Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Why You Should #ChooseChocolate This Easter // Housing Bunnies

A hutch is not enough - Regarding the Secret Life of Rabbits

So you're thinking about getting a bunny this Easter? Easter and bunnies go hand in hand, it seems like a no brainer, right? Wrong. The decision to get a bunny is a big one, despite what many pet shops, books and websites will tell you, bunnies are not simple starter pets, they are exotic animals that need a lot of specialised care. This series of posts will take you through the basics of feeding, housing, heath care, happiness and cost to help you decide if buying a bunny is really the right choice for you.


Bunnies are very active animals and require large areas to run around in to keep them healthy and happy. Many pet shops sell small hutches that don't even come close to giving your bunny the space he or she will need.


The safest location to keep bunnies is inside the house, this protects them from predators, extreme weather, parasites and various diseases. In Australia we do not have access to vaccines for some of the terminal illnesses bunnies can contract, such as Myxomatosis and some strains of calicivirus, keeping your bunny inside away from flies, mosquitos and other insects can help protect them from these deadly diseases. 

Bunnies are also very social animals who thrive on the company of the people around them, there is nothing a bunny loves more than being in the middle of everything thats going on (except maybe bananas!)   

How Much Space

Bunnies make excellent house pets and can be kept as either free range pets, just as you would keep a house cat, or in playpens during times when they can't be supervised. I, personally, have chosen to keep my bunnies in playpens overnight and while I'm not home - this is a good solution if you have other animals, children or multiple pairs/groups of bunnies, it enables them to have their own space and keep all the bunnies things in one location. While playpens are a great home base for bunnies it is not enough space for the bunnies, like a dog needs more exercise than a yard a bunny needs more exercise than a play pen can provide. To give your bunny the exercise it requires you need to give it 'floor time.' Giving your bunny time to explore your house, either free range or a few restricted rooms, gives it the exercise it needs.

So, how much space is enough space? The House Rabbit Society recommends no less than 8 square feet (a little under 1 square meter) for your bunnies playpen with at least 5 hours of exercise in an area of at least 24 square feet (about 2 1/2 square meters). Bare in mind that this is a minimum and is by no means an ideal, the larger the area you have for your bunny the happier it will be.

Cleaning up

Cleaning day - Regarding the Secret Life of Rabbits

Bunnies can be litter trained to make suitable house pets, however it is not aways a simple task, The House Rabbit Society has an excellent guide to help you though this. Toileting habits aside bunnies can still create mess, like any other animals, they require food, water and toys. Bunnies eat constantly and need to have access to fresh hay at all times, this can result in hay litter around the house as well as fur and the occasional offering of droppings. The advantage of a playpen as a home base does keep all of this in one place but it will still require daily cleaning. 

This is just a run down of the very basics - for more information check out The House Rabbit Society or the Rabbit Welfare Association. Check back next week for a rundown on keeping your bunny happy.   


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