With Easter just a hop, skip, and a jump away, you may be considering adopting a rabbit into your family. But before you bring a fluffy bunny home this spring, you may want to consider that a rabbits is not a give-and-forget pet, and that they do require the same care and attention that you would give a cat or dog.
Sadly, 95% of the rabbits and chicks given as pets at Easter don’t live to see their first birthday. Given this heartbreaking statistic, we hope you will give the decision to adopt a rabbit the consideration it deserves. Here are a few carrots to chew on…
The All-Inclusive Cost of Adopting a Rabbit
In addition to the price you will pay to adopt a rabbit, you will also need to plan for the costs to have your new pet spayed or neutered (if it hasn’t been done already). Even if you’re just planning on having the one bunny, there are health risks involved with not having this surgery done. There is also the cost of preventative care and vaccinations to consider as well.
In addition to veterinary costs, there are also the costs of food, shelter, and litter for your new pet. And yes, you can house train a rabbit. You’ll also need to provide your rabbit with some type of activity, as a bored bunny is indeed a “wascally wabbit”. To get an idea of what your rabbit will cost, do your homework before you buy.
Housing Your Rabbit
Whether you’re looking for a “house rabbit” or an outdoor companion, rabbits require special housing to keep them, and your home, safe. You’ll need to provide a hutch, condo or castle that is safe and secure, but not isolated from you and your family.
Rabbits are intelligent, social creatures that will despair if left alone and ignored. You’ll need to be sure that you can give your rabbit the love, time, and attention that he or she needs, as well as a safe place to call home.
If your rabbit is destined to live outdoors, you’ll also need to be certain that your pet is protected from the elements, as well as from local wildlife and any other pets that may have free reign of your yard.
Regardless of where your bunny is living, you’ll need to bunny proof your home and yard. Rabbits are curious critters that can find trouble without even trying. Cords, furniture, and even flowerbeds are all fair game where a rabbit is concerned. Check out this article for more tips on bunny proofing your home.
Bonding With Your Bunny
Rabbits can be sweet and affectionate creatures, but not in the ways we typically associate with most pets. It’s rare to find a rabbit that likes to cuddle and be held, and if your rabbit is being forced into a situation that makes them uncomfortable, they will fight back. Don’t just buy a rabbit on looks alone. Instead, talk to your vet or a specialist at the shelter where you adopt to find a good personality fit for you and your family.
As with all pets, proper nutrition is key to your rabbit’s health. The cornerstone of a rabbit’s nutrition is fiber, so your bunny will need unlimited access to hay or grass, regardless as to if they live indoors or out. While there are pelleted formulas available, they should be an addition and not the staple of your rabbit’s diet.
The bottom line is that while rabbits can make fantastic pets, it’s important to know what is involved before adopting. Every animal deserves a forever home, bunnies included. If you have any other questions about keeping or adopting a rabbit as pets, please give us a call. We’re happy to help.