How To Care for a Rex Rabbit (Food, Housing, Entertainment + Health)

With their plush, velvety coats and playful personalities, Rex rabbits have charmed their way into many hearts and homes as endearing companion pets. But behind that cute and cuddly exterior lies some specific care requirements for these sensitive creatures to thrive. Proper diet, housing, grooming, healthcare, and enrichment are essential to your Rex’s happiness. This guide delves into every aspect of Rex rabbit care so you can provide the specialized attention they need. From litter training tips to dental care, toy suggestions to healthcare advice, we cover it all! Get ready to hop down the bunny trail to becoming the best Rex rabbit owner ever.

Taking Care of a Rex Rabbit

Rex rabbits, with their velvety soft fur and gentle disposition, make wonderful pets. However, caring for a Rex rabbit requires some specific knowledge to keep them healthy and happy. As prey animals, rabbits are delicate and require attentive care. Providing the proper diet, housing, grooming, and veterinary care are essential for your Rex rabbit's wellbeing. With their loving and playful nature, Rex rabbits can make deeply devoted and entertaining companions when cared for properly.

Some key elements of Rex rabbit care include:

  • Proper housing set up with adequate space and enrichment

  • A balanced diet of hay, pellets, and fresh vegetables

  • Clean water available at all times

  • Daily health checks of eyes, ears, teeth, nails, and fur

  • Litter box training

  • Plenty of exercise and playtime outside the cage

  • Annual vet exams and prompt medical care if issues arise

  • Grooming to prevent fur matting

  • Gentle handling and positive reinforcement

  • Spaying/neutering for health and behavior benefits

  • Bunny-proofing your home to prevent chewing hazards

  • Lots of affection and quality time together!

With their signature ultra-plush coats, Rex rabbits require some additional grooming. Regular brushing prevents tangles and helps remove loose fur they can ingest. Their sensitive digestive systems also require diligent attention to diet.

Providing proper rabbit care requires commitment, but the rewards of sharing your life with these charming, inquisitive pets is incredibly fulfilling. Educating yourself on their needs, establishing a daily care routine, and working closely with an exotic vet will ensure your Rex rabbit lives a long, healthy, and happy life.

Spaying/Neutering Your Rex Rabbit

One of the most important parts of responsible Rex rabbit ownership is having your rabbit spayed or neutered. Here are some key reasons why:

  • Health benefits – Spaying/neutering eliminates the risk of reproductive cancers later in life, which rabbits are prone to. It can also prevent other issues like uterine infections in females.

  • Behavior benefits – Unaltered rabbits often exhibit more destructive chewing behaviors and negative hormones. Spay/neuter leads to litter training success and a calmer demeanor.

  • Population control – Bunnies can quickly multiply if a male and female pair. Spay/neuter prevents accidental litters.

  • Bonding success – Altered rabbits more readily bond with each other and humans due to decreased territorial hormones.

Ideally your Rex should be spayed or neutered around 4-6 months old. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and your vet will provide post-operative care instructions. Most bunnies recover fully within 1-2 weeks. Be sure to follow your vet's directions for medications and check the incision site regularly.

Some tips for caring for your Rex post-spay/neuter:

  • Keep them confined to a small space at first to limit activity

  • Provide soft blankets and litter box access

  • Limit treats and introduce greens gradually after a few days

  • Discourage licking or scratching the surgery site

  • Restrict access to risky play areas like stairs or high surfaces

  • Monitor appetite and stool production for any changes

  • Give prescribed pain medication as directed

  • Return for follow up appointments to check healing

  • Watch for signs of infection like discharge or swelling

Spaying or neutering is essential for your Rex's welfare. Working closely with your exotic veterinarian will ensure the procedure and recovery go smoothly, leading to a healthier and happier bunny.

Dental Care

Proper dental care is extremely important for your Rex rabbit's health. Here's an overview of caring for your bunny's teeth:

  • Diet – Feeding hay regularly helps grind down teeth naturally. Grass hay like timothy should make up majority of diet.

  • Toys – Provide safe chew toys of wood, straw, or cardboard to promote grinding and chewing. Avoid plastic.

  • Check teeth weekly – Look for overgrown teeth, points, or malocclusion (misalignment).

  • Signs of trouble – Excessive drooling, dropping food, weight loss signal dental issues.

