be dispensed when he rolls the ball around
- Fresh fruit and vegetables – hang them from string in your rabbit’s cage to provide extra stimulation
- Baked wholemeal bread – a good treat for chewing
- Honey sticks – a variety of stickle treats are now commercially available in different recipes and flavours. They can be hung in your rabbit’s cage to encourage him to work for his food
Many rabbits enjoy being groomed, especially if they were accustomed to it as youngsters. If you choose a long-haired rabbit, he will require daily grooming to prevent fur balls and matting - This will also provide you with the opportunity to give him a health check.
You will require the following in your bunny’s grooming kit:
- A soft-bristled brush – use on short-haired breeds and around the face and ears of long-haired rabbits
- A slicker brush – useful for brushing long-haired rabbits
- A comb – to gently tease out mats and tangles
- Round-ended scissors – for removing any difficult mats and general trimming
- Nail clippers – ask your vet to demonstrate the correct way to trim your rabbit’s claws before you attempt this