A Few Things You Should Know BEFORE Adopting a Rabbit
Rabbits are cute and adorable.
They are adoptable from breeders and shelters.
Because of their adorable appearance, many people, especially around Easter time, adopt a rabbit on impulse.
Bunny rabbits require unique care and supplies different than dogs or cats.
Rabbits require time and effort to be cared for properly.
Not having this information in advance may make the adoption less than favorable and enjoyable.
Rabbits can make terrific companions when adopted into a suitable home.
They are perfect pets for small living quarters.
They are very quiet.
They don’t take up a lot of space, and they don’t need to go outside.
However, many bunnies are surrendered to shelters as a result of impulsive and uneducated rabbit adoption.
Handing them over to a shelter is hard on the animal who had bonded with their adopted family.
There are several things you should know before adopting a rabbit:
Rabbits Have a Long-Expected Life Span
Rabbits can live eight-12 years or more with proper diet and medical care.
Before you decide to adopt, be sure you are prepared to feed, house and offer attention to the rabbit for several years.
Bunnies Do Best as Indoor Pets
Pet rabbits live longer and healthier lives when kept inside.
Outside, pet rabbits can be exposed to dangerous wild predators, including hawks, foxes, coyotes and stray dogs.
Their thick fur coats and absence of sweat glands often lead them to easily overheat.
Also, their ears and feet can be subject to frostbite if they are outside in freezing weather.
If bunnies are allowed outside, they need shade if it’s hot and heat if it’s excessively cold.
They must always have access to water and be monitored to protect them from attack by predatory animals.
Rabbits Need Exercise
Rabbits don’t need to go outside or be walked like dogs, but they do need time out of their cages every day.
Daily exercise aids in their digestion and prevents excessive weight gain.
The ideal situation is to provide a bunny-safe room or penned off area indoors, which they can explore.
Note: Rabbits should never be out of their cages unsupervised.
Unsupervised, rabbits will chew on furniture, moldings, door frames, carpets, flooring, wires and other inappropriate objects.
They frequently get into trouble because they love to chew.
Rabbits Need to Be Socialized
Some bunnies may be shy and try to hide when they are first adopted.
New owners need to spend time petting and handling their new bunnies to help them adapt more easily into their new home environment.
Rabbits need to be handled safely and gently making sure their hind legs are supported to prevent injury.
Rabbits have very strong back legs and can kick hard causing serious back injuries to the animal.
Rabbits Need a High-Fiber Diet to Stay Healthy
Bunnies are herbivores (vegetable eaters).
They need to consume large amounts of hay each day.
A proper daily diet for a bunny includes unlimited amounts of timothy or other grass hay plus a smaller amount of leafy green vegetables.
In general, rabbits should not be offered much fruit other than an occasional small slice of high-fiber apple, pear, plum or peach.
Carrots are also high in sugar and should be offered only in small quantities.
Bunnies also should be provided with fresh water every day.
Bunnies Are Fastidious Groomers
Rabbits typically groom themselves often and keep themselves very clean, so they don’t require professional grooming.
They need their nails trimmed every few weeks, and long-haired breeds, such as the Angora, should be brushed weekly to prevent matting of their hair.
Bunnies can be trained easily to use a small litter pan in the corner of the cage containing a type of paper-based bedding that’s different from that in the cage.
Rabbits Must Chew
All rabbits’ teeth—both front and back—grow continuously.
It is crucial that they have an unlimited amount of hay as well as safe rabbit toys, such as hard wooden blocks and sticks to chew on to help keep teeth worn down or they will chew on inappropriate household items.
Therefore, bunnies must be supervised at all times when they are out of their cages.
Rabbit cages should be lockable, because rabbits are notorious escape-artists.
Rabbits Require Veterinary Care
Rabbits require annual preventative veterinary care, including checkups and fecal examinations to look for GI parasites.
They also should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as they are adopted to ensure that they are healthy.
Rabbits can be incredible companions for many years when cared for properly.
However, they are not right for everyone.
They should not be adopted on a whim or impulse.
Please do your research about how to care for a bunny.
When you learn about the care they require and have the time to spend with them, a decision to adopt a bunny will be an educated decision and not an impulsive one.
The adoption will be good for you and the rabbit.
Information in this article came from PETMD, which is vet-written and vet-reviewed.
Additional information on the care and feeding of bunny rabbits can be obtained from a local veterinarian, a local animal shelter that deals with rabbits, and additional valid internet sources.
This post was not meant to dissuade anyone from adopting a rabbit, but to inform people about their care.
There are many bunnies at shelters waiting to be adopted by wonderful families.
You’ve adopted a bunny: Read This