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The best place for pets to live is indoors with their human families, and this applies to rabbits, too.
Some people let their bunnies roam freely around the house, while others provide cage-free exercise in the mornings and evenings when rabbits are most active.
If there was a rabbit food pyramid, the base would be timothy hay, followed by leafy greens (no cabbage or iceberg lettuce) and then rabbit pellets—the smallest amount—at the top, says Tim Patino, president of Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary in Willis, Michigan.
Pellets should be limited to about a quarter cup a day, depending on the size of your bunny.
Back at the shelter, Chibi chose Elliot, a special-needs bunny with cataracts. “Most are surrendered because a child has lost interest or gone off to college.” Others are found as strays, set loose in parks and suburban neighborhoods (Juno was one of 18 domestic rabbits living on a baseball field before they were rescued). “People often get rabbits on a whim,” says Alexandra Deckert, HSUS international accounting manager and board member of the Maryland-based Friends of Rabbits.
The experience drew Martin and Elwood into the world of rabbit rescue, and Martin is now executive director of the House Rabbit Society, a California-based nonprofit with chapters across the U. “Rabbits are the third most surrendered pet in the U. “Then they realize they aren’t as easy to take care of as they had imagined.” While it’s true that rabbits don’t need to be walked or enrolled in obedience classes, that doesn’t mean they’re low-maintenance.
Rabbits have sensitive gastrointestinal tracts, so fresh fruit and treats should be fed sparingly—one Craisin or a “tiny piece of grape, banana or apple” a day, Fraser suggests.
Rabbits need regular brushing and nail trimming, and they need things to chew, such as willow or wicker balls, to help wear down their ever-growing teeth.
Deckert recommends a minimum of 8 square feet for each rabbit and at least five hours outside the cage each day.Wire floors can injure a rabbit’s paws, so look for solid, nonslip flooring.Sivan Fraser with South Florida Rabbit Rescue uses carpeted ramps and gym-flooring squares in her rabbits’ enclosures.nyone visiting Anne Martin’s home in the San Francisco Bay Area would know she has pets. But there’s no midnight meowing, no whining, no excited yips and yowls when the doorbell chimes. Martin fell prey to the charms of rabbits nine years ago when she and her partner, Ian Elwood, were searching for a pet.There are the baby gates separating the sun-filled kitchen and breakfast nook from the rest of the house and blocking the entrance to the spare bedroom. Elwood’s cat allergy led them to look at bunnies, and after a little research, they adopted Chibi, a dwarf mix, from a local shelter.