Most Overlooked Essentials
When it comes to
Rabbit Care Information

Many people get a pet rabbit on an impulse. Like any pet, it is best to learn rabbit care information and prepare for it before you bring it home. Taking the time to do a bit of research can save you hours of agonizing later.

Hot Weather

First of all, you need a proper home for your pet. Will it live indoors or out? No matter what, it is important to know that rabbits are more sensitive to heat than cold. Too much heat can make your rabbit sick or even kill it. Rabbits don't sweat like people do; they pant to cool off like a dog. Panting uses up a lot of moisture from their system, making them dehydrated. This lowers their blood volume and so less oxygen is provided to the cells in their body.

During hot weather, you can cool off your pet by providing proper shade and enough cool water to drink. Some people also provide their pet with a frozen bottle. As the ice melts, it releases cool air. Some rabbits are content to be near it; others actually lick it or climb over it to cool off. Other people use fans to help the air circulate. This is also an effective method of cooling your rabbit.

Grooming

How often do you plan to groom your new pet? Yes, rabbits do a lot of grooming themselves. They lick their fur just like cats do. This can result in hairballs building up in their digestive system. Unlike cats they can't vomit, so it is imperative that you feed hay on a regular basis to help move these hairballs through their system.

Hairballs are more common when your rabbit molts. Rabbits shed their fur and grow a new coat a couple times per year. You'll find clumps of fur everywhere. When you brush your rabbit during this time, the brush comes off the coat each time full to the brim with loose hair. If your pet has a long angora coat or a velvety rex coat, the loose hair can mat with the new hair and create a real problem if it is not removed promptly.

Even running your hands over the body of a molting rabbit will help remove hair. Gentle tugs can remove a huge pile in record time. Grooming at this time is best done outdoors unless you have a vacuum handy to clean up the fluff.

If your vacuum can blow as well as suck up debris, you can use it to blow the coat off your rabbit. Think of it as blow-drying without your pet getting wet. Do this outdoors with your pet on a grooming table. The air forces the hair apart, letting loose strands float away. Finish the job with a slicker brush.

While you're brushing your pet, check his toenails for trimming. A simple dog toenail trimmer will do the trick. Don't go too far down the nail or you may cut the quick and your pet will bleed. Always keep a styptic pencil handy or some cornstarch to help clot the blood if it happens accidentally.

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