What Do Rabbits Need?
Rabbits have grown in popularity as household pets, largely due to Bugs Bunny.
Eh, What's up Doc?
The original conception of Bugs Bunny appeared in the April 30th, 1938 cartoon Porky's Hare Hunt .In this version, Bugs doesn't look or sound anything like the Bugs Bunny we know today. During the next two years, Bugs went over a wild evolution, and in 1940, a more familiar Bugs Bunny appeared in a cartoon short with a hunting Porky Pig. Since that time, Bugs has gone on to star in a number of movies (anybody see Space Jam?!?!), commercials, and television shows. Bugs Bunny's charismatic image has even influenced many people into getting their very own pet rabbit.
As obvious as it may seem to some, many people do not realize that pet rabbits are actually quite different than the Bugs Bunny character. For example, pet rabbits' diets should not include too many carrots. In a recent article from the Telegraph newspaper, the author points out that many owners were making this mistake because of the Bugs Bunny cartoon. The article goes on to say, "Bugs Bunny was wrong... Rabbits do not naturally eat root vegetables, cereals or fruit, and iceberg lettuce can be dangerous. Carrots and apples are high in sugar and should be an occasional treat." Even though this article points to the common mistake of basing a rabbit's diet on a cartoon, it actually points to an even larger issue: Owners are not getting the proper information they need to take care of their rabbit. At Pet Street Mall, we take pride in giving you all of the facts and product information that will help you to be a great caretaker.
Contrary to popular belief, carrots are not the cornerstone of a healthy bunny diet.
Their Diet is Very Important!
Rabbits are herbivores (they only eat plants) and are crepuscular, meaning that they prefer to eat at dawn and dusk. Because rabbits are herbivores, their diets are high in fiber. Consequentially, rabbits have developed a hind gut fermentation method to digest their food. This fermentation method helps break down indigestible compounds into manageable chemicals. This very complex digestive system makes the food that they receive very important. If rabbits are not fed the right foods, health problems could arise.
For any rabbit, the foundation to any good diet is hay, in particular Timothy grass hay. Hay aids the digestive system by helping to provide fiber to the rabbit's diet. Having enough fiber helps to prevent hair balls, diarrhea, and obesity.
In addition to hay, vegetables are also very important to a rabbit's diet. The best vegetables to feed your rabbit are leafy, dark green vegetables. When feeding you rabbit these leafy greens try to mix it up. It is recommended that owners give their rabbits three different leafy green vegetables at a time.
Like any pet, rabbits need treats to help keep them happy and avoid the stagnancy of a hay and leafy greens diet. Fruits like blueberries and strawberries are actually the best treats for a rabbit. Also even though carrots shouldn't be the main part of a rabbit's diet, they do serve as a good treat. Fruits that contain extra sugars like bananas, grapes, and raisins are also good, but they should be used in an even more limited fashion.
They Need the Proper Cage
The most important accessory that rabbit owners need is a cage. A cage will help to keep your pet safe, but beware! Many pet owners actually misuse their cage and neglect their pet rabbit.
Rabbits share certain personality characteristics that are similar to both cats and dogs. They can be as playful as dogs and puppies, but as independent as a cat. Like any pet, it is important to spend time playing with your pet rabbit. It is recommended that owners let their rabbit roam around for about 4 hours per day (preferably 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening). Remember, the more time you spend with your rabbit, the better your relationship and experience will be.
Sadly, rabbits are amongst the most neglected pets, often being left in their cage for too long with no interaction. Leaving your rabbit in his cage for too long can be detrimental, but cages are still a necessity. Cages help to provide your rabbit with comfort and give him a safe place to rest. Using a cage can help you protect your rabbit from his natural love of digging and chewing. If left alone, rabbits are capable of chewing up cords, biting electrical outlets, and biting through toxic chemical containers. As a pet owner, it is your job to protect them from these potential hazards, and the best way to do this is with a rabbit cage.
Currently, the best cage available for bunnies and their owners is the Critter Nation Rabbit Cage. This cage is a great tool to give your rabbit the space he needs to move around and get exercise, while still protecting him from the dangers of the house. The Critter Nation cage is available in single and double models and can be improved by adding any of our Critter Nation accessories. These accessories include: hammocks, pan covers, and hide and seek tunnels. If you are looking for the ideal rabbit cage, the space and flexibility of the Critter Nation Rabbit Cage is sure to satisfy.
As a rabbit owner, it can sometimes be confusing as to what should be done. But here at Pet Street Mall, we have all of the inside information on the best products and all of the tips to help you as a pet owner. If you have any further questions about rabbits and rabbit products, feel free to e-mail or call us at any time. We love all animals and take pride in providing you with any information you may need.
By: Tim Snyder