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How to Make a House Rabbit Feel at Home
Tuesday May 3rd 2016
From cute lop-eared bunnies to the delightful Dutch species, rabbits come in all shapes and sizes.
And as recent figures show, us Brits keep an estimated 1.3 million of these loveable creatures as pets.
Whereas once upon a time, though, keeping a rabbit meant setting up a run and hutch outdoors, there’s now an increasing trend for owners to bring their bunnies indoors.
While caring for a rabbit inside needs special attention, it can also bring benefits for both owner and animal.
House rabbits allow you form a really close bond with your animal, as they are always there with you rather than being kept in a hutch in the corner of the garden.
And this can give you a unique insight into the rabbits themselves, allowing you to learn more about everything from their character to their behaviour.
It can be an especially rewarding experience for young children, because the rabbit will really become part of the family, creating many special memories in the same way as a cat or dog.
Because you spend more time with your rabbit, you’re also in a better position to spot health problems as soon as they arise, as well as knowing if he or she starts behaving out of the ordinary.
Then there can be advantages for the animals themselves, including helping to protect them from dangers such as foxes and freezing temperatures during winter.
Tips for bringing bunnies indoors
There are several things to bear in mind before bringing your bunny into the great indoors…
• Make sure your home is fully rabbit-proofed – This means covering up cables and restricting access to potentially dangerous areas such as the kitchen.
• Get a rabbit house in your home – Your bunny will need a large enclosure to play in. This should give them space to exercise and provide a place to hide if they want to get away from it all.
• Dig it – Owners of house rabbits still need to make sure their pets can do all those typical rabbit behaviours like digging and grazing. If you don’t have access to an outside area, this could mean filling a box with earth or sand for them to get their paws into, or getting hold of a tray of growing grass. This could also help to keep them away from your furniture.
• Toilet training – Rabbits can be trained to use certain areas of their home to go to the toilet. Try placing used litter material or some droppings in litter trays to encourage rabbits to use them.
• Perfect pair – As rabbits are some of the most social animals that we keep as pets, it can be a good idea to make sure your house rabbit has a friend. The RSPCA recommends keeping a neutered male and neutered female together that are of a similar age and size.
Best house rabbit breeds
Of course, when you’re deciding whether to bring a rabbit indoors, much of it will depend on the temperament of each individual animal, and whether they’re happy to live in your home.
But some species seem to be better suited than others to becoming house rabbits.
• Miniature lop-eared rabbits – With their playful nature, these animals make good house pets.
• Dutch rabbits – Easy-going and tranquil, these bunnies generally have no problems being round people.
• Himalayan rabbits – Said to be easy to toilet train, this species is well suited to life indoors.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.