Facts About Rabbits

Pet Rabbits are a great addition to any family. Read on as Family Pet Centre explores facts to consider before getting your adorable little one.

Facts About Rabbits

July 19, 2018

Quick Links To The Facts About Rabbits Article

If you would like to obtain an overview of owning a pet rabbit, have a look at the Youtube video below:


Pet Rabbits Are A Long-Term Deal

Pet Rabbit captured outside

Rabbits have a lifespan of ten to twelve years, which is a crucial factor to consider before deciding to adopt one as a companion. Owning a pet entails a long-term responsibility, and it is essential to ensure that your household is prepared for it. Rabbits demand significant attention and care, unlike pets that can be left to their own devices. To provide the necessary care for your rabbit, you must be knowledgeable about their feeding, cleaning, and daily requirements, which can differ depending on whether you plan to confine your pet or let them roam free.

There are several factors to consider when considering whether to buy your rabbit an enclosure or allow it to roam free. You may have family members who could unintentionally harm the rabbit if it roams free. With the purchase of an enclosure, you can ensure that your rabbit is kept safe. It is important to remember that rabbits require exercise and mental stimulation, so time outside of the enclosure is just as important.

Have a look at available rabbit enclosures and pens here.

Pet Rabbits  outside

Choosing The Right Pet Rabbit

Pet Rabbit playing outside

In South Africa, there is a wide range of rabbits with unique traits, qualities, and advantages. When selecting a rabbit, it's essential to determine whether you prefer a smaller or larger breed.

Do take the time to research the rabbit's personality. Depending on the breed, rabbits have unique personalities and temperaments.

Larger rabbits tend to be more gentle and sturdy, making them ideal for children under adult supervision. Additionally, before choosing a pet rabbit, it's important to consider its fur type. Rabbits with longer hair need more frequent combing and grooming to avoid hairballs.

Make sure that your future furbaby is in good health before you take it home. Family Pet Centre have excellent in-store vets to assist you!

White and Brown Rabbits captured outside

Rabbit-Proof Your Home

Pet Rabbits captured in black and white

To rabbit-proof your home, there are three main components to focus on: preventing rabbits from damaging items, keeping your rabbit safe, and offering safe and suitable things to chew.

Although rabbits can be amusing and idiosyncratic pets, they can also be mischievous at times. If you plan to allow your pet rabbit to roam freely around your house, you should be prepared to rabbit-proof your home.

Rabbits tend to nibble on loose wires and furniture, so it's important to cover or move these items away from their curious bites. Ensure that all loose wires and cables are secured. All hazardous materials should also be stored out of reach.

Certain houseplants may also be toxic for your bunny. It is a good idea to keep all houseplants out of reach. You should also provide your rabbit with ample chew toys to reduce their temptation to chew on unsuitable objects. Have a look at our rabbit pet treats here.

Pet Rabbit captured outside

Two Pet Rabbits Are Better Than One

Pet Rabbit captured outside

It's a good idea to consider adopting more than one rabbit since they are highly social creatures. Being social animals, they tend to be more relaxed and content when they have another rabbit for company.

The addition of another pet rabbit can improve the overall well-being of your furbaby. It can help reduce negative behaviour, anxiety, and stress. Did you know that rabbits groom each other? Adopting another rabbit is beneficial in that it can ensure that they are clean and healthy.

It's crucial, however, to adopt rabbits of the same sex or to spay/neuter them unless you are ready for a breeding pair. The phrase "breeding like rabbits" is accurate, so it's essential to take appropriate measures to prevent uncontrolled breeding. Spaying and neutering your rabbits can also help reduce aggression.

Pet Rabbits captured on top of a bed

Pet Rabbit Food

Pet Rabbit captured outside

Rabbits are often depicted as having a single food obsession - carrots - by humans, but in reality, they have a more complex diet that requires specific nutrients.

As small herbivores, rabbits are selective eaters that prefer nutrient-rich leaves and new plant shoots. At our Family Pet Clinic, our friendly staff can provide helpful advice on how to give your pet rabbit a varied, healthy, and balanced diet. The bulk of your rabbit's diet should consist of Teff or Timothy hay, along with some fresh veggies and commercial rabbit pellets. Although small pieces of veggies can be considered a treat, fresh foods can add moisture to your rabbit's diet and should be added occasionally. However, you should be cautious when feeding your rabbit vegetables from the cabbage family, as they can cause painful gas in some rabbits.

Additionally, avoid feeding your rabbit foods like iceberg lettuce, nuts, beans, onion, potatoes, seeds, or garlic. The majority of your rabbit's fresh veggies should be leafy greens such as parsley, spinach, beet greens, and radish tops. Other vegetables like carrots, celery, zucchini squash, bell peppers, broccoli, and edible flowers like roses, nasturtium, pansies, and hibiscus should not make up more than 15% of their diet.

As a rule of thumb, try to avoid feeding your pet rabbit the following:

  • Iceberg lettuce - this could cause potential digestive problems in rabbits.
  • Beans - could cause bloating and gas in rabbits.
  • Onions and garlic - these food items are highly toxic to rabbits.
  • Potatoes - these food items are high in starch and may cause digestive problems in rabbits.

Pet Rabbit captured wearing yellow framed eyeglasses

If you are a rabbit owner, check out our online store where you can find everything you need to keep your rabbit healthy and happy, including bedding, food, and leashes. Here's the link to our store: https://familypetcentre.co.za/collections/collars-leads-harnesses-for-small-pets. If you have any questions or need additional tips on caring for your pet rabbit, please don't hesitate to contact us or visit our store.

Family Pet Centre also have in-store vets and grooming services available. Visit us here for more information.

Pet Rabbit FAQs

Are rabbits difficult to take care of?

In comparison with other pets, rabbits require a moderate amount of attention and care.

Do all rabbits enjoy being held?

A little-known fact is that most rabbits enjoy being on the ground, although many still like to cuddle with their owners.

Are there any disadvantages to owning a pet rabbit?

It is important to note that rabbits adore chewing on just about anything, and their diet can be complex.

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