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Rabbit Care Guide

Rabbit Care GuideA care guide for new rabbits

Overview

5 things to know about your rabbit

  • Rabbits can weigh from 2 to 10 pounds depending on the breed
  • They can live from 6 to 13 years
  • Rabbits are most active during the day
  • They make excellent indoor pets
  • They're playful and gentle

How do I set up my rabbit's home?

Rabbits live together well in pairs, especially if you choose 2 females from the same family. Some rabbits can be litter-box trained.

  • A rabbit habitat should be high enough to allow rabbits to stand comfortably on their hind legs, with enough floor space that rabbits can stretch out to their full length. Choose a multilevel habitat that's at least 30 x 29 x 18 inches.
  • Place the enclosure near family activities, out of direct sunlight and drafts, in a low-humidity room that's between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line the floor with 3 to 4 inches of recycled-paper bedding or wood shavings. (Cedar shavings are not recommended.)
  • Place a handful or two of hay at one end of the habitat for nibbling and resting.
  • On the other end of the habitat, add a litter box with a half-inch of litter.
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What do I feed my rabbit?

Rabbits are herbivores; their diet consists of pelleted food, hay, vegetables, fruit and the occasional treat.

  • Rabbit pellets should make up 75% of your adult rabbit's diet. Feed your adult rabbit ¼ cup to ½ cup of pellets daily for every 6 pounds of body weight.
  • Dark, leafy greens should make up 20% of your rabbit's diet. Offer 2 cups of greens per 6 pounds of body weight every other day.
  • Apple, banana, melon, berry and pineapple should make up 5% of your rabbit's diet. Offer 1 to 2 ounces per 6 pounds of body weight twice a week.
  • Provide timothy or oat grass hay for your rabbit at all times.
  • Your rabbit should have access to fresh, clean water at all times.
  • Rabbits under a year old do well on a diet of grass hay, alfalfa and calcium-rich greens such as kale, romaine lettuce or Swiss chard.
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How do I play with and groom my rabbit?

  • Rabbits need at least an hour out of their cage every day. Let yours out to walk with a harness or hop around a pen, but don't let the rabbit roam your home unsupervised.
  • When interacting with rabbits, lie on the floor to get down to their level.
  • Rabbits love to chew. Include some chew toys in their pen, but keep them away from anything around they shouldn't gnaw on, such as electrical cords and houseplants.
  • Keep rabbits away from all other pets, especially dogs and cats.
  • Rabbits groom themselves, but they also love a gentle brushing.

How do I keep my rabbit healthy?

A rabbit's teeth never stop growing. Gnawing on hay helps keep them healthy. Try not to handle new rabbits for 3 to 4 days to give them a chance to get acclimated to their new surroundings. Once your rabbit is settled in, be sure to contact a veterinarian if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Cloudy, sunken or swollen eyes
  • Overgrown front teeth
  • Bare patches in the fur
  • Diarrhea or discolored droppings
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Weight loss; not eating or drinking normally
  • Sneezing; discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

PET SAFETY TIPS

  • Use caution when handling pets and remember they may bite or scratch (especially when stressed).
  • Never grab the fur or tail.
  • ALL ANIMALS can potentially carry viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases contagious to humans.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after contact with any pet or its habitat.
  • Adults should assist children with hand washing after contact with a pet, its habitat or aquarium water.

VET ASSURED™

Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program, designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well being of our pets.

Our vendors meet a high standard in caring for pets and screening them for common illnesses. This program also includes specific standards for in-store pet care.

PETSMART PROMISE

If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you're not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.