Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grooming Considerations For Your Pet Rabbit

By : Damian Cross

Rabbits in general have a very similar attitude towards cleanliness as cats do. For this reason it is relatively simple to train them in the use of the litter box. Rabbits spend quite a deal of deal cleaning themselves, maintaining their skin and fur in top shape. However, their personal upkeep by no means exempts pet owners from dedicating some time and effort to this task. Like most other pets, rabbits rely on their owner for an efficient maintenance plan that looks into all areas of hygiene.

One of the most important tasks in rabbit grooming is brushing the coat thoroughly. The more time you spend at this chore, his fur will look and feel that much better. Not to mention the fact that it will bring the pet owner closer to his rabbit. Make it fun, call it brushing the rabbit pet game and go with it. Other advantages of brushing the rabbits hair besides aesthetics, is removing debris and dead strings of hair the pet would otherwise swallow. Like it happens with cats, swallowing hair will form a hair ball in his throat that could prove dangerous to his health. In the event that the hairball, should in fact block the digestive system, the pet owner could face having to submit the rabbit to a surgical procedure costing hundreds of dollars.

When fixing a schedule for brushing the rabbits hear, consider they replace their fur approximately every three months. Be prepared to broom and vacuum all the dead hair left around the house. You will be amazed of how much hair can come out of such a tiny creature. When choosing a brush, remember not to get with hard bristles that may hurt the rabbit’s skin. Their skin is rather delicate; some people prefer wide angle plastic brushes just to go easy on them.

Like with most other pets, when properly taken care off they look fantastic. In order to do this pet owners must be committed to brushing hair regularly. As an alternative you may choose to trim the rabbit’s hair to about one inch in length. This will make your job considerably easier to maintain. In the event that you have little or no experience trimming your rabbit’s hair, don’t be afraid of spending a few dollars with a professional groomer. Make a note of how he does it, and how they handle themselves with the scissors around your rabbit.

A rabbit living in open space and on warm climates will be prone to a lot more physical activity. This activity will generate sweat, which will get cold and dry of on the rabbit. In consequence mats of tangled hair will form which are quite a challenge to remove. For these specific cases try removing the tangled hair with a comb first, before going for the scissors. As a manner of prevention, bathing your rabbit is a must.

Every few weeks your rabbits nails will need to be checked also, and trimmed if necessary. This task, as with many others can easily be done by your veterinarian in case you don’t feel up to the task just yet. Remember to have fun and enjoy the time you spend with your pet, after there is no reason why grooming cannot be a pet game instead of a gruesome chore.

How To Pick The Right Pet Bunny Rabbit For You!

By : Andrea Austin

Aside from appearance, there are a number of considerations that you will have to make when it comes time to pick out your fuzzy friend at a pet store or other venue. This is important both to ensure that you select a healthy pet, and to make sure that you and he are compatible!

Now I'll explain what you'll need to think about prior to heading out to buy your pet rabbit, and what to look for when you're actually selecting an animal from a breeder, adoption center or pet store.

Remember, while size, breed, fur type and color are mostly a matter of personal preference (as I've explained in the previous chapter), the considerations here are essential to bringing home and raising a healthy pet.

There are a few general points to think about when deciding whether a rabbit is the right type of pet for you and for the rest of your family, too.


Many people in this country have pet allergies, often to dogs or cats. It is worth remembering that if you are allergic to cats, chances are you might well be allergic to rabbits. Of course, this is not always the case, and you may wish get an allergy test from your doctor before deciding to bring home a new pet. If you don't want to go to a doctor for a test, you may want to visit a pet store or breeder and see how you feel after handling the animals.

Also keep in mind that it is not just the pet itself that you may be allergic to. Rabbits often consume hay, which could be problematic in households where a family member has hay allergies.

Children in the House

Do you have young children? If so, a rabbit may not be an ideal pet. For the most part, this has nothing to do with rabbits being a danger to the child. On the contrary, since young rabbits are delicate and relatively tiny, a child may very well do unintentional damage to the pet! For this reason, older children, who have a better sense of their own strength and understand how to treat animals nicely, may be better suited to a pet rabbit.

In any event, if you do choose to bring a pet rabbit into a home with young kids, always try to supervise interactions between your child and your pet to ensure that both remain safe and healthy. Children must be taught how to handle rabbits, and only if they are mature and responsible enough to be trusted with the fuzzy creature.


Even if you adopt a rabbit for free rather than buying one, you should prepare for certain expenses.

A good-sized cage will cost you at least $30 USD or $40 USD, and this is an absolute essential. You can also expect to pay for other accessories, such as toys.

