Bunnies should have unlimited access to fresh grass-based hay: Oat hay (most common), teff aka eragrostis, mountain hay, meadow hay, orchard grass & timothy hay.
A hay feeder works well to keep buns from urinating on the hay that they are supposed to eat. Hook the feeder above the litter box (inside or outside of the cage) – bunnies like to eat and poop at the same time. Some shops sell “salad racks” in their small pet section that work well as hay feeders, or alternatively they make great DIY projects.
Access to fresh grass
Keeps teeth worn down. Wheat grass or oat grass can also be grown indoors if you don’t have a garden.
Quality (non muesli) pellets
We recommend Burgess Excel, Selective, Verse Laga Crispy Snack Fibers or Marltons plain brown pellets. These are great because of their lack of dangerously indigestible ingredients (seeds, peas, corn). Remember to limit pellets to 2 tablespoons per day.
Protexin is a probiotic powder that assists with a healthy digestive system. Sprinkle a 1/4 teaspoon on your bunny’s daily greens. Avoid adding it to their water as you cannot monitor the amount they consume. They will also stop drinking the water if they don’t like the taste.
Water bowls (even if you use bottles)
The balls within water bottle nozzles often get stuck leaving your bunny without water. Bottles also tend to get slimy inside and can harvest bacteria. Buns do however like to tip bowls, so a heavier bowl is best. Rogs Slurp bowls work well – they are rubber bottomed stainless steel bowls: heavy to lift, very hygienic and easy to clean. Some people like to use ceramic bowls as they keep the water nice and cool.
If your bunny is going to be living in a cage, you need to buy as big as possible and then remember that he will still need at least a couple of hours run time daily (out of his cage). Any cage should at least be 1.2m (length) and high enough for the bun to stand comfortably on his hind legs. Playpens are also nice and spacious housing options, just remember that some buns can jump very high and escape. (Playpens ideal height = 1m +) If your rabbit lives outside, hutches should be used as sleeping quarters only and then an enclosed run to move around in. Always keep your bun safe from other predators like cats and birds of prey. Read our blog on indoor setup.
A corner one, or a square/rectangle with high sides (they lift their bums and can wee over the sides if not high enough). Only consider a wire bottom if you have a long haired bun that keeps getting poop stuck in his fur.
Wood pellets/eco cat litter
Don’t use crystals or pine shavings or clumpy stuff – they all have health risks associated with their strong scents and can be toxic if ingested.
Indoor bunnies tend to slip on tiles or wood floors when they jump (this can cause injury). It’s highly recommended to buy bathroom matts with rubber bottoms and lay them around the house in places where your bunnies like to jump. They also make nice insulation on a cage floor (also non slip) and they are also easy to clean.
These keep your bunnies cozy in winter time with soft fleece blankets – but once again they all have different personalities, so check if they tolerate/like it.
Rabbits are intelligent animals and need entertainment. Wood or hard plastic toys are recommended so that they cannot chew off and swallow. Coloured parrot toys work well, as the colour is only food colouring. Treat balls and balls with bells are also cool and interactive. Some buns like soft toys too, just check that they don’t bite off pieces and swallow. Many people make DIY cardboard toys but remember, if your buns starts to eat cardboard as a food source, it is not healthy.
Bunnies like to investigate small spaces or jump on top of things. Obstacles keep them entertained. They also need a safe place where they can hide if they want to.
To safely transport your bunnies. Can also double as a hidey hole / house.
Dog nail clipper
You should get these if you intend on clipping nails yourself. Bunnies’ nails need regular clipping, or else the long nails put pressure on their fragile feet which could be painful. Long nails also often get caught on fabrics and can rip, leaving your bun in pain and a bloody mess. You can clip the nails yourself (just make sure that you know what and where the “quick” is) or you can have it done by a vet or rabbit savvy groomer.
The correct grooming tools
Some brushes are too harsh for a rabbit’s fragile skin. Ensure that you know which grooming tools to buy before attempting to groom your bunny.
This is recommended for safe flea/mite treatment/prevention. Dosage is weight dependent. Many other products like Frontline is toxic for bunnies, do not take any risks.
Read our grooming blog for more information on grooming and for a list of recommended groomers.
Photo: Noah Silliman / Unsplash