General Pet Care Tips For Rabbits

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 02 February 2015

Ah, the beautiful rabbit. We absolutely adore our little floppy eared friends, and want to give them the best life! So before you bring home a little wascally wabbit, you should probably learn how to look after it, so you both easily transition into household life as a new family.

So, let’s start with the basics - what you need to make your rabbit comfortable in it’s own surroundings.

What do I need for my rabbit to live in?

If your bunny is a house rabbit, you’ll need to decide what sort of arrangement you’re going to have for your animal to live in. Your options are:

  • Will it be free to roam the house all day, and then go to sleep at night in a cage?

  • Or, will it be in a large cage in the house for the majority of the day?

  • Another option is having the rabbit outdoors in an enclosure for most of the day, and bringing it in to sleep (only advisable if you have at least two rabbits).

Whatever you choose, you should have a safe outdoor enclosure for the rabbit to exercise in, and also a small, comfy space for them to sleep at night.


Now, to the very important question of what you need to feed your rabbit! Do they subsist on carrots just like the cartoons?

What do I need to provide them with for food?

Rabbits need a number of different food items readily available for them to munch on, so they stay healthy, happy and satisfied. These are:

  • A rabbit’s diet is primarily made up of delicious, nutritious grass hay. They should always have a nice fat pile of grass hay such as Timothy grass available for them to munch on - it’s also great for them to keep their chewing chompers occupied!

  • You can also feed your floppy eared friend some rabbit pellets for extra fibre - leave out near the grass so they can come and graze as they please. The general rule with how many pellets to serve is to give them around ¼ cup for every 2.75 kilos they weigh. Time to get your bunny on the scales!

  • Rabbits love to gobble up leafy green veggies, so give them some cups of kale and collard to nibble on - along with some crunchy juicy carrots of course!

  • The last thing your rabbit needs to stay healthy is fresh water in a bowl, somewhere they can access it whenever they’re thirsty! It’s best to have more than one bowl of water available, as spillages can often occur.

Every pet owner knows its important to keep our pets occupied, as boredom generally leads to some bad habits forming! Here’s how to keep your floppy eared friend out of trouble.

What do they need to stay occupied?

Rabbits love to chew, and need to exercise regularly in order to stay healthy and hoppy.  So, in order for them to stay occupied and keep active, here’s what they’ll need!

  • A safe, secure outdoor enclosure is really important - your bunny needs to be able to run and jump without being at risk of any other animals. It also needs to have a hutch where they can escape from the sun. Their outdoor playtime is probably where they’ll get the most exercise in their day - so it’s very important they’re safe while they’re doing it!

  • If you don’t buy your rabbit some chew toys, be prepared to sacrifice some of your wooden furniture! Giving your rabbit plenty of toys to chew on - even if its some toilet rolls or telephone books which will ensure your furniture will stay safe from nibble marks. Rabbits also have a natural instinct to dig and burrow, something you do NOT want them to take out on your carpet or yard! Instead, why not get a cardboard box and fill it with some shredded paper or dirt? They can burrow to their hearts content.

Finally, a very important part of keeping rabbits is ensuring they stay nice and clean!

children looking at rabbits through fence

What do I need to groom, maintain, and keep them hygienic?

Bunnies are pretty easy to look after in terms of keeping them nice and clean, as much as the next animal! There are a few grooming and cleaning bits and pieces you can do so your bunny stays clean and disease free!

  • Brush your rabbit with a soft brush every so often, so their fur stays soft and doesn’t matt. Rabbits also tend to shed their coat around every 3 months, so regular brushing helps keep excess fur off the floor.

  • If you’ve put your rabbit in an indoor cage, clean it out regularly. A scrub with some soapy water will do the trick! Change the bunny litter over often as well, so your rabbit doesn’t get sick from their dirty litter box.

  • Like most animals, rabbits should be protected against fleas and mites. There are a number of different treatments you can give them regularly to prevent any parasite problems. Have a chat to your local vet to find out what they recommend!

When it comes to baths, rabbits are like cats - they are not a big fan! Rabbits are pretty good at keeping themselves clean through licking, but if they get especially stinky a quick bath may be required.

Rabbits are cute, cuddly little creatures and don’t require much pet care outside of what’s normal for a dog or a cat. The most important thing is that your rabbit stays safe when it’s getting its outdoor playtime with a strong, secure rabbit enclosure! Our Hoppy Hotel, Wiggle Den and Rabbit Den ensures your floppy eared friend can bound to their hearts content and get their daily exercise, whilst being safe from any outside threats!

Sources and further reading