  • Annual exam – Vet will fully examine mouth, teeth, and jaws at yearly checkup.

  • Trimming – If overgrowth, vet can trim teeth carefully under anesthesia if needed.

  • Extractions – In cases of severe malocclusion, problem teeth may be extracted.

  • Medication – Antibiotics and pain meds may be prescribed if dental abscesses develop.

  • Consider baby gas drops – These can help relieve gas caused by tooth pain or dental issues.

Providing chew toys is important to promote healthy grinding and wear. Untreated dental problems can cause malnutrition, chronic pain, and serious systemic issues. Schedule annual dental exams with your vet. Check your Rex's teeth weekly at home and call your vet promptly if you notice any problems. With proper diet and preventative care, your bunny can enjoy good dental health for many happy, hopful years!

Ear Health

Your Rex rabbit's ears require special attention when it comes to health and hygiene. Here are some tips for keeping their ears clean and infection-free:

  • Check inside ears daily – Look for any signs of discharge, redness, odor, or parasite infestation.

  • Clean ears weekly – Gently wipe inside ears with unscented baby wipes or soft damp cloth.

  • Trim fur around ears – Keep fur trimmed short to prevent debris buildup and promote air circulation.

  • Treat ear mites promptly – Medicated rabbit ear mite treatment from your vet clears up infestations.

  • Monitor head tilting – Any head tilt could signal an inner ear infection requiring antibiotics.

  • Inspect base of ears – Check for any cuts, wounds, or abscesses that need veterinary care.

  • Massage ear base gently – This promotes blood flow and helps prevent blood vessel blockages.

  • Avoid moisture in ears – Take care not to get water in ears when bathing. Dry thoroughly.

  • Protect ears from injury – Supervise play to avoid ear trauma and head shaking.

A healthy diet and stress-free environment contribute to good ear health. See your exotic vet at the first signs of infection and clean carefully to prevent parasitic infestations. With regular gentle care, your Rex will enjoy years of happy, healthy ears!

Housing

Providing proper housing is essential for your Rex rabbit's health and happiness. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Enclosure size – Ideally a minimum of 8 square feet of floor space, larger is better.

  • Materials – Wire cages with a plastic bottom or constructed with wood or metal.

  • Litter box – Provide an extra large box filled withrabbit-safe litter.

  • Accessories – Include a hiding house, toys, chews, and platforms for interest.

  • Location – Place the enclosure somewhere quiet but visible for interaction.

  • Litter training – Encourage using the litter box; clean it frequently.

  • Temperature – Maintain a comfortable room temperature between 60-75°F.

  • Cleanliness – Spot clean daily and full clean weekly; disinfect monthly.

  • Roaming – Bunny-proof a room or area for roaming and exercise daily.

  • Outside time – Bring outside in a secure carrier and supervised area to prevent escape.

  • Enrichment – Rotate new toys to prevent boredom.

  • Safety – Ensure the enclosure and any roaming area is free of wires and hazards.

  • Comfort – Provide soft blankets and clean litter for comfort and hygiene.

Following these housing recommendations will help ensure your Rex rabbit lives in a safe, enriching environment that supports their natural behaviors and needs.

Diet And Nutrition

The digestive system of rabbits is delicate, so providing your Rex rabbit with a balanced diet is vitally important to their health. Here are the key components your bunny's diet should include:

Kibble

  • High-quality pellets made for adult rabbits provide balanced nutrition.

  • Choose pellets with about 18% minimum fiber content and lower protein and fat.

  • Alfalfa-based pellets are ideal for young, growing bunnies under 7 months old.

  • For adult Rex rabbits, feed 1/4 cup of timothy or oat based pellets daily per 6 lbs. body weight.

  • Divide daily pellet portion into two feedings, morning and evening.

  • Store unused pellets in a cool, dry place and discard if older than 6 weeks after opening.

Water Requirements

  • Fresh, clean water must be available at all times in a bowl, bottle or automatic waterer.

  • Change water daily and wash water containers thoroughly.

  • Monitor water intake for changes which could indicate illness.

  • Add water to fresh greens to increase fluid intake.

  • Provide extra bottles in warm weather or increase humidity if drier air.

With high quality pellets, unlimited hay, and ample water, your Rex rabbit's nutritional needs will be met, supporting a healthy digestive system and body. Monitor portions, feed on a schedule, and make diet changes gradually. Consult your vet with any concerns over appetite, weight, or nutrition.

