Outdoor vs Indoor Rabbit: Choosing Where to Let Them Stay

If you acquire a pet rabbit from a rescue shelter, it is most likely that the staff will be asking you if you plan to make it an indoor rabbit as a house pet or take care of it outdoors. Perhaps you aren’t sure what to answer yet, but in your mind, you will think that letting them live indoors is a better idea than putting them outside your home. That could be true in some aspects, but it is important that you know first the pros and cons of rabbit care indoors vs outdoors before you decide where to keep them.

brown indoor rabbit at home

Photo: Lauri Rantala | Flickr

Here are some points to weigh in when comparing outdoor vs indoor rabbit

• Maintenance

A greater percent of OC-ness in your personality wouldn’t want any sight of rabbit droppings on your floor or smell the unpleasant odor of their urine. If you are this type but you want a rabbit for a pet then housing them outdoor, in a rabbit hutch, is the best option. When you let them live in cage or in a rabbit hutch you must keep the area clean and well maintained so a regular visit is necessary.

If you insist on taking them inside your home, you have to set up an easy to maintain area where they can do their stuff. Rabbit proof your house such as covering your furniture and enclosing electric cords and wires in heavy duty plastic tubes to avoid them chewing on these stuffs and bring damage to your home.

• Predators

Outdoor rabbits are not safe from predators. These predators include wild, stray dogs, raccoons, hawks, snakes, and other wild animals that will happily feast on your outdoor hare. Some of these animals can find a way to get in your rabbits cage or hutch. This is one of the main reasons why rabbit pet owners decide to keep their pets indoors.

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• Health and Well-being

Caged rabbits in an outdoor setting don’t get the proper exercise they need. A quality exercise routine in a large area is important but at the same time you don’t want them to be out in the open for some jumping and walking exercise as they would become a very vulnerable prey to the above mentioned predators. The large area outdoors where your rabbits can freely roam is better than the limited areas in your house. Just make sure to watch them do their activities while outside to protect them from predators lurking around.

If you have no time to join them in their outdoor activities, housing an indoor rabbitand setting up an indoor space for exercise is recommended. Extend their areas of play and exercise up to the living room if necessary.

• Weather condition

Another important reason why pet owner inhibits their cottontails to be raised outside is the changing and extreme weather conditions. Excessive heat of the sun may cause rabbit heat stroke while excessively cold or freezing weather is also not suitable for rabbits outdoors in cage. Cold weather is inviting for rabbits in an outdoor setting. They are made for this weather because of their fur coats that keeps their body temperature normal.

If you want to keep indoor rabbit, they have to be placed in an area of your home where the temperature is just right for them. When the temperature heats up more than the average, particularly during summer, place packets with ice around their area and always refill them with cold and fresh water to keep them within temperature and always hydrated.

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• Bacteria and Poisonous Elements

Another consequence of placing your rabbit outdoors is the bacterial elements and poisonous substances that they could catch outside. Some of these are the chemicals and fertilizers on the lawn that they can ingest as well as unknown wild plants around them that they think are foods.

An indoor rabbit is no exception to these elements. Trash bins are favorite places of bacteria build up. Keep your trash bins clean and sanitized when especially when your rabbits are roaming around. Make sure that you are growing houseplants that are safe for your pet rabbits.

Choosing where you let them stay is not difficult to think over. The attention you give your pet rabbit is one of the important factors in keeping them well. It is equally important as to the area you want to keep them in—whether be it indoors or outdoors. As long as you give them the right care and attention and awareness on their safety, raising them in any part of your house is not a problem at all.

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