To Bun Or Not To Bun?
Is a pet rabbit right for you?
Rabbits make extraordinary pets; they are very intelligent, fun and entertaining. They can provide you and your family with companionship for up to 10-13 years (once spayed or neutered). Unfortunately, rabbits are often misunderstood, and most people don't realize all that is necessary to care properly for a rabbit. As a result, many domesticated rabbits end up in humane shelters every year.
Ask yourself these questions to see if you are prepared to give a rabbit a forever home:
- $ - Do I have the financial resources to provide my bunny with a proper living area, food, toys and veterinary care?
- Preparation - Am I prepared to bunny-proof my house or bunny's room (even if bunny will be roaming for short periods)?
- Time - Do I have time during the week to give my bunny attention, play with him and keep his space and litter box clean?
- Space - Do I have space to allow my bunny to explore and get exercise? (They should have 3-5 hours per day to explore/exercise).
- Safety - If I have other pets or small children that might be around the new bunny, can I ensure they will be gentle and won't harm him?
If you can confidently answer 'Yes' to these questions, then you should feel really good about adopting a rabbit! Your local small animal rescue or the humane shelter should be able to provide you with adoptable bunny options. Adopting from a shelter or rescue helps discourage breeding and pet stores from selling bunnies. Most rabbits from pet stores eventually end up in the shelter - or worse, are dumped outside where domesticated rabbits cannot survive. As you look for the right bunny for you, consider adopting an older rabbit; they usually don't have the maintenance of a 'teenage' bunny and can still give you many years of companionship.
Once you have adopted your bunny, the next step is taking your new bun to a rabbit-savvy vet to be spayed/neutered (if not done already) and given an overall physical that should include a close inspection with a scope of ears and teeth.
Also keep in mind that rabbits are very social creatures, and it makes their lives much happier to have a friend. I had Oliver for a month before I brought Darla, home (they are both spayed/neutered). I planned on fostering Darla, but these two bonded right away. I'm pretty sure that it was love at first site for Oliver. His heart would have been broken if I let someone else adopt Darla, so I had one more bunny by the end of the week! Needless to say, they have been inseparable since the day I brought Darla home.
Moral of the story: Sometimes two is better than one!