How to care for your bunny once it is home
Vaccinations – Your bunny will need 6 monthly vaccinations against calicivirus especially if this disease is a problem around your area. It is a vaccination that is 6 monthly.
Deworming need to be done often. You can buy "deworming for rabbits and quinea pigs" from the pet store.
Fur mites can be picked up from old hay. Try and buy hay as fresh as possible.
Hay is cut at the beginning of the season and it stands all season. The last hay of the season are often carriers of hay mites. This will affect your bunny. The area affected is always the scruff area or the tail. Blow in the fur. It looks like dandruff. You treat it if your bunny does have it. I do the treatment so you know your bunny is starting with a clean slate. With no fur mites.
I do not want you to have your first vet bill in two weeks when you discover it has fur mites. Therefore I do give your bunny a treatment.
If you do not happen to see your bunny have fur mites then the area will spread and later the bunny will lose fur in the area and you will eventually see it. This will become a bold spot with dandruff. Then you can treat it.
In general, you treat it only if they have it. It is not that common so do not worry.
The lifespan of a rabbit?
Domesticated rabbits live for an average life span of 6-8 years.
What are the benefits of neutering a rabbit?
Neutering will prevent unwanted pregnancies, as well as increasing life expectancy in females by up to 80% due to a lesser risk of ovarian cancer.
Female rabbits can have mood swings and be hormonal. They can have false pregnancies therefore it is always important to get a female neutered.
Rabbits are very sociable and neutering will calm them making them even more lovable. Neutered rabbits are less territorial, and are more easily litter-trained if you want to keep your pet indoors as a house rabbit. All over rabbits are happier being sterilized.
Spaying reduces and sometimes eliminates these behavioural problems as spraying, digging and chewing.
Rabbits can be spayed or neutered at the age of 4 to 5 months old. Contact your preferred vet to ask what age they advise as well. I take my rabbits to
Riseley Veterinary Centre
at 113 Hulme Court, Myaree
Tel 9329 9222
Doctor McDowell is highly educated and very good with rabbits.
Another good Vet in the North of Perth is the
The Unusual Pet Vets
59 Erindale Rd, Balcatta WA 6021
Tel. 9345 4644
Dr Viki Is an excellent vet with all animals but she has a very wide knowledge regarding rabbits.
Taking my new rabbit home
The firsts time you live with another species you are not familiar with can be very stressful. Most of the stress comes from not knowing what is normal and what is abnormal.
For instance, you worry about whether you are feeding it correctly.
Give ½ a cup of rabbit food until the bunny is 4 months old. Why more? Your bunny is still growing.
From 4 months of age ¼ cup of food.
90% of their diet is hay. Always unlimited hay.
It is best to put it in a hay rack so that your bunny always have
Wean your bunny gradually from my food to yours. A sudden change of diet can cause refusal to eat new food, diarrhea, resulting in death.
If you notice your bunny have diarrhea after introducing a new vegetable or fruit go immediately back to pellets, hay and water only.
How often do I need to cut my rabbits nails
It is important to check your rabbit’s nails
monthly and possibly clip them if they have not been worn down.
Rabbit’s nails are like cats or dogs and contain blood vessels and nerves, so when clipping your rabbit’s nails it is important to identify where the blood vessels are located so they are not cut, as can cause discomfort.
A hutch with a ramp does help to keep the nails short as well as when your bunny play on concrete.
What can I use as bedding in my rabbit's hutch
You can use wood shavings, hay or shredded paper. Newspaper is not good since it is not absorbent enough.
The ink will also stain your rabbit's feet.
Can I litter train my rabbit
Mini Lops are very intelligent and can be litter trained. Litter training your rabbit can make your experience of your house pet much more enjoyable and easy to care for.
How do I litter train my rabbit
Using a litter tray. Always put it in a corner. Rabbits like to
use corners. The urine will be in the litter tray first. A couple of days or
perhaps weeks the droppings will be in the litter tray. It depends from rabbit
to rabbit. They need to learn bowel control just like us humans so some are
faster learners than others.
Rabbits like to poop while munching on hay - put a hay-rack over the litter tray or close enough so your rabbit can eat hay while using the litter tray. It is almost like giving a child a book to read while he is on the potty. It keeps the rabbit to stay put for a while.
You can use a playpen to house train your rabbit. Put a playpen in a square or rectangular position with a litter tray in a corner. Follow the same instructions as above. Once your rabbit knows where and how to use the litter tray then the playpen can be removed. Your rabbit will then roam the house and return to use the litter tray.
Although they may have been toilet trained by their mothers, they often don't know what to do in their new home. It all smells different.
What kind of litter should I use in the litter tray
Your rabbit will without doubt nibble on their litter so it’s important to make sure that whatever you're using in the box won't be harmful to your rabbit. Recycled paper kitty litter is perfect. From Coles and woollies. Stay clear of types of litter that aren’t suitable for rabbits, such as scented kitty litter.
Feeding my rabbit
Rabbits do not tend to overeat you can leave the food in the hutch. It is safe to put food in a food bowl and not to think you are overfeeding your bunny. Food can be given once or twice a day. However, twice a day then share the daily amount in half.
What fruit and vegetables can I give my rabbit to eat
Do not give your rabbit lettuce. It can cause diarrhoea
Do not give your rabbit cabbage. It causes bloating and rabbits cannot pass gas
The fruit is a treat due to high sugar. Same with carrots. Therefore a limited amount. High content in sugar can cause loose stools.
