We asked and you answered! Here are the top ten tips for new (or even experienced) bunny owners.

  1. A rabbit savvy vet is your new best friend.  Rabbits are considered exotic pets and have different needs than dogs or cats, so make sure your vet has experience with bunnies. Even the best dog or cat vet may not know about your bunny’s needs. Check out OHRR’s list of rabbit vets in Ohio.

  2. Get them fixed!  All rabbits from Ohio House Rabbit Rescue are spayed/neutered before being adopted.  Spaying/neutering not only prevents unwanted litters, but it also helps cut back on bad behavior such as aggression and marking territory.  Older, unaltered rabbits are also at a higher risk for certain cancers, which can be prevented by spay/neuter.

  3. Think outside the hutch, and inside the house. Rabbits that live outdoors are susceptible to disease, insects and predators such as coyotes and hawks, not to mention extreme weather.  Most importantly, bunnies are very social pets and you’re much less likely to get to know your bunny’s unique personality if he/she is always outside.

  4. Make sure you choose appropriate housing. Rabbits should be kept in a minimum of a 4×4 space on the floor without a wire bottom.  OHRR recommends using a 4×4 exercise pen, which can be purchased at the Hop Shop. Many rabbit parents give their bunny full ownership of an entire bedroom or even the house.

  5. Make sure your house is “bunny proofed”. Protecting all loose cords, covering baseboards and ensuring houseplants, remote controls, and even your favorite snacks are out of reach is a good start.

  6. Bunnies will use a litter box. Rabbits prefer to do their business in one place, so they are easily litter box trained.  Use a paper based litter in the box, such as Yesterday’s News, CareFresh or even shredded newspaper. Alternatively, you can use pelleted horse bedding (kiln dried pine or aspen) or wood stove pellet. Never use non-kiln dried pine- or cedar-based litter.  It can damage the bunny’s respiratory system.

  7. Don’t forget to play! Bunnies need exercise and stimulation.  Giving your bunny at least an hour outside of their space to run and play is essential. Also, make sure your bun has a variety of safe toys to toss, chew or dig!

  8. A bunny’s diet is essential.  Rabbits should be fed a diet of limited pellets, unlimited hay and a daily salad.  Treats should be given on a limited basis such as a teaspoon of carrots, banana’s or raisins per 2 pounds of body weight. Giving a daily treat can be a good indicator of your bunny’s health- if she doesn’t come out begging for treats then you know something isn’t right! Be careful when purchasing store bought “rabbit treats” as many are not actually good for rabbits. Our article on bunny diet has more information.

  9. Do your research.  Make sure you know about common rabbit illnesses such as GI Stasis and Bloat. Have a plan for emergencies and potentially assemble a rabbit first aid kit.  Talk to your veterinarian and check out binkybunny.com and rabbit.org for information.

  10. Remember, a bunny is a commitment, so enjoy it!  Rabbits can live from 8-12 years.  Spend time with your bunny and show your love through kisses and pets.  Who knows, your bunny might just return the favor!

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. I have been looking online if rabbits xan die from dog barks and im worried because i really want a rabbit but i have a goldendoodle dog and she is five, she is soo lovely to all animals she woudnt even hurt a fly, but im scared if lottie might scare the rabbit with her loud bark, what should i do

    1. You would probably want to choose a more easy-going and relaxed bunny, rather than a bunny with an anxious or timid personality. There are some good tips on rabbit.org for bringing a bunny into a home with a dog – https://rabbit.org/rabbits-and-dogs/

    2. I have 2 dobermans and 1 chihuahua and recently just bought 2 bunnies. My dobermans are loud barkers but the bunnies aren’t that close to the dogs. We have the area blocked off while we are out at work for the day. They don’t seem scared or anything. They would run in their hidy house at the beginning but they are slowly getting adjusted to everything. Would recommend if you do get a bunny to get 2. It seems to help with their adjustments around the house.

  2. Hi, I just bought a English lop and want to take as much care of her possible. She seems scared when we open her cage and scratches at the bottom of it. I want to know the best ways to interact. Is it necessary to spay? And why does one of her eyes have more fur then the other one?

    1. Bunnies are prey animals and their instincts tend to tell them to be scared of predators and unfamiliar situations. It sounds like she’s housed in a cage, which might be part of the issue. If you want to check out our bunny living space page, it will help with creating a space where the bunny can feel safe and have room to play and explore. Note the “hidey house” in the picture. Bunnies do best when they have a hidey house in their space where they can retreat if they are unsure of a situation. Eventually, they will fully trust their living space, and this can be expanded even more as her trust grows. When interacting with the bunny, make sure to sit down in her space with her. Crouching over her of sticking your hands / arms into her area will invoke her prey instincts until she feels fully comfortable in her space. Also, we definitely recommend spaying to help with behavioral issues, as well as health issues later in life.

  3. I have 2 mini lops, one male and one female. What age is recommended for neuter/spaying? Also how long does it take for them get comfortable? Its been about 2 weeks. The female will let me pet her but the male just runs in his hidy house

    1. Vets typically recommend males be at least 4 months old for their neuter and females be at least 6 months old for their spay. However, they can develop hormones giving them them the ability to reproduce well before that, so it’s best to consult with a vet on when it’s time to separate them from each other to avoid any pregnancy. The time it takes them to trust their surroundings differs from one bunny to another since they all have different personalities. Babies tend to be very skittish and it will take some work to socialize them, but this will help them to be more social as they reach adulthood.

  4. I recently acquired a dutch- mix bunny which is now 4 months old from a breeder and this bunny has me trained.One treat in the morning then she requires her head message,never mind the romaine lettuce I just put in her playpen.Later in the afternoon I let her out of her playpen to join me in the living room and runs,jumps in excitement,Seems like Christmas for her.Soon After as I’m in the recliner she comes by me and lets me know by begging that she wants on my lap and petted.I never knew bunnies are so social.

  5. We are considering a bunny for our 13 y/o daughter. She just asked if we could get two instead of one because she read they do better with a friend. This will be our first time owning and don’t know much about them. Would you recommend one to start then add another, or get two at the start? And what is the best “Rabbit Ownership for Dummies” resource you can recommend? I have tons of questions!

    1. If you are considering two, it’s generally easier to adopt two already bonded bunnies, rather than getting one and trying to introduce another later. Bonding can be a difficult and involved process and sometimes overwhelming to first time bunny owners. Adopting an already bonded pair means not having to go through all of the trouble of finding a good mate and bonding the two bunnies.

      We have a number of pages with great information about housing, diet, vets and more on our website. Our good friends at Columbus House Rabbit Society also have a great booklet full of helpful information that we recommend.

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