Let’s face it, bunny rabbits are cute. Easter is the time of year when many parents give in to the kids and get a bunny for a pet. Although bunnies are easy to care for, they require a bit more cre than most kids are able to give alone, and sadly, many of these bunnies can be found in shelters. Find out up front what kind of care rabbits required and decide if you can handle this type of pet.
Currently, there are close to 7.4 million rabbit owners in the United States according to the House Rabbit Society. Rabbits do make very good house pets, but they have unique personalities and health needs, much like a dog or cat. They are intelligent and can learn basic commands and be trained to use a littler box like a cat. They also get along with most cats and dogs if introduced to each other properly.
They are a relatively inexpensive pet to own. Rabbits are inexpensive to purchase and do not require yearly vaccinations. However, they are not low maintenance. Rabbits are very particular about their grooming which requires daily cleaning of their cage or pen. Rabbits will easily use litter boxes simply because they are so fastidious about cleanliness.
Rabbits can live up to 10 years if given a proper diet and are well cared for. They must have clean water, hay, grass, leafy vegetables like lettuce and greens. They also need to be spayed or neutered. Rabbits have hormone driven behaviors like spraying and fighting that can be stemmed by having the rabbit fixed.
Rabbits are a highly social animal that need interaction and play time. Bunnies that are neglected will sometimes stop eating. Many rabbits are banished to outdoor pens. This often happens when the rabbit grows up or gets too large, or even when the kids lose interest in their pet. These rabbits become susceptible to fleas, ticks and even your neighbors dog. A domestic pet rabbit that is in an outdoor pen should be monitored and brought indoors in the evenings.
Choosing the right breed of rabbit is very important. Many pet owners think they are buying a cute little bunny when in fact some breeds grow to 20lbs. or more. Do a little research on the differing breeds of rabbits and consider the pros and cons of each breed before you buy your bunny.
Bunnies tend to hide and avoid wide open spaces when they are getting used to a new home. Rabbits are active and like to play and eat in the mornings and evenings, which works with most family’s schedules. Rabbits may mark their new territory by rubbing their chin on objects to release a scent in the home that humans can’t detect. They may also leave pellets of fecal matter as a mark. Unneutered males may spray, which can be a big problem, so have the rabbit fixed to end this behavior.
Although bunnies are cute and many breeds enjoy being picked up and cuddled, remember that bunnies are not like a stuffed toy. If a bunny feels threatened or doesn’t feel like its being held properly it may put up a fight. Rabbits may also scratch or bite if frightened.
Choosing the right bunny breed and providing the proper care this Easter, or whenever you decide to buy a rabbit, will ensure that both kids and parents alike have a pet they can enjoy and love for many years..