Quick ideas for rabbit enrichment

by Sharon Kutsop

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Whether you work with a shelter or a private rescue, there is a good chance that at some point you will find your organization in the company of an adoptable rabbit. Unfortunately, people tend to purchase rabbits on a whim, and all too often it doesn’t take long for the novelty to wear off. If these rabbits are lucky, they end up in the care of compassionate animal caretakers such our Petfinder members.

Storm the Bunny enjoys being held

If you do end up with a rabbit in your care, there are some important things to remember. Rabbits will need to be housed indoors. This is definitely the safest place for a bunny, which is away from the outdoor elements and other potential dangers, such as flies. Living outdoors can be very dangerous to a rabbit’s health. A calm, predictable housing area is best to maintain a relaxed rabbit and help him become more social. For more in depth information about housing options, please read this article. Another basic to cover is feeding. Rabbits need a lot of hay. Hay is a vital staple of a pet rabbit’s diet. Plain pellets are also needed to meet their overall nutritional requirements. If you are able to also supply rabbits with dark green vegetables, this is wonderful. Contrary to common belief, sweet veggies such as carrots can be given but should be limited.

Generally, rabbits are easily litter trained. If they live free-roaming in a room, you can place a litter box in with them and many will choose to use it, much like cats. Just watch to see which corner they tend to urinate in and place the box there (lined with paper). You can also supply a cardboard box in their living area for them to hide in if there is no other hiding spot available.

Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo Baggins is enjoying the security of his cardboard box.

Rabbits are social animals. Most are also quite affectionate and will thrive when given human interaction daily. You can hold, pet and talk the rabbits in your care to socialize and calm them. In addition to being social, rabbits are also busybodies. Rabbits love to have a “job”. Supply them with objects they can move around and chew on, and you’ll have a busy, happy rabbit on your hands. Non-toxic wooden toys and hard plastic baby toys are great options for rabbits. They may toss them up into the air and get really excited about having these toys, which leads to exercise as well as entertainment.

If your adopters are really excited about bringing their new pet home, and they have the time and space to do so, you can direct them here for more information on creating a rabbit playground. We also have a whole list of articles you can review regarding the care of rabbits, which you can access by clicking here. Best of luck with your rabbit adventures!