Pet Bunny on the Way? Make Sure You Read This First

Rabbits certainly are cute. It’s difficult to see a fluffy little bunny and not want to take it home with you. But like dogs and cats, rabbits have specific care needs, and if you’re new to rabbit ownership, some of those needs may actually surprise you.

Are you ready to bring a rabbit into your family life around the home? If you just answered yes, then here are ten things you need to know before you make that decision.

1)  Pet Bunnies Cost Money

Depending on the breed and the local market, you may be able to adopt a rabbit for little or nothing. But the cost of acquiring the animal is only the beginning. You’ll also need to invest in rabbit housing, a pen, feeders, clippers for those tiny rabbit nails, and protective gear for your electrical cords and other things rabbits tend to chew.

And you’d better plan on having your rabbits spayed or neutered. Then, there’s the ongoing cost of food and litter, vet bills, toys, and repairs. The bottom line is that the cost of keeping a rabbit can quickly add up.

2)  Rabbits Come in Pairs 

Some pets are just fine being the only four-legged family member, but rabbits are very sociable animals. Without company, your rabbit might get depressed or aggressive. Rabbits form strong bonds with each other, and watching your rabbits interact with each other will enrich your experience, as well. Just remember to have both of them fixed, or you could easily end up with more rabbits than you bargained for.

3)  You’ll Need to Rabbit-Proof Your Home

Rabbits love to explore, but if you plan to give them the freedom of roaming your home unfettered, then you’ll need to do some bunny proofing around the house. Rugs, computer cables, chair legs, baseboards, and sensitive documents … nothing is safe. Curious rabbits will chew just about anything.

4)  Bunnies Can Be Litter Box Trained

If you’re new to rabbit ownership, then you might be surprised at just how much solid waste a pair of little bunnies can produce. The good news is that rabbits are intelligent creatures that can be trained to use a litter box. Purchasing the litter box and refilling it with new litter is an extra expense, but it will save you time and trouble in the long run, and likely prevent a few messes as well.

5)  Be Careful With Plants When You Have Rabbits

There’s nothing like a houseplant to freshen the atmosphere in your home, but some plants can be extremely toxic for your pet rabbit. Tulips, tomato plants, geraniums, and daisies can all cause serious health issues for pet rabbits.

6)  Owning a Rabbit Is a Big Commitment

The persistent pleading of children can be difficult to resist, and for many parents, keeping youngsters happy is a key motivating factor in the decision to adopt a rabbit. But did you know that rabbits can live for a decade or more? Depending on the age of your children, you may end up caring for the rabbit after they’ve moved out. Is that a commitment you’re willing to make?

7)  Proper Nutrition Is Essential 

If you were thinking your rabbit could subsist on a diet of leftover salad, then you’d better think again. Rabbits also need a constant supply of fresh grass or hay. Without it, their digestive systems can atrophy, and their teeth can get overgrown, causing pain and disfigurement.

8)  Rabbits Don’t Like to Be Held

Rabbits are generally friendly and affectionate creatures, but they’re not as cuddly as the movies might have you believe. Most rabbits dislike being held, which is disappointing news for children. As prey animals, rabbits prefer to have easy access to escape routes at all times. When picked up, many rabbits will scratch, kick, or bite. When that happens, children’s first instinct is to drop them, which can cause serious harm.

9)  Fragile: Handle With Care!

Some people don’t realize how fragile bunnies can be. In addition to avoiding picking them up, it’s wise to stay away from rough play, and to keep rabbits away from animals that tend to get overexcited (such as rambunctious puppies) and that might inadvertently injure the rabbits.

10)  Rabbits Need Space 

If you’re planning on keeping your rabbits in a hutch or cage, be sure it’s large enough for them to live comfortably. Like cats, rabbits like to stretch out and relax, and they may get anxious if they’re not permitted to do so. Outdoor hutches should measure at least 72” x 24” x 24”, and should be attached to a sizable rabbit run for exercising purposes.

Rabbits Make Great Pets

If you really love rabbits, then we hope these tips don’t dissuade you from bringing one into your family. They really do make excellent pets, as long as you follow a few important guidelines. We hope this article helps you have an enjoyable experience as a rabbit owner.