Rabbits are cute and cuddly, but do you want one as a pet? Some things to consider before making a commitment:
- Rabbits cannot be taken care of by children. The adults in the family must take responsibility for the family rabbit.
- Rabbits are very social animals and should be kept in pairs.
- Rabbits CANNOT be kept together with Guinea Pigs.
- Your Rabbit will need to be spayed or neutered. Female bunnies who are not spayed will have repeated “false” pregnancies and will eventually develop uterine cancer, a horribly painful but silent way to die as the bunny will show virtually no symptoms until it is too late.
- Rabbits need a lot of space – their hutch should allow them to stand up fully and make at least four consequetive hops. Most commercially available hutches are not big enough, even for a single rabbit.
- Rabbits are very intelligent and need toys and mental stimulation much as a dog or cat does.
- Family members may be allergic to rabbits. Check this out before adopting a rabbit.
- Make sure that a rabbit fits into your family. If you have other pets, make plans so that all the animals in the house can coexist. If you have very young children, will you be able to care for them and for a bunny? Rabbits require safe, gentle handling so play sessions with the rabbits need to be supervised.
- Rabbits need at least 2 hours of exercise a day. You will also need to set aside time for cleaning, grooming and feeding your rabbit.
- When adopting a baby rabbit, remember that it will not remain that size forever. Are you willing to house an adult rabbit?
- Rabbits can be aggressive and destructive. They can bite and scratch and your house will smell like rabbits.
- Rabbits are a long-term commitment with a lifespan of 5-10 years.
- Although the initial cost of adopting a rabbit is fairly low, you will need to budget for veterinary care as well as appropriate housing and other expenses.