Getting a New Rabbit?

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Getting a New Rabbit?

Indoors or outdoors? Bedding, food bowls and water bottles Grooming Toys Settling in your rabbit We have a great guide to help you make bringing your rabbit home stress free and smooth with some handy tips for you to help settle your rabbit in to their new life happily.  Our check list below will ensure that you have everything for your new rabbits arrival. Check List Rabbit Carrier Rabbit Hutch Hutch Huggers and Snugglers (for outdoor rabbits) Rabbit Run Bedding Litter tray (for indoor rabbits) Rabbit litter (for indoor rabbits) Rabbit hygiene products Grooming brushes Water bottle Feeding Bowl Food Toys View our Rabbit Products section for our wide range of rabbit hutches, runs and accessories BackTo Top Indoors or Outdoors? Indoor Rabbits Most rabbits are kept in outdoor rabbit hutches; however keeping in an indoor rabbit is becoming more and more popular.  Keeping your rabbit indoors has also been known to extend their life span quite considerably. Rabbits can make good indoor pets and can be trained to use a litter tray - some rabbits can even learn to come when called!  Rabbits that live indoors see humans as important companions and will follow you around.  If you are planning to keep your rabbit indoors you will need to rabbit proof your home. Rabbits like to chew so keep all trailing electrical cables out of reach Breakable ornaments should be moved well out of the way Move all house plants up a level as some of them can be poisonous if eaten Place a guard round an open fire Your rabbit will need their own space to retreat to if you are busy vacuum cleaning or doing housework.  Indoor rabbits will treat their hutch as their own territory and will feel more secure if they have their own place to withdraw into.  The hutch should be in a quiet, draught free spot and there are different types of bedding available that are suited to indoor life.   You will need litter for the litter tray that has been specifically produced for rabbits as other litters may be toxic if nibbled. Your rabbit will still need outdoor exercise and the freedom to run about, chew and dig in the garden.  Make sure that your garden is secure and that your rabbit has a safe place to hide if they become scared – a cardboard box or activity tunnel would be ideal. View our Rabbit Products section for our range of rabbit hutches, runs, bedding, litter and hygiene products Outdoor Rabbits Rabbits dont enjoy being cooped up all day in very small hutches and quickly become depressed and unhappy if left alone.  The bigger the rabbit hutch the better!  The hutch should have must have two separate compartments - a light and spacious day area and a sleeping compartment that is enclosed and sheltered for your rabbit to sleep in.  The hutch should be raised off the ground, be secure enough to protect against predators, water proof and well built.  You should also have a waterproof cover for your hutch to protect your rabbit from driving wind, rain and snow – these are called Huggers and Snugglers and fit over your hutch. Rabbit Hygiene Always use cleansing products that are safe for rabbits as disinfectants for the home can be toxic. Make sure you clean your rabbits water bottle regularly as bacteria and green algae can build up in a short space of time. View our Rabbit Products section for a large choice of rabbit hutches, runs, hygiene products and winter huggers and snugglers. Visit our Rabbit Advice In Winter section to learn more about protecting your rabbit from the weather Rabbit Run Your rabbit will need lots of exercise! A large, secure run is great for letting your rabbit roam freely in safety.  The run should have an area that is covered to provide shade on hot days.   Rabbits love to dig and it helps keep their nails short.  If you dont want your rabbit to dig in your lawn you can buy runs with a wire mesh base but be aware that wire mesh can hurt your rabbit’s feet badly.  The run should not be placed in an area of the garden where pesticides, weed killers or lawn treatments have been applied as your rabbit could become fatally ill from grazing on grass or plants treated with these chemicals. View our Rabbit Products section for a large choice of rabbit hutches and runs. BackTo Top Bedding, food bowls and water bottles Bedding Rabbits need lots of clean and dry bedding and there are several varieties available from wood shavings and recycled paper to hay (which rabbits love to eat).  Bedding should be cleaned when soiled and completely replaced at least once a week.  Your rabbit will chew their bedding so it is important that you only use safe varieties that are not toxic.  Rabbits like to curl up in a cosy nest so put extra bedding in their sleeping compartments – hay is ideal. Food Bowl Heavy ceramic bowls are great for your rabbits dry food as their high sides keep the food clean and they are solid enough not to get thrown around or knocked about. Water Bottle Most rabbits prefer to drink from water bowls but these can be spilt over and contaminated by food or droppings.  Water bottles are perfect for keeping your rabbits drinking water clean and in regular supply.  Water should be changed daily and there are water bottle covers that prevent the water from becoming frozen in winter. View our Rabbit Products section for our wide selection of rabbit bedding and feeding accessories BackTo Top Grooming Long haired rabbits need to be groomed daily but even if your rabbit is short haired they will benefit from gentle grooming to keep their coats clean.  A small brush, finger brush or fine toothed comb is perfect for grooming. Rabbits shed (moult) and need regular grooming to help prevent hairballs and getting a blockage. Grooming also helps you bond with your rabbit and builds a good relationship between you. View our Rabbit Products section for our range of rabbit grooming brushes, deodorising shampoos and fly strike protectors Visit Our Rabbit Health Advice to learn more about fly strike BackTo Top Toys Rabbits are inquisitive and love to play.  Rabbits can get very bored when you are not around to play with them, so it is important that your rabbit has toys to keep them busy and full of life.  There are plenty of toys available for rabbits ranging from chew toys that help keep their teeth in good condition, wooden toys, treat balls, kongs, boredom breakers, activity centres and tunnels. View our Rabbit Products section for our large range of rabbit toys and boredom breakers BackTo Top Settling in your rabbit Once you have arrived home with your new rabbit place them straight into their new home and leave them quietly to settle in.  Travelling is very stressful and your rabbit will need some time to themselves to recover. Leave your rabbit in their new home for 12 – 24 hours to give them time to become accustomed to their new living space and accept it as their own home. When you let your rabbit out of the hutch sit or lie quietly on the floor nearby.  Staying at their level is less intimidating than standing over them!  Your rabbit is a curious creature and will come over to check you out.  Try to avoid touching them at first, just let your rabbit get used to your smell and presence.   Once your rabbit is familiar with your presence you can offer them your hand to sniff.  As your rabbit gains confidence you can begin to stroke them. You can encourage this by stroking your rabbit when they are eating and by offering food in your hand. Rabbits seem to like being stroked on the top of their heads or the sides of their faces.  You may hear a purring noise if your rabbit is happy which they make by grinding their teeth.  Dont worry of your rabbit nudges you or rubs their head on you – this is a sign that they want attention and are marking you as their property! Rabbits dislike being picked up and prefer to have all four feet on the ground.  Their bones are very fragile so support your rabbits tummy and bottom when you pick them up. BackTo Top