Bunnies can be some of the sweetest, gentlest pets. Their fuzzy tails and floppy ears give them a cuddly look and feel, and a certain appeal that few other critters have. They make great pets for children, and equally great companions for adults.

If you think you’d like to have a bunny for an indoor pet, here are some things to consider and learn before bringing home Floppy.

How to Choose Your Rabbit

a rabbit on the grass

Finding the right bunny, at the right time, can be a joyful task. Take the time and enjoy the search for your new best friend.

1. Where to Find a Bunny

There are five main sources for pet bunnies.

  • Breeder — These bunnies are specially bred for becoming someone’s pets.
  • Pet store — Some pet stores carry bunnies for adoption. Call before visiting to make sure the store has some bunnies on hand.
  • Animal adoption agencies — These function rather like private adoption agencies in the human world, though with less red tape.
  • Personal owner — These bunnies are new babies that someone else’s rabbit has given birth to.
  • Rescue Shelter — Shelters take bunnies and other animals out of abusive or neglectful homing situations.

There are some controversies over some of these sources. Be sure to read up on the treatment of animals and how to identify dangerous home lives for pets. Pet stores and breeders in particular can be sketchy places to get a healthy pet. Learn more about the breeder or the pet store before adopting a bunny from them.

2. What to Look for in a Bunny

If you’re going to adopt a rescue bunny, some of these conditions won’t apply. But for those adopting bunnies from breeders, pet stores or families, look for the following criterion to ensure you’re getting the right bunny for your family.

  • Look for sparkling, healthy looking eyes.
  • Look for clean bedding and living areas of bunnies.
  • Look for a clean, dry nose and ears.   
  • Look for properly aligned front teeth.
  • Look for a healthy coat on the bunny.

Before you bring home a bunny, consider the rabbit’s gender, and personality, as well as making sure you have the opportunity to bond at least a little bit with him or her. This will help to make the transition into a new home much easier on everyone.

How to Take Care of Your Rabbit

girl petting a bunny

Before you bring Flopsy and Mopsy home, you’ll need to know some basics of bunny care.

1. Get a Great Rabbit Cage and Hutch

The right cage and hutch for your bunny is one of the most important things to purchase. All bunnies need space to roam, and places to hide away. Bunnies are crepuscular creatures, meaning that they are neither daytime nor nighttime animals. Instead, these creatures function best at twilight hours, both at dawn and dusk.

Rabbits are prey animals, and feel the need to hide away during brightly lit hours and nighttime, when they would naturally be most vulnerable to predators. A hutch is necessary for them to feel safe while they rest.

2. Provide the Right Food and Clean Water

Rabbits need primarily hay for their nutritional intake. 75 to 80% of their diet should be made up of hay. Beyond that your rabbit should eat pellets, and fresh vegetables. Be sure to regularly clean out their water bottles and bowls, and provide fresh, clean water. A lack of water can cause serious health issues for your bunny.

3. Have the Right Toys

Toys help your bunny exercise both his body and his mind. These activities help prevent obesity, boredom, and other negative happenings in your bunny’s life. Plus, they can be helpful for bonding between your rabbit and you.

4. Keep Your Bunny Groomed

Rabbits are fairly clean animals, but they need help during shedding season. They also need to have their nails trimmed regularly to avoid scratching.

5. Properly Clean Your Bunny Cage

One of the most important parts of rabbit care is cleaning their cages and runs daily.

You should:

  • Clean and refresh the water bottle.
  • Clean the food dish with mild soapy water.
  • Scoop out the litter box.
  • Sweep away the litter, hay, and other debris that gets out of the cage.
  • Dispose of old toys or boxes.

Do a deep cleaning monthly or bi-weekly, as well. This will involve wiping down walls, removing all old hay and replacing it with fresh hay, emptying the litter pan and washing it clean. Be sure to wash all blankets or bedding, and sanitize the water bottle and food dish.

Final Thoughts on These Hoppy Friends

For the happiest of lives, regularly play with your bunny. If your bunny’s okay with it, cuddle and hold your bunny, and be sure to grow the bond between you with regular petting. If your rabbit is truly happy, you’ll often have the pleasure of watching her flop and binky.