Rabbits make excellent pets. Their small size makes them perfect for house or apartment dwellers. They are curious by nature and love to chew; therefore, they require supervision when let out of their cages.

The cage or hutch should be as large as you can possibly allow. Bigger is better. Wire bottom cages should be avoided as the wire can catch toenails, toes and feet and cause sores. The bedding should be soft and absorbent. CareFresh or recycled paper is best.

Bunnies need fresh water daily, and the mainstay of the diet should be fresh timothy hay. Depending on the size of the bunny, a rabbit should be fed a few tablespoons to ½ cup of pellets (preferably timothy pellets) daily. Fresh veggies are allowed in small amounts. A small carrot or carrot tops, dandelions, greens, cilantro are all fine, but should be considered treats!

,p>All rabbits should receive a physical exam at least once a year. It is very important to have all the teeth checked – incisors and molars – as rabbits are very prone to dental disease. A fecal sample should be checked for parasites on all new rabbits. All female rabbits should be spayed to reduce the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer. Male bunnies should be neutered, as this will help decrease a g g r e s s i v e tendencies.

Again, rabbits make wonderful pets and are a great addition to any family. Think about adopting your next bunny from the Shelter or from one of the several rabbit rescue groups in the area. There are many fabulous bunnies out there who desperately need a loving home.

Marcie L. Engel, D.V.M ,Brookville Animal Hospital

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