Judging by their physical appearance, rabbits are considered to be one of the cutest and friendliest looking animals that could be ideal for pets. Just by looking at them, you get tempted to touch and stroke their soft fur and cuddle them around. If you are very close to deciding that a pet rabbit is what you really want, perhaps, you need first to research what these furry creatures are about. Doing so will help you understand if you are capable to care for them so that they wouldn’t end up adding to the population of rescued rabbits.
Taking time to find out more about them is very useful. Internet has been a very generous source of information if you want to know more about rabbits. We put together a list of the things to expect when deciding to take care of a pet rabbit—from acquiring one to caring and nurturing them. Please read carefully as this could be a very important deciding factor whether or not to keep a rabbit in your home.
What to Expect When Getting a Pet Rabbit:
Acquiring a pet rabbit
• Before you go to a pet store, why not check the nearest animal rescue shelter first. There are many rescued domestic rabbits you can find in there with different breeds and personalities you can choose from. Normally the cost of adoption fee (around $50-$70) is cheaper than getting new rabbits from a pet store (around $10-$20). This is because rabbits in shelters are already spayed or neutered (cost $100 or more). If you acquire rabbits from breeder, you need to have them neutered before they hit puberty or else you will have hard time caring for them as well as managing them.
• Rabbits have distinct personality but they can be as affectionate as dogs and cats for companion. They are actually smart and manageable to train. Most pet owners would allow their pet rabbit to roam around to discover more about their personality.
• Their instinct is to chew and dig so expect them to be doing this from time to time. If they are not sleeping, resting, or eating, then they would be chewing, hopping around, and digging. Should you decide to acquire and house your rabbit indoors, you have to be prepared to rabbit proof your home or else, your furniture will be your rabbit’s chew target as well as electric wires and carpets.
• Male rabbits can be so naughty and spray pee on humans or anywhere while female rabbits are territorial. When they hit puberty, their temperament starts changing and you could have hard time managing them. This is when neutering and spaying will play a big role in calming their aggressive behavior during puberty and maturity. It is also proven that undergoing such procedure will not only tame your rabbit but it will also help them become more trainable in using their litter trays. Neutering or spaying is linked to a healthier and happier pet rabbit.
• The normal life span of a rabbit is 7-10 years. However, at the age of 2 (or even earlier), complications and illnesses can start to develop when rabbits are not well taken care of, or when too much stress hits them. A well maintained and happy growing rabbit can reach its maximum lifespan.
Grooming and Maintaining
• Prepare to participate in a rabbit grooming routine. Rabbit groom themselves so expect them to ingest furballs like cats. Since rabbits cannot get rid on ingested furballs, this could cause to block their intestines when it becomes too massive. This condition could lead to death so regular combing can help collect loose fur to avoid too much of it being swallowed.
• Furry pet rabbits easily attract parasites. Fleas from your pet cats or other animals could transfer to your rabbit in a snap. Do flea prevention when acquiring a rabbit. Their big flowy ears are also a perfect hiding spot for ear mites so you have to keep their ears clean and dry.
• Rabbits are active and playful. They need a large roaming area to keep them active and fit. They need quality time for walking and hopping to exercise their body and for blood to circulate properly. Normally rabbits are active during sunset and sunrise and these times are good for letting them out of the rabbit hutch or from their cage.
• Rabbit eats anytime they want. Unlike dogs, rabbits don’t have feeding schedule. They can get hungry anytime especially if they are eating on hay grass and leafy vegetables. It is important that they have food and water easily accessible anytime. This means, you have to check them regularly to refill their rabbit foods.
Patience, effort, and lots of love are the qualities you need to have if you really want to take care of a pet rabbit. You also need to regularly interact with them to build a bond with each other. Once you build that bond, loyalty and affection from your pet rabbit will be your most priced reward.