Rabbits are adorable and wonderful. However, they need more attention on the part of their keepers, like any other pets. Here are a few things to take into consideration before you adopt a pet rabbit.
Pets rabbits are easily available through breeders and pet stores. However, there are many people who bring pet rabbits home without knowing what to deal with them correctly, and, as a result, many rabbits end up being in a very bad situation in shelters every year. Additionally, many rabbits live their lives in a tiny environment, cages or backyard hutches without exercise, and without the correct diet or veterinarian care. Here are several things you should know before you adopt a rabbit.
1) Rabbits can live for upwards of ten years:
Like cats or dogs, they deserve lifelong care. They are curious creatures and socialists who need mental stimulation and companionship in order to grow, develop well, and thrive. They need the same amount of energy and time that one would give to any other animals.
2) Rabbits do best when living inside:
A rabbit in a yard or in an outside hutch is less likely to be part of your family than a house-rabbit. Injuries or diseases often go unnoticed for longer in a rabbit housed outside. Your rabbit can fall victim to predators if you let him/her outdoor, or can even suffer a heart attack from fear. rabbits in a hutch will suffer from flystrike, heatstroke, and frostbite.
3) Rabbits need spacious housing and plenty of “out” time:
Like most of the cages sold in pet stores are simply too small. A large dog cage is a minimum space, but it’s better to go for a large x-pen. Rabbits can be litterbox trained, so consider letting your rabbit enjoy your entire home space. However you decide to do it, rabbits need several hours out-of-cage time daily, so you will need all of your home space. As we know, rabbits love chewing everything, including books, power cords, and furniture.
4) Rabbits need their habitat cleaned regularly
Rabbits need their environment or cages cleaned once or twice a week to keep their habitat sanitary and odor-free. Make sure to not use cedar or pine shavings to line their cage, since the fumes can harm your rabbit, and avoid clay cat litters. Go for wood shavings made from aspen.
5) Rabbits love to chew
Rabbits chew almost anything they don’t know the difference between bad and good things to chew. That’s why any space in your house that your rabbit can approach needs to be rabbit proof (i.e., no access to things that can cause physical injuries, like electrical books, cords, or furniture). Keep your eye close to your rabbit and give him/her something good to chew on, like chewing toys, cardboard boxes, or rabbit-safe chew sticks.
6) Rabbits need specialized vet care:
Rabbits are exotics, and most veterinarians are not up-to-date in rabbit medicine. They must be neutered and spayed, and same-sex pairs will fight if unaltered. Unspayed females are prone to uterine cancer, while males may bite, spray, and hump. Though rabbits do not generally require vaccinations, rabbits have fragile bones and delicate digestive systems and will almost certainly require expensive veterinarian care at some point in their lives. You must look after your rabbit carefully for signs of G.I(Gastrointestinal). Stasis, a common problem that harms your rabbit if not dealt with quickly.
7) Rabbits are not good pets for children:
Though rabbits show tenderness and can be affectionate, they generally do not enjoy being picked up. An afraid rabbit may bite or kick with its back legs if mishandled. They can be easily injured if they are dropped. They are easily stressed out by rough activity and loud noise. Interactions with children should be always monitored and an adult should be the primary caretaker of a rabbit.
8) Rabbits don’t always get along with other pets, even other rabbits:
May rabbits learn to get along with cats and dogs, introductions should be done carefully. A rabbit should never be left with a predator alone. Rabbits can form deep bonds with other bunnies, but not all rabbits get along, and rabbit fights can be surprisingly violent. Before you adopt a pet rabbit you may have to maintain separate quarters for a pet you bring home as a “friend” for your rabbit.
9) Rabbits need regular exercise
Rabbits need space to jump and run, ideally in an outdoor area, playpen, or rabbit-proofed room. You should supervise your rabbit all the time since they’re vulnerable to predators with an outdoor play area. It’s recommended that rabbits be given several hours for exercise per day.
10) Thousands of rabbits are languishing in shelters and rescues:
Before you buy or adopt a rabbit from a breeder or a pet store, consider adopting a rabbit from a rescue place or shelter.
The last thing, be certain you can commit to meeting a rabbit’s needs before bringing him/her home. The House-Rabbit-Society is a great place to learn more about what to expect if you decide to share your life with rabbits.