bringing home bunny
You've decided that a bunny is the perfect pet for you! You've found your perfect bunny and can't wait to bring him or her home! But what are some of the items you should have on hand when bringing home bunny?
That's where we come in! We want your bunny experience to be as fun and seamless as possible so we've created a list of items that you should have ready for your new bun :)
Cage/Bunny Living Area
This is, of course, one of the most important items to start with! Your bunny is going to need a safe and quiet space to hang out in (when not cuddling with you of course!). There are lots of great cages and bunny play areas out there for you to choose from! Some people choose to go for a cage and others prefer an open-concept living space comprised of a playpen as a barrier and a few cozy nooks and crannies for bunny to hide and play in. There are lots of great ideas available; a simple internet search will provide you with quite a few choices :) Above all, make sure that your bunny's living area is easy to clean! This will ensure that maintaining a clean environment is really easy and doesn't become an unwelcome and cumbersome task!
Have you decided to pick out that special cage for your new bun? If so, you are going to need shavings! Wood shavings are great (pine shavings are best; avoid cedar shavings as the oils in them can be toxic to animals) and so is paper pulp. Your local pet store will have lots of healthy choices for your bunny :)
If you choose to go with a cage for bunny then you might also want to purchase a small-animal play pen for bunny to run around and play in! This is a foldable fenced area that can be set up in your living room, tv room or kitchen (or just about anywhere you spend most of your time!). This allows your bunny to play and explore while staying out of the way of your other pets who may also want to "play" with your sweet bun; it also keeps bunny away from electrical wires that might look tempting to chew on. And the best part is that play pens are movable and you can set it up outside in the summer so that bunny can romp in the grass and sunshine :)
Food and Water
Your darling new bunny is going to need high quality food and lots of fresh water in order to stay happy and healthy :) We feed our rabbits a 16% protein rabbit pellet from Masterfeeds. We purchase our pellets at our local feed store in 50 pound bags (which is no doubt way more than you will need!) but you can find other brands of rabbit pellets at your local pet store that are just as good and come in much smaller amounts! We recommend feeding a pelleted feed that is just pellets (no nuts or seeds) as this is what bunnies like the most! You will also need to pick up a bag of hay for your bunny as, even more than pellets, bunnies love hay! We feed our bunnies a mixture of Timothy and Alfalfa hay which we grow here on our farm but either hay is just fine on its own! Most pet stores carry bags of Timothy hay which your bunny will very much thank you for :)
Fresh water is just as important as fresh food! We refresh our bunnies' water dishes each morning and this keeps them perfectly happy and healthy :) We give our bunnies their pellets and water in dishes, or crocks, as opposed to water bottles. We have found that crocks are much easier to keep clean and there are no small parts to break! When you bring your bunny home he/she will be used to eating and drinking out of a dish so we definitely recommend that you also provide dishes for your buns to eat and drink from :)
As tempting as it might be to shower your bunny with treats, you must be careful! Bunnies have sensitive tummies and too many treats can upset their delicate digestive system. We generally recommend avoiding treats until your bun is around 6 months old. Once your sweetheart is old enough, however, there are lots of healthy and yummy treats you can reward your bunny with :)
Here are a few examples, all of which are really fun and easy to grow in your own garden!
- Dark leafy lettuces
- Dandelion leaves (ok, no one really "grows" these in a garden but you can pick them right from your lawn (making sure that you don't spray your lawn with chemicals of course!)
- Comfrey (our buns go crazy for the comfrey that we grow in our garden!)
- Carrots (they prefer the leafy carrot tops as opposed to the root of the vegetable)
- Mint (your bunny and home with both smell amazing!)
- Pumpkins (the seeds and the flesh of the pumpkin are both favourites and contain natural deworming properties! We feed pumpkins to all of our animals!)
- Bananas (yep, they love a few slices of banana!)
We suggest keeping treats to a minimum, be careful not to over do it! Your bunny's diet should consist mainly of pellets and hay with a few greens a couple of times a week as a little bit extra :)
Who doesn't love to spoil their favourite pet with toys every now and then? And I have some great news for you: put down your wallet and car keys, you won't be needing to make a trip to the pet store to stock up on bunny toys! They are all free!! Well, sort of free...more like recycled ;) All those toilet paper and paper towel rolls you lovingly throw away: perfect bunny chew toys! That empty granola bar box: bunny toy! Your empty cereal boxes? Bunny toys too! Basically anything cardboard will do! Bunnies love to chew and they need to chew! Their teeth are constantly (but very slowly of course!) growing and they need to keep them filed down by chewing. Their favourite way to do this is by eating hay! The coarse hay makes a great tooth file! But so do all those recycled boxes you give bun! The best part is that they are free and, in most homes, plentiful :)
Special note: never give your sweet bun any plastic! They will chew that too and no creature's body was designed to digest plastic!
Litter Box Training
Yes, bunnies can be litter box trained, just like a cat! And it's really easy as bunnies are very smart and catch on quite quickly :) Your local pet store should have special rabbit litter boxes that fit nicely into your bunny's cage, or you can always opt for a cat litter box if you choose to house your bunny in a larger enclosure. Rabbits are very neat and tidy and will choose one specific corner in which to do their "bunny business". If you place your bunny's litter box in the corner it chooses to use then your bun will understand that this is its bathroom box! It usually only takes a week or two to fully train your bunny :)
We hope that this list helps you prepare for the arrival of your furry new friend! As always, if you have any questions please feel free to send us a message or give us a call! We are more than happy to help in any way that we can :)