The Daily Pip

Promoting rescue, adoption and second chances for dogs, cats, bunnies, and their peeps

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bunny Basics: Where Should My Rabbit Live?

Lulu, the rescued bunny enjoys her rabbit proofed room and her timothy hay

Where Should My Rabbit Live? 

Like dogs and cats, domestic rabbits live happier, healthier and longer lives indoors. They are safe from predators, parasites, poisonous plants, and weather related dangers inside. Rabbits are also quite social and enjoy being part of family life rather than isolated in a hutch outside.

Lulu lives in a small room off our bedroom. The room is too small for a human bedroom, but perfect size for a rabbit. During the day when we are not at home, we keep a baby gate in the doorway so she can look out and see the other animals. When we are home and can supervise, Lulu likes to come out and explore our bedroom and occasionally the living room. This video is a few years old, but gives a sense of just how social and energetic rabbits can be.


General Guidelines for the Perfect Bunny Abode

  1. Habitats should be 4-6 times the size of your bunny leaving ample space for stretching. 
  2. Habitats should have smooth or carpeted floors to prevent hock sores or broken nails. Similar to dog and cat crates, wire bottoms are problematic and can cause serious injury and discomfort. 
  3. Bunnies don't do well in extreme cold, humidity or in heat in excess of 80 degrees.
  4. Rabbits need access to Timothy hay and fresh water in a non-skid bowl, at all times.
  5. Cardboard boxes, bunny safe baskets, tunnels, and blankets are always a nice addition.
  6. Most traditional cleaning products are toxic to rabbits. Surfaces should be cleaned with white vinegar and water. 

Specific Rabbit Housing/Habitat Options 


Ideally, giving rabbits a room of their own is always a great option. Before the bunny moves in (and takes over), you will need to remove plants, books, papers or anything they might eat or chew on. You will also need to cover wires, cables, and outlets (again, they like to chew). Blocking access to baseboards or woodwork that might contain chemicals or lead paint is also recommended. Most bunny proofing supplies (plastic covers, plexiglass, etc.) can be purchased at your local hardware or craft store. 

Exercise pens are inexpensive and easy to clean. Some bunnies are especially talented jumpers so go with a pen that is at least 36 inches high and be prepared to cover the top with netting if necessary. 

Bunny relaxes with blanket and toys in an exercise pen, which makes a great housing option for bunnies
Hops, an adoptable bunny from Red Door Animal Shelter

Bunny condos are another great option. They are also durable and easy to clean and often have several floors and ramps covered in carpet for traction and comfort. Leithpetworks.com has great selection of bunny condos and other products.

Krissy, a rescued rabbit, enjoys a nap on the second floor of his bunny condo.
Krissy enjoys the view from the second floor of her condo. You can read her story here.

Rabbit cages should be at least 36 inches long by 24 inches wide with smooth bottoms. Doors on the side are also preferable so you can easily let your bunny out for exercise. Adding a pen around the cage allows your bunny to come and go as they please, which is fun for them and you.

Regardless of which option you choose, keep in mind that rabbits do best with 3-4 hours of exercise in a bunny proof space each day. Watching them run and hop around is super adorable and fun! 

Be sure to check out Bunny Basics One and Two. Tune in Friday, March 24 for information on proper rabbit safety and handling guidelines. If you have specific bunny related questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. 


Bunny Condo makes a great option for rabbit habitat
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37 comments

  1. that's a very good post... I totally like Speedy's kingdom and his castle... I think his mom made him the most bunnyful home :o)

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  2. That's a pawfect place fur a Bunny to live...oh, oh, I WANTS a Bunny now!!!!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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  3. Hari OM
    We had two bunnies in our childhood menagerie - they were great characters! Ours did live outside, but dad built the most amazing shed and run for them. Happy memories &*> YAM xx

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  4. Bunnies are so darn cute and pretty darn social too. Great info!

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  5. Bunnies really do sound like an ideal pet!

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  6. sounds like a good pet to have where a dog or cat can't be..

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  7. Lulu you are one lucky bunny and PRETTY too
    Hugs madi your bfff

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  8. We rather see bunnies live inside too
    Lily & Edward

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  9. I would love to have a bunny but not with all these cats. Good post about what kind of home a rabbit needs.

