Lifespan – 10-15 years if spay/neuter is complete by age 2; varies by breed.
Bunnies can live with other bunnies as long as they are both spayed/neutered and do not have aggression issues. In general, male and female pairs work best.
Bunnies are not nocturnal but they are crepuscular, which means they are most active during twilight hours (dawn and dusk).
Bunnies are playful and energetic animals.
To be ready for a Bunny you will need
- Large Indoor Enclosure/Exercise area is completely proof from other animals.
- Large Litter Box (large covered cat boxes work well)
- Timothy Hay (We like Small Pet Select 2nd Cut on Amazon, but you can check with local feed stores).
- Quality Rabbit Pellets – We recommend Oxbow or Sherwood
- Fresh Veggies Daily
- Food/Hay Container (Do not use Hay balls, pets have been known to become stuck inside and perish)
- Water Dish/Bowl – large and heavy so they do not knock it over
- Hides, Hammocks & Toys – there are Etsy stores with a lot of safe options, including ours!
- Chews – they love options
- Bedding – never use pine or cedar shavings!
- Nail Clippers
- Travel Carrier (cat carriers usually work well, I usually put some hay on the bottom).
- Small shop vac for cleaning up after your Rabbit(s) -optional but useful
*Please understand that some items will need to be replenished monthly.
To free-roam your Bunnies you will need
- Wire Covers – to ensure they cannot chew cords
- Furniture/ Baseboard protection
- Baby Gate(s)
Your rabbits’ enclosure should be indoors and made up of a large-sized dog pen, providing a minimum of 16 square feet. You will need to be able to fit all of the necessary enrichment and supplies while still providing your rabbit enough room to run, play, and binky. On top of this, we suggest bunny-proofing an area of your home to provide free roam. The bottom of their enclosure must be non-slip since rabbits do not have padding on their feet.
The diet should break down like this:
Hay – 80% grass-based hay such as Timothy (for rabbits over 6 months old)
Pellets – 5% just pellets, no mixes with seeds, etc. Guaranteed Analysis should say 12-14% protein, minimum 18% fiber, 2-5% fat. We like Oxbow Essentials.
Fresh Veggies & Fruits – 10% Fresh Veggies 1 Cup for every 2 pounds of body weight. Suggested list.
Treats – 5%Water – We recommend a water bowl, and not a water bottle because it is more natural for the rabbits to drink from a bowl.
Chews – Rabbits should have access to multiple chews in the cage at all times to assist in keeping the teeth properly worn. Rabbits do eat a certain amount of roughage in the wild.
Bedding – We suggest using washable pee pads as flooring and kiln-dried pine pellets or paper as litter.
Social – Rabbits are social and typically enjoy living with others who are spayed or neutered. If you’re wanting to pair a current bunny, you must have an approved application before making a matchmaking appointment.
Cleaning the Enclosure
Litter boxes should be cleaned regularly, and any messes outside the litter box should be spot-cleaned daily.
You will need to find an exotic Veterinarian that will see bunnies, not all veterinarians see them, and they are not rodents. It is best to see your veterinarian at least annually. Stool samples should be taken regularly.
Do not bathe your bunnies, they clean themselves well like cats. Bunnies may need help bathing if they are elderly or injured. Never submerge a rabbit past his hindquarters. Doing so can cause the rabbit to go into shock. A bunny that does not groom himself may be ill or have problems with its teeth. In the event that your bun stops grooming, you should see a bunny-savvy vet as soon as possible.
If your bunny has fleas you will need to obtain Revolution from the vet. Do not use commercial shampoos, medicine, or spray as the ingredients are likely toxic to your rabbit. Many items marketed towards pets are unsafe. It is important to check ingredients and do research.
It is wise to obtain pet insurance or create a savings fund for your rabbit. They are considered “exotic” and their vet care can be very expensive. We also recommend CareCredit, which allows you to pay off a vet bill over the span of a few months or a year with no interest.
You will need to get your bunny spayed/neutered. Bunnies that remain unaltered have a very high chance of getting cancer in the uterus or testicles. One study shows that female bunnies over the age of 5 have an 80% chance of getting uterine cancer. Not only is it best for your bun’s health, but it’ll also make him/her a better pet. Altered bunnies are generally easier to litter box train, and less likely to spray, bite, and hump due to hormones. If you want to bond buns, it is much easier if both are altered.
Bunnies have highly sensitive digestive systems. You should make changes to their diet very slowly. If your bunny has not eaten for an extended period of time, he may be experiencing GI stasis. Stasis is deadly to bunnies if not treated quickly and correctly. It is always best to have baby gas drops and critical care on hand.
Your bunny will need a hard-sided carrier for trips to the veterinarian and when they come home with you. Adding some hay to the bottom for travel is a good idea so they aren’t slipping. For longer trips, please give access to water.
Socializing & Bonding
Bunnies generally do not love being held. Bunnies are prey animals that go underground for safety from predators. Lifting and holding should be kept to a minimum.
When you first bring your bunny home, you should put your hands inside the enclosure and allow the bunny to come to you on its own time. You may try to encourage your bunny to come closer with some treats. Your bunny may not want to beep immediately, but it may be interested in sniffing you and checking you out. When moving things in your bunnies’ enclosure it is recommended you speak to them while doing so, to not frighten them.
Although they don’t like to be picked up, most bunnies do desire physical affection. Most find petting, snuggling, nuzzling, and sitting companionably beside each other pleasurable activities.
Out of Cage Time
We recommend approximately 5 hours outside of the enclosure for your bunny if it is in a cage. Ideas can include: free roam in a bunny-safe area (watch for electrical cords and anything within your bunny’s reach). Ensure dogs are put away for your bun’s safety. Some cats and bunnies coexist happily, you can find more information here.
Keep bunnies away from dogs. Even a very friendly dog with a low prey drive should never be left with a bunny unsupervised. The dog may be playful and scare a bunny. Bunny can go into shock and die easier than you think.
We DO NOT recommend the following:
- Outdoor living
- Small Cages
- Cages with wire floors
- Plastic (hamster type) exercise balls aka death balls.
- Poor Quality Food such as Kaytee Fiesta, All Living Things Market Medley, or Oxbow Garden Select, foods with colorful pieces, seeds, etc.
- Cedar, Pine, Softwood, unknown woods.
- Cotton or fibrous bedding
- Snak Shaks or Logs
- Interactions with dogs