So...you've adopted a bunny...NOW WHAT?

The first 72 hours are crucial.  Moving and transition can be very stressful for your new bunny.  You can lessen their stress by the following:

  • Love and cuddle your new bunny, but not too much!  He is used to being handled and loves to be cuddled, but needs to get used to his new home.

  • DO NOT GIVE YOUR BUNNY TOYS OR CHEWABLES FOR THE FIRST WEEK!

  • Make sure he has an endless supply of water (add apple cider vinegar), timothy grass/hay, and pellets (see feeding section)

  • DO NOT FEED YOUR BUNNY VEGGIES FOR THE FIRST WEEK OR SO!

  • Watch for diarrhea - this can be brought on by stress.  if you notice diarrhea or weakness, remove all veggies and pellets and make sure you keep a good supply of timothy hay and WATER!

  • If diarrhea persists, get your bunny to the vet immediately

Weather

Your bunnies will do fine in temperatures in the 30's -  80's.   If your bunny is an outside bunny, bring him inside (basement, garage, shed) if extended temps dip below 30 for more than a day or two.

 

IMPORTANT:  Hot temperatures are MUCH WORSE for your bunny than cold.  If the temps get above 80, bring him inside to a cooler space.  If this is not possible, consider the following:

  • Freeze a gallon jug of water and place it in your bunny's house.  The cold jug will act as a cooling spot.  Bunny may even lay against it to cool himself

  • Add ice to your bunny's water.

  • Ensure your bunny has a shady area to get out of the sun

  • Set up a circulating fan that will breeze PAST your bunny.  Do not allow the fan to blow directly on him. 

  • NOTE: Make sure that the bunny does not have access to the fan cord - he will chew it and can electrocute himself.

Water

Fresh water must always be available to your rabbit. We strongly recommend adding apple cider vinegar to your bunny's water (1 Tablespoon per gallon).  If you have a cage, a hanging water bottle is the best option. Rabbits will also drink from a water bowl but this is not as sanitary and is not recommended. On a hot day you can drop an ice cube or two in your rabbits water dish. If your rabbit does not seem to be drinking enough water you can leave the vegetables fairly wet when you present them.

Pellets

These should be purchased so that they are fresh, as bunnies will turn their noses up at stale pellets.  We use Producer’s Pride Rabbit Pellets from Tractor Supply, but you can also use the Advanced Rabbit Diet that can be purchased at Wal Mart.  If your bunny is a baby, make sure the pellets are small.  Please do not over-feed your bunny!  They need NO MORE than 1/2 cup of pellets each day.

Hay

TIMOTHY HAY should make up the bulk of your rabbit’s diet and needs to be readily available at all times.   Alfalfa Hay should NOT be given to rabbits because of the higher protein and sugar content. Hay is important for rabbits because it provides the essential fiber needed for good digestive health and it helps wear down a rabbit’s teeth (which continuously grow) for good dental health. Placing hay at one end of a litter box will also encourage the use of the litter box, as rabbits tend to eat hay and poop at the same time.

Do not use hay that looks brown or moldy or no longer smells like fresh cut grass. Store hay in a dry place in a container that allows air flow to keep it from getting moldy.  You can buy Timothy Hay at Tractor Supply or Walmart.

Bedding

Contrary to some recent articles, pine shavings are perfectly fine to bed your rabbits.  DO NOT USE CEDAR SHAVINGS - they can be toxic to your bunny.  Make sure that there is a good amount of bedding and hay in the bottom of your bunny's house - bunnies can get very sore feet without a thick layer of bedding. 

 

Better yet, buy a memory foam bath mat and put it in your bunny’s house.  The memory foam acts like the ground and gives them cushioning for their feet-AND you can just pop it in the washer and dryer to clean!

Vegetables

You should feed your rabbit 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fresh vegetables 2 or 3 times a week.  

 

Use the following guidelines:​

  • Basil

  • Bok choy

  • Broccoli leaves (stems or tops can make rabbits gassy)

  • Carrot tops (carrots are high in calcium and sugar and should be given sparingly

  • Cilantro

  • Clover

  • Collard greens

  • Dandelion leaves

  • Dill

  • Kale

  • Lettuce – romaine or dark leaf (no iceburg lettuce and no cabbage)

  • Mint

  • Mustard greens

  • Parsley

  • Water Cress

Treats

Everybody loves a treat now and then, but to ensure your rabbits health they should be given only occasionally.

 

Do not feed your rabbit items high in carbohydrates like breads, crackers, pasta, pretzels, cookies, chips, or cereal. Although branded for rabbits, many commercially-sold bunny treats are high in fat and sugar, such as yogurt chips, and should not be given.

 

Never give chocolate as it is toxic to rabbits.

Fruit is the best option for a treat, but again you should give it only in small amounts because of the sugar content. We try to purchase organic fruits that we know are free of pesticides or grow our won.  . Like vegetables, be sure that they are thoroughly washed.

Some fruits that rabbits enjoy include:

  • Strawberries

  • Raspberries

  • Bananas

  • Pineapple

  • Blueberries

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© 2019 by The Bunny Farm and Rescue                                                                            *Genders are never guaranteed until bunny is at least 4 months old