Are You Ready for a Rabbit?
They are undeniably adorable with their floppy ears and soft coats, but are rabbits a good choice for an animal companion? As with any animal, when choosing who you want to share your home and life with, you should know all the details about the animal and what kind of commitment you can handle in order to determine if you’d make a good match. When it comes to bunnies, here’s what the experts at PetMD think you need to know:
- Bunnies Cannot Live on Carrots Alone Rabbits are frequently shown munching on carrots, but they should actually limit their consumption of carrots (and fruits) to small amounts as carrots are high in sugar. Instead, rabbits should have as much grass hay as they can eat each day, plus some green, leafy vegetables, like lettuce, to stay healthy. You will also need to keep the water flowing and offer rabbit pellets to round out your rabbit’s nutritional needs.
- Chew, Chew, Chew Did you know that rabbits’ teeth grow continually? They need to keep chewing in order to keep their constantly growing teeth from growing too long. So, if you are going to have a rabbit, you’ll need to keep a steady supply of grass hay and rabbit chew toys around, otherwise, your rabbit will chew on the furniture and anything else he can get his teeth on.
- Exercise is a Must You’ll need a special space in your home where you can let your rabbit hop around and explore safely each day. Like all animals, rabbits need to move their bodies both for mental and physical well-being, so they shouldn’t be kept in a cage all the time.
- Get to Know Your Rabbit Right Away Before deciding on which rabbit to bring home, get to know her a little. Just like people, different rabbits have different personalities, so make sure that you and your bunny are a good fit. Also, spend time holding and petting your rabbit early on to get her used to being around you and so that you will bond. Always support the back legs when holding her so that your rabbit will feel secure.
- Rabbits Need Regular Check-Ups Just like all your animals, you will need to bring your bunny to your veterinarian for annual visits to maintain good health. It will also be important to spay your female bunny to prevent uterine cancer.
- Mind Your Other Animals Rabbits are prey animals, so if you have cats, dogs, or other predator animals as well, you’ll need to be sure to supervise any interactions and be sure to keep them separated when you aren’t around. Likewise, keep your bunny indoors where she will be safe from predators.
Bunnies have long life expectancies, with many living over ten years, so the most important thing to consider before adopting a rabbit is your level of commitment. They are very cute and cuddly and make wonderful companion animals, but be sure that you are ready to provide lots of hay and play for a long time before bringing a bunny home.