Are you considering getting rabbits for pets? Do they make good pets? Well as rabbit lovers we're a bit biased but we definitely think they do as long as you've thought it through and make a fully informed decision.
Here's our five point checklist of things to consider if you are considering choosing a rabbit as a pet:
1. Rabbits are a long term commitment
Rabbits can live up to 10-12 years. More and more families are choosing to keep their rabbit indoors rather than outside in a hutch and this increases their life span even further as they are not exposed to predators, extreme weather etc. Whether indoors or outdoors, are you ready to home and love your bunny for this length of time?
2. Rabbits and young children don't mix
One of the more common questions we get asked is 'Are rabbits good pets for kids'?
Most children love rabbits and with their soft fur and fluffy ears what's not to love! However think carefully about getting a rabbit for your children before you take the plunge into rabbit ownership. Rabbits are gentle creatures who can frighten easily and are definitely not suited to noisy, boisterous children. Rabbits aren't suitable for children under the age of around 8 years old.
3. Indoors or outdoors?
We absolutely recommend that your bun lives in your home with you. You can't just leave your rabbit outside by herself and expect her to be happy. Rabbits are social creatures who live in large groups in the wild.
However, If you absolutely have to keep your bun outside then consider whether you should get two bunnies (desexed of course!) so that they have company.
4. Rabbits chew constantly
Rabbits chew. We'll say that again, rabbits chew! It's an essential bunny behaviour - they need to chew to keep their teeth ground down - but unfortunately excessive chewing on inappropriate things (carpet, furniture etc) is one of the biggest reasons (if not THE biggest) reason rabbits are re-homed.
As an owner you won't be able to stop your bun chewing, you can only encourage chewing of the right things.
5. Rabbits need specialized vet care
Bunnies are still classed as 'exotics' and many vets would have had little if any training in rabbit care. If you are considering getting a bunny then do your research thoroughly and ensure you find a vet who specializes in care of bunnies. Keeping rabbits for pets (not breeding, meat or fur) is a relatively recent thing and many vets are only just getting up to speed.
Overall rabbits are NOT low maintenance pets and pet rabbit care isn't as simple as it seems unless you get the right advice.