Newest Review: ... training and bonding with your rabbit. You have to ensure that they are restricted to a fairly small area, where their food, water and ... more
RABBITS - TREAT WITH LOVING CARE.
Member Name: thingywhatsit
Advantages: WONDERFUL CREATURES WITH CHARACTERS.
Disadvantages: TAKE YOUR TIME, AND NEED CONSTANT ATTENTION.
I have several reasons for writing this review, one to demonstrate to people thinking of owning a rabbit what they need to do in order to offer that rabbit a secure home, whether in fact a rabbit is the best pet for them, and the second to help rabbit owners with illnesses that affect the domestic rabbit. For this reason, my review is split into easy to find sections, so that information can be found easily and quickly, being as follows :
1.Deciding if a rabbit is right for you, and how to chose a suitable one.
2.Housing a rabbit.
5.Toys for rabbits.
6.Grooming and care.
If you as a reader only want information from a certain category, just scroll down and I am hoping that by categorizing this review, it can quickly help you in your search for answers.
1.Deciding if a rabbit is right for you, and how to chose a suitable one.
Rabbits are delicate creatures, though creatures with particular habits and the kind of home that would be suitable for a rabbit is one where it is not teased. Unlike cats and dogs, a rabbit cannot make a noise or show its insecurity in any other way but to bite, and placing an animal like this in an environment where it is likely to be teased is not a good idea. Rabbits can be house trained. They are basically very clean animals, and the effect they have on your home environment is really down to you, and your preparation for a pet of this nature. They are easily pleased, though in the wrong environment, easily frightened, and if you think you can offer a rabbit the security that it needs, then deciding what kind of rabbit is the next step.
There are dwarf varieties which are much more suited to be indoor animals, and larger varieties which are more suited to cages, or a garden environment. Lop eared rabbits are extremely attractive, and care of the rabbit should be taken into consideration when getting one. Who is going to groom it ? Who is going to be responsible for that rabbit ? All of these are important considerations, as a rabbit cannot stand up for itself and complain when it has a need, and the needs must be catered for by a responsible owner.
Chosing a Rabbit.
Many pet shops sell rabbits. When I bought mine, I looked through several pet shops, and in one I was completely horrified to find that a guinea pig lay dead in its cage, and that the owner of the shop was totally unaware of it. Rabbits were bundled out of cages for cleaning and put in buckets, and I really was disgusted at the lack of hygiene and care that this shop showed towards tiny animals that could not stand up for themselves. When I found the shop that had my rabbit, I noticed immediately the difference in attitude that the staff had towards animals. Mine was a long haired rabbit, and the shop actually cared enough to feed them fresh food, and to groom them regularly.
2.Housing a rabbit.
When thinking about rabbit ownership, you have to decide what kind of cage you are going to get for it and most pet shops have a variety. My rabbit does not live in a cage, although initially, I bought a little house with a run, so that he could exercise, and also so that it could be moved to different areas for fresh food. The cage should be large enough that the rabbit can move around, and although rabbits sleep for many hours and seem still and not needing exercise, do not be fooled. Even if you keep your rabbit in a cage, it will need a safe exercise area where it can run around. The cage bottom should be covered in a coat of bedding which is for sale in most pet shops, and this should be cleaned regularly. My rabbit lives under my dining room table, and has a litter tray for its needs. This is changed regularly and if the rabbit has mishaps, it is usually the owners fault for not providing for the rabbits needs. I use a large flat dish that was made for under a huge plantpot, and in it I put a sawdust type product, though because my rabbit has long hair, I use a special variety that does not stick to his fur.
When deciding where to put your rabbit, there are several things to bear in mind. A rabbit does like to have privacy when they need it. They like to hide away when afraid. I bought a cat dome made out of fabric in a kind of triangle, and the thing that hit me straight away was that the rabbit would not go into it, and upon discovering why, was able to rectify it. Rabbits are very intelligent creatures, and do not like going into places with only one entrance. I cut another entrance at the other side of the cat house and immediately found that rabbit felt safe in it, and choses to go into it at will.
The most dangerous of environments for a rabbit is one where a lot of electrical wires are available to chew. They love loud speaker wires and nibbling telephone cable, and so where you house your rabbit should be made safe, not just for rabbit's sake but for your own.
Training a rabbit is relatively simple, and here a treat system isn't really necessary, because they are creatures of habit. They like to go to the toilet in the same place, but will dictate to you where that place will be. I let the rabbit decide and now have the litter tray where he wants it and will use it. He always uses it. If you look at rabbits in the wild, they seem to chose a toilet area and stick to it, and its the same with house rabbits. A word of warning here is that its up to you, the owner, to keep that toilet area clean. They do not enjoy stepping into a litter tray that has been left to fester !
For a rabbit to be content in your home, there are essentials to think about. A rabbit has needs that have to be met, i.e. Needing something to chew on, and here, a stick of hardwood is ideal, and even moreso if there is bark on it. This is a chewing toy, although essential to his good health. They also need people to a certain degree and thrive on company. A food regime that they understand as well helps rabbit to feel at home, i.e. Feeding at regular times, and my rabbit knows what time food is available and sits on the corner of the carpet looking expectantly at anyone that enters the room. They like routine. They enjoy the security it gives them.
5.Toys for rabbits.