If your rabbit's stools are loose cut fruit and veggies out for a day until your rabbit's stools return to normal.
Apple a little boat - 1/8 th
Banana (very good for bunny since it is high in potassium) 1 cm thick circle with peal if you like
Pear, plums, Blueberries, Grapes (no seeds), Mango peals and fruit, strawberries or strawberry tops, Strawberries (fruit and leaves)
Rabbits like herbs - basil, parsley, mint etc., Asian veggies are good - Bok choy etc., Broccoli stalks and leaves, Cauliflower stalks and leaves, Green beans, Carrots and carrot tops
Celery leaves – the stalk contain too much water for babies. Give stalks only once an adult rabbit. Kale is a big favourite. Dandelion flowers and leaves (untreated), Grass (without any chemicals). If you treated your grass then wait at least 2 weeks before bunny can be in the garden.
Your rabbit will pass a cluster of droppings once a day called ceacals. You will not always see it but if you happen to see it then do not get worried it is normal. It is because their diet of plants is hard to digest efficiently. They do consume the ceacals most of the time again to absorb the nutrition again.
How much grass can I let my bunny eat per day
Start your bunny off on grass grazing gradually. Start with 5 minutes the 1st day, 10 minutes the second day, 15 minutes the third day until you can see there is no diarrhea and bunny is grass tolerant.
What kind of toys can I give my rabbit?
You can give rabbit’s things to chew: toys can include balls with bells inside, pine cones, any small boxes from the kitchen and paper towel rolls, or empty toilet rolls or empty baking paper rolls.
Rabbits like empty boxes. Cut windows and a door. They enjoy playing in it.
How can I prevent my rabbit from having a heat stroke
Heatstroke can be fatal. Use Ice water bottles. The rabbits biggest veins are in his ears so a good way to cool your bunny of quickly is to spray bunnies ears on the inside with a mist bottle.
Signs of an overheated rabbit or heatstroke
Rapid breathing Lying in a stretched out position and panting. Wet nose and mouth. Bring your rabbit inside a cool house or put a fan on your rabbit.
Offer your rabbit cool, fresh water.
Over 23 deg.= Give total shade.
Over 28 deg.= Give frozen water bottles.
Over 32 deg.= Bring bunny inside.
The perfect solution for when it is too hot is to put your rabbit in a carrier, cage or a playpen on cool tiles, with perhaps a fan or frozen bottle with them.
Do not think bunny coped well with the heat outside the first day so he will be fine the second day. I have heard so many times how owners thought that and it just takes 2 or 3 days in a row to kill the bunny. It happens very suddenly, the bunny is fine the one moment the next moment you find them dead. So do not think to hesitate.
What do I do with my new bunny once I arrived home
Leave bunny alone about one hour in its’ new hutch to get used to his new surroundings and to marking its new territory by rubbing its’ chin on everything. This will give the children time to settle down and the bunny a chance to recover from the car drive.
Teach children to speak quietly in the beginning. (No fighting or screaming near the rabbit) Loud noises will frighten your bunny in the first few hours.
Stress causes rabbits to be more susceptible to sickness, and even death, so keep in mind that rabbits are timid and vulnerable.
Have children seated when handling a bunny? A dropped rabbit will not necessarily land on its feet like a cat.
Is it ok to handle the bunny a lot right from the start
Encourage your bunny to come to you by scratching in the hay or tapping your fingers at the entrance of the cage to attract its attention.
Allow the rabbit to smell your hand, speak gently, and stroke the head to gain its trust, before attempting to pick it up. Remember you are new to him and he might want to run from you. He needs to learn that he can trust you and that he is safe with you.
Handle your bunny with intervals of alone time.
It is easy to overwhelm your new rabbit when you bring him home.
Everybody wants to shower him with attention and affection. You want to teach him everything he needs to know the right way but go slowly. Remember your left everything familiar to behind. Mum, siblings, cage and owner.
This precious little rabbit has a big adjustment to make. He is being taken away from the life he knows and is being put in a new one. He will need some time to adjust.
Let your rabbit spend time in his cage, and at certain times lave the door open so your rabbit can choose to come out and interact with you.
Do not chase your rabbit when you want to try and
put him back in his cage. They learn to run from you. Remember they are prey
animals. Rather teach your rabbit time to go back in its cage is veggie time.
Most of them learn to just climb in themselves when they see the veggies.
You want your new pet to trust you and he will not trust you if you scare or overwhelm him. He may bring home such a social rabbit that he wants to spend all his time with you right from the beginning.
I also advise new owners to wrap up their bunny in a blanky, just like a baby. It helps the bunny to get used to your smell and top trust you. You need to do this only for the first view days.
It is also a good way for small children to hold a bunny since they often get frightened when bunny tune or jump out of their grip.
What should I expect the first week after bringing bunny home
It is very stressful for a baby rabbit to be all alone for long.
Therefore do handle your bunny often. Rabbits can stop eating and drinking when stressed.
Water bowl or dripper
Do my rabbit use a water bowl or dripper.
I use both but I do not know for sure which bunny in the litter use what method of drinking water. Try the drinker if you see the level is not changing give a bit of water in a bowl to prevent dehydration and then go back to the dripper again.
Cut fresh foods out for several days.
Hay is the most important food source for both young and old rabbits.
Give freedom gradually in a confined space
Enjoy all the cuddles and I hope your bunny will you bring as much joy as for me breeding them and seeing your happiness when you pick up your bunny