Do Rabbits and Guinea Pigs Need A Run?

pet rabbit photo
Photo by www.metaphoricalplatypus.com

When humans sit around all day, they can put on weight, and over the long term, health can suffer. It is no different for animals. This is why it is essential to take dogs for a walk. Cats get plenty of exercise outdoors, and by running around the house. Hamsters, and other rodents often have wheels (NEVER use a wheel for rabbits and guinea pigs, they break legs).

Rabbits and guinea pigs also need plenty of exercise. If they are outdoors, then they should be given a run for them to play in. This should be big enough for them to run a reasonable distance. For home based rabbits and guinea pigs, these are usually kept in a cage. However, a C&C construction can give them plenty of room to play in. The tools for this can be purchased online in places like eBay.

These animals are fine for allowing free run off the living room. They at pee and poo on the carpet now and again, but this is more an accident than habit. Besides, as they are herbivores, what comes out the backend is safe.

The best way to allow free run for these pets in the home is to setup the main living area, and a smaller area on the other side of the room. After a few days, they will tend to just run from one to the other. This is great fun to watch. Block off escapes for the first month, and hide wires. Once they have learnt what is ‘home and safety’ to them, these can then be removed.

Always make sure the animals are locked up when leaving the house, do not let them run free with no one there.

Taking Care Of Rabbits

pet rabbit photo
Photo by karamsingh

Rabbits can be cute and gentle pets but caring for them will require an understanding of their behavior. These soft and lovable animals are unique from the usual cats and dogs but they also require the same loving attention to become health and happy. Here are some tips to build a great relationship with your rabbits.

  • Provide fresh food for your rabbit
  • Rabbits eat mostly hay so keep lots dry, clean hay accessible to them through a hay feeder. Baby rabbits and adult rabbits may have different needs so do your research and check with your veterinarian. You should also provide fresh vegetables, fiber-rich pellets, and clean water. Rabbits are usually portrayed to eat carrots but these should only be given occasionally because of its sugar content. The same goes for different kinds of fruits.
  • Set up a litter box
  • Rabbits, like cats, can be trained to use a litter box as they are naturally inclined to poop and pee in one area. You can use a cat litter box or a shallow storage container with recycled newspaper pellet litter and put this near their water and hay feeder.
  • Groom your rabbit
  • Rabbits are naturally clean and do not need regular baths. They will spend a fair amount of time grooming themselves but you may need to brush their fur regularly. Rabbits have shedding cycles and it is important to remove the excess fur so they will not ingest it and cause digestive problems. You will also need to trim their nails to prevent it from curling into their paws and getting snagged on other things.
  • Check the health of your rabbit
  • You can take your rabbit for a regular check up to ensure that they are in good health. If there are any sudden changes in your rabbit’s behavior, if they are not eating, drinking, pooping, or peeing, talk to a veterinarian immediately.
  • Understand rabbit behavior
  • Rabbits have a different way of communicating from dogs and cats. You should learn to understand their language and behavior to address different kinds of needs. They will nudge or nip you for attention and may binky and run around the room when excited. Rabbits will growl or grind their teeth when stressed or uncomfortable and they will scream when in extreme pain. Pay attention to your rabbit’s behavior and you will learn that they express themselves in their own unique way.

Cuddles And Housing For Rabbits

pet Rabbits photo
Photo by www.metaphoricalplatypus.com

If you are planning to take home one of these fluffy creatures, you should first consider its specific needs and if you are capable to provide these. Rabbits will have different needs from your usual cats and dogs but once you know how to take care of them, you can be assured of a long-lasting relationship with a happy and healthy bunny. Here are a few tips on caring for these gentle pets.

  • Give your rabbit a safe home
  • You can decide whether your rabbits can live free-reign, in a pen, or a rabbit cage. If you opt for a free-reign rabbit, remember to bunny proof the room. If they will be put in a cage, make sure that they have enough space to hop around. You can also purchase or build outdoor hutches that are sturdy enough to protect your rabbit from predators and the weather. You should opt for solid bottom cages or hutches as wire bottoms can hurt their feet. Rabbits need exercise so you can also let them out of their cages a few hours a day.
  • Rabbit proof your house
  • Provide enough space for your rabbit to hop around and explore. If you let them out of their cage, ensure that the room is rabbit proof to keep them safe and protect your belongings. Cover or hide things that might get chewed on like wires, carpets, furniture, house plants and the like.
  • Spend time with your rabbit
  • Just like all other pets, rabbits need to interact with other rabbits and people. They are highly social animals and should not be left alone for too long. You can get a companion rabbit but you will still need to play and spend time with them. You can also put the cage or pen where they are not isolated such as the living room. Rabbits have a fragile body so be careful when handling them.
  • Give them plenty of toys
  • Rabbits can also get bored so you need to prepare activities that could provide mental stimulation. There are toys available in pet stores but you can also improvise from everyday objects such as cardboard boxes. You can build cardboard castle for your rabbit where they can spend their time chewing windows and doorways.