Bunny Rabbit Learning Centre

Rabbits have always had a place in our hearts. There’s something about those big floppy ears, deliciously soft fur, and cute face that spells lovable innocence and tugs at our heartstrings.

For most people rabbits symbolise the soft, docile side of nature. And in much of Australia you can still keep rabbits as pets. So if you’ve been wondering about you’re little bunnies, then check out our helpful rabbit info hub below:

HEALTH

Learn all about the common health issues, and how long do Rabbits live for in our guide below.

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DIET

What’s the best food for your Rabbits and bunnies, and what keeps them full and happy and healthy?

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FACTS

How many breeds of rabbits are there, how many toes do they have and when do they sleep?

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AS PETS

Great as pets and perfect for kids, but there are a few things that you should know about keeping them.

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CARING

Learn how to care for your bunnies so they’ll be healthy and happy, and it might just save you a trip to the vet.

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HOUSING

What’s the right size hutch, and do you keep your rabbits indoors or outside.

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BREEDING

Some important information you should know if you’re thinking about breeding bunny rabbits.

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BEHAVIOURS

These furry little friends have a few weird behaviours, like freezing on the spot and popcorning.

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WHERE TO BUY

Rabbits are a very popular pet in Australia for people of all ages. This is due to their friendly and gentle nature.

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Guinea Pig Health

Rabbit Health Information

01

Check your rabbit regularly for any signs of pain or illness. If you are ever worried, visit a vet to make sure your bunny is okay.

02

Rabbits can be prone to heat stroke, which may lead to death. Symptoms including feeling hot to touch, red skin on their ears, panting and seeming dazed.

Keep your rabbit’s outdoor hutch in a shaded area and ensure they always have access to water.

On hot days, putting frozen drink bottles in their hutch can cool the space down. On very hot days, bring your rabbit inside and turn on air conditioning if possible.

03

Protect your bunny from other common health hazards including chewing on electrical cords and carpets, other household pets, predators and improper handling.

04

Common accidental injuries include fractures from fighting with other rabbits or rough handling by humans, torn toenails and cuts from wire. These will most likely need to be checked by a vet.

05

It is a good idea to desex your rabbits. This allows rabbits of different sexes to interact without adding to overpopulation.

Desexing can also make your rabbit easier to handle and less likely to get certain diseases (such as ovarian cancer in females).

See more info on Rabbit Health on this page here.

Rabbit Diet

01

It is important to feed your pet bunnies a healthy diet. They will eat almost anything put in front of them so it is your responsibility to know what is good for them and what isn’t.

02

The majority of your rabbit’s diet should be made up of hay. This fills them up, keeps them healthy and helps wear down their teeth.

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You can also feed your rabbit dried pellets. This are full of nutrients. They should be fed in moderation to avoid obesity and related health problems.

04

Feed your bunny fresh vegetables and herbs including capsicum, basil, carrot, celery, mint and parsley.

Avoid feeding your rabbit lettuce as it can cause painful diarrhea. Growing a vegie garden in your yard can be a cheap way to feed your bunny and always have fresh vegetables on hand.

05

Fruits (such as strawberries and apple) can be fed as an occasional treat.

Read more about what to feed your rabbit here.

Guinea Pigs Facts

Rabbit Facts

01

A rabbit’s teeth and nails never stop growing.

02

Rabbits chew to wear down their teeth. It is safe for them to chew on fir wood, aspen branches, pine firewood and willow.

03

Well cared for pet rabbits can live for up to 10 years.

04

Rabbits should not be walked on leashes or harnesses. Although you can buy them in pet stores, they can injure your rabbit’s back.

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Rabbits have 5 toenails on the front 2 paws and only 4 toenails on the back 2 feet.

06

Rabbits cannot vomit.

07

Rabbits sweat from the pads of their feet. Their ears also help regulate their body temperature.

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Rabbits only show 2 teeth but actually have 28 teeth in total.

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Rabbits can chew up to 120 times a minute and have got over 17,000 taste buds in their mouth.

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The word record for longest rabbit jump is 3m and for highest rabbit jump is just over 1m.

