Throughout human history, rabbits have been adored and praised. This cute long-eared animal is often depicted as a symbol of fertility, happiness and love in many cultures. In addition, rabbit is the favorite animal of beautiful Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love. Ancient Greeks and Romans considered rabbits loyal and kind, a symbol of prosperity and abundance.
Nowadays, rabbits are still much loved and taken as pets in many households. If you think of a new cuddly friend, rabbit could be a really good pet for you. However, you need to know their basic needs and desires.
Rabbits are gentle, cheerful, intelligent and very sociable little fellows. You can even train them a little. Rabbits need a lot of attention and devotion, so don’t take it if you don’t have time or conditions to make it happy and satisfied. Unlike cats, they don’t like to be alone at all. Wild rabbits usually live in large groups, so they are naturally used to company of other living beings. They enjoy company of other rabbits, but also other pets and their humans.
There are various breeds of rabbits and their lifespan is about ten years. If you decided to get yourself this kind of pet, prepare for long time of commitment and friendship. Be very kind and gentle to your bunny and don’t carry it around all the time. Let it run and play with it whenever you have time. Never even consider letting it away if you get bored! Tamed rabbits can hardly survive in the outer world.
Rabbits are dear and loving creatures. Many scientific studies place them on the list of the most calming pets, along with cats and dogs. Company of a rabbit could help its owner to reduce stress and anxiety. Time spent with this adorable furry animal is most certainly way better then time spent on computer or television. Modern therapeutic practices of animal healing consider rabbits very effective in treatment of autism and other complex behavioral issues.
Rabbits have specific digestive system. They need hay as the most important ingredient of their diet plan. Fresh hay and grass should take up most of your pet’s menu and to come in indefinite supplies. Hay plays inevitable role in their digestion. It is full of fiber and helps development of friendly bacteria in their intestinal tract.
Beside hay, rabbits should eat green and leafy vegetable, other types of vegetable, some fruit and seeds. They are not suited for consuming and digesting sweet food, so don’t make mistakes and feed it candies and snacks you eat. Hay should be their basic food and everything else is considered addition. Rabbits also need fresh and clean water, so make sure it is always available.
Introducing new food should be done gradually, no matter what type of food you decide to feed your pet. Leafy green vegetable is warmly recommended, but there are some controversies on goitrogenic vegetables. The most notorious are cabbage and broccoli. However, studies showed it would take up several weeks of feeding rabbits extremely large quantities of such food, to notice misbalance in their blood.
Beside leafy green vegetables, you should occasionally feed your rabbit other types of vegetables, including root and flower vegetables. Those include carrots and parsnips as well.
However, those vegetables are quite high in sugar, so they are not to be given too frequently and in larger amounts. If you wonder about size of portions, one tablespoon per two pounds of weight per day is a good proportion. You can serve it all in one meal or divided.
Crunchy parsnips for your bunny
Parsnips and carrots are often placed in rabbit’s teeth in cartoons and such. Parsnips are root vegetables with long cream colored skin and flesh. They are commonly used in humans’ diet, especially for making soups, stews and other similar dishes. Are they good to rabbits also?
Parsnips contain a lot of phosphorus and are high in sugar. They are also pretty acidic. Those compounds are not beneficial to rabbits, if taken in larger amounts. So, let us break so commonly seen picture of sweet bunny nibbling parsnips and carrots! Yes, rabbits do like them, but they don’t need too much of them. Parsnips are not particularly beneficial for rabbits’ health, but they can eat them once in a while. Small amounts of parsnips won’t do your bunny any harm and it will affect its health in a good way. Just be careful and follow nutritional advices for rabbits.
On the other hand, parsnip greens are completely safe for rabbits. Almost all herbs and leaves are beneficial to them, so you can safely let your bunny eat it. It will certainly enjoy its aromatic flavor! Your pet may also like parsnip peelings and it can have it, but only in very small amounts, due to its acidic nature.