Obviously, I love rabbits. Every rabbit has its own personality, but as a whole rabbits are smart, curious, playful, determined, and absolutely adorable. There is no question that they make excellent pets. But that doesn't mean a rabbit is right for all households. While it is very important to me to promote adoption of rescued rabbits, it is even more important to me to prevent people from adopting a rabbit that they will not treat the way it deserves.
First and foremost, rabbits are NOT Easter gifts.
Read on to see if a rabbit might be right for your family.
Should I Get a Rabbit?
- Are you ready to make a 10+ year commitment to caring for a rabbit? House rabbits that are well-cared for can live over 10 years. When you adopt, you are adopting for the life of an animal.
- Are you able to afford at least 10 years of food and other necessities for a rabbit? Before adopting, look into the costs of consumables (timothy hay, pellets, and litter) your rabbit will need. And don't forget about vet care. Rabbits are considered an exotic animal and need a specialized vet, which can be more expensive and more difficult to find than a vet for a dog or cat.
- Does every member of the household want a rabbit and understand how to properly treat a rabbit? Rabbits are delicate and need a particular kind of care. As an example, toddlers may not understand how critical it is to be gentle with a rabbit and not pick it up. Everyone in the house must know and follow rules about rabbit care.
- Are you able to give a rabbit the space it deserves? Just like dogs and cats, rabbits do not belong in a cages. It is cruel to lock up a rabbit. Rabbits are social creatures who deserve to be loved as members of the family. They need to run and jump, explore, and interact with the family.
- Is your home safe for a rabbit? Before adopting, learn what kinds of modifications you may need to make in order to provide a rabbit with a safe, indoor environment.
- Can you accept that a rabbit may cause damage to your possessions? A rabbit who chews is not a bad rabbit. It is simply a rabbit. In the wild, rabbits snip through vines (and will do the same to cords in your house if they're not covered). They dig tunnels (and will dig at carpet if it's loose or if they're not given toys to satisfy their need to dig). They eat bark and twigs (and will chew on baseboards, table legs, etc if they're not provided more appropriate things to chew). No matter how well you prepare, it is possible your rabbit will cause some sort of damage that you didn't anticipate.
If you answered yes to all of the questions, then a rabbit would probably make a wonderful addition to your family. Talk with a local rabbit rescue to begin the process toward adoption. A rescue will help you find just the right rabbit for your family.
If you have any questions about rabbits and whether one would be right for your family, please ask. I'm happy to share everything I've learned after nearly 11 years of loving and caring for a house rabbit.