Buying a Bunny?
Here are four things to consider before you do…
We love our rabbits and there’s no doubt these furry friends are a popular pet among kids. However, while they may seem similar in nature to cats or dogs, these little guys are considerably different from other domesticated animals. Be it that you’re buying for you or the younger ones, here are a few key considerations…
Just like us humans, bunnies need quite a bit of space.
Before buying a bunny you may need to take a realistic look at your indoor-outdoor flow. Rabbits can happily live in outdoor hutches. If the outdoor space is available a hutch/run combination big enough for a rabbit to stretch and hop around is always a good idea. But if the area necessary for a large hutch isn’t handy you will have to be prepared to rabbit-proof your home. That’s because bunnies need to bounce about – they need a lot of exercise. In fact, PetMD recommends approximately 4 hours of exercise a day.
They chew-chew-choose you.
Not unlike a new kitten or puppy, rabbits love chewing on everything they can find. However while the cats and dogs grow out of this habit a rabbit’s teeth will never stop growing. If they’re inside that means exposed cables and furniture could well be on the menu.
Don’t let Bugs Bunny fool you – bunnies are fragile and easily spooked.
Yes, Bugs always seems to bounce back from his encounters with Elmer Fudd. However in real life rabbits have delicate bones and need to be looked after with extra care.
As rabbits are natural animals of prey they also don’t tend to enjoy being handled. It’s important to practise (and teach others) proper way of careful holding. Placing a hand under the front of a rabbit, always supporting its hind legs and gently lifting is the safest way, as a struggling rabbit can break it’s own bones. Make sure to educate any kids on picking it up this way too, and made certain they never pick the animal up by the ears or scruff of its neck,
While many kids may be overjoyed with their new little hopping friend the bunny may not be as excited. As prey animals, loud noises and hyper movements easily scare them. The HSUS recommends waiting for children be older before giving them the responsibility of bunny care with the right level of caution.
It’s a long haul commitment
Perhaps the most important thing to know before buying a bunny is that they can have a lifespan of 8-12 years. Given the considerable amount of daily and weekly work to take care of one you really need to be sure you have a long-term plan for taking care of the bunny. As they’re often gifted to children (who may even head off to uni in the rabbits lifetime), it’s important to make sure there is someone willing to take the commitment.