So, you have found the perfect bunny and you are totally ready to get it! But wait! Are you sure that you have everything you need to be able to bring your new pet home and make them as comfortable as possible?
John and I admittedly bought Dakota on an impulse. Now, I don’t recommend buying pets on impulse, but I certainly know that it will inevitably happen to the best of us sometimes! When I got home with our new little family member, I immediately got to work with researching everything I needed. So here is the top 5 things I recommend you should have if you plan on adopting a rabbit, or if you’ve already fell victim to an impulse!
1. A Proper Rabbit Home
This picture here was the home I was finally satisfied with for Dakota! First I tried the bunny cage, but I felt like she should have more room to run around and that the cage was much too small. Then I tried the cage inside the pen, but that was still way too small in my opinion, so out came the cage and I set up her pen just like that! There are a lot of different homes you can provide for your bunny, see “A Rabbit’s Enclosure“, but in my own personal opinion, I feel that an X-pen is the perfect and most suitable option!
2. Litter Boxes & Litter
Yes, if you did not know, bunnies can be litter trained! We got lucky with Dakota because she was already litter trained when we brought her home. That being said, you will need litter boxes and litter for them to do their business in. There are lots of things you can use as a litter box, but I personally prefer to use ones that are designed for cats. They are bigger and I prefer the rectangle shape as opposed to the triangle corner shaped bunny ones. As for what litter you use, there are lot’s to choose from as well! But NEVER use clumping cat litter or anything that would be too dusty. On the left is what I use, Yesterday’s News by Purina. The price for it is decent for a large bag and I find that it is very absorbent and not dusty at all. It’s made out of recycled paper and I love the pellet form it is in. You can also use CareFresh bedding as a litter, however I found that one to be on the expensive side and she often kicked it around a lot easier.
3. Appropriate Food
So when I took Dakota home, I thought, I am sure, what a lot of other people think when they get a rabbit. You can feed it a diet of pure vegetables! Of course I made her a nice little salad right away and watched as she happily munched away. Only after this did I discover that I was completely and entirely wrong! Dakota was about 2 months old when we got her and at that age, it’s actually either not recommended for them to have vegetables at all, or to slowly start them on veggies. Since Dakota didn’t seem to be having problems digesting the vegetables though, I chose to drastically lessen the amount I gave her and gradually gave her up to 1 cup of vegetables per day by the age of 6 months. See “Rabbit Safe Foods!” for a list of vegetables and fruits (which are considered treats!) that you can feed your rabbit. Alright, so the main two things you will need off the bat are a bag of young or adult rabbit pellets and a big bag of hay! The brand I always get is Oxbow. I get Oxbow Essentials Adult Rabbit Food (because she is now 6 months old) and my two preferred hay options are Oxbow Western Timothy Hay & Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay. There are other options for hay as well, but just be sure to never feed an adult rabbit Alfalfa Hay as it is very fattening!
4. Entertainment For Bunny
After getting home with Dakota, I realized that I didn’t really have much for her to play with. So I quickly searched online for things that might entertain her and keep her busy! I made a list of my findings here; “Toys For Your Pet Rabbit!“. Now let me be honest, I have about 10 toys that I bought that Dakota wants absolutely nothing to do with! Which is pretty frustrating because I feel like she is always bored, but I suppose she is just very picky about what toys she likes. Needless to say, I keep buying her new toys anyways in an endless attempt to find some she will enjoy!
Pictured on the left are some little Bento Box cups that I bought for, well… My Bento Box. Turns out that Dakota decided these will in fact be her absolute favorite things to play with! Other things she likes to play with include the empty chip bags and any wrappers we leave laying around by accident. Oh, and chewing cords… Those are apparently delicious.
5. Hay Feeder
Last but not least, while this is not entirely necessary since you can just pile the hay in the corner of their litter box to eat, it does keep it slightly cleaner and helps to prevent them from peeing on most of the hay. Dakota won’t eat the hay once she has peed on it… I don’t entirely blame her! You can purchase ones meant to be used as hay feeders, or you can find other things to use as a makeshift feeder! For example on the right, I bought a shower caddy that I thought looked perfect for a hay feeder! Turns out Dakota loves to sit in it instead… But hey, it still works!