Should you adopt a pet rabbit? Pet Rabbits are very popular pets. They are soft to touch, cute to look at, and quiet. A rabbit can be trained to use a litter box and can learn to come when called. If you are looking for a pet that doesn’t need walks or if you live in an apartment, rabbits should be one of your considerations
When you purchase a rabbit please take time to learn how to handle it properly. They are easily injured due to a weak skeletal structure. Rabbits are very skittish at first because of their natural position as prey. So take it slow when socializing the rabbit, give it time to get accustomed to you and its new surroundings.
If you have small children please teach them to be cautious and quiet around the rabbit. Rabbits are easily frightened and can be severely harmed by mishandling. Many do not like being handled or cuddled at all.
A rabbit should have a fresh supply of Timothy hay, pellets and dark leafy vegetables to eat. It can be given carrots, apple slices, pears, strawberries and peaches on occasion as a treat. They have very complex digestive systems so it is important that you combine the right hay, the right pellets and dark leafy vegetables for optimal health. They need fresh water daily.
Rabbits need a safe place to run and exercise daily. A rabbit can be introduced to other pets including other rabbits, guinea pigs, and sometimes even cats and dogs (be cautious with cats and dogs and introduce them slowly with close supervision)
Some people keep their rabbit in a cage most of the time. Others allow the rabbit to roam free once it knows to use a litter box. If you let the rabbit roam free make sure to bunny proof the area it has access to. Rabbits like to chew and will chew electrical cords, poisonous objects and more.
If you keep a rabbit in a cage please make sure it is large enough (about 5 times the size of the rabbit) and let the rabbit out daily for exercise. The cage should be tall enough for it to stand up on its hind legs too. If the cage is made of wire, put card board on the floor to make it more comfortable on your bunnies sensitive feet. Also give the rabbit a hiding place for when it wants quiet time.
A rabbits cage and litter should be cleaned daily. Don’t use harsh chemicals. Vinegar and water is sufficient.
A few final thoughts:
Not sure that pet rabbits are right for you? Go back to small pets
- Does anyone in the house have allergies to rabbits or hay?
- Are you prepared for extra cleaning do to the rabbit molting four times per year and picking up the occasional dropping as well?
- Rabbits live 6-10 years
- Rabbits are better off as indoor pets than indoor pets
- You should have your rabbit spayed or neutered so that it has a nicer personality (many rabbits who are not “fixed” show behaviour that is unacceptable to owners.