Feeding is another considerable expense. At minimum you will need to buy food pellets, hay and vegetables for your rabbit to consume. You may also need to supplement with vitamins. Then there is also the matter of the litter box and fresh litter, which can add up over time.

Moreover, you will need to take care of medical issues such as spaying (starting at $35) or neutering (a bit cheaper, starting at $25), as well as medical bills for checkups and any illnesses that arise. Of course, it is also possible in some cases to purchase or adopt pet rabbits that have already been spayed or neutered, but even then it is going to be essential to pay for various medical expenditures over the course of your pet's lifetime.

Before bringing home a rabbit, make sure that you can commit to giving him the quality of lifestyle he deserves throughout his lifetime (5-15 years, depending on the rabbit's breed and age and health at the time of purchase).

About the author

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you would like more information on pet rabbit care, click on this link to get your FREE Rabbit Care Guide: Rabbit Care Guide. Andrea Austin,

Rabbit Runs: Pamper the Inner Wanderer in Your Rabbit

By : Christopher Lunsford

Do you feel that your pet rabbit is feeling down with the weather? Does he look withdrawn and unable to respond to your calls and petting? Maybe he is feeling overweight and heavy. And that contributes to rabbit obesity and other complications.

Has he been getting enough exercise land fresh air lately? To make sure he gets enough exercise needed to keep his body feeling in tiptop shape, Rabbit Runs are a necessary part of caring for your dear pet.

Rabbits by nature are used to wandering acre upon acre of woodland, searching for food. They cover great distances and are not the least bothered by the long trek.

Their bodies are equipped with the proper equipment to tackle long and arduous journeys over rough terrain.

Then suddenly, turned into a household pet, he is a pampered domesticated creature, given all the food and sustenance he can eat and drink, and he does not need to anymore roam vast distances to satisfy his hunger.

Being a natural wanderer, he will definitely start to look for physical activity.

Rabbit Runs provide much-needed physical activity for a rabbit feeling cooped up in his hatch. Imagine being cooped in cramped quarters seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.

Even humans feel cabin fever after mere days trapped inside their house. Think about how your rabbit feels.

Set him free in a controlled environment. He needs to exercise to prevent atrophy in those muscles. Just make sure he does not get out of his play area, as some predators may be around.

You just cannot keep him indoors for long periods of time. You need to get him outside for some fresh air and a chance to commune with nature and memories of his former habitat. It can do your rabbit good to once again feel and nibble on grass.

Rabbit Runs are intended to give your pet bunny rabbit ample space for running and jumping, to keep him from developing sores and life-endangering aches and pains resulting from lack of moving space in his hatch.

Feeling cramped inside his cage, a rabbit can develop muscle and bone problems, Rabbit Runs can prevent that by giving him a playground to run and hop to his heart’s content!

A Rabbit Run is an enclosed cage that keeps your pet rabbit inside, but permits him to roam around, feeling the soft grass on his tummy. A rabbit needs these to keep him healthy and immune to sickness.

Several hours a day on grass can do wonders for the health of your rabbit. He gets to sniff around hop all he wants

His powerful hind legs were made for running and jumping, not crawling and basically feeling cramped in a tight space. A rabbit run can give him a breather from all that.

Rabbits not able to roam around and jump and play are found to become aggressive and withdrawn. All this due to lack of exercise that could easily be avoided by placing them in a Rabbit Run everyday.

Also, rabbit obesity can result from too little exercise and too little time inside a comfortable rabbit run.

Give your pet rabbit a treat today and place him in a Rabbit Run. You owe it to him to give him much needed exercise, and a little fresh air.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When Your Rabbit Needs Special Care: Traditional and Alternative Healing Methods

Full of helpful information for rabbit owners whose pets are ill, injured, or in need of extra help, Moore (A House Rabbit Primer) and Smith's (Rabbit Health in the 21st Century) guide is unique for two reasons: it is entirely devoted to the care of animals with special needs, and it includes alternative therapies and healing methods such as acupuncture, chiropractic, healing through touch, and interspecies communication. The authors have consulted with several veterinarians to ensure the information on traditional care is accurate, although they acknowledge that there may be differences of opinion among veterinarians about the best care for various ailments. Appendixes include a table of medications and appropriate doses, a list of rabbit vital signs, and lists of both traditional and alternative care resources for pet owners. The book may have a fairly limited audience as not all rabbit owners will be willing and able to devote the time and effort necessary to care for a special-needs rabbit. For owners who do, this should be required reading. Recommended where interest warrants.—Deborah Emerson, Rochester Regional Lib. Council, Fairport, NY Buy it now

Rabbit Health in the 21st Century Second Edition: A Guide for Bunny Parents

This user-friendly book on pet rabbit health from a caretaker’s perspective is written for people with little or no medical or veterinary background. Its goal is to help rabbit owners play a more active, informed role in their rabbitÂ’s health care decisions. It should never substitute for a trip to the veterinarian!

