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Bringing the Rabbit Home

So you found your pet rabbit and now it’s time to bring her home. Hopefully you have all the supplies in place before bringing the rabbit into the home. You’ve researched and found the bunny that is of a temperament that is likely to transition into your home well. Now what to do?

It’s easy to bring a new pet home and fuss over them. Give them a chance to settle in. Have wires in the home up and protected. Block off areas that your bunny can get behind and get in trouble. Additionally be sure to insure doors and any possible exits are blocked.

Decide if your housing will be in a cage and how much time he or she will be in there. A good quality cage is a good idea for many reasons. It gives the rabbit a familiar place and confines them when you aren’t watching him. It prevents a rabbit from bolting out the door and gives the rabbit a place to be away from other pets.

Rabbit: first steps in new home

A basic cage has a feeder and water source in their cage. Many use a litter box in the corner so that the rabbit learns to urinate and potty in one corner, making it easier to clean up the cage.

The cage should be large enough that the rabbit is able to stretch out in comfort. This means your cage should be chosen for the size of rabbit you have in mind. If you’re planning on keeping a large breed an 18X24 cage will be too small for maximum comfort.

There are rabbit breeders who house rabbits full time in cages and the animals are fine. If you want an animal that will interact with you take the time to spend with them. Have a place to store the food and supplies where they are clean, dry and bug free.

Make sure wherever you place your cage that the rabbit is NOT in direct sunlight. Rabbits don’t need to “sunbathe” and they can easily overheat and die if trapped away from shade. Rabbits can stand cold weather better than hot, providing they are dry and out of drafts.

Bunnies are very loved by childrenHot weather precautions must be made for the comfort and safety of your rabbit. Shade, plenty of water, fans and other precautions can be taken. Misting the ears of the rabbit several times as well as placing frozen bottles of water in the cage with them to lay against helps give them a way to deal with the heat. In weather over 95 degrees they are at risk of dying from heat stroke so must have a way to cool off. Having carriers or a cage inside the air conditioned home is one way to prevent any problems from heat stress. If you see a rabbit in hot weather that is wet around the nose and mouth, often stretched out with the head back, this is a rabbit in severe distress that needs immediate action. Hold the rabbit under cool (not cold!) water can help cool them down.

Rabbits are hardy and long lived with the right care. Make sure you have all precautions in place before bringing your rabbit home.

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