Rabbit for a child: what you need to know about keeping eared pets
Your child has long been asking to buy him a furry friend, firmly promising that he will take upon himself all the chores associated with caring for him? If the child is not allergic to animal hair, then it is hardly worth refusing him. Living with four-legged friends with children has more advantages than disadvantages, and the most obvious of them is that, taking care of the pet, the child is accustomed to discipline and responsibility. The main thing is to decide which animal is more suitable for your family, and even if it looks like a meek and unpretentious rabbit, first you need to understand all the nuances of its content.
About the nature of decorative rabbits
When choosing a decorative or dwarf rabbit (the latter also refer to decorative ones, they only have miniature sizes), it should be noted that this animal is not recommended for children under seven years of age, since they still do not know how to handle animals, and rabbits just differ in large vulnerability compared to other pets.
As you know, appearances are deceiving: such an outwardly loving quiet person like a rabbit can actually manifest himself in different ways, and sometimes will require no less attention than a dog or cat. It depends on the environment in which a big-eared pet grew up, whether it turns out to be a tame and affectionate friend, gloomy, impassable, or even turn into a domestic tyrant. With proper care and sufficient attention, the rabbit will become a real favorite of the family, communication with which will bring a lot of joyful moments to all home. But with rough treatment and in poor conditions, the animal is unlikely to grow outgoing and friendly.
The character of rabbits is also determined by heredity and breed. Regardless of these factors, these pussies are characterized by varying degrees of sensitivity, timidity and viciousness. In an aggressive state, the animal can growl and even bite or scratch the “enemy.” There are several common causes of rabbit aggression. If you understand their essence, then you can always adjust the behavior of the ward, without resorting to punishment, and the problem will be resolved.
Why does the rabbit become aggressive?
Very often the malevolence of eared pets is manifested when the newly-minted owner tries to clean the cage, remove bowls from it, change water, etc. The fact is that a rabbit is a territorial animal and will always protect its home, that is, in a living environment, a cage, so put things in order in the pet’s home, first letting it out for a walk (it is important that the animal comes out himself). Over time, try to perform simple actions already in the presence of a rabbit in the cage, protecting your hands with a tight mitten, while trying to gently stroke it: this way the animal will gradually get used to your “intrusions” and will calmly respond to them.
In general, restraint is almost the main principle of treating a rabbit, especially in the first time after the animal has settled in your house. A scream, sudden movements, sudden noise can greatly scare a pet. The animal can not be suddenly grabbed, especially when it is sleeping, and even more so, take it by the collar or by the ears: the rabbit will be afraid of you, perceiving it as a predator, and when you appear it will hold the defense with the help of teeth. If you brought an adult rabbit, and it turned out to be malicious and unsociable, then most likely the previous owners did not treat it in the best way, and the animal does not expect anything good from a person.
In both cases, whether you have taken a completely crumb or an adult, it will take some time to tame the animal. Gradually accustom him to affection, try to gently pick him up, and since the rabbits are quite susceptible to our intonations, talk to the pet in a calm, calm voice. With this attitude, your pet will certainly begin to trust you and show affection.
Two other typical causes of aggression in a rabbit are puberty / pregnancy of the rabbit. In the second case, the “evil” time, when it is better not to disturb the female once again, passes within 2-3 weeks, which can be, just with patience, just wait out. At a transitional age – about 3-5 months, and in subsequent periods of sexual activity, the eared is excessively energetic and assertive, during home walks he will bother around your legs, trying to bite. Stop this behavior in a strict voice. If you do not plan to breed rabbits, the castration / sterilization of the pet will be optimal for both the physical and mental health of the animal and for your peace of mind.
Think about whether you and your child have enough time and patience to deal with these situations. If so, then before buying a rabbit, find out about the main points of its content, this will help to finally understand whether you can make friends with this animal.
Conditions for keeping decorative rabbits in the apartment
It will be better if you separate the responsibilities for caring for the pet in advance and agree on what the child will be able to perform independently.
First of all, we equip for an eared dwelling. Rabbits need to move a lot, a spacious room is vital for them, because if the animal is constrained in movement, it threatens him with joint diseases, obesity, and nervous disorders. Buy a cage with a length of at least 1 meter. When choosing it, consider the size of an adult animal, as well as the fact that it should be able to stretch in length and freely stand on its hind legs. It’s great if you can buy an aviary instead of a cage or organize a corral, taking most of the room for rabbit housing.
