Keeping rabbits indoors or outdoors

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Last Updated: November 23, 2018

If you’re looking to get a pet rabbit you may find yourself with a dilemma. Where to keep it? Well if you’re lucky enough to have the space indoors and outdoors for a rabbit, you get a choice. However, there are considerations you need to make when considering keeping rabbits indoors or outdoors.

Various factors will allow you to determine your final decision. You will be likely to consider your personal situation, including your climate and whether you have any other current pets.

Keeping Rabbits Indoors or Outdoors

This article aims to break down some of the reasons for keeping your rabbits indoors or outdoors. We will be exploring the pros and cons of each option with the aim of helping you make a decision.

Below we have listed some of the considerations you should make for when deciding on keeping rabbits indoors or outdoors.

Local climate

You need to consider the weather conditions for your local area. By keeping a rabbit outdoors, whether it likes it or not your rabbit faces various weather conditions. If you live in an area with a harsh climate, keeping it outdoors is something you should perhaps reconsider.

Remember, naturally rabbits live in holes, warrens which are burrowed deep underground. This would protect them from harsh weather conditions while they sleep. Similarly, your rabbit needs protection from such conditions as a domestic pet. If you feel that by keeping your rabbit it would be at any risk of harm then we strongly advise against keeping it outdoors.

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Predators in your area

If you feel that your rabbit would be at risk of attack from predators, do not let it live outdoors. By getting a pet rabbit you are making a commitment to care for it properly. Your pets safety needs to be your number one priority. If you live in an area with a high number of predators that could pose a threat to your rabbit, we would advise against keeping it outdoors.

However, if you live in an area where predators wouldn’t pose much of a threat to your rabbit then this is not the case. Just make sure if you decide to keep your rabbit outdoors, you pick a heavy duty hutch which is well predator proofed.

Consider your home environment

Consider your home environment when making this decision. If you already have pets or children on the scene this will affect your decision. For example, if you have a pet dog that wont take kindly to your rabbit, and is always barking at the rabbit cage it may be best to keep them separate. The same goes for if your child is of the age where it can’t comprehend that your rabbit is an animal with feelings and not a toy.

If your rabbit is living in your home then it’s best to make sure that it’s been rabbit proofed. This means removing or restricting anything that could be of harm to your rabbit. This includes things such as electrical wires and sharp objects. If your home can not be “bunny proofed” then we advise against keeping your rabbit indoors.

Remember, the safety of your rabbit should be your number one consideration when deciding whether to keep it indoors or outdoors.

Pros and Cons

If you’ve read this far and you’re still haven’t made your mind up don’t worry. This next section will look into the pros and cons of keeping your rabbit indoors vs keeping it outdoors.

Pros of keeping your rabbit indoors

  1. Keeping your rabbits indoors will protect them from any predators that may attack them while outside.
  2. You are also able to protect your rabbits from harsh weather conditions that it may face when living outdoors.
  3. When your rabbit inside you can quickly check on your rabbit to make sure everything is ok. If your rabbit is outdoors it’s harder to keep tabs on it.
  4. Indoor enclosures for rabbits can be less expensive than outdoor hutches.
  5. Rabbits will be at less risk from parasites such as worms, mosquitos flees and more.
  6. Keeping your rabbit indoors means easier access to it. This will allow you to give it the love and care it needs from the comfort of your warm home. Remember, rabbits need companionship so having it indoors makes giving it some much needed attention nice and easy.

Cons of keeping your rabbits indoors

  1. You may be at risk of your rabbit chewing your possessions or carrying out destructive behaviours. Remember, neutering your rabbit will significantly decrease the chances of this.
  2. If you have other pets complications can arise. For example, you can never leave your rabbit in the same room as a dog. This will mean more attention needed from the owner to ensure it’s living in a safe environment.
  3. Your house may experience some unpleasant smells brought on from rabbit fouling and urinating. Some of the best rabbit litters can help prevent this with anti odor formulas.
  4. If the rabbit has not always lived indoors it may find it difficult to adjust. Remember, your house is full of noise from things such as washing machines and TVs.
  5. Keeping your rabbit in doors can potentially take up a fair amount of space, meaning less room in your house.

Pros of keeping your rabbit outdoors

  1. Can make the lives of people living in the house a bit easier. For example, if you have a family member allergic to animal fur, or a dog with a high prey drive removing the rabbit from this can prevent any issues.
  2. An outdoor rabbits lifestyle can be closer to that of a rabbit in its natural habitat. For example, an outdoor rabbit will have easier access to natural grass than one kept in a flat.
  3. You won’t face any unpleasant smells in your home from litter trays when your rabbit needs to use the toilet.

Cons of keeping your rabbit outdoors

  1. Outdoor rabbit hutches are often more expensive than indoor cages, and can also be more difficult to setup. However, some of the best outdoor rabbit hutches come with easy assembly.
  2. Your rabbit is at risk from predator attacks and harsh weather conditions when outdoors. Although you can buy heavy duty rabbit hutches, there is still no guarantee.
  3. You will be less observant of your rabbits behaviour. This will mean that you may not notice early signs of illness in your rabbit that you would if it was kept indoors.
  4. Rabbits that live outdoors are more easily attacked by diseases, pests and domestic animals.

Conclusion

To conclude, rabbits can live happy lives kept both indoors and outdoors. Whichever option your choose, will depend on a variety of factors. If you consider keeping your rabbits outdoors, you definitely need to assess your rabbits safety should you make this choice. This means considering weather conditions and predators in the local area. If you decide to keep your rabbit outdoors, we recommend using a hutch that is heavy duty, and raised from the floor to prevent attacks from predators. The Ware HD is rated our best rabbit hutch for outdoors.

If you’re considering keeping your rabbit indoors, we recommend that you bunny proof your home to ensure its’ safety. You also need to be considerate of the other people and animals living in your home. Finally, to make your experience more pleasant make sure you choose one of the best rabbit litters, with odor control to prevent foul smells.

Ultimately you need to consider your rabbits safety before anything else when making your decision. Never make your decision on the basis of your own convenience especially if your rabbit could be at risk.

We hope this article clears things up for you. For more rabbit information check this post out.