Rabbits are cute little bundles of hoppy joy, but they’re a lot more complicated to own than you may think. Adopting a rabbit offers many benefits. But before you go looking at the rabbits in the animal shelters (please don’t buy any pet from a pet store), it would do you good to answer the following questions to determine if adopting a rabbit is good for you and if you would be a great owner in case you do.
A well-cared for indoor rabbit can live for 7-10 years. So adopting a rabbit is a serious decision that affects you and your family in the long term. It requires commitment from you, the pet owner, to go through years of spending for and raising your furry housemate. You also need to consider whether or not you would be able to take care of your pet rabbit in case of lifestyle changes like moving house, children and new jobs.
Like any other pet, having a rabbit entails you to spend money on them. And even before you get to take your rabbit home, you need to pay the adoption fee up front. Abi Cushman of MyHouseRabbit.com has listed down the various costs needed to adopt and raise a pet rabbit including ongoing supplies such as food and litter as well as incidental costs such as vet bills. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), you need to pay a minimum of $1,055 on the first year of owning a rabbit or possibly more.
Rabbits are very curious and always eager to chew on stuff around the house like computer cables, wires or important documents. So, you need to keep your home bunny proofed whether you keep your rabbit in a cage or give him free reign in your abode.
Rabbits need a place where they can relax by themselves but one that is not completely secluded from people. If you’re renting your living space, you would also need to consider if your landlord has any rules about having pets.
Rabbits need time to get used to their new surroundings, so you need to help them transition from being in the shelter to living in your home. It would also take time and patience to get to know your bunny and learn what makes him happy.
Lack of training or behavior problems are among the most common reasons why adopted pets are returned to shelters, according to ASPCA. For instance, although rabbits may have been litter trained in the shelter, there is a possibility that they might forget as moving into a new home is stressful for them.
As a responsible pet owner, you need to understand your rabbit’s nutritional needs. Proper nutrition in appropriate amounts is important for your rabbit. Aside from that, you also need to be ready for potential health-related problems and be able to take care of him if he gets sick.
If you’re living with other family members like your spouse and children, determine if they’re ready to adopt a pet rabbit, too, because you may need their help. Also, if you already have another pet at home, you also need to consider how that pet would react to sharing the house with a newcomer.
Rabbits can be seen as cuddly and as outdoor pets, but both are incorrect. According to Mary Coter in Petfinder, most don’t like being cuddled or carried and they may nip or scratch to protect themselves or if they feel insecure. They also thrive when they are housed indoors where they can have social contact with humans. Other myths about rabbits that have been debunked can be read here.