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Archive for March 5th, 2011

Adopting a Rabbit is a long term commitment

Saturday, March 5, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

rabbits-cuteEaster is on the way and those cute little pet rabbits are making their appearance in your favorite pet store. We usually talk about cats and dogs but today the subject matter is rabbits. I read an article in todays paper which said that two rabbits were adopted only to be returned to a shelter because the owner didn’t want to be bothered doing the work to keep their cage clean. A rabbit typically lives for about 8 years so the commitment is a long term one.  I once adopted a rabbit about 14 years ago. I learned several things.

  • Rabbits need a special diet to remain healthy. They need lots of fiber (hay) as well as pellet food,  fruit and vegetables.
  • Rabbits are not low maintenance. It takes a great deal of work to properly care for a rabbit.
  • Rabbits are social animals. They need a great deal of interaction with their owners and lots of play time outside of their cage.
  • Rabbits chew on everything. They will chew through wires, wood anything. Areas that your rabbit is allowed to run loose must be rabbit proofed. Provide plenty of safe chew toys for your rabbit. I used to put my rabbit in a pen in the living room during his exercise time. This way you could keep a close on on him and make sure that he doesn’t get into any dangerous places.
  • Rabbits  are much better off being kept indoors so they could be close to their owners and family. A large cage is necessary so that the rabbit has plenty of room to move around.
  • Rabbits are quiet pets and are not a match with young children who could be too rough and possibly injure them,
  • Rabbits like being around people but don’t like being held.
  • Rabbits should be spayed or neutered like a cat or a dog.
  • If a rabbit is ill, it is vital to get him medical attention immediately. Any disease could be fatal if not attended to my a veterinarian right away. Never try to administer pet medication to a rabbit without being directed to by your vet.
  • If your rabbit stops eating and stops “pooping” get him to a vet right away. Rabbits cannot vomit so blockages in their digestive system are common.  Dwaft rabbits are even more prone to this. I had my rabbit at the vet many times throughout her life because of this problem.

Be certain that you will be able to care for that cute rabbit and make sure you’ve done your research before adopting one only to have to take it back to the shelter or have it die because the owner was not aware that it was ill!