I thought a lot of about this because basically you are taking an animal, putting it into an environment which is not normal for a rabbit, and it does need entertainment. Mine is a male, and it likes to think it is not alone. I have a soft toy that it plays with, and believe it or not, its greatest toy is a piece of material that it makes burrowing gestures with. I also made it a cardboard box house with a door hole at either side and it loves this. They do like tearing up magazines and newspapers and we have a corner just for rabbit where he has his bits and bobs and here we have a small basket for him to chew. Another novelty for the rabbit is a square white block of calcium which he chews at and it helps his teeth to stay healthy.
6.Grooming and care.
Why do you need to brush a rabbit ? Well, in the wild, the excess hair would be rubbed off the rabbit when it burrows. In a domesticated rabbit, they don't have that luxury. Unlike cats and dogs, a fur ball for a rabbit can kill it, and therefore, by grooming it regularly, you are taking away the excess hair that threatens its digestive system. Grooming is important, and here I have a hair brush that takes off the loose hairs, but have also a brush for the carpets like one of those clothes brushes that picks up hair.
Clipping nails is essential as well as they grow rather fast and can be very uncomfortable for your little fur friend. For cutting nails, it is essential to get proper animal nail clippers, and never to cut below the quick of their nail, which actually shows through the transluscent texture of the nail and is easy to detect.
I am horrified when I read about people feeding their rabbits just on pellets. Pellets were designed for farming rabbits, to fatten them up for selling, and do very little for the health of a rabbit. Whilst hard foods are as essential as fresh ones, a diet of pellets alone will not help the teeth of your rabbit, since they are small, and swallowed without much chewing. There are mixtures available that are suitable for rabbits, lollipops with grains are popular, and certain biscuits made for rabbits, though the thing you need to bear in mind with diet is that a rabbits tooth keeps growing, and chewing is essential to good dental health.
As far as fresh fruit and vegetables are concerned, each rabbit has its likes and dislikes, though universally rabbits seem to enjoy Dandelion leaves (not in excess), grass, clover, cabbage, swede, carrots, cauliflour leaves, brocolli. One thing that I noticed when I started looking after rabbits was that all good books told me not to feed my rabbit wet food. They really can get ill if you do, so all foods should be dried. Rye grass and hay is good for a rabbit too, and thistle leaves seem particularly beneficial to rabbits, because they seem to clear digestive problems very well.
Since rabbits are sold in shops after the weaning period, a pet rabbit's food will be the same from quite young to very old, although his needs will vary and a good variety of different foods introduced as and when he needs something different. He will let you know.
A mythe that exists is that rabbits should eat lettuce, as lettuce is one of the worst foods to feed a rabbit and can damage their digestive system. Fruit should usually be hard such as apple, or pear, and they do not seem to like soggy fruits of any kind.
Clean water at all times is an essential to rabbit wellbeing. Always make sure that his water is changed daily, as they cannot complain about it, and as an owner, it is your responsibility to ensure the cleanliness of his water.
There is nothing worse than a poorly rabbit. They hide, they do not eat. They look pathetic and they cannot complain in the same way as humans or other animals do, because they are silent creatures. I have dealt with a lot of illness with my rabbit, and the illnesses you should look out for are these :
GINGIVITIS - This terrible illness gives a rabbit inflammation of the gums. He cannot eat. When he tries, leaves fall out of his mouth. It is a painful illness and takes time to cure, and wiping the mouth with a cotton bud helps, as does changing their water frequently. There are anti biotics available to treat gingivitis, although my vet found it hard to find the right one. He did in the end, and perserverance is essential because not being able to eat properly, the rabbit needs to be watched and looked after, and with this illness, trusting your vet is essential.
SNUFFLES. This is a common illness with rabbits and is shown when a rabbit seems to be chewing all the time. It's a form of rabbit flu, and a sad sight to see and deal with. Again, a vet should be called and the rabbit will be treated with anti biotics.
FLUFF BALLS. If you groom your rabbit on a regular basis, this will not affect your tiny creature. If neglected, a rabbit can swallow too much hair and its digestive system is unable to cope with this and the rabbit can die. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of regular grooming.
TEETH PROBLEMS As a rabbits tooth is for ever growing, sometimes, by eating hard things, the rabbit developes a lop sided tooth. This can be corrected by the vet and you should never attempt to cut the tooth of a rabbit yourself. It can make the rabbit develop jaw problems, and must be dealt with. You will notice problems with eating if this occurs.
Another tooth problem that can happen when a rabbits diet is too soft is that a tooth can overgrow and the space between the molar and the base teeth become too small for the rabbit to eat. This really must be dealt with and the best way of prevention is to make sure that the rabbit always has something hard that he enjoys chewing. If this happens, it can manifest itself in many ways, the most serious of which is bulging eyes. No pet owner should ever let their rabbit become this ill. If you notice changes in eating habits, or eyes that look different, consult a vet as a matter of urgency and deal with the root problem of having his teeth cut.
For all of my rabbits habits and quirks, I love him as a member of the family. Male rabbits do spray, but it's nothing as bad as cats or dogs. Just a matter of the rabbit marking out his territory. I personally would not have the rabbit castrated because of a little inconvenience, and have wipes at the ready when on rare occasions this happens.
Rabbits are wonderful creatures. They don't destroy things like cats do, and they don't make a lot of noise like dogs do. What they do is depend upon their owner for their security and happiness, and if you think you can give this kind of care to a little creature, then they really do make good pets. I would never place more than one in my house, since males fight for territory and I certainly do not want litters of baby rabbits. He is not lonely, because I ensure that he is not. He loves and thrives on company that respect him as an animal and let him have his space for rest and relaxation, and also that little bit of fun and play.
I hope this review has been useful to rabbit owners and potential rabbit owners alike.
Summary: A worthwhile pet that will give you years of happiness.