Rabbits make fun and loving house pets. Just like a cat or dog, they have certain needs for their care that new bunny owners must learn about. A hutch is the first essential piece of equipment for your rabbit. Bunnies should be kept as an indoor pet for the best protection and its hutch considered his space.
Types of Hutches
Making sure that the bunny has enough space is very important. TheRabbitHutch.com recommends that for a 6 to 7 pound rabbit his hutch should be at least two feet wide, two feet long and 18 inches high. Preferably larger as rabbits need as much room as possible to stretch and move around.
It is important to make sure that his hutch is well build. Rabbits are very active and playful so a well built room for him is necessary. The floor of the hutch should never be made of wire or any other material that bunny can get his feet caught in. Wire floors, in particular, are very uncomfortable on a rabbit's feet. Smooth floors are much easier on the rabbit's feet and easy to clean.
Hutches made of wood are durable, but are tempting for rabbits to chew on. If you find that happens, simply spray bitter apple spray on the wood. This will typically stop the chewing.
Litter Training in a Hutch
The House Rabbit Society gives very specific advice on their web site Rabbit.org about litter training in a hutch. Some hutches have slotted floors with a tray to catch any droppings the rabbit makes. However, rabbits are very easy to litter train and a litter box is actually easier to clean than the pull out trays.
When you first put your bunny in the new hutch to explore you will notice that he will choose a corner to use as his bathroom. This is where you will put the litter box. Place some of his droppings in the litter box, put it in the spot he has chosen and typically the rabbit will do the rest and start using the litter box.
Never use clumping litter in a rabbit's litter box. An essential part of a rabbit's digestion includes ingesting some of its own droppings. Should the bunny ingest clumping litter it could cause a dangerous intestinal blockage. Instead, litters made of recycled newspaper, such as "Yesterday's News" is recommended.
Inside The Hutch
Avoid the temptation of putting carpeting in your rabbit hutch. While it might be a comfortable bed for him, rabbits are notorious chewers and will often chew and eat carpet, which can cause a life-threatening intestinal blockage.
Bunnies love to play. The experts at HopperHome.com recommend putting a cardboard box inside the hutch. Most rabbits will be enthralled and spend hours a day playing with it. They especially love boxes that they can sit inside. Be sure to remove any plastic or tape from the box before giving it to the rabbit.
Water bottles can be easily mounted on the hutch for the rabbit, but some rabbits prefer drinking from a water dish, just like a cat or dog. Many owners also find bowls easier to keep clean.
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