What You Need to Take Care of a Bunny

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Bunnies are plenty popular. Beyond their sheer cuteness, they are sociable and engaging animals. Like all domestic companions, they need quality care from their human families. Make ample space for your rabbit inside your home, and make sure he has the right stuff to ensure proper sleep, diet, grooming and exercise.

Exercise Space

Bunnies like to move around, and their muscular hind legs are made for running and jumping. The ASPCA recommends a large exercise space that a bunny can use for several hours a day. This can be a spare bedroom, a basement or enclosed outdoor area. Remember to securely cover electrical wires or anything else your bunny might chew. If you are setting up an outdoor space, take care that it is enclosed at the top to shield the bunny from predators and that your bunny is not able to dig under the fencing.

Cage and Litter

Wire cages are common; however, the ASPCA suggests covering the bottom with a solid piece of wood or sturdy cardboard. This will protect your bunny's feet. At minimum, a cage should be large enough for your bunny to move freely -- 4 feet wide, 2 feet deep and 2 feet tall for most medium-size breeds. Place a litter box inside the cage, lined with grass hay or newspaper with pellets. Most bunnies will choose their favorite elimination spot; when their choice becomes clear, move the box to this location.

Bedding and Toys

Bunnies, even those taking up residence inside your house, will have the instinct to chew and dig. Your rabbit will need bedding inside the cage of straw, hay or aspen shavings. Create a digging box out of a cardboard box lined with shredded paper. You can also get old telephone books for scratching, tearing and chewing -- and purchase commercial chew sticks for your pet to enjoy.

Food

Bunnies need a diet of grass hay, rabbit pellets, fresh leafy greens and water. The ASPCA says timothy hay or brome should be available for your bunny at all times, in unlimited quantities. Daily, feed your bunny an eighth-cup to a quarter-cup per 5 pounds of bunny weight of good-quality pellets that are at least 15 percent protein and 18 percent fiber. Fully one-third of a rabbit's diet should consist of fresh, leafy greens, such as dark leaf lettuces, turnip greens, carrot tops and collard greens.

Grooming Brush and Carrier

Your bunny will need annual trips to the veterinarian, preferably to see a doctor with a small-animal practice. A carrier is necessary to transport your bunny on these occasions. As with other fur-bearing pets, grooming is an important part of caring for a bunny. Purchase a soft grooming tool, and brush your rabbit from the back of the head toward the tail.

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