When it comes to owning a pet, a million questions go through your head before you make a decision. What kind of rabbit should it be? What will you name it? And most important – will it live indoors or outdoors? An indoor rabbit is great, but some people prefer to keep them outside, where they are closer to its natural environment. If you want to keep your rabbit outdoors, you’ll need to think about all sorts of safety measures so you can have it with you throughout its life. Where to start with all this? Follow this step-by-step guide on how to keep a rabbit outside.
How to Care for an Outdoor Rabbit
Before you even think about buying a rabbit as a pet, you need to prepare for it. If you have never had a rabbit before, you may not be ready to bring one home. Follow these steps to prepare to bring home your new friend and ensure a safe and happy future.
1-Supplies and Equipment
Rabbits are not like cats and dogs, which only need shelter and food. There is a lot to buy, and you need to make sure you have everything you need before the animals take up residence, so you are prepared for any situation that arises. Below is a list of the things you need:
- Hutch or cage
Litter box and scoop
Water bottle or bowl
Rabbit-friendly cleaning sprays
You may purchase other items for your pet over time, but this is a general list of basic items to get you started. Your home is one of the most important items on this list. Rabbits need space to grow and without it, they won’t thrive. If they are confined to a cage that is too small, they can get sick or stressed and possibly injured. When buying a rabbit house, make sure it is large enough for your rabbit to grow in and still provide some extra space, just in case.
Another important item on this list is a run. You don’t want to be stuck in a cage without a place to run or stretch your legs, so why do that to your rabbit? The run can be attached directly to the cage or set up separately. This gives your rabbit more space in which to run around outside and feel free.
2-Setting Up the Cage
The cage is the most important part of keeping rabbits outdoors, as it is their permanent home. Line the bottom of the cage with newspaper, then fill it with soft hay or straw so that the entire bottom surface is covered. The wet straw should be changed daily, and the cage should be cleaned weekly.
Place one or two feeders in the cage so the animals have constant access to them. Most rabbit owners use one bowl for regular rabbit kibble and another for treats such as kale, cabbage, or broccoli. Clean the bowls once a week with warm, soapy water and let them dry completely before refilling.
All pets should have access to plenty of clean drinking water. Both bowls and bottles are good choices. However, if you opt for a bottle, make sure the hose does not clog so that the animals always have enough water. Refill the water supply whenever it is low so that there is always enough for the animals.
3-Protect Your Rabbit
There are many advantages to keeping rabbits outdoors, but there is also a big disadvantage. There are predators in the wild, and your pet is at the bottom of the food chain. That doesn’t mean they can’t live a safe life outdoors, but you will need to take extra safety measures to ensure they are not exposed to the elements or at risk of being taken by someone or something.
Rabbits are born to live outdoors and love to spend time outdoors. However, when temperatures get too hot or too cold, it can lead to dangerous situations for them. In summer, rabbits can overheat, so they need a shady place to cool off and plenty of water to quench their thirst. Winters can be harsh, especially if you live in the north. If you expect a drastic drop in temperature or a storm at night, bring the animals inside until calm returns.
Because of the weather and stray predators, check your chicken coop daily. Shelters or cages should be weatherproof and provide a place where they can take shelter from bad weather. They should also not have any loose doors or wires for them to walk through. In addition, their food and droppings attract pests, so keep the cage as clean as possible.
4-Give Your Bunny Attention
Rabbits enjoy your company and will live very lonely lives if you don’t give them the love and attention they deserve. You should spend at least half an hour with your rabbit every day. They are social creatures and much happier when stimulated.
5-Stimulate Your Rabbit with Toys
Toys stimulate your rabbits mentally and physically. They like an active mind and a fit body. After a while, they may get bored with it. Change the toys every few weeks so they are always doing something new. Here are some things rabbits like to play with: