Preparing for bunny

After finding the perfect bunny you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to bring your new cutie home.  Here is a checklist to get you started.  The links take you directly to the products I use and/or recommend.

  1. Purchase a cage and supplies.  I always recommend exercise pens (minimum 30″ tall) or NIC/C&C grids.  They give your bunny plenty of space when they have to be locked up.  Another alternative cage for the 1st few months is the X-large plastic bottom cage.  Bunnies outgrow these cages in a couple months but the plastic bottom is very helpful while they’re finishing up litter box training.  I do not use wire bottom cages.  All our bunnies learn to drink from a 1/2 gallon gravity water bowl right away.  Adding Apple Cider Vinegar to their water is very healthy for them, 1 tablespoon per gallon of water.  If you prefer bowl I recommend using these 20 oz crocks so the rabbit cannot tip it over.  I do not recommend water bottles as they can leak and break easily.  Provide fresh clean water 24/7.  Cat litter boxes work great in larger cages.  They give the rabbit plenty of room and you can add hay on 1 side of the litter box to help w/litter box training.  Please use an absorbent litter under the hay to prevent urine scald on feet.  It will also help absorb their urine scent. OUT! Advanced Stain and Odor Remover is a really great cleaner to use if bunny has an accident outside of litter box.  Just make sure floor is completely dry before bunny returns to the area.  I will also use Kennsol (vets use this) or just a regular vinegar and water mixture sometimes.  I clean litter boxes with dawn dish soap every few days.
  2. Decide what pellets you would like to feed.  All our bunnies come w/a baggie of pellets to help transition to their new food.  I recommend Modesto Milling, Sherwood, and Tucker Milling Non GMO.  A lot of people recommend Oxbow but it has molasses which rabbits should not have.  Their Garden Select pellets are a good option but I would not recommend using before 6 months old b/c it Tomothy based (growing rabbits need an alfalfa based pellet).  I recommend pellets 24/7 until 6 months old.  At that time you may limit pellets to 1/8 – 1/4 cup twice a day if you choose.
  3. Purchase Timothy hay.  The best 2 hay brands I have found is Small Pet Select 2nd cut Timothy hay and Oxbow Timothy hay.  Small Pet Select is preferred by my rabbits and myself but can be on the more expensive side.  Orchard grass hay and Meadow hay is a good alternative if you’re allergic to Timothy hay.  I do not recommend Alfalfa hay (pellets are alfalfa based) or Oat hay (unless your adult rabbit needs to gain weight).  Provide fresh hay 24/7.
  4. Pet Carrier.  You will want to make sure you have a pet carrier to transport your rabbit in vehicles.  Rabbits do not like car rides.  The safest way to transport is in a carrier.  You’ll also need a carrier for vet visits.  I recommend a good plastic carrier w/front and top doors for easy access to your bunny.  Rabbits may chew fabric carriers.
  5. Toys.  Rabbits LOVE to chew.  You will want to provide lots of fun rabbit safe toys for them to play with and chew on.  Rabbits teeth are constantly growing and they need hay and toys to help keep them at the proper length.  I have items available for purchase when you pick up your new bunny.  Baby stacking cups, measuring cups and spoons, baby keys, toilet paper and paper towel tubes are also good options.
  6. Grooming and emergency kit.  A few items you’ll want in your kit are nail clippers, brush, infant gas drops, and critical care.  You’ll need to keep your rabbits nails trimmed.  Depending on their flooring you may have to trim every few weeks to couple months.   Brushes are good to have on hand when they’re molting.  I find myself plucking their loose fur w/my hand while petting them but I do have some brushes on hand.  Gas drops and Critical Care are necessary to have available in case your bunny goes into GI Stasis or they have a hard time after their spay/neuter surgery.
  7. Find an exotic vet.  It is so important to find a great rabbit savvy vet!!  My favorite vet is For Pet’s Sake in Decatur.   You’ll want to find a vet before bringing your new bunny home.  Rabbits do not like to show signs of pain so knowing your bunny’s personality is so important.  Any signs of them being off may require a visit to the vet.  If you’re not comfortable trimming nails your vet will do it for you.  Rabbits have big eyes that can be scratched easily.  You’ll want to make sure their eyes are alway healthy.  You will also need to get your bunny spayed/neutered at the appropriate age.  Please ask your vet when they recommend surgery for your bunny.

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