There are more and more places where people are seeing baby rabbits available to bring home as a pet. Babies can be irresistably cute. If you haven’t had a rabbit as a house pet before, is it a good choice for you?
It depends on how much you know about rabbits. Unfortunately, many baby bunnies are taken home during Easter season and are given up just a few months later because new owner’s weren’t prepared for what they got.
Size Does Matter. There are dozens of recognized rabbit breeds. Of course there are innumerable combinations if breeds mix and well bunnies do mix and mingle and multiply freely when allowed to. The size of a full-grown rabbit can range from 2 or 3 pounds to over 20 pounds. You could get a lot more bunny than you bargained for if the baby rabbit turns out to be one of the giant breeds!
Whoa, They Live How Long? Many think a bunny will be like guinea pigs or hamsters and live just a couple of years. Well cared for house rabbits can live for ten years or more. Bringing home a bunny is a long-term committment.
The Importance Of Being Altered: Like cats and dogs, rabbits make the best house pets when they have been spayed or neutered. Rabbits become “teenagers” at four to six months of age and have raging hormones making them harder to handle. Since rabbits are social animals, it is good to get pairs, but if those pairs turn out to be boy and girl, you could end up with way more bunnies than planned. Baby bunnies can easily hide their true gender even from experienced vets.
To be successful with a pet rabbit, you need to be aware of the importance of a good diet and just how well a bunny can hide being ill. It is good to have knowledge of common rabbit diseases and illnesses and the early signs that say bunny needs a rabbit savvy vet. Vets for rabbits are usually exotic veterinarians and their fees can run higher than those for cats and dogs.
For good health, rabbits need a minimum of 30 hours of free runtime a week. If they are in the mood they will run top speed around rooms, up and down stairs, and bounce on and off furniture. They hit speeds up to 25 miles an hour. Bunny lovers call it the Bunny 500 and just sit back and enjoy the show.
Where Is The Bunny And What Is He Doing? For your sanity and the rabbit’s safety, you need to learn how to bunnyproof your home. Rabbits can wiggle into unbelievably small places and like to chew everything in sight. They are very curious and sometimes very stubborn.
Okay, We Are Rabbit Crazy: Once people learn these things about rabbits, they can’t understand why we actually have multiple rabbits. It’s because rabbits are unbelievably fun as a pet. See yesterday’s post for all the playful things they like to do. They can be litter box trained and can learn their names and understand many words and commands. However like cats, whether they respond to a command depends a great deal on whether they are in the mood.
To Mystery: We read an article once that said rabbits are the pet of choice for people who love mysteries, because you just don’t know what they will do next. We have always been well entertained by them. It is hard to stay in a bad mood when a bunny decides to play the clown or hops up beside you on the sofa and flops down to be petted.
Surfing Time: Rabbits are not for everyone. If you are thinking of one as a pet, do some Internet surfing to get a good handle on whether a bunny is your pet of choice. A good site to start with is the House Rabbit Society. They have loads of information and also local chapters in many areas where you can check into adopting a rescue bunny.