Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Housing Your Pet Rabbit – Finding the Perfect Hutch

Rabbits make ideal first pets and are relatively easy to take care of; however, before you go out and get one, you have to make sure you have a proper rabbit hutch. It is vital for the well-being of your future pet that careful care and consideration goes into the preparation of your new rabbit’s home, some breeds of rabbits can live up to 15 years so extra care should be taken to ensure your bunny leads a safe and comfortable existence. Rabbits like to hop around so be sure to get a good sized rabbit cage or hutch for your bunny. A good rule of thumb is to get a hutch that is at least four times the size of your rabbit, bigger is always better. Also make sure your rabbit can sit up without hitting its head on the ceiling. You will also have to decide if you’re going to keep your rabbit indoors or out.

As rabbit are prey animals, they can be easily scared or intimidated by night time prowlers such as dogs, cats and foxes, so you will have to provide your rabbit with a safe shelter if you will be keeping it outdoors. If you decide to buy an outdoor rabbit hutch choose one that is sturdy and well built. There is a wide variety of rabbit hutches available to choose from so try to pick on that has a sheltered area to provide your rabbit with warmth and security. A wooden rabbit hutch is ideal for keeping your rabbit outdoors and to further weatherproof and insulate it rabbit hutch covers can be used.

Some hutches are outfitted with a rabbit run to give your rabbit space to exercise and some even have storage spaces to conveniently store all your rabbit paraphernalia. If your rabbit hutch has a rabbit run which allows your rabbit access to a lawn, make sure that area is never treated with any chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides. The rabbit run should be securely wired with care taken that the rabbit doesn’t burrow out from under it.

If space is an issue you can purchase a multi level rabbit hutch to ensure your rabbit has space to move around and explore. Avoid hutches with wire flooring as they can cause damage to the rabbit’s paws and hocks, a solid floor is more appropriate. Most rabbit cages and hutches come with a pull out pan to enable easy cleaning, and you can even litter train your rabbit to use a litter pan.

Always practice common sense when choosing your rabbit hutch. A rabbit can die of fright if spooked by a predator so it’s crucial to provide a secure environment for your bunny so it can hide from prying eyes (and prying claws) and feel safe. If you decide to get more than one rabbit, make sure you get an adequately sized rabbit hutch otherwise they might end up fighting. If the weather in your area is harsh, provide your rabbit with straw or hay and a hot water bottle for warmth. As mentioned before rabbit hutch covers are available which provide extra weatherproofing and insulation. Choosing the right rabbit hutch can help ensure you many years of enjoyment with your bunny.

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