See our full Rabbit Facts info page here.

Guinea Pig as Pets

Rabbits as Pets

Rabbits make great companions for people of all ages. They are fun, cute, quiet and clean! Rabbit droppings are good for your garden and they eat your vegie scraps.

Rabbits can live up to 12 years so they are a long-term commitment. Before you buy a pet rabbit, put a lot of thought into it.

Do you have the time and money to care for it properly? Could anyone in your home be allergic to rabbits? Do you have small children or other pets?

Some owners report that their pet rabbits and dogs get along well. But there is a risk your rabbit could be accidentally killed or injured by your dog, possibly by playing too rough or acting on instincts.

Before you introduce your rabbit and dog, evaluate their breeds and personalities. Introduce them slowly in a controlled environment and observe their reactions.

When you first purchase a rabbit, you should check its body to make sure it is healthy and well cared for.

This includes checking its ears for discolouring, eyes for discharge and feet for redness.

See our full Rabbits as Pets info page here.

Caring for Guinea Pigs 2

Caring for Your Rabbits

One of the best ways to care for your rabbit is to provide it with a suitable enclosure. An ideal hutch will have plenty of room to move around, protect them from predators and shelter them from the weather.

Keeping your rabbit indoors can allow you to interact with it more often. However, you will need to rabbit-proof any indoor area your bunny can access.
You will need to keep your bunnies’ home clean.

Each day you will need to remove food scraps and empty their litter tray. Once a week the hutch will need a thorough clean including replacing all bedding, cleaning out water bottles and food bowls, and scrubbing the litter tray clean.

Litter training your rabbit will make cleaning their enclosure much easier for you. Choose a tray twice the size of your rabbit.

Fill the tray with absorbent material such as newspaper. Place the tray in a corner the rabbit usually goes to the toilet and put some of its poo inside. Place hay next to the tray as they like to eat while they go to the toilet.

It is important to keep your rabbit entertained. You can create an obstacle course using tunnels and ramps. You can also make logic toys. Something as simple as hiding a treat inside a cardboard box will keep your rabbit entertained for hours. Some people buy their rabbits baby toys to play with but make sure they are safe to chew.

Your rabbit’s teeth continuously grow so they need things to chew on. Choose a hutch with non-toxic stain so it is safe if they chew the hutch. Provide them with chew toys and blocks of wood to wear down their teeth.

Common mistakes rabbit owners make include allowing children to handle them roughly, buying cheap but unhealthy rabbit food, locking them up in cages that are too small and not being prepared for a long-term commitment.

If you need to travel somewhere with your rabbit, invest in a good quality travel cage. Plan your trip well and allow it access to water and food. Make sure your bunny is comfortable and at a safe temperature.

If you will be gone for a long time, pack a playpen that will allow your rabbit to stretch its legs when you stop for a break.

See our full Rabbit Caring Guide info page here.

Hutches and Cages

You will need to buy a suitable hutch before you get your pet rabbit.

Rabbits can live in all sorts of enclosures – pre-made timber hutches, wire runs, homemade DIY hutches, large bird aviaries or metal ferret cages.

Consider how many rabbits you will have then choose a hutch with plenty of room for them. A hutch needs to include space for a food bowl, water bottle, litter box, an enclosed area to rest and an area to play.

Choosing a hutch with a larger run area will give your rabbit more space to exercise while still being protected from predators.

Rabbits can live indoors or outdoors, as long as their enclosure can keep them at a safe temperature and is predator-proof.

Adding a wire flooring to your outdoor hutch can prevent your rabbit digging out and predators digging in. Add a soft bedding or flooring on top of the wire to make your rabbit more comfortable.

If you are keeping your hutch outdoors, put it in a shady or covered location.

Choosing a hutch with easy access through large doors and a slide out metal tray will make cleaning the hutch much easier. Line metal trays with a layer of newspaper then a layer of absorbent bedding.

If you are keeping your rabbit in your house, you will need to rabbit-proof everything to keep your bunny safe. Move or cover electrical cords.

