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Preparing for Your Bunny

Updated: Sep 1

You have picked out the perfect bunny for your family, now what?! Bringing a new pet into your life is an exciting event. You’ll want to make sure you are fully prepared so that your bunny has a smooth transition between our home and yours. Below is a checklist of recommended bunny supplies to help you prepare for your new bun. We have included links to many of the items.

Cages, Hutches, and Ex Pens

When it comes to selecting an enclosure there are many options. We will go over the three most common options. Most importantly you want to make sure you pick an option that fits your available space. I can never stress enough, the importance of purchasing a high quality, larger enclosure in the beginning.


If you go with a traditional cage, make sure the cage is tall enough for your bunny to stretch up without his ears touching the top. It's long/wide enough that your bunny can stretch out fully in any direction with some room to spare. You will want a door that opens outward so that the bunny can hop in and out of his cage on his own. Plus make sure the cage is roomy enough to have space for a litter box, a food dish, and water supply. The larger the better, especially if your bunny will spend many hours a day in his cage. Pros: Can be more travel friendly, a good fit for smaller spaces, full enclosure, and come in kits normally. Cons: small space, not as hygienic, breaks down over time quicker than other options, and has lots of smaller pieces to keep up with. An ex pen is a great addition around a traditional cage to provide your bun more space.






If you prefer the look of the hutches, make sure you keep in consideration the same size requirements as a traditional cage. Pros: More esthetic, offers multi levels, more durable, little more hygienic. Cons: Bunnies can chew on the wood, wood can absorb stains and smells, and while they seem larger, they can limit their space. We like to add a small ex pen around a hutch for additional roaming space.





Ex Pens

Ex Pens are a great alternative to traditional hutches and cages. They are our preferred enclosure and first choice. We love ex pens for many reasons! You can adjust the size to your space, they are easily movable, easier to clean, and provide your bunny more space. If you go with an ex pen make sure the pen is at least 30 inches or taller and will be placed against a wall on at least 1 side, preferably 2. If you have other pets that might be able to jump into the ex pen, a traditional cage or hutch would be a better option. Bonus time: Keep an extra ex pen on hand, so that you can setup playtime outside or on the porch.


Here are some of our favorite exercise pens:



Resting Surface

Your bunny's cage should include a solid surface for resting. If the cage you have has an all-wire bottom, you can provide a solid surface by inserting a carpet sample, folded newspaper, cardboard, etc.


Our preferred resting pad options:




Bedding

Most bunnies do not care for bedding and many times will push it out of the way. We personally do not use bedding inside our cages. If you would like to use a bedding, please know it may hinder their litter training. It can be unsanitary as well. Once your bunny is fully litter trained you can provide them fleece to lay on.


If you would like to use bedding here are some suggestions: Kiln dried Aspen/Pine bedding, Carefresh paper, hay, pine/paper pellets (NO cedar, as it is harmful)


Food Bowls

When it comes to food dishes, a ceramic crock or plastic dish that can be secured to the cage is best. If you have a pair of bunnies, be sure to get a bowl large enough so both bunnies can fit their heads in at the same time, or two bowls, to prevent disagreements.


Some of our favorite food bowls:






Water Source

Bunnies need a constant water source. You can use either a water bottle or a dish similar to food dish. Most full grown bunnies require at least 16 oz. of water a day. You can use both a crock and a large water bottle. Providing both options are optimal for your bunnies health.


Recommended water bottles & bowls:



Hay & Hay Racks

You will need to maintain a continuous supply of hay for your bunny. Hay should always be 85-90% of their diet. You can use any grass hay, such as Timothy, Orchard, Oat or mixed grasses. Avoid alfalfa except as an occasional treat.


Some favorite hay options:




We encourage the use of a hay rack. Many people will place hay directly in the litter box or in the cage. We prefer to use a hay rack for sanitary reasons. We absolutely love the hay, food/water dish, and litter box combo. It is well worth the investment.

Our fav hay racks:




Litter Box

It is best to have at least two litter boxes. You will want one for inside the cage and another for the exercise area. They should be big enough for your bunny and a portion of hay to be in the box together comfortably. A deep (4"+) sided litter box is recommended to prevent accidents. Note: Make sure litter box fits through the cage door!


Our preferred litter boxes:







Litter

When it comes to litter it is best to use an organic or paper-based litter. Equestrian pine pellets work the best. Avoid clumping cat litter and cedar wood shavings that can cause serious health problems. If your bunny decides to eat his litter, then additional precautions are necessary to prevent digestive problems. We recommend changing the litter every 3-4 days while litter training and every 2-3 days once litter trained.


Best Litter options:



Hidey Hole

Hidey houses come in all shapes, materials and sizes. You can purchase one or make your own! And don’t feel limited to the small animal section. You can look in the cat section or get creative with those Amazon boxes. Hidey houses are important for rabbits because they are naturally prey animals and having somewhere to hide is very important to keep them from getting nervous or scared.


Some of our favorite hidey holes:







Toys

A bored bunny is a destructive bunny. Provide your bun with a variety of chew toys, toss toys, noisemakers, and activities. The more toys your bunny has, the less likely he is to use his natural instinct to dig/chew on inappropriate items like furniture. However, toys are not an alternative to bunny-proofing for your bunny's safety. Dig boxes are a great way to entertain your bunny and helps to keep the nails naturally trimmed.


We recently started our own line of toys! We had a difficult time finding toys and treats that were bunny safe. After hours of research and years of raising bunnies, we created our own line. You can view and purchase our toys her: https://www.baileybunniesrabbitry.com/bunnyshop


Some of our must-have toys from other vendors:











Carrier

A carrier is necessary to safely transport your bunny home, to/from the vet and to evacuate in case of emergency. Look for a carrier that disassembles easily and/or has a top opening in order to remove an unwilling bunny with the least trauma.


Carriers we love: