by Kayla Aldrich, Read to Them staff
Hello, all, and welcome back! We hope you're having a fantastic Wednesday so far, and that you're enjoying the latest slate of chapters from Because of the Rabbit. For today's post, we thought it might be beneficial to answer a few questions about how to care for one very special animal: rabbits! But first, have you ever wondered:
What's the difference between a wild rabbit and a pet rabbit?
Well, first off, wild and pet rabbits are considered completely different species. Pet rabbits have lost the instincts needed to help them survive in the wild. Besides - wild rabbits tend to all look quite similar: they fall in at about 2-3lbs and they're likely some shade of brown. Pet rabbits, however, come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors, so if you spot one on the loose, it'll be easy to spot as a lost pet.
Alright, now that you know the difference between wild rabbits and pet rabbits like Lapi, how do you begin to take care of one? Don't fret. We've put together a guide for you!
On a sliding scale, how much care do you think a pet rabbit needs? If you leaned toward the A Whole Lot, you wouldn't be far off. Rabbits often are misrepresented as pets that don't need a lot of attention or care, but that's very far from the truth.
Pet rabbits are safest when they're kept inside - again, pet rabbits aren't like their wild relatives, and don't do well in extreme weather conditions. You can let your rabbit roam or keep it in a cage, but if you choose the latter, be sure to give your hoppy friend plenty of room to roam and move around. If you don't want to put your rabbit in a cage, you could always use a puppy playpen!
Did you know that rabbits have a super complex digestive system? Well, you do now! When you're considering a diet for your rabbit, be sure to look to leafy greens like lettuce, parsley, collard greens, arugula, and romaine. Rabbits can also enjoy hay and fruits (such as blueberries, strawberries, peaches, etc). Be sure to have a list of foods to avoid on stand-by!
A pet rabbit is a very tidy creature, and they won't do their business all over their home. It's likely that your rabbit will pick one place in their crate to use the bathroom, and go there consistently. How to care for this mess? Place a litter box there! Yep, you read right. A small litter box can be used as a makeshift yard for your rabbit, and if you line the bottom of the box with newspaper, have a layer of litter, and then top it off with hay? You're all set - and the hay keeps the odors at bay. A win-win!
A pet rabbit will very likely enjoy chewing. Like... really, really enjoy chewing. So a friendly tip to consider: keep cardboard or untreated wood blocks in their cages that way they don't hop around chewing on furniture.
Also, it's recommended that rabbits have at least three to five hours of play time outside of their crates each day. Whether that's supervised in your backyard or in an enclosed, carpeted area in your house, you won't want to forget this crucial part of your rabbit's care.
Use a soft-bristled brush to remove access fur on your rabbit. Even petting them for a few minutes a day will help in removing excess fur, but certain rabbits - such as fluffy angoras- have different grooming needs because of their coats, so be sure to do a little extra research to best determine the needs of your fluffy-tailed companion.
Well, all, we hope this rabbit guide can be of use to you! As you continue your read, be sure to share photos with us of you and your family during the event on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Looking for a community to talk about all things Because of the Rabbit? Don’t forget to join Flipgrid to share your thoughts with your peers. Be well, all, and happy reading!