INDOOR HOUSING: BECAUSE OUTDOOR LIVING IS NOT AS AWESOME AS IT SEEMS
Every rabbit deserves a safe and comfortable space to live in.
Here at Cannon Beach Bunny Rescue, we are proponents of indoor living for all bunnies. WHY?
Safety from predators
With little to no camouflage, they are easily hunted by birds of prey.
Raccoons can open simple locks
If you don't have predators in your yard, and you put a bunny out there, they will very likely show up.
Bunnies can die from fear-induced heart attacks.
Safety from weather
Bunnies are prone to heatstroke
Bunnies can also die if exposed to extreme cold temperatures
Ideal environment temperature for domestic bunnies is 59-68*F
Wind + rain = no fun
Nobody likes soggy hay
Ability to catch illness early
Bunnies who are inside are monitored more frequently, so if their appetite slows down, or they start acting a little off, you'll be more likely to catch the change early and get them the medical help they need!
Less exposure to parasites
Fleas, intestinal worms, and maggots are problems that outdoor rabbits are often exposed to.
Be a part of the family
Bunnies are social creatures.
Pets who are kept outside, will be overlooked most of the time, despite the best of intentions.
Inviting a pet inside is a very kind way to show them that they are a member of the family.
Photo Credit (banner): Michael Hauser
Would you lock a dog or cat up in a cage all day?
Bunnies who are confined to a hutch or a cage will become frustrated from lack of exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. As a result of this frustration, they may act aggressively.
Bunnies thrive in large indoor pens with lots of time to run and play. Keep scrolling to learn more!
A well-behaved litter-trained bunny may live free-roaming inside a safely bunny-proofed home, but for many people, it's easier to house them in an enclosure when they are not supervised. Because keeping a rabbit in a cage is sad and inadequate, we recommend using a pen enclosure like the one pictured below.
A safe & secure place for your bunny to hang out with room to run about. When you are home and they are out for supervised exercise time, their pen will serve as a safe home base to run back to.
See below for details and tips!
Photo Credit: Karen Anderson
PEN PANELS: Minimum 30" tall with at least 8 panels. Plenty of space to stand up, stretch out, and run about!
FLOORING: Protect your floor with a chew-proof, water-resistant flooring cover like the corrugated plastic in the picture, or a big square of sheet vinyl flooring. Blankets and/or beds can be added if Bunny promises not to chew on them and ingest the fibers!
WATER & FOOD BOWL(S): Some prefer to use a water bottle. This is okay too, as long as they are getting enough water, the bottle doesn't leak, and the bottle functions properly. Water bowls offer a more natural way for them to drink.
Make sure the bowl(s) are heavy enough that they can't easily be knocked over. *Ceramic crockery from a second-hand store make great water bowls!
If your bunny has a big dewlap (fluffy "double-chin") make sure that it doesn't get and stay wet, as this can lead to a moist dermatitis.
Keep the water clean and fresh!
HIDEY BOX: We made the pictured castle out of cardboard boxes, but you can buy all kinds of hidey boxes. Even just a nice big box will do. Make sure there are 2 doors cut into it, so they will have an escape route. Your bunny will feel so much safer with a nice place to hide!
LITTER BOX: 1 per rabbit. Scroll down for litter box details.
ENRICHMENT: Different bunnies like different types of toys. Make sure whatever you give them is safe to ingest.
LITTER BOX TIPS
ABSORBENT BOTTOM LAYER: This can be as simple as newspaper, or can consist of CareFresh bedding, aspen shavings, or horse stall chips. If you use wood shavings make sure to NEVER USE PINE OR CEDAR. (They release harmful aromatic hydrocarbons.)
HAY ON TOP: Pile a whole bunch of hay on top!
TRICKLE DOWN: This set-up is ideal because when the rabbit urinates, the urine will trickle down through the dry hay and be absorbed by the bottom layer. This prevents a sloshy swamp at the bottom of the litter box. The hay also serves as a barrier between their furry feet and urine-soaked litter. They will eat it, lie in it, and go potty in it. The litter box is the place to be!
CLEAN UP: Add new hay to the box once or twice a day on days that you don't empty the box. Every few days, just dump the whole thing out in the trash (or compost) and refill.