Rabbit Basics

Average Lifespan = 6 to 10 years

Rabbits are active animals so the largest cage possible or a puppy pen is the best choice for housing. The cage bottom should be solid material carpet, hard plastic or stainless steel, but never wire, and rabbits should always be housed indoors. They should be allowed daily supervised time out of the cage for exercise and to interact with family members. Rabbits may be heavy chewers so make sure to “rabbit proof” the house by limiting access to wires and other household items and providing them access to plenty of chew toys.

The majority of a rabbit’s diet should be timothy or grass hay, commercial pellets that are made from timothy hay and that do not include seeds or other additives can be used as a supplement. Both hay and water in a bowl or bottle should be available at all times and changed daily. Leafy greens can also be offered daily with treats fed sparingly.

A wellness exam is important in a newly acquired rabbit to ensure that he is healthy and cared for properly, with annual early physical exams recommended as the rabbit ages and to include blood work to look for early signs of disease, such as kidney or liver problems. Spaying or neutering is strongly recommended for all bunnies at five or six months of age. Rabbits showing any of the following symptoms should seek veterinary care: decreased appetite or feces production, drooling or difficulty eating, sneezing or difficulty breathing, weight loss, or any change in attitude or behavior.