How to keep a dwarf rabbit at home
Hosting a dwarf rabbit in your home means making them part of the family and therefore giving them certain spaces in the house that they are entitled to in a way. There is no doubt that it is preferable to let them live inside rather than in an external garden or on a balcony. In the house, in fact, your rabbit will be protected from the harsh winter weather or excessive heat in the summer, but above all from any predators.
Moreover, your rabbit will bond with you and will be happy to be part of your life, sharing certain spaces of the house with you.
There are numerous possibilities to accommodate your rabbit in the best way at home: fences, apartment-like houses, very large cages, or if possible, a room entirely or partly dedicated exclusively to him or her.
Freedom of movement in a rabbit-proof room
It’s certainly preferable to give your rabbit healthy spaces in which to hop, explore, and feel at home. Your rabbit’s peace of mind is an essential element of its life. Remember that in nature, rabbits are prey animals and your friend will hardly sleep soundly or eat peacefully in an environment that is not congenial to it.
If you decide to give your rabbit a room or part of one, such as the living room or study, I recommend the following organization of the space.
In a corner of the room, place the litter box on a plastic mat with a bit of hay. Then nearby, also place the ceramic bowl of food, water bottle, fresh hay in abundance, and vegetables.
The floor of the room should be as free as possible so that your rabbit can run at high speeds or hop happily from one place to another. Rabbits love to move and express their joy in this way. The first few times, this behavior may make you think, “My rabbit is crazy,” but I assure you it is only happy and showing it to you.
Finally, filling the room with toys for intelligence development or with a cardboard castle will be a great incentive to keep your rabbit busy while you work in the same room and get some exercise.
Always remember, however, to make your room rabbit-proof so that it doesn’t damage objects you value and at the same time, doesn’t risk its life by chewing on cords, furniture, or carpets.
Fences for your rabbit
A valid alternative if you want to allow your dwarf rabbit to live with you but do not want to leave it free 24/7 for 7 days a week is to purchase and organize a fence.
However, the fence must be large enough to be able to accommodate everything necessary and still allow for freedom of movement. Additionally, it must be high enough to prevent your rabbit from jumping out.
A fence with these characteristics can be purchased at any specialized store for small animal supplies or online on Amazon.
The advantage of a fence is that it can be assembled, disassembled, and moved according to your needs, but remember not to move the litter and food too often. In fact, by instinct, your rabbit may continue to do its business in the place where it was accustomed, causing enormous discomfort for you.
If you are worried that your rabbit may damage the floor beneath the fence, as I mentioned before, I also suggest in this case to place a plastic carpet of the suitable size to leave the edges outside the fence. This small precaution will allow your rabbit not to bite the edges and therefore avoid intestinal blockages or other digestive problems.
Finally, a fence is advisable if you want to give your rabbit space gradually. You can indeed get your rabbit used to living in an enclosed environment when it is still a puppy, and then gradually allow it to go out until it is free when it is already an adult. This will allow you to get your rabbit used to the idea that the space inside the fence is its kingdom, both for its needs and food, but above all, to feel safe.
An apartment for your rabbit
When it comes to rabbit homes, our imagination can’t even reach what humans have been able to invent for their little friend. In fact, there are many varieties of “dwellings” for rabbits, and if you are a resourceful and capable person, you can even build one specifically for your rabbit. It is important to remember that the materials used for homes that can be purchased online or in stores are controlled materials. If you decide to build a custom-made house, a couple of things need to be considered.
First of all, if you decide to build a house for your rabbit, make sure to research the materials. For example, never use rubber-coated metal because it will be chewed and ingested, causing serious health problems.
Secondly, think carefully about the reaction the material may have when in contact, for example, with urine. A wooden box, for example, is suitable but should be covered with a plastic mat to prevent the wood from absorbing urine. Furthermore, in this specific case, the box must be open on at least one side to allow the rabbit to see outside, but also to allow you to check on it occasionally and interact with it.
So what is the best home for your rabbit? I suggest that if you want to apply the “do it yourself” model, a good alternative is the metal boxes that you can find online, easy to assemble and simple to organize.
If, on the other hand, you prefer to spend your time playing with your friend or brushing and petting it, then I recommend buying a model in a store or online. Spacious, comfortable, and certainly a home with a capital “H”.
A cage for your rabbit
Another possibility is that of a cage. Honestly, especially if it’s small, this is not the ideal environment to make your rabbit happy. However, it can become an excellent alternative to fencing if it’s medium-sized and if you still plan to let your rabbit roam around the room for a while.
In terms of space, it’s natural that the cage is at the top of the list: it takes up little space, is simple to organize, equally easy to clean, and even move or transport.
So, if you’re thinking of opting for a cage or have already purchased one, just remember to equip it intelligently so that your dwarf rabbit can move freely inside. And also, let it roam free during the hours when you can be together inside the room.
Why is my rabbit digging in its cage?
Digging burrows is instinctual, so whether your rabbit is pregnant or not, digging is just normal behavior. However, if your female bunny has recently mated, persistent digging, especially in the corners of the cage, could be a sign of a successful pregnancy.
If she hasn’t mated, on the other hand, digging in the corners of the cage can also be a sign of a false pregnancy.
Is it normal for my rabbit to find a place in the house to stay there often?
Yes, this behavior is perfectly normal. Some rabbits, even wild ones, find a safe spot that becomes their favorite. They often return to it, especially during the day when they probably just want to doze off. When your rabbit is in their cage or pen, it may be harder to notice, but if you pay attention, you’ll notice they have a preferred resting spot.
As we’ve seen together, there are numerous possibilities, and they all naturally depend on the size of your home and your habits. However, your rabbit will always need to explore and move around. Remember that they are curious and sociable animals, so no matter what your housing choice is, it’s important that your rabbit can be in your company or with other family members.