Bunnies- are they the right pet for you?

Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Excercise, Eyes, Ears & Teeth, Health & Wellness, Paws for Thought, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Proper Bunny Care

Bunnies.  They are small, cuddly and warm and for many families a welcome addition right around Easter.  In fact, bunny sales spike during this season…as Spring and bunnies go hand in hand.

Rabbit rescues are very busy during this time of the year as well.   Many families acquire bunnies with the best of intentions but often children lose interest soon after the Easter festivities end….not to mention, bunnies need far more than a cage and carrots to be happy.

Rabbits can make great pets.  They are intelligent, have unique personalities and have a lower cost of entry than a dog (approximately $65 or less).  Many people say they have cat like and dog like traits, can be litter box trained and Vet bills are typically lower as they do not need annual vaccines, although yearly visits are recommended.

General health:  Not every vet works with rabbits so do your homework to find a vet in your area.  Common health concerns would be misaligned teeth and hairballs.  Bunnies shed every three months.  Besides grooming your bunny regularly, ensure your bunny has access to high quality hay which will help the hair pass through their digestive track.  Regular exercise will help with hairballs as well.  Spaying or Neutering your pet is very important and will help with aggression, spraying and chewing. 

Their lifespan is 7-10 years and some rabbits live into their teens. 

Diet:  Their diet consists of pellets, high quality hay, water and green leafy veggies.  In fact, carrots should not be a large part of a rabbit’s diet.  Only carrot tops!  Carrots are high in sugar and should be fed as a treat only.  A good rule of thumb for non leafy green veggies is 1 tablespoon per 2lbs of body weight a day.

Crate:  They do need a cage at least 3-4ft in length and need to exercise outside of their pens at least a couple of hours a day.  In fact, the House Rabbit Society recommends 30 hours of cage free time a week.

You will learn very quickly that their play area needs to be bunny proofed as they will chew on anything! 

Children:  Bunnies are sensitive to being held and it is advised that only older children that have learned the proper technique and adults pick up the bunny.  Bunnies are prey animals and if they are picked up incorrectly could feel like they are in danger.

Are two better than one?:  The vast majority of bunnies do crave companionship of their own kind.  Rabbits truly bond with their mate when they are introduced correctly.  If you choose to have two, make sure they meet in neutral territory and are altered.  This will assist with positive introductions.

If all of this sounds good to you, please consider adoption!

Rabbit resources:  www.rabbit.org, www.pigsnbuns.org