The book’s predecessor, Rabbit Health 101, received a favorable review in Exotic DVM Veterinary Magazine. The revised edition incorporates feedback from veterinarians across the country and includes the latest information for the new millennium.

Topics include:

  • Choosing and establishing a relationship with a veterinarian

  • Symptoms and safe treatment options for a variety of conditions

  • Diagnostic tests and how to understand what they tell your veterinarian

  • Drugs (prescription, over the counter, and supplements)

  • Alternative medicine

  • Coping with loss

  • Resources and references

Stories and pictures of rabbits from around the world are sprinkled throughout the book, adding personal touches to serious topics. By the time you have read the entire book you will feel that you know Smokey, who inspired the original Rabbit Health 101, and Murray, who contributed so much to this most recent update. Buy it now

House Rabbit Handbook: How to Live With an Urban Rabbit

THE HOUSE RABBIT HANDBOOK is an essential guide for anyone who has a rabbit as a house pet. The book contains information regarding rabbit behavior in a home that is very accurate; at least it seems accurate when I look at the behavior of my two rabbits. The author believes that rabbits can have just as much personality as a dog or a cat and assumes that people who keep rabbits as pets wish to interact with them. So if your goal is to keep a rabbit in a cage in the backyard, this book will not be all that helpful. If on the other hand you want a unique pet that is curious, capable of being entertaining, a bit on the mischievous side, and yes, even loving, this book will he of great help.

The book contains all the basic information about rabbit care in a home setting. Care, feeding, grooming, attending to health needs, and the like are covered. There are also suggestions about rabbit-proofing a home and the pros and cons of allowing rabbits to roam freely around the house.

For me, the most helpful section of the book dealt with introducing a new rabbit my first rabbit. I assumed that since he was so friendly, a new friend would be perfect. I was wrong. He was a terror and wanted nothing to do with his new playmate. Now one is lost without the other. The suggestions of this book really worked.

While the information in the book is based on sound veterinary advice, the reader quickly realizes that the author relies heavily on personal experience as well. The techniques she espouses flow from her experience. Ideally, people will want to read this book prior to getting a rabbit, especially since it contains valuable information about preparing for the rabbit to come home. However, if you, like me find yourself in a crisis situation with a rabbit and need to find a book with answers, this book will be a godsend.

Just one piece of advice. Don't leave the book on the floor by mistake. I am noticing a few little nibbles on the binding. Though I am a voracious reader, I do not think that the nibbles are the way I devour my books. Buy it now

Dwarf Rabbits - Complete Pet Owner's Manual

The author tells how to distinguish pure-bred dwarf rabbits from mixed breeds--which often grow to full size. She also advises on feeding, caging, health care, and teaching children to handle these delicate animals. Barron's extensive line of Complete Pet Owner's Manuals presents information for non-specialist animal owners and prospective owners, with facts about each animal's origins and traits, as well as advice on purchasing, housing, feeding, health care, and much more. Each book is individually written by a trainer, breeder, veterinarian, or other animal specialist. Titles in this series cover every popular breed of dog and cat, freshwater and marine fish, many bird varieties, and virtually all other animals that are kept as pets. All books are filled with handsome color photos and instructive line illustrations. Buy it now

Rabbits: Complete Care Guide

This is one of the better pet rabbit books that has been published recently. It is very well balanced, simple to read, and very informative about keeping rabbits. It covers all aspects of rabbit onwership, from rescue, to breeding and showing. I would recommend this one for any pet owner, rescue worker, or breeder.
Filled with invaluable information, health care, training tips, and insight into a rabbit's personality, this book helps rabbit owners keep their rabbits healthy, happy, and living longer. Some of the helpful information you'll find inside includes: Up-to date information, fascinating historical facts, tips on choosing the right pet, helpful resource guide, emergency first aid tips, fun activities and tricks, simple training tips, diet and nutrition, communicating with your pet, 100 full-color photos ect. Buy it now

Which Type Of Litter Is Best For Your Rabbit?

By: Ken Williams

It is very important to provide your rabbit with litter, everyone knows that, but many people do not know that it is also very important as to what kind of litter you supply for your bunny rabbit. There are several different types of litter that can be used, but there is only one type that is best suited for him.

