When you get a new rabbit, it can seem daunting at first. After all, it's a rodent, and sometimes a rather large one. However, rabbits are surprisingly easy to care for, and very caring in return if you treat them right. Here are some basic caring tips for your new rabbit.
First of all, handle your rabbit with care, and handle him or her often. The more you touch, play with, and hold your rabbit, the more it will enjoy being held. Many rabbits love to be cuddled, while others just like to sit in your lap and be pet gently, or not at all. Watch out for signs they may urinate though- if they start scratching at your clothes like crazy, a little 'treat' is on its way.
Food and water for your rabbit is easy- Timothy hay and pellets are your mainstay for your rabbit, and you can also give them dandelions, fresh grass (no pesticides), a grape or 2, a carrot (just a nibble), some lettuce, and even apple slices. Make sure to avoid overly sweet treats or starchy treats, as they can bloat your rabbit and make them sick, and they will also pee red and orange to get rid of the excess waste. Fresh water several times a day (rabbits drink a lot) can keep your bunny healthy for years.
Rabbits love to dig, even pet rabbits, so if you have your rabbit outside, make sure it can't get out of its kennel. Cement, rocks, and even log barriers can allow your bunny to dig for fun without escaping.
Your rabbit needs a hutch to hide from the heat, wind, rain, and other elements, as well as to just plain hang out during the day. If your rabbit is outside, then make sure that it has cover, and never leave your rabbit out in the sun.
Grooming is simple- a small brush can keep your pet rabbit from shedding all over in the spring and summer, and you can use nail clippers to clip their rather long nails. If you have someone hold your rabbit, you can cut and groom their nails without them kicking you like crazy.
If you have questions or concerns about the care of your pet rabbit, contact your local vet or rabbit breeder. They can fill you in on how to be an excellent rabbit parent, and can teach you how to love and enjoy your rabbit for years to come!