How long do rabbits live?
8-12 years with good care.
What do rabbits eat?
Unlike Dogs and cats buying a bag of rabbit food is not providing a healthy diet. Diet is extremely important to keep a rabbit healthy and happy. A balanced diet should be composed of the following:
75% Timothy hay available at all times to eat
15% Fresh vegetables
5% Timothy Pellets
Rabbits can have a pelleted diet, however it is not required as they get all the nutrition they need from the above foods. An adult rabbit should only have 1/8 cup of pellets per day if offered. A plain pelleted diet rather than the mixed diets that contain dried fruits, leaves and nuts. The plain pellets offer the most nutrition and most rabbits will selectively eat the other foods over the pellets. Rabbits should also have access to fresh water at all times either from a sipper bottle or a bowl.
Additionally, rabbits are predisposed to dental disease because their teeth constantly grow over the course of their life. With a balanced diet these teeth will wear naturally from normal hay consumption. Rabbits on poor diets can grow sharp points on their teeth that cause pain and require dental surgery to correct.
How should my rabbit be housed?
Pet rabbits need to be kept indoors as they have very poor heat and humidity tolerance. Rabbits do not do well in temperatures over 75 degrees or high humidity levels which unfortunately is Louisiana weather. A rabbit’s environment should allow enough space for exercise and normal movement. Avoid wire grated floors as rabbits do not have footpads to protect them from the metal and can get bad sores and abrasions being on this flooring. Paper bedding (either shredded newspaper, oxbow, carefresh brand) is the best substrate for a rabbit to be on.
Litterbox training is ideal for rabbits to keep their environment clean. Most rabbits take to a litterbox with ease and little training. Paper litter is best as formulated clay litters are too harsh and toxic if ingested. Some rabbits can also be allowed to roam the house similar to a cat. Do monitor them however, as they love to chew wires and furniture.
Should my rabbit be spayed or neutered?
Yes. Spaying and neutering dramatically improved behavior as most rabbits by the time they hit puberty at 4 months of age can develop aggressive behavior. Additionally, female rabbits are predisposed to developing malignant uterine cancer which spaying prevents.
Don’t hesitate to contact me before you get a bunny…or if you already have one and have questions! Always here to help the bunnies!! Enjoy the Day – Dr. Rachel