Once you have decided on and located the rabbit best appeals to you, there are several things that you will need to have before you bring your new furry buddy home. The most essential items are as follows: cage/hutch, food & hay, food and water dishes, bedding, and a pet-safe transport carrier.
TRANSPORT-CARRIER: A carrier will need to be bought so that you can bring your bunny home. Any size-appropriate pet-safe carrier will do the job well. You may wish to place a towel in there so your bunny doesn’t slide around.
CAGE/HUTCH: The cage or hutch needs to be in an area that provides safety and shelter from other animals, as well as protection from natural elements if you opt for your bunny to have out-door living. While there are many different styles of cages and hutches available, the deciding factors should be based on protection, size, sanitation, and flooring that best suits the breed of rabbit that you have. Generally, the Dwarf Breed rabbit would do well in the average or medium sized pet-store cages, but the Fancy Breeds will better with a larger cage. Likewise, the Giant Breeds will require much more room than what is typically found in stores. As a basic guideline, when your bunny is fully grown, the cage should be wide enough that will be able to stretch out from side to side without his feet touching either side of the actual cage. Lengthwise, the cage should offer enough space that he can hop around comfortably, from end to end. Furthermore, the height of the cage should be high enough so that when your bunny stands up on his hind legs, the top of his head and tips of his ears do not touch the top. The floor should be well constructed, offering a solid surface (or a section of solid surface) that provides their feet a resting place from the wire. Then, the final decision is dependent upon your personal preference of cleaning; be it a litter-tray / drop pan placed under a wire floor, or a solid surface, in which bedding would need to be placed and cleaned out regularly.
FOOD: It is vital to your rabbit’s life to be provided unlimited clean drinking water. Without water, he will not eat. What he eats should be an unlimited amount of fresh Timothy Hay, and he should always be provided with a set daily amount of high quality pellets. While buying pellets may seem simple enough, it is important to know the differences between what is good and what is not – as there is a difference. Otherwise, while it is not necessary, you may wish to give your bunny some treats. There is nothing wrong with doing so, as long as those treats are healthy and safe, and only given in moderation.
FEED/WATER DISHES: The dishes you choose for your rabbit should be heavily constructed and large enough that he can comfortably fit his face into the dish, allowing him to eat the pellets at the bottom of the bowl. In regards to water, some prefer water bottles that attach to the side of the cage and others prefer drinking from a dish, in which case should be similar to his feed dish.
BEDDING: The best bedding for rabbits is straw or cob-based bedding. These are natural products and therefore are safest in regards to possibly allergy or prevention of respiratory problems. If those are not available, pet safe Pine-Shavings is acceptable. However, do not use Cedar-Shavings. Cedar is a known cause of respiratory problems with rabbits.