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  10. How cute!
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  11. Very interesting post ! Lulu is lucky to live in such a great house ! Purrs

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  12. Look I an going to have to ban Gail from reading these bunny posts. And please, no more videos. She is going all oooh and aaah and wouldn't it be cute to have a wee bunny hopping around. I think she if forgetting that I am a terrier.
    Toodle pip!
    Bertie.

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  13. Sounds like having a rabbit is like having a puppy, you have to remove all chewable items!

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  14. How nice that Lulu has such a great home inside. Mom had friends years ago who had two rabbits that were kept outside - this was in New England. Mom always worried about them in the winter. Thanks for all the tips even though we don't think it would be a good idea for us to have a bunny:)

    Woos - Lightning and Misty

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  15. Lulu is so cute. This is a great series teaching people about bunnies.

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  16. Lulu is a lucky bunny!
    ♥♥
    Wyatt and Tegan

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  17. Whoa! Gloves! The bottom of the food chain! Just kidding. TW says it's inneresting to read about rabbits. Her friend Eddie used to have a rabbit which she got to hold. She also said, she can fix you up with Janet for a pussy hat if you want one.

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  18. I have never had a rabbit but love following Speedy the House Bunny ♥

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  19. Lulu sure does have it good in your family!

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  20. Great post. Wes never had a bunny, but wes thought about it when we lived in Midway.
    Thanks for all the great informations!
    Kisses
    Nellie

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  21. This is such great info. I love the video (and the music!).

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  22. Great post, what a life she has

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  23. My sister-in-law always adopts rabbits. Depending on the temperament of the rabbit they get a lot of freedom when people are home or stay in a large habitat.

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  24. What a cute bunny! What a great idea for your bunny to have that small room for himself to stay during the day while you are gone.

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  25. Those bunny condos are cute. What does bunny proofing a room entail?

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  26. This is such a great article for people who want to get a pet bunny. It gives all the basics for setting up their cage. I have friends are currently thinking about getting one and I'm going to direct them to this post!

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  27. How adorable is your bunny!! I love that she lives in the house with you, and gets to play and interact with everyone. Rabbits are considered the most abused animal in England, they're often just left in their hutch without exercise or company. So sad. I hope people learn from you how they should be cared for. Thanks for sharing.

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  28. I've never had a bunny but yours is so adorable. Those ears! I can imagine that it takes a lot of work to bunny-proof a room, it sounds like they can chew threw most things! Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Kinda love the idea of having a bunny... maybe it's why we got a big eared tiny dog?

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  30. Some great ideas! I had a rabbit once a long time ago. I went to a small local store to get fish food and he was sitting there. I found out nobody wanted him. So I took him. Then my mom inherited him when I moved to Canada. He lived quite a long time.

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  31. I could watch that video all day/every day! Our bunny had the run of the whole apartment when we were growing up and was kept in our pantry when we were away, which was a good size. I think a lot of folks don't really understand how much space they need to be happy/healthy. I'm so glad you shared this post.

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  32. We had a friend who had a house bunny, she used a litter tray and everything. I was amzaed but in the UK I know they are very popular as housepets.

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  33. Great tips. I would imagine "bunny season" is coming up. My hope is people don't make these impulse purchases and realize they need lots of care and love.

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  34. Lulu is a spoiled girl (as she should be)! It is good to know these things. I certainly didn't know this when I had rabbits as a kid. Our rabbits lived outside in the backyard and they really only came in if my dad felt it was dangerously cold outside (which is quite a thing to say in Michigan). Luckily, they did survive winter pretty well.
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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  35. That video of Lulu is the BEST. I just love the music and how the camera followed her so expertly, great job! It's great that she has her own little room and that you have a baby gate so she can peer out & not feel isolated. This is clearly one bun that lives the sweet life.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  36. Lulu is so cute! Love the video of her hopping around. Having a suitable habitat for pets is so important. I had to do lot of research about it before getting my sugar gliders, to make sure I was giving them enough space and everything they would need to be safe and happy. Sounds like rabbits are pretty similar! I wish I could let my gliders free roam like Lulu, but they are just so small, they can get lost very easily in any nook and cranny!

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  37. I've always wanted to have a bunny. I just wonder if it's a good idea, considering that beagles are meant to, you know, hunt bunnies and all. lol!

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