How to Care for a Polish Rabbit
Polish rabbits are known for their large eyes and short ears. They are a smaller rabbit breed and usually weigh no more than 3.5 pounds (1.5 kg). Polish rabbits make for great pets, as they do not require a lot of space and are easy to care for. Start by setting up a living space for the rabbit. Make sure you feed and play with the rabbit. You should also bring the rabbit to the vet for regular check ups to ensure it is healthy.
Housing a Polish Rabbit
Get an indoor cage made of stainless steel.Polish rabbits do not need a lot of room to move around, as they are a very small breed. Look for a cage that is 18” x 24” (45.72 cm x 60.96 cm) and made of stainless steel wiring. The cage should have a door that can be closed shut from the outside.
- Make sure the cage has a plastic bottom, as a wire floor is too hard for a rabbit’s feet.
- Check that the cage has a separate box or level for the rabbit to go to the bathroom. A litter box like that used for a cat works well. Just make sure to use rabbit-safe litter.
- Set up the cage indoors in a spot that is room temperature. Do not put the cage in direct sunlight or in a spot that gets too cold. Check for drafts and excess sun exposure before placing the cage anywhere.
Put grass hay at the bottom of the cage.Lay one to two inches of grass hay at the bottom of the cage to protect the rabbit’s feet and make the cage comfortable for it. You can find grass hay at your local pet store or online.
- Horse bedding like sawdust or straw can also work for rabbits. Sawdust can get dusty, but it's easy to clean and replace.
- You will need to replace the bedding once a week so it stays clean.
Provide a food dish and a water bottle.Make sure the food dish is made of metal or ceramic, as Polish rabbits like to chew on plastic. The dish should be shallow and wide enough to fit one serving of the rabbit’s food, including veggies and fresh foods, and still allow easy access for the rabbit.
- The rabbit will also need a water bottle with a drinking spout. Make sure the water bottle is positioned into the rabbit’s cage with the spout facing downward for easy access.
Include hiding places and toys.Like most rabbits, Polish rabbits enjoy having hiding places in their cage to relax. Put plastic tunnels and huts in the cage. Position chew toys like cardboard tubes and pieces of paper in the cage.
- You can also get the rabbit toys made of cardboard like a cardboard carrot or a cardboard castle. Look for rabbit toys at your local pet store or online.
Clean the cage regularly.Keep the rabbit’s cage clean so it is not susceptible to illness and infection. Do a weekly clean where you wipe down the cage with water and vinegar. You should also replace the bedding in the cage so it is fresh. Wash the food dish and the water bottle as well.
- Set up a cleaning schedule where you always clean the rabbit’s cage on the same day every week.
- Allow your rabbit to roam and play around the house while you clean its cage. This lets your rabbit get its out-of-cage time while you take care of your chores.
Feeding a Polish Rabbit
Feed the rabbit grass hay.Hay should consist of 70 percent of the rabbit’s diet. Put one cup (236.6 grams) of hay in the rabbit’s food dish and have hay readily available for the rabbit to munch on throughout the day.
- If you have a Polish rabbit that is younger than eight months old, you can give it alfalfa hay, as it is rich in calcium and good for young rabbits. Once it is eight months and older, switch it to grass hay.
Give the rabbit commercial pellets.Look for pellets that contain natural ingredients and no preservatives or additives. Give Polish rabbits ⅓ cup (70.9 grams) pellets once a day.
- Do not give the rabbit only pellets, as they do not contain the nutrients they need to thrive. A balance of hay and pellets will ensure the rabbit maintains a good diet.
Offer the rabbit fresh fruits and vegetables.Polish rabbits can be given vegetables like kale, cilantro, chard, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes. They also enjoy fruits like melon, berries, banana, and apples. Rinse and slice all fruits and vegetables before giving them to the rabbit.
- Use the fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy treats for the rabbit. Since they can be high in natural sugar, they should be an occasional treat.
- Do not give the rabbit iceberg lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, and onions.
Playing with a Polish Rabbit
Have a game of “fetch” with the rabbit.Use a rubber ball to play fetch with the rabbit. Take the rabbit out of it cage and put it on the ground. Then, toss the rubber ball a few feet away from the rabbit. Encourage it to fetch the ball by offering it a treat by the ball. It should try to nudge or chew on the ball.
Play tug of war with the rabbit.You can play tug of war with your rabbit using a long chew toy, a cardboard tube, or a towel. Allow the rabbit to grip the towel or toy with its teeth. Then, gently pull on the other end. Do not tug or yank the end, as you do not want to damage the rabbit’s teeth.
Start a game of “toss” with the rabbit.Rabbits enjoy tossing up objects like the lid of a mason jar, plastic toys, or wooden blocks. Let the rabbit toss the objects in the air or nudge them along the ground.
Take the rabbit for a walk on a leash.Encourage your rabbit to get some exercise by taking it on a walk on a leash outdoors or indoors. Get a harness that fits the rabbit properly and a lightweight leash. Teach the rabbit to get used to the harness and leash. Over time, it should enjoy going for short walks on the leash.
Teach your rabbit some commands.Training a rabbit isn't always easy, but with a bit of patients, Polish rabbits can learn commands including stay, come, and sit. Look into some rabbit training tutorials online or at your local library and start training your rabbit with some basic commands.
Bringing the Rabbit to the Vet
Take the rabbit to an exotic animal veterinarian for check ups.Find a veterinarian near you who specializes in rabbit medicine. Make sure the rabbit is vaccinated against myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. They should also be checked several times a year for fleas, ticks, and worms.
- The vet will also check the rabbit’s teeth and ears for any issues.
- Schedule regular visits to the vet for the rabbit so it stays healthy and disease free.
Get the rabbit spayed or neutered.Rabbits that are not spayed or neutered are at a higher risk of developing cancer and other medical issues. Your vet can spay or neuter your Polish rabbit at their office.
Bring the rabbit to the vet if you notice any medical issues.Polish rabbits are susceptible to flystrike, which occurs when their bottom becomes dirty or infected. If you notice your rabbit is not moving around much in its cage and has not gone to the bathroom recently, bring it to the vet to check for this issue.
- You should also check the rabbit’s teeth once a week to ensure they are growing properly and are not too long. If they are too long, bring the rabbit to the vet. The vet can then recommend treatment for the issue.
QuestionHow do I bathe a Polish rabbit?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerRinse your dwarf rabbit thoroughly in warm, clean water until no more soap suds run off. Remove your rabbit from the bathtub or sink and wrap it in a bath towel to soak up most of the water from its coat. You can also use a hair dryer on the lowest setting to help dry the rabbit's coat.Thanks!
Video: Housetrained Polish Rabbit
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