What’s Up Doc?- How to Care for Your Pet Rabbit

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The number of people who want to make rabbits as their household pet is on the rise. In fact, based on the U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, which was published by the AVMA or American Veterinarian Medical Association last 2007, there are around 6 million rabbits that are kept as pets.

Despite being labeled as the most damaging pets to furniture and fixture as well as house structures, rabbit owners have stated that there were fewer disadvantages to owning these animals as compared to other smaller species. The pet owners have testified that these pets are the least noisy of the caged pets, and they were also ranked as one of the best stress relievers.

A Rabbit’s Diet: Understanding The Needs Of Your Pet Rabbit

There are different species of rabbit, and they may vary in size, body shape, and personality. Generally, the biology and behavior or these animals are very similar to that of wild rabbits. This means that their needs are very complex and they are not very easy to care for. If you want to own a rabbit and keep it as a pet, you must be aware of how they live, eat, and behave. Additionally, you must also be aware that these animals, if cared for properly, can leave up to 8 to 12 years.

Among the things you need to know is the eating habits and diet of these animals. Here are some of the essential diet facts you need to be aware of:

  • Rabbits need water for without any water to drink, they can become seriously ill
  • They love to graze on and eat grass and other plants. Additionally, their digestive system needs to have grass or hay so that it can function properly. Rabbits also eat mainly at dawn and dusk.
  • Eating grass can also help keep their teeth in good condition. Grass can ensure that their teeth are kept at the right length and shape. Failure to follow the proper diet will result in serious dental disease and health issues.
  • The amount of food they ingest will depend on the rabbit’s age, state of health, and lifestyle
  • You must also know that rabbits do not eat cereals, root vegetables and fruit.

Important Diet Tips

Now that you know the key aspects of a rabbit’s diet, you must also learn how you can provide proper diet and nutrition. If you fail to provide your pet with the proper diet and nutrition, your rabbit will suffer from either malnutrition or obesity. Malnutrition will result from the lack of food and nutrient intake. Obesity, on the other hand, will result from overeating. Here are some of the things you need to do to properly care for your beloved pet.

Clean Drinking Water: You must provide your rabbit with fresh clean drinking water all the time. You must remember to check their water supply at least twice a day. If you place your rabbit outside during the winter, make sure that the water does not freeze.

High Quality Hay or Grass: Provide your pet with high quality hay or grass since this makes up most of his/her diet. Aside from grass, you can also add a small amount of rabbit pellets or cereal mix; however, grass is much more important for their diet. If you choose to add rabbit pellets, you must follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Additionally, you can also consult your veterinarian since he/she can advise you on how to provide the best diet for your pet.

Food That Must Be Avoided: Never feed lawnmower clippings to your pet since this might upset your rabbit’s digestive system and make them seriously sick. In addition, you must also remember to give only small amounts of root vegetables, such as carrots or fruits.

To ensure that your pet is eating properly, you must observe the amount of food they eat as well as the amount of water they drink. If you notice any changes in your pet’s eating behavior, or the number of droppings is significantly reduced, or there are soft excretions sticking to the rabbit’s end, immediately consult your veterinarian. These might be symptoms that your pet is seriously ill.

Attached Images:
  •  License: Creative Commons – Svadilfari.”Rabbit”. August 23, 2008. Online Image. Flickr. Dec 8, 2012 image source

Kris Lim is an animal lover who is also interested in caring for exotic pets. She also writes about rabbits which are quickly becoming popular among animal lovers. If you want to care for a rabbit, the author offers simple tips, and she advises owners to bring their pets to a Miami Animal Clinic where a veterinarian can be found.





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