The first type of litter is clay based cat litter. Clay based litter can be potentially harmful to your bunny. Not only does the dust from the kitty litter irritate your rabbit’s respiratory tract but it can also kill your rabbit if eaten by causing an intestinal impaction. So please, please, please do not use cat litter. Just because you may use a cat litter box for your rabbit doesn’t mean you have to stock it with cat litter as well.

The second type of litter is cedar and pine beddings. This type of litter must also be avoided at all costs. Cedar and pine beddings can potentially damage your rabbit’s liver.

The third type of litter is corn cob bedding. There are two factors that make corncob bedding not an ideal litter for your rabbit. The first problem is that it’s not very absorbent. The second and more serious problem is that it can cause intestinal blockage if eaten by your rabbit, which can lead to some very serious problems and could even be fatal to your little fur ball of joy. So if you have corn cob bedding for rabbit litter on your shopping list go ahead and scratch it off now.

The fourth type of litter is newspapers. Although newspapers will not put your rabbit in any kind of danger and are absorbent they do not control the odor that I’m absolutely positive your little furry friend will put out. The truth is that rabbit urine is very strong smelling so it’s important to use something that’s absorbent and also controls odor. If you want to use newspapers you can add a layer of hay on top to help absorb and control the odor.

So, what is the best type of litter to use in your rabbit’s litter box? The ideal litter to use in your bunny's litter box is... To find out which litter is best for your rabbit please visit

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5 Things You Should Look For In A Rabbit Cage

By: Christopher Lunsford

A pet rabbit in a rabbit cage is a lot different from the wild rabbits we see sometimes in the woods or in a documentary of National Geographic. You see, pet rabbits are not wild rabbits caught and eventually domesticated. They are the product of thorough and long breeding process with the aim of developing in them the characteristics that would make them suitable as pets.

Wild rabbits live in the woods, forests, underground burrows, like the European rabbits, in wetlands and deserts, in thickets, meadows and grasslands. Pet rabbits live with their owners, a place quite different from their natural habitat. They have been perfectly adopted to the environment of a home and are used to being around with people, after they have been trained.

Although they have been bred and some of their characteristics have been modified through training, they still behave like rabbits because rabbits they are. In other words, you expect them to love to move around, chew, bite, kick, jump and hop and many other things.

As such, when you bring home a pet rabbit, there are at least five things you have to look for to make your pet live happily, comfortably and safely.

Five things to look for in a Rabbit cage

1. Comfort. The rabbit cage that you will have for your pet rabbit must be comfortable for it. It must be big enough to allow the rabbit to move around and high enough for it to be able stand on two hind legs. It could be bigger if you have enough space in you house.

To address this particular aspect of the living space of rabbits, the best thing to do is build your rabbit a fox proof run outdoors where you can let your rabbit have more space without being bothered or harmed by presumed predators like possums and foxes.

It must have the necessary "facilities" like a place where it can comfortably lie down to sleep, a litter box and water and food containers.

Rabbits are social animals and if properly trained and housebroken, they must be allowed to socialize with the occupants of the house who must also be "rabbit-broken," which means they are able to relate to and treat, and handle the rabbit properly. Rabbits can also be trained to mingle with other pets in the house. It is therefore necessary that the cage allows the rabbit to go in and out when it wants to do so.

Other cages are built like condos where it has a "second floor" and a ramp where it can run through up and down. This allows them some exercise.

2. Health and Safety. Cages with wire floors can cause the nails of the rabbit to be broken or the feet to be injured, or else sores that are painful can develop. To prevent these from happening, floors must be lined with towel or mat.

3. Maintenance. The rabbit cage must be easy to clean. Rabbits thrive well in a neat and clean place. If the cage has a plastic mat on the floor, it is easier to clean. A cage with the top that can lifted will be helpful when you clean the cage. A tray, at the bottom to catch the urine and other dirt, that is can easily be pulled out for cleaning, will be good.

4. Durability. For instance, rabbits love to chew. Aside for the toys you give them where they can spend their time chewing and playing, the cage must be constructed of materials that are cannot be or hard to chew. The mat on the floor must also be more or less chew proof by fastening the edges with a secure metal or by any means so that not any part of the edge would curl upward so the rabbit can chew it.

What's more, cages also costs money. A durable one that will last the lifetime of the rabbit and probably that of the one following would be a good one to have.

5. Mobility. Since cages are most usually inside the house, there are instances when they have to be moved from the area it is situated like for example when the house itself is being cleaned.

Most pet rabbit experts prescribe one that is at least four to five times the length of your pet and since rabbits expect to grow fully, it should approximate the length of your pet when full grown. An ideal one is 3 feet by 2 feet by 20 inches.