Whichever option you choose, the dwelling should be located in such a place so that the pet is not bothered by drafts, sudden changes in temperature, direct sunlight, excessive noise. At the same time, the rabbit should not bother you, keep in mind that this animal is active in the evening and at night.
Due to the peculiarities of rabbit paws, the lattice for eared pets is contraindicated, so the bottom of the cage should be solid, but not smooth. For roughness, the pallet can be rubbed with sandpaper, and a rug can be laid in the pen. Buy a crate with a retractable bottom for easy cleaning.
In the rabbit’s dwelling there should be stable bowls for food and water, preferably from heavy material – metal or ceramics so that the rabbit could not turn them over, a hinged sennik, toilet tray, better angled to save space, with natural filler (except for sawdust), wooden bars or tree branches with bark for grinding cutters. Later, when the ushastik settles in your home, put a wooden house for sleeping and hide and seek, as well as various objects made of natural climbing materials: tunnels, crossbars, bridges.
Every day you should wash the feeder and the drinker, remove the balls of wool (when molting) and the remnants of food from the cage, clean the tray. At least once a week, the crate is washed, the bowls and tray are disinfected, and the cells are disinfected about twice a month. Thanks to regular cleaning, the chances that you will encounter the problem of rabbit smell in the apartment are very small.
Games and walks
The rabbit needs daily outings “at will”, at least for half an hour. The space for walking should be secured: insulate all electrical wires, cover a slippery laminate or linoleum with a rug, make sure that the pet does not jump onto a sofa or chair, because, jumping off from there, the animal may be injured. Remove clothes, books, magazines from the animal’s reach, barricade the slots under the cupboard and sofa, and cover the open walls with furniture or plywood, as rabbits have a great weakness for wallpaper.
Toys will help to distract a pet from all kinds of ugliness, designed to satisfy its natural needs to dig, nibble and ride. For example, you can offer your pet a cardboard box filled with hay with entrances and exits, cardboard rolls of toilet paper, plain paper and old clean rags that can be cracked and torn, built from planks obstacles for jumping.
When the rabbit turns 4 months old, in the warm season, he can be taken to fresh air. Previously, the animal must be given all the necessary vaccinations and buy him a special harness. Choose quiet, deserted, not polluted places for walking, and even better go out with your pet to nature, since walking in the city is of little use. If you have a summer cottage, equip an aviary on the plot.
Hair and Claw Care
The rabbit should be combed regularly and it should be accustomed to this from childhood. Shorthair and normal-haired rabbits, this procedure is enough to carry out 1-2 times a week, long-haired more often to prevent the formation of warlocks. During molting, the animal, regardless of the length of the coat, removes dead hair daily. For combing, it is better to use a comb.
The rabbit is by nature a very clean animal, therefore it is bathed only in the most extreme cases, for example, when the animal is very dirty or with diarrhea.
About once a month or less, the rabbit needs to cut its nails as they grow, this will help prevent pododermatitis and other paw problems. To do this, use a special clipper. Perform the procedure in good light so as not to damage the blood vessel in the claw.
Decorative rabbits feeding
The main components of the standard diet of a decorative rabbit are high-quality hay in unlimited quantities, fresh drinking water, herbs and leafy vegetables. It is better to replace factory dry food with grass granules (compound feed), which should be given to the animal up to about 3 tablespoons per day. The fact is that ready-made feed mixtures full of cereals, cereals and dried fruits are not suitable for rabbits, because they are still herbivorous creatures. Many veterinarians advise using dry food very rarely, for example, as a treat or on the go.
Greens, vegetables, fruits are introduced into the rabbit diet a little since about 4 months, watching the pet’s digestion. In general, an animal, regardless of its age, is gradually accustomed to each new product. Rabbits are allowed any kind of cabbage (except white cabbage), carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, radishes, zucchini, pumpkin, squash. From greens, they put all kinds of lettuce, spinach, celery, beet tops, carrots, radishes, oat and wheat sprouts and in small amounts dill and parsley.
Of the most accessible herbs, the pet can be fed the leaves of clover, dandelion, chamomile, burdock, plantain, young nettle. All common fruits and berries are permissible in the diet, but give them in very small quantities 2-3 times a week.
Under the ban, potatoes, legumes, nuts, onions, garlic and any food from our table.