This is how the animals feel comfortable

It is not that easy to keep rabbits in a species-appropriate manner. As cute as the animals may look with their long ears, pug noses and dark beady eyes, they are not cuddly toys. The sensitive small animals need a lot of exercise, fresh food and definitely fellow animals to feel comfortable. Here you will find the most important tips for keeping rabbits.

Rabbits need lots of exercise and like company – Shutterstock / Rita Kochmarjova

Rabbits need lots of exercise and like company – Shutterstock / Rita Kochmarjova

If you want to keep rabbits in a species-appropriate manner, you should find out in advance what the small animals need. It’s often thought that the fluffy long-eared cats make ideal pets for children, but unfortunately that’s a misconception. Children want to be able to cuddle and play with their pet at any time – but this means stress for the shy rabbits.

Rabbits need a lot of space

Rabbits are often sold at pet stores, but this is not recommended. The small animals are not kept there in a way that is appropriate to their species, have far too little space and can become infected with diseases. It is better to give rabbits from the shelter a home. The animal keepers can give you valuable tips on how to keep them, and most of the animals have already been neutered and vaccinated. It is very important that you offer the small animals plenty of exercise despite their small size. Calculate at least two square meters of space per rabbit, provided you can offer them free roaming in a larger outdoor enclosure every day. Otherwise, you can also design a room for the rabbits in your apartment in a way that is appropriate to the species.

A standard cage is usually too small. It is best if you have a garden and can build a large stable for the animals there. They need a place to do their business, a feeding area, water trough, and a den or hut to shelter from wind, weather, temperature changes, and predators. The outdoor enclosure should be secured with wire all around. The wire should also go deep into the ground so that predators don’t dig into the hutch or the rabbits dig out and escape.

Anyone who buys a dwarf rabbit has to plan well in advance: the rodents live to be around ten years old - Image: Shutterstock / absolutimages
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Only keep species-appropriate in company

Rabbits are very social creatures and need contact with other rabbits to be happy. Under no circumstances should they be kept alone and they usually do not get along with other animal species such as guinea pigs. In order to avoid unwanted offspring and to save the animals stress, you should have them castrated.

Appropriate feed for the animals

The rabbit food from the specialist shop usually contains too much pressed starch and the treats too much sugar. This can lead to weight and dental problems, as well as impairing the sensitive digestion of the animals. Fresh vegetables, some fruit and freshly picked greens from the garden such as grass and dandelions are better choices for the rabbit menu. In addition, there should always be plenty of clean, fresh hay available.

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