However, a rabbit cage must be viewed from the point of the rabbit only but also from the position of the pet owner, it must not only consider the size but from the other points just discussed.

A Correct Diet Is Vital For Rabbit

By Dr.Matthew Homfray

Photo : Zuzka Grujbárová

Many people keep rabbits rather than dogs and cats because rabbits can be happily left at home alone all day while their owners are out at work. Though often happy on their own, they are by nature social creatures that enjoy the company of their owners and other animals in the household. They are best kept in pairs because they form strong bonds with each other. They will play with toys, seek out and follow humans, and enjoy being stroked. Most rabbits will use a litter tray and so can live indoors in the house, but they can sometimes be destructive.

A rabbits natural response to pain or distress is to sit quietly, preferably hidden from view. As a result, many diseases and causes of suffering can be easily overlooked. Though the life expectancy of a domestic rabbit is potentially 10-12 years, few make it to this age. The sad thing is, many of these diseases are preventable.

An incorrect diet can be the underlying cause to many health problems. Rabbits are strict herbivores that eat a variety of plants in the wild. Although they prefer grass and leaves, they can digest more fibrous foods and are able to survive on sparse vegetation. They do NOT need a high calorie diet, as their digestive system has evolved to use bacterial fermentation to break down fibre and form nutrients.

Their teeth are continually growing and being worn down, to cut and grind food before it enters the stomach. Any undigested food that reaches the colon is split into large and small particles, and sent in opposite directions. The small particles pass into the cecum, which is the fermentation chamber full of bacteria. These bacteria break down the particles to form volatile fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients. Large particles that are difficult to break down pass rapidly through the colon, are compressed, and are excreted as hard fecal pellets. Once or twice a day, the motility of the colon changes and the cecum (fermentation chamber) contracts to expel its contents as slightly larger, softer fecal pellets. These are known as cecotropes.

Rabbits eat these pellets of feces, the cecotropes. They are often consumed as they come out of the anus, and are a rich source of nutrients. If this cycle is broken, it disrupts the healthy bacteria that live in the rabbits digestive tract. In very young rabbits, this can cause death by enterotoxemia, i.e. overproduction of toxins by a population of bacteria that is unbalanced and out of control. It can take a while for a rabbit to achieve a stable healthy gut flora (bacterial population), hence why young rabbits are so susceptible.

So, what should I be feeding my rabbit?

The best foods for rabbits are grass and wild plants as they are palatable, low in calories, high in fibre and wear the teeth down. Leafy green vegetables are very good, such as spinach, cabbage, kale and carrot tops. Remember that when a new food is introduced, it can cause a flurry of cecotropes, which must not be interpreted as diarrhea. On the contrary, it is perfectly normal and healthy!

Low calorie but high fibre foods are GOOD, high calorie but low fibre foods are BAD!

Rabbits on a low fibre diet tend to produce softer cecotropes which can stick to the fur around the anus, especially if the fur is fluffy. If this same diet is high in calories, as many of the commercial ones often are, then the rabbit is more likely to be fat and unable to reach their anus to eat the cecotropes. The end result is that a foul smelling mass of matted fecal material accumulates under the tail which is unpleasant for both the rabbit and the owner. Moreover, the skin under the matted feces becomes sore and the smelly, moist area attracts flies. This then leads to flystrike, which is very distressing and often fatal.

Are teeth problems related to diet?

Dental problems are possibly the commonest reason why vets see rabbits. There is universal agreement amongst experts that mixed muesli-type diets are at least partly responsible for these teeth problems. Although these types of rabbit food are cheap, tasty and convenient, they are totally unsuitable for rabbits. They are high in calories and low in fibre, and even if the manufacturer claims to have a balanced mixture of ingredients, many rabbits will cherry pick certain bits from the bowl. This means that certain tasty components such as peas or maize, which are very calcium deficient, are selectively eaten while less palatable ingredients are ignored.

The continual growth of the rabbits teeth is reliant on calcium intake, so when a rabbits diet is deficient, it draws the calcium from its bones instead. This disrupts the tooth structure and can lead to wonky teeth, abscesses, blocked tear ducts, osteoporosis and spinal problems. In addition, rabbits with poor teeth cannot groom themselves properly and so can get mite infestations, leading to scaling and itchy skin.

Poor teeth also make the rabbit unable to eat hay, so the proportion of fibre in the diet decreases and causes digestive problems, as discussed earlier. By and large, if a rabbit is eating large amounts of hay it is an indicator that it has healthy teeth.

About the author

Dr Matthew Homfray is one of the experts on recently launched Pet Q&A service Visit them today, you will be impressed by the quality of their experts and the speed with which your question is answered!