Before you adopt a rabbit, we suggest that you do some research on what rabbits are really like, and how to properly care for them. You’ve already
taken a step in the right direction by visiting this web site. If you have not read our article Common myths and misconceptions, we suggest you start there. We debunk many myths about rabbits and discuss some of the common mistakes people make when considering a rabbit for a pet. Once you’ve read what a rabbit is not, its time see if a rabbit is the right pet for you. Don’t forget to check out the other sections of this site that pertain to rabbit care.
In addition to learning about proper rabbit care, consider the following:
You are committed to caring for your pet for the next 6 to 10 years?
Pick up the occasional bunny poop?
Even a perfectly litter-trained rabbit will occasionally leave droppings outside of the litterbox.
Vacuum more frequently than you normally would?
Rabbits molt four times a year, alternating heavy and light sheds. In addition, their hay (which is an essential part of their diet) can be messy if not properly contained.
Bunny proof your home?
See the section of this web site on Bunny Proofing for more information on how to make your home safe for a rabbit.
Does anyone in your family have allergies to rabbits or hay?
People often forget that hay is an important part of a rabbit’s diet so you will be exposed to hay on a daily basis.
Do you have other animals in the home, such as an unruly dog, that may pose a threat to a rabbit?
Rabbits can live well with a variety of other animals, but a positive outcome depends on the personalities and behaviours of both the rabbit and the animal. In some cases the two may not be able to be together without constant supervision.
Do you expected major changes to your life in the near future?
If you will be moving, starting school, getting married or starting a family make sure that your new rabbit is able to stay with you and be part of your long-term plans.
Will you have your pet spayed or neutered?
Spaying and neutering is essential for decreasing hormonally driven behaviours (such as spraying and marking territory) and achieving good litterbox habits. It also has health benefits by reducing the risk of reproductive cancers. As well, by having your pet spayed or neutered, you will not be contributing to the rabbit over-population problem. See the section of this web site on Spaying and Neutering for more information on altering your pet’s future.
Provide daily mental stimulation, affection and ample exercise in a safe environment?
Rabbits who do not receive ample exercise or mental stimulation may become depressed, bored or destructive. See the section of this web site on Toys for some ideas.
Find a rabbit savvy veterinarian to treat the rabbit when he is ill?
Rabbits are classified as exotic pets. Veterinarians who regularly see mostly dogs and cats may not be experienced in rabbit health issues.
Clean the cage and litterbox regularly?
Clean litterboxes and cages do not have an unpleasant odour. Your rabbit, as well as other members of your family, will appreciate a clean cage and litterbox! (Please do not use harsh cleansers on your rabbit’s cage or litterbox! White vinegar works well and is non-toxic.)
Accept if something gets nibbled?
Regardless of what kind of pet you choose, something in your home is bound to get dirty, nibbled or scratched.
The Joys and Benefits of Owning a Rabbit
On the lighter side, we would like to point out some of the many joys and benefits of owning a rabbit. We invite our members to submit their favourite stories about the delights of rabbit ownership. E-mail us!
Your eating habits will likely improve.
Some rabbits really thrive on a diet that consists of a large assortment of fresh vegetables. Really, if you are going to buy produce for your rabbit, you might as well eat some, too!
You don’t have to get up at 6:00 a.m. to walk your rabbit in the pouring rain or bitter cold, nor do you have to “stoop and scoop”.You can let him out for his morning exercise while you sit and quietly sip your coffee as he amuses you with his antics. Rabbits are most active in the early morning and at dusk.
If you have a headache or enjoy peace and quiet you will not have to listen to barking or meowing but just the gentle sound of a twitching nose.
Rabbits will not bother your neighbours, so they are ideal for apartment living.
Words like “cute”, “binky” and “bunny flop” will become a part of your vocabulary.
You will have the most luxuriant garden on the block.
Rabbit litter makes fantastic compost if you use hay, a newspaper based litter such as Yesterday’s News or Carefresh, or woodstove pellets in your rabbit’s litterbox.
You’ve finally found someone who will lounge with you in front of the television and not complain about your favourite programs.
Just remember to keep that remote control out of reach! Some rabbits think remote control buttons are a delicacy.Any clothing item that is left on the floor, and within reach of your rabbit, may end up being tasted and having numerous “air vents” added. This is a real incentive to pick up those clothes!
The cardboard concrete forming tube that you have running behind your sofa and the protective coverings you have over your electrical cords make good conversation pieces when entertaining house guests.
You have a “friend” who loves you unconditionally and offers you support, comfort, security and stability.
Recent studies show that pet ownership may even reduce blood pressure and have other health benefits.
You will see the stares of disbelief from friends and co-workers when you talk about your litter trained indoor rabbit and all the funny antics he performs daily.
A Final Note
Regardless of what kind of pet you get, remember that you are making a lifelong commitment, so it is extremely important to do research on your choice BEFORE you bring the pet home. If you do decide that a rabbit is right for you, please visit your local shelter and give an abandoned rabbit a new lease on life.
Still not sure if a rabbit is right for your house?