Rabbit Care – Proper Housing for your Rabbit

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,318
    Rabbit care expert Aileen Kara Hudspeth discusses rabbit care and proper housing for a rabbit.

    Aileen Kara Hudspeth: Hi, my name is Aileen Kara Hudspeth with Friends of Rabbits. I am here talking about how to care for your rabbit. Now we are going to talk about rabbit housing. Now, to my left is a pure example of what we do not suggest is good housing. This is a very small cage. It does not allow for a lot of stretching, roaming, jumping and truly, it does not allow your rabbit to become the happy, healthy rabbit it can be. We suggest that you keep your pet indoors. There is quite a few reasons for this actually. Your indoor environment is actually controlled for heat and cooling whereas outside, your rabbit would be subjected to high heat, very cold temperatures which obviously, may limit it from being able to get water if the water is frozen. Predators outside are another good reason. You would not want your rabbit to go roaming in the yard or be free outside of his cage because there are prey animals that could easily take attention to your rabbit, including animals even if you have your rabbit in a cage outside can get to it, such as raccoons who have the ability to be able to unlock locks that you might have on a hutch outside. Now some good examples of housing for rabbit would be a large exercise pen, somewhere where they can jump, stretch, play and run. Height, obviously if you are worried about them being able to get out into another area of your house, there are condos that are built that allow with ramps and some type of elevation so that your rabbit has multiple storeys to space, height obviously, to be to able to let them stretch up on their hind legs and be able to stretch out, have some freedom in movement and they will need to jump without hurting themselves. If you have an exercise pen that's working well and you want to protect your carpet, you can feel free to get a plastic hard kitty pool and you can put that in there, that will definitely help provide the protection you will need on your carpet while still allowing them the space to be able to play within the kitty pool. Obviously, you are going to provide a litter box. There are quite a few choices for litter box in the sense of where you are actually putting in your litter box. For instance, in front of me I have three different types. This is a straw based pellet that can be used. These pellets can easily absorb urine. Recycled paper pulp also a good option for contents in the litter box. This paper pulp actually comes similar to the pellets in paper pellets as well. Now here you will see we have some aspen shavings which are good options for a litter box. However, some of those options you will be presented with are not good options such as you will find options like pine and cedar for bedding for rabbits which is not good. These have been known to cause problems with liver in a rabbit and they are very aromatic. We highly suggest that you look at other options of these, they have prone to have less problems with health. Here is an example of a litter box that has been given the opportunity to be able to attract the rabbit to come to this litter box but putting some hay. We are encouraging good litter behavior by providing some of the bedding and some of the hay because rabbits tend to like to eat and make droppings in the same place so if you provide them with food, you are showing them the environment that you want to be able to do that in safely. So let's say you have a rabbit that doesn't have good litter behavior and they like to kick it all out. This one would be a perfect choice because of the top has the holes and the bottom solid, it would still allow you to have some of the litter on the bottom level and the litter on the top might get kicked out, but there is always some down there so that even if your rabbit kicks it out, there is still litter left in there to absorb anything your rabbit may leave behind. Rabbits by nature are clean animals and will tend to gravitate towards one section of their pen to use as the bathroom. Because of this, it's easy to promote litter box training by putting a litter box in that preferred corner that your rabbit has already selected. Once your rabbit has learnt good litter box habits, you may find it possible for you to open up your home so that your rabbit may run freely. Now housing also includes having toys, other things for rabbits to run through like tunnels, cardboard houses, cardboard rolls, any type of thing for them to interact with. These are just good options of making a positive environment for your rabbit for the home inside and now we are going to talk about rabbit diet.