Also consider your rabbit may chew your furniture, carpet, house plants, rubbish bins and anything else it can reach! This can be dangerous for the rabbit or also ruin your belongings. Block off unsafe areas using playpens.

If you are able to, it can be convenient to block off an entire spare bedroom for your rabbit. This makes it easier to ensure it a safe area and completely rabbit-proof.

See our full Rabbit Cages and Hutches info page here.

Guinea Pig Behavior

How Rabbits Behave

When a rabbit is happy, it will ‘binky’ – they jump into the hair, twist their bodies and kick their feet out.

Other common rabbit behaviours include nudging things with their nose, chewing, digging and burrowing.

It is common for rabbits to grind their teeth. This can either mean they are happy or they are in pain.

Rabbits are sociable animals and enjoy living in groups. A playmate will keep your rabbit entertained and they can learn from one another. When you first introduce two rabbits, do it very slowly and be patient.

You may need to house them in separate hutches next to each other for a few weeks, so they can get used to one another without being able to touch.

Rabbits are generally very friendly however they may bite you if they feel threatened or scared. If this happens, don’t punish your rabbit.

Try to work out why it bit you then avoid doing that. Always be gentle with your rabbit and approach it slowly, to avoid frightening it.

As rabbits age, their behaviours can change. They will sleep more often and move around less. This can lead to weight gain. They may also stop using their litter box.

See our full How Rabbits Behave info page here.

Breeding Guinea Pigs

Breeding Rabbits

Rabbits can have up to 12 babies at once.

If you decide to breed your female rabbit, research what you will need to do to help your pregnant doe. It is a good idea to speak to an experienced breeder or vet for advice.

She will need extra care. Put your pregnant doe in a hutch on her own that is safe from predators.

Feed her pellets and extra vegetables for nutrients. Always make sure she has access to fresh water.

Keep the hutch very clean to avoid health issues such as mastitis.

See our full Rabbits Facts info page here.

Abyssinian guinea pig breed

Rabbit Breeds

01

American Rabbit

American Rabbits are known for their mandolin body shape and sweet temperament.

02

American Sable

American Sables have dark feet, ears, head, back and tail. The rest of their body is lighter.

03

Angora

Angoras are one of the oldest breeds of domestic rabbit. They are known for their long, soft wool.

04

Dwarf Lop

Dwarf Lops are a popular breed. They have thick, soft ears that droop. They are easy to handle and love to be cuddled.

05

Flemish Giant

Flemish Giants are a very big breed, weighing up to 6kg! They will need a large hutch. They are docile.

06

French Lop

French Lops are large and need a big hutch. They are super soft with floppy ears. They are very hard to litter box train.

07

Himalayan

Himalayans have a white coat with dark markings on their eyes, feet, tail and nose. They make good companions.

08

Lionhead

Lionheads have fur around their face that fluffs out like a lion’s mane. They are a very small breed.

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Mini Lop

Mini Lops are super small and fluffy! Their affectionate nature makes them a popular choice as a family pet.

10

Netherland Dwarf

Netherland Dwarfs are a small breed with tiny ears that stand erect on their head. They look like baby bunnies that never grew up!

See our full Rabbit Breeds info page here, and click here to See our list of rabbit breeds that will always stay small here.

Where To Buy

Rabbits are a very popular pet in Australia for people of all ages. This is due to their friendly and gentle nature.

Before you buy a rabbit, research various places to buy one from. Ask the seller lots of questions and make sure they are reputable.

Adopting a rabbit from a shelter or rescue group helps give a rabbit a second chance at a great life.

Alternatively, buying a rabbit from a breeder allows you to choose a specific breed that you prefer.

Domestic rabbits typically cost between $20 and $80 to buy in Australia. Some exotic or show breeds may cost more.

Typically, it is cheaper to adopt a rabbit rather than purchase from a breeder. However, you will still need to pay a fee which covers the cost of their medical checks and vet fees.

Also consider the long-term costs associated with rabbit ownership.

Most Australian states allow you to keep a domestic rabbit as a pet. Queensland is the only state where it is illegal to keep a pet rabbit.

Unsure where to buy a rabbit from in your area? Check out our list of adoption groups and breeders here.