Grooming

Thanks to their plush, velvety coats, Rex rabbits require frequent grooming to stay clean and prevent matting. Here are some tips:

  • Brush daily with a soft brush to distribute skin oils and remove loose hair. Work in direction of fur growth.

  • Use moistened hands or grooming wipes weekly to gently break up oil and dander buildup.

  • Trim nails monthly using sterile clippers and styptic powder in case of bleeding. Avoid the quick.

  • Check fur between toes and around scent glands for soiling or urine scalding.

  • Clean the underside well including genitals, as soiling here is common.

  • Spot clean using a damp cloth anywhere urine, feces, or debris soils the coat.

  • Have your vet trim overgrown fur on the bottom if causing sanitary issues.

  • Limit baths to avoid stripping oils. Use only rabbit-safe shampoo if needed.

  • Provide sanitized litter boxes to help keep feet and belly clean.

  • Comb out loose hair during seasonal shedding periods to prevent ingestion.

Regular at-home grooming keeps your Rex looking and feeling silky soft while preventing potentially harmful matting in their dense coat.

Entertainment

In order to keep your Rex rabbit active, entertained, and mentally stimulated, be sure to provide the following:

  • Free run time – Bunny proof a room or area of your home to let your Rex play, run, and explore for at least a few hours daily. Supervise to prevent chewing hazards or escapes. Rotate toys to hold their interest.

  • Chew toys – Untreated wicker baskets, cardboard tubes, seagrass mats, and willow balls promote natural chewing behavior. Rotate frequently to prevent boredom.

  • Tunnels – Find cardboard or plastic tunnels, tubes, and hideaways to run through and hide in for mental stimulation.

  • Dig box – Fill a litter box with soil, shredded paper, or phonebook pages for safe digging activity.

  • Cardboard castle – Boxes with cutout windows and doors will become secret hideouts and lookouts.

  • Litter box games – Hide small treats in the litter box to encourage foraging. Use plastic eggs or balls.

  • Positive reinforcement – Clicker train your Rex to hone mental skills. Use healthy treats as rewards for learned tricks or tasks.

  • Bonding – Spend time on the floor interacting with toys, offering affection and play. Bond with your Rex through focused attention and care.

Mental and physical stimulation are key to your Rex rabbit's enrichment and prevention of destructive behaviors. Provide at least 3-5 hours of daily supervised play and affection.

Behavior and Temperament

Rex rabbits are known for their generally easygoing temperament and friendly nature. Here's some insight into common Rex behaviors and personality:

  • Affectionate – Rex rabbits tend to very social and enjoy human interaction once bonded. They love being petted if you approach slowly.

  • Playful – Their active, energetic nature means they love room to run and playfully toss toys. They enjoy interactive playtime.

  • Gentle – Properly handled, these rabbits rarely bite or scratch. Their velvety fur makes them delightful to hold.

  • Litter trainable – With patience and positive reinforcement, most Rex rabbits can be litter trained successfully.

  • Chewers – Provide plenty of safe chew toys to satisfy their natural urge to gnaw and wear down teeth. Monitor cords.

  • Occasional diggers – These rabbits may enjoy digging at carpet or in a sanctioned digging box.

  • Best in pairs – Rex rabbits thrive when partnered with another neutered/spayed rabbit friend for companionship.

  • Sensitive digestion – Careful diet and regular vet checks are key to prevent GI issues. Monitor appetite and stool.

While Rex rabbits have distinctive personalities, their affectionate nature and playful antics make them loyal, delightful companion pets when cared for properly.

Summary

Caring for a Rex rabbit requires commitment but brings immense joy and companionship. By providing proper housing, nutrition, grooming, healthcare, enrichment, and of course love, your velvety Rex will thrive. Working closely with an exotic vet, educating yourself about their needs, and establishing a daily routine of focused care promotes health and happiness. Rex rabbits can make wonderfully entertaining yet gentle pets when given the specialized care they require. With time, attention, and devotion, the Rex rabbit will repay your dedication with years of loyalty and affection.

References:

https://rabbitbreeders.us/questions-and-answers/how-to-care-for-a-rex-rabbit-food-housing-entertainment-health/
https://www.rabbitsforsale.com/questions-and-answers/rex-rabbit-care/

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