Having a pet rabbit comes with a lot of responsibilities. Having just a hutch and food for them isn’t enough to keep them healthy and happy. You’ll also need to provide them a place to sleep. Rabbits tend to take naps throughout the day and sleep through the night. Do a rabbit need bedding to sleep on?
Do rabbits need bedding? Yes, rabbits need bedding to live longer and healthier lives. Depending on your rabbit, if they are chewers, a maze rug down and seagrass should be used. For non-chewers, towels and mats are the best choices.
Do Rabbits Need Bedding in Their Hutch?
Bedding is not an essential item in the hutch. A rabbit that is very tired will sleep just about anywhere and on anything.
However, when they are not tired, they will usually look for a nice soft place to sleep. How long they sleep will be affected by the materials they are sleeping on. The softer the bedding is, the longer they will sleep.
Also, the bedding will need to make them feel safe and protected.
Having an area in the hutch for them to sleep will help keep it clean and not smell. A rabbit will learn that the bedding is for sleeping on, not eliminating their waste. This will help keep the bedding area clean, and you won’t need to clean it often.
What To Consider When Choosing Rabbit Bedding
Rabbits are one of the few animals that do not sweat. They keep themselves clean by licking their furs throughout the day. Therefore, body odor in rabbits is rare, but their urine has a very strong smell.
When the rabbit pees in their hutch, it will give off a strong stench. Choosing absorbent bedding material will help keep the odor under control. There are different types of bedding that offer odor control, but aspen and shredded paper are the most absorbent. Hay provides excellent odor control, but it needs to be changed daily.
Absorbent Material Safety
Rabbits don’t sweat, but they may on occasion soil their bedding. The urine will cause them to smell and also the entire cage.
Choose a bedding that can absorb the urine and keep it in one place.
Some bedding is made with materials that give off some dust. For some rabbits, it will not have an effect on them. Other rabbits could have trouble with it. The dust from the bedding could cause the rabbit to become irritant. This will lead to them sneezing and may cause them to become sick because of it.
Rabbits enjoy sleeping on soft materials. Baby rabbits and senior rabbits will require soft bedding to make them comfortable. If they are not comfortable, it could affect their sleeping. When a rabbit doesn’t get enough sleep, it may become sick.
Do Rabbits Eat Their Bedding?
A rabbit will eat just about anything that seems edible, and that includes their bedding. A rabbit will chew on things to explore, keep themselves busy, and help trim their teeth. This is something that you should take into consideration when choosing a material as the bedding for your rabbit.
Avoid bedding that could block their intestine or cause them to choke on it.
Also, avoid any bedding that has toxic materials in them. Some manufacturers use chemicals to make bedding and these could be harmful to the rabbits. Always read the label and make sure it’s toxic-free.
While you can’t stop a rabbit from eating their bedding, but you can limit it by providing them with chew toys. If they have things to chew on, they’ll not eat their bedding.
Best Bedding For Baby Rabbits
Bedding for baby rabbits is important to their overall health. When they are younger than 6 months, baby rabbits still have their baby furs. This fur doesn’t provide enough warmth for them. Therefore, you should use cozy bedding for baby rabbits until they are about 6 months old. By then they are able to maintain their body temperature.
For baby rabbits, their body temperature should not go any lower than 101 degrees Fahrenheit. If it does, they may become sick. The bedding materials should be absorbent. At this age, they are unable to control their bladders and will pee often. While you can litter train the young rabbit, it is not possible due to their short attention spans. This means that you’ll go through a lot of bedding until they mature.
Best Bedding For Adult Rabbits
An adult rabbit that’s in good health doesn’t have a lot of requirements like baby rabbits do. They are able to adjust to the temperature and make themselves comfortable with whichever bedding you choose for them.
However, this doesn’t mean you can use any type of bedding. Each rabbit is different and some may prefer a type of bedding over another. It’s best to try out each bedding and see what makes them the most comfortable.
Best Bedding For Senior Rabbit
A senior rabbit will spend more of its time in bed. At this age, they are not that adventurous and will prefer resting.
For that reason, you should make sure their bedding is as comfortable as possible.
As the rabbits get older, they will start to have health problems. The most common one is arthritis. Provide bedding that is the softest, while very absorbent. This will help absorb a lot of the moisture and urine without causing the hutch to smell bad.
Also, a senior rabbit may have a weaker immune system. This means they are prone to getting sick easily and often. To avoid them having an allergic reaction, you should stay away from any bedding that has irritants.
How Long Rabbit Bedding Last?
It will depend on how often the rabbit uses the bedding. When changing the bedding, you’ll need to be very careful with it. Rabbits are sensitive creatures and can tell when there is a change in their environment. These animals are more comfortable in environments with familiar scents.
Changing the bedding too will often cause the rabbit to have anxiety and stress. Therefore, consider changing the bedding two times per week. You don’t need to clean the entire hutch. Do spot cleaning and remove part of the bedding that is really soiled. Then top up with fresh bedding. If you use hay as their bedding materials, it should be changed more frequently. This is due to the hay absorbing the moisture quickly. Allowing the hay bedding to be left in the hutch for a prolonged period of time, could result in mold growth.
Bedding isn’t something the rabbits require, but having it will make them very happy. It provides them a soft place to rest, gives them protection, and helps regulate their body temperature. Each rabbit is different so be sure to choose the right bedding material for them.