There are several factors you need to consider if you are deciding whether to get a rabbit for your next pet. Rabbits for pets (not fur, meat or breeding) are becoming more popular but many people jump in without thinking past the overwhelmingly cute bundle of fur they see in the pet shop.
Can you answer ‘Yes’ to each of the 5 questions below?
1. Are you ready for a 10-12 year commitment?
Some rabbits can live for up to 10-12 years, particularly if they are indoor rabbits. Are you ready to commit to having your bun around for that length of time?
2. Are you ready for the everyday commitment?
Rabbits aren’t ‘disposable’ pets. They are every bit as dependent as a dog or cat. Possibly even more so as they can’t have free access in the house or yard as a cat or dog does. You will need to:
- Feed your bun everyday
- Check and change her water daily
- Clean her cage and litter box every 1-2 days
- Supervise her exercise for 2-3 hours every day outside the cage
- Spend time playing, grooming and just hanging out every day
3. Are you prepared for the chewing?
Rabbits need to chew constantly and despite your best efforts to supervise and offer things to chew there may be times that your bun still manages to chew your power cords (dangerous) or favourite piece of furniture (infuriating). Are you prepared to be patient when this happens?
4. Are you willing to let your bun live (or spend time) inside your house?
Rabbits are social creatures and unless you have more than one rabbit they can’t be left alone outside. In the wild they live in warrens of up to 40 rabbits so to live a life alone outside is cruel. Yes, many people do have just one rabbit that they keep outside but is this the life you are prepared to offer your bun?
5. Can you afford it?
Rabbits may not cost as much in food as a dog for example, but you will still need to pay for the setup (cage etc) hay, vegetables, pellets, vet visits, grooming supplies, toys etc. Can you afford this?
Owning a bun is an amazing experience and the purpose of this article isn’t meant to put you off choosing one. Rather it is to just make you make an informed decision to get a bun as no pet should ever be purchased on impulse.
There are thousands of bunnies currently in shelters that have been sent there because their owners weren’t prepared for them, couldn’t deal with behaviours such as chewing etc. Keeping rabbits for pets can be an amazing experience but we don’t want your bun to become another statistic at the local shelter.