Caring For Your Bunny


A rabbit’s diet is very important to their health and survival. Bunnies do have sensitive stomachs, so a well-balanced quality diet will keep them happy and healthy.

Fresh quality Oaten Hay, should make up the bulk of you bunny’s diet being 85%. Hay should be readily available at all times to your bunny, changing it daily with fresh hay.

Using a litter tray underneath your bunny’s hay rack will help encourage litter training for your furbaby, as bunnies tend to poop and eat at the same time. This will help with the cleanliness of your bunnies’ home.

Hay is extremely important in your bunnies’ diet because it provides the essential fiber needed for good digestive health. It also helps wear down your bunny’s teeth, which continuously grow saving dental visits. Keeping your bunnies feeding routine consistent is a must.

So, with a combination of Oaten Hay, Pellets and fresh greens. Your bunnies’ diet should look like this:

  • 85% Diet – Oaten Hay (Unlimited accessible supply)
  • 10% Diet – Fresh Greens (Leafy green vegetables and herbs. 1-2 cups per day)
  • 5% Diet – Quality Pellet Mix (1-2 table spoons per day)
  • Access to fresh clean water daily at all times. (ceramic bowls and drink bottles)


When looking for the right home for your new furbaby, please ensure to keep a few things in mind….

Will you house your bunny indoors or outdoors or will it have access to both?

You will need to have a nice shady or under cover area if housing outdoors. The sun can become very unpleasant for your bunny and they cannot perspirant like you and I to cool their body temperature down.  Using a large frozen water bottle, so as they can lie next to or on top of and popping some ice blocks in their water bowl can be some ways of keeping them cool. But when temperatures reach in the 30’s its always best to bring them inside. Another consideration for you when housing your bunny outdoors is protecting them from cats, dogs and insects.

By using a sturdy and solid hutch that is surrounded by a secure pet fencing not allowing access to any intruding animals. Your bunnies home should have a nice sized sleeping quarters and an extended run for them to binky and feel free. Also using a flymesh/flyscreen material to cover your furbabies home which will protect them from flies, mosquitoes and any other biting insects.

Indoor housing of your bunny is very similar. They must have a generous sized space to run, a hiding place for them to sleep, fresh water bowls, unlimited hay in a hay rack over a litter tray and a secure pen for them when you are not home to supervise your bunnies free roaming play.

For bedding in you bunnies home, there are a few things you can use.

  1. Line with news paper
  2. Straw
  3. Hay
  4. Wood shavings


With a proper and consistent diet and clean, safe home your bunny should be a happy and healthy pet. Unfortunately, though, even with your bunny’s best interests at heart, illness and injuries can occur when you least expect it too.

In any case of illness or injury, contacting your local rabbit savvy vet is always recommended.

Rabbits can be very sensitive to pain but often hide any symptoms of pain, injury or illness.

Signs of illness or pain in your bunny can be

  • Limp when walking
  • Grinding teeth
  • Inability to sleep
  • Can’t get comfortable
  • Hunched back
  • Lethargy
  • Heavy or fast breathing
  • Licking or scratching a particular area
  • Lack of appetite
  • Not enough water intake
  • Eyes closed in pain
  • Weepy eyes/discharge
  • Sneezing/nasal disharge
  • Bloated belly
  • Runny stool/not pooping at all
Some common health issues that may arise with your furbaby
Health Issues
  • Heatstroke

    Rabbits are very susceptible to heatstroke. Symptoms of heatstroke are heavy breathing, lack of movement and elevated body temperature. Never leave your bunny out in direct sunlight always have them in a shady area. Using a frozen water bottle for them to keep themselves cool and always have access to water.

  • Overgrown Teeth

    Your bunnys teeth will grow continuously and if not worn down with a well balanced diet of fresh oaten hay and some wooden treats and branches to chew on, will overgrow which will interfere with your bunnys ability to eat. If this occurs you will need to take a trip to your local rabbit savvy vet to have his teeth trimmed.

  • Mites

    Mites are microscopic bugs that can live on different parts of your bunnys body and will need traetment. Depending on the mite, symptoms can be dandruff, flaky dry skin, head shaking, and scratching. A mite treatment like Revolution (for puppies and kittens,with directions for bunny doses on the instructions) can help clear the mite problem.

  • Pasteurella (Snuffles)

    Pasteurella is a bacterial disease that can be a cause of nasal or sinus infections, ear or eye infections, pneumonia, or abscesses in bone, joints or internal organs. Pasteurella colonizes the nasal cavity and upper respiratory tract, but many bunnies do not show symptoms as long as the immune system is functioning normally. A thick yellowing discharge forms in the nasal cavity blocking the airways of your bunny. This warrants a vet visit immediately.

  • Calicivirus (RHDV 1 & 2)

    Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease commonly known as Calicivirus was introduced by the government (CSIRO) into Australia in 1995 as a biological control to the wild rabbit population. Infected bunnies develop a fever and die within 12-36 hours of its onset. Symptomatic rabbits may display fever, squeals and lethargy. Convulsions may also be seen. There is a vaccine for RHDV 1, but it does not cover RHDV 2. Speak to your local Rabbit Savvy Vet for more information the vaccines.

  • Myxomatosis

    Myxomatosis was introduced into Australia in 1950 to control the rabbit population. This virus is carried by mosquitoes and fleas (biting insects). Between 96 and 100 per cent of rabbits with myxomatosis die. Affected rabbits develop swelling/redness/skin tumors, and in some cases, blindness caused by inflammation of the eye, followed by fatigue and fever. Rabbits usually die a slow death within 14 days of contracting the disease. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for this cruel disease. But prevention is key, using fly mesh and covering your bunny’s hutch/outdoor play area, automatic repellent sprayers and natural plants that keep these insects away.

Bringing your bunny home

Settling In Your New Furbaby

Ensure you have your bunnies new sleeping quarters and playpen set up ready for his/her arrival.

The journey home will have been a little stressful for your bunny, so place them straight into their new home and leave them quietly to settle in. By leaving them in their new home for at least 24 hours, this will allow your new bunny some time to make their home their own. The need to recognize their new living quarters as their own is crucial to their sense of security. Your bunny needs time to adjust to their new environment as they may be experiencing sights, sounds and smells for the first time. If you bunny scrambles or nips it is because they are weary of their surroundings and defending their new space.with patience and time this behavour will stop and they will feel comfortable and learn to trust you. Keep noise to a minimum in the early days and minimise the number of people who handle your bunny. Let your bunny settle in.

Bonding With Your Bunny

Initially just sit on the floor with your bunny and let them check you out. Always have some healthy treats to encourage interaction and reward them with. Try to avoid touching them at first and let them explore their surrounding and your smell and presence. If you like, lay down with the hopes that they find this less threatening and it encourages them getting closer to you and maybe even jumping up on your back. Once bunny has accepted your presence begin to offer them your hand. Let them sniff your hand. Gradually build up bunnys trust and slowly move to stroke them on top of his/her head. Bunnies love a good head scratch or on the side of their face too.