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Have you ever wondered how to care for a rabbit outdoors? When it comes right down to it, many decisions come up before buying a pet rabbit. What type will it be? What will you do with it? Will you keep it indoors, or will it be an outdoor rabbit? Owning an indoor pet rabbit is convenient, but some folks prefer them to stay outside where their natural habitats are. Here are a few outdoor rabbit care tips to get you started!
How To Care For A Rabbit Outdoors
Before buying a new rabbit, do your homework. Unless you already own a pet rabbit, you might not be ready to bring one home yet. Behind every quality, bunny lives a responsible owner. Being a responsible owner means that your rabbit lives for a long time.
Get The Right Equipment
Rabbits aren’t like cats and dogs. You need the right equipment and supply to ensure the safety of your outdoor rabbit. Consider getting the following items to start:
- Hutch or cage
- Litter box and scoop
- Food bowls
- Water bottle or water bowl
- Playpen or Exercise run
- Grooming Kit
- Food, Hay & Pellets
These are the essential items that you need to get started. Of course, you can choose to buy more rabbit supplies when keeping a rabbit outside. But, the above items are enough for most owners. The most important thing on the list is your outdoor pet rabbit’s home. Please buy a hutch or cage with ample space to allow your bunny to thrive. Small cages only stress and frustrate your pet. Also, a run or playpen to allow your rabbit to exercise daily is vital for their health.
Setting Up Your Outdoor Rabbit Cage
As mentioned, when caring for bunnies outdoors, the most important thing is the cage. Line the bottom of the hutch with newspaper and top it with straw or hay. You have to change the wet hay/straw daily. Clean the entire cage at least once a week.
Place bowls throughout your bunny’s hutch, and be sure there’s easy access to it. For example, place a bowl with hay in one corner and the second bowl for treats like kale and broccoli in another. Ensure to wash the bowls once every week with hot soapy water and dry them before refilling them.
All animals need access to drinking water. Bowls or bottles are both excellent choices. But, if you decide you want to use a bottle, ensure that the tube does not get blocked so they can stay hydrated. That being said, make sure to refill the water bottle whenever it gets low.
Protecting Your Outdoor Rabbit
Keeping rabbits outside has several advantages, but there is also a disadvantage. The outdoors have predators, and your rabbit is at the bottom of the food chain. Compared to other animals, they aren’t more at risk of getting injured or being taken. However, you must be mindful not to expose them to potential threats or inclement weather.
Rabbits in the wild survive best in cool environments. However, if temperatures get too cold or too hot, this could lead to dangerous situations. Bunnies may overheat in the summer, so they must have a shaded place and a continuous water supply. Winters can be harsh if you live in northern climates. If you’re counting on a temperature drop or storm overnight, bring them inside until the weather stabilizes.
You need to check on your hutch daily. Ensure wild animals are not threatening your bunny’s safety. Check that the weather has not damaged their home. Pens or cages should be weatherproof. Ensure no weak doors or broken wiring could lead to your rabbit escaping. Escaped rabbits may end up lost. Also, you must clean the hutch as thoroughly as possible to avoid luring pests to it. Remove rotting, unused food and discard feces and urine accordingly.
Interact With Your Outdoor Bunny
Rabbits like your attention and care, so you must spend time with them every day. Take at least an hour out of your day to spend with your pet rabbits. They are pretty friendly, and once they’re active, they will feel happy.
Use Toys To Stimulate Your Pet Rabbit
The presence of toys can stimulate your rabbits’ physical and mental well-being. Rabbits enjoy being active but are somewhat prone to fleeting boredom. To avoid boredom, they switch out their toys every few weeks. You can buy toys or you can use at-home items like:
- Cardboard boxes
- Shredded paper
- Toilet paper tubes
How To Handle Outdoor Rabbits
Before picking them up, allow them to become accustomed to your sight. If they seem calm, pick them up or let them come to you. Do not ever pick them up by their ears. You should have a strong grip but do not want or need too firm a grip to harm the bunny. They also prefer to be against you and relax with their feet resting on your forearm.
Don’t Forget To Groom Your Rabbit
Bunnies need to be attended to and must be brushed regularly. Brush your bunnies a few times each week. Rabbit chews are usually readily available at most pet stores and will keep your rabbits excited and their teeth at a suitable length.
The Bottom Line
And that’s how to care for a rabbit outdoors. If you own pet rabbits and want to house them outdoors, make sure you provide them with the best care possible environment. Feed them well, play with them, clean their cages, and they’ll live happy lives.