Winnebago County Animal Services adopts rabbits to be family pets. Under no circumstances should a rabbit be used for food for other animals; for experimentation or laboratory work; or for any other use other than as a family pet. WCAS strictly enforces this policy under the terms of the adoption contract.
Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of good rabbit care. Alfalfa pellets are often too high in protein and exclusive feeding can lead to obesity, gastrointestinal tract problems, impactions, and liver disease. A varied diet composed of green leafy vegetables and fresh Timothy or grass hay is necessary. Iceberg lettuce should not be given to rabbits because of its high water content, but greens such as parsley, cilantro, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, and romaine lettuce are very good for bunnies.
It is important to make sure they always have a fresh, clean supply of water. Provide straw for chewing needs, and wood, cardboard, grass mats, untreated wicker, and other safe chewables for chewing and entertainment. Wood is nice if it’s wired to the side of the cage.
To aid digestion, probiotics and papaya enzymes can be used. Papaya or pineapple enzymes will help break down build-up inside the stomach if a bunny has ingested too much fur, but it will not break down the hair itself.
If the rabbit has not eaten or produced any droppings within a 24-hour period, consider this to be an emergency situation and seek veterinary assistance.
Health and Grooming
· Spay your female bunny at age 6 months, males at 4 months.
· Regularly check eyes, nose, ears, teeth, weight, and droppings.
· Notice any behavior change.
· Avoid stress, heat, and sudden temperature changes.
· Find an experienced rabbit vet before a problem develops.
· Groom with flea comb.
· Brush away excess fur.
· Use cat flea products as needed.
· Clip toenails.
Source: ARL – Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. 2018 – https://www.arl-iowa.org/