Pet Rabbits – Is One Right For Your Home?

Cuddly & Cute – Yes! Irresistible – Yes! Perfect Easter gifts – NO!

Cuddly stuffed bunnies and delicious chocolate bunnies are Easter gifts. Companion bunnies are a 7-10 year commitment.  Do research and if you are still interested in a bunny – PLEASE ADOPT!
Nevada SPCA No-Kill Animal Sanctuary
The Animal Foundation

Are Bunnies Good Pets For Children?

Has your child been pestering for a cute live little bunny?  They are so cute!  Are you considering getting a live bunny for Easter?  As parents we want to make our children happy.  What could be a better Easter gift for a child than a live Easter bunny?

Please read this before getting an Easter bunny as a pet for your child.  Far too many rabbits are injured and die in the first few months or they end up in a rescue or shelter.

  • Rabbits live a long time – with proper care indoor rabbits can live 7 to 10 years.  Having a rabbit for a pet is a long-term commitment.
  • Bunnies are delicate & fragile – Small children “love” their pets by holding, cuddling, and carrying them around.  Many rabbits are dropped & suffer broken backs and legs.  Also, being carried incorrectly makes the rabbit feel insecure and frightened.  They will often bite or scratch out of fear.
  • Space requirements – the powerful hind legs of rabbits are designed for jumping and running.  Their living space must allow enough room for these natural movements.  Your home must be bunny-proofed as rabbits will chew on electrical cords and furniture.

Rabbits are not low-maintenance starter pets for children. They are probably not the best pet for your young child. Because of the appeal for bunnies at Easter, many people buy them on impulse without knowing anything about their care and needs.  When they realize how much care and maintenance is required the rabbit often ends up in a shelter. Rabbits are the third most relinquished animals in shelters across the United States. If after doing your homework, you feel that you want a rabbit, please consider adoption.

Pet Rabbits – Is One Right For Your Home?

By Johna Mennone – LV-HRS Educator and Volunteer

Known for being irresistibly cute, rabbits have become the 3rd most popular pet in the United States. Although these charming and personable animals can be very tempting, their unique needs and behaviors aren’t suited for every home. So before rushing into that 10-year plus commitment, here are some things to take into consideration.

Bunny Housing
Though many believe a rabbit can live outside in a hutch or tucked away in a small cage, bunnies need space and a safe indoor environment to be at their happiest and healthiest. These sociable and highly communicative animals thrive on interaction, and should be kept in the house as part of the family.

Perhaps of even greater importance are the dangers of the outdoors. From hawks to heat, flies to fear, all pose risks to the health and life of a bunny. Indoor housing is such a crucial aspect to a rabbit’s proper care that reputable rescues will not adopt to those planning outdoor accommodations.

Countless rabbits are surrendered to shelters each year after the owner has discovered they are allergic to their bunny, or the food and bedding their bunny requires. If you have allergies to animals, or sensitivities to hay and grasses, you might want to take note. Consider testing your reaction by visiting the rabbits at your local shelter. It could save your nose and bunny from a lot of upset later on.

Providing for your bunny’s medical needs is an important aspect of their care, though finding a qualified veterinarian may prove difficult. Rabbits require an “exotics” vet, which are far less common and often more expensive. Given that bunnies have unique health concerns, which often need prompt attention, having a qualified vet within a reasonable distance is key. Before making the commitment, search for rabbit savvy veterinarians in your area, and ask yourself how far you are willing to travel and how much you’re able to afford.

Home Environment
Bunnies can make playful and affectionate pets, but it’s important to remember they are prey animals, sensitive to their surroundings. Given that they are quick to react to loud noises and sudden movement, they are more suitable to calm, quieter homes.

Children and additional pets are also a concern and great care has to be taken to keep your rabbit safe, both physically and mentally. A stressed rabbit is an unhappy and unhealthy rabbit. It’s important to keep in mind that even the most well-behaved pet or child might chase a bun that runs, and even the most affectionate child can injure a bun unintentionally. So consider the environment you’d be introducing a bunny to    and make their safety your priority.

Think Twice
Rabbits are the third most abandoned pet, filling shelters across the country. Sadly, most are surrendered because the owner wasn’t prepared for the level of care a rabbit requires. By doing your research beforehand, you can learn if a bunny is a good fit for you prior to making the commitment.

Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Rabbit

  1. Rabbits from reliable rescues are already spayed and neutered, saving you from the expense and stress of the procedure.
  2. You’ll be supporting rabbit welfare rather than an irresponsible backyard breeder.
  3. Shelter rabbits are already litter-box trained and socialized.
  4. Cared for by compassionate volunteers, you’ll bring home a healthier, happier bunny.
  5. You’ll be saving multiple lives! In addition to saving the life of the bunny you adopt, you free up shelter space for the next rabbit in need.