It’s hard to deny how incredibly adorable bunnies are.
Aside from dogs and cats, rabbits are one of the most popular family pets. Sadly, many people who buy a rabbit on impulse are not prepared to take care of it long-term. Easter time is an especially popular time for impulse bunny buying and consequently results in a large number of bunnies and rabbits being abandoned shortly after Easter weekend.
So, should you adopt a bunny? Like any pet, rabbits are a commitment. They require specific foods, bedding, and daily care in order to remain happy and healthy. Before hopping down the ol’ bunny trail, give this simple pet rabbit checklist to see if you are truly ready to add one of the little floppy furballs to your family:
- Time Commitment. Perhaps the most important aspect to keeping a pet rabbit is the time commitment. It is a common belief that rabbits are short-lived. Nothing could be further from the truth! Domestic rabbit breeds can easily live to be ten years old or older.
- Time Commitment Part 2. Not only are pet rabbits a long-term commitment, they also have daily needs that should be considered. While daily maintenance might only take up a few minutes, it’s still worth noting when considering keeping a bunny as a pet.
- Habitat. Providing a rabbit with indoor areas to run and play is a must, as is providing a hutch or other “house” with rabbit-safe bedding. Rabbits make great indoor pets. It may surprise some to learn that rabbits can be litterbox trained! If you train your pet rabbit, be sure to keep the litterbox clean. Make sure any areas you allow your pet bunny to roam has been “bunny-proofed”. Secure and protect any electrical wires and outlets and remove any items your rabbit might chew or damage.
- Food and water. While we’re just discussing indoor pet rabbits, all rabbits require lots of water! Making sure your pet rabbit has fresh water at all times of the day; every day, is essential. Provide your rabbit with a high-quality rabbit feed and fresh hay. Despite Bugs Bunny, rabbits should not regularly eat carrots. Learning what foods your rabbit can, should, and will eat will help you keep your pet bunny diet a healthy one.
- Playtime! One of the best reasons to own a pet rabbit is enjoying their playfulness. Bunnies love to play with toys. You can find a variety of cute and rabbit-safe toys at most pet stores, but bunnies aren’t picky! Cardboard tubes, like those used for paper towels, make great toys (as long as they are just cardboard and do not have inks or dyes printed on them). Giving your bunny time and space to run, play, hide and jump about is also essential to keep your curious and fun-loving pet rabbit from getting bored (which can lead to destructive behavior).
These are just the basics of what is involved in having a pet rabbit. As with any animal you are considering as a pet, do you research and ask yourself if you really are ready to care for this pet. If you understand and are ready to care for a fluffy little bunny furball, then by all means, you should adopt a bunny!