We recommend, in Iceland’s cold climate, that pet rabbits live inside your home as opposed to outside in a hutch. There are several reasons to house your rabbit inside. Not only will you ensure your rabbit is protected from severe weather and predators, your rabbit will become more of a member of your family when living inside with you.
There are many options for housing your bunny indoors, including custom enclosures, puppy-pens, or simply a bunny proofed room. Here are each of the options:
Running free: One option is to let pet rabbits have free reign in a rabbit proofed room. Ideally it should be large with an open floor plan and generally speaking, someone there to supervise. A section of the room will contain litter boxes, hay box, and food dishes. They enjoy the freedom of exploring at a leisurely pace or taking a top speed run whenever they choose to. Providing cardboard boxes for them if they feel the need to get away for a while is a very good idea.
Puppy pens:A great option to consider is setting up a puppy-pen in an area of your house for your rabbit.They are large enough hold all of the essentials for a rabbit and give them room to roam. Pens are easy to move when needed.If you are concerned about your flooring or carpet, you can place a plastic chair mat, piece of linoleum, or an old rug at the bottom of the pen. It is important to remember to make sure your rabbit does not eat the flooring! Puppy-pens are useful if you intend to eventually give your rabbit free reign in a rabbit proofed room, because this helps prevent accidents and lower stress.
Home-made Enclosures: If you're handy, the sky's the limit when it comes to building custom enclosures. You can use wood, metal, repurposed furniture, and other materials to build a rabbit enclosure. Remember, if you decide to build with metal or wood, the slats should be fairly close together so your rabbit cannot get his/her head through. Otherwise, your rabbit may get injured.
Rabbit Cages: Of all the housing options, rabbit cages provide the least amount of space for your rabbit, so if possible, we recommend trying a pen or home-made enclosure setup first. However, if you do opt to house your bunny in a large cage, you must ensure the rabbit gets plenty of time of time outside the cage- at least a few hours daily. Cages must be large enough to accommodate your rabbit, the bigger the better! There needs to be room for your rabbit to move about and lie down, as well as space for food, water, litter box and toys. Never use glass aquariums as they are usually not large enough and do not have enough air circulation. It is also best to have a cage with a front door so your rabbit can come and go on his/her own.
There are many different housing possibilities to consider for your rabbit. Rabbits need a place where they feel safe as well as room to exercise and explore. The best option will depend on your living arrangements. But remember, rabbits are very social creatures, so choose a location in your home that won't leave your bunny feeling lonely and abandoned.