There are many benefits to having a pet, and although rabbits aren’t as popular an option as cats or dogs are, they can still make great pets, since they are very intelligent and sociable. Here are 4 things you should know if you’re thinking about getting a bunny:
1. They aren’t beginner pets
Although bunnies are amazing, smart animals and they can form very deep relationship with their owners, they aren’t really suitable for beginner pet owners. The reason I’m beginning this article by saying this is that I’ve come across a lot of people who think rabbits – and rodents in general – are low maintenance pets that are easy to care for and that don’t need as much attention as a cat or dog would, for example.
This is wrong. Bunnies are social animals and they need a lot of interaction – with humans or with other pets – in order to stay healthy. That’s not as easy to do as it sounds, though, because on the other hand they can become overwhelmed and stressed very easily, which can result in heart disease or even heart attacks. You need to learn to read your bunny’s behavior in order to be able to cater to their needs.
Furthermore, you also need to spend a lot of time with them, and you need to be prepared to make adjustments to your home. Bunnies can be indoor pets, but it’s not a good idea to keep them caged for long periods of time. They still need a lot of space to run around and play, and even if not all of them are free-range (or cage-less), bunnies still need to be able to roam around for the better part of the day – even if they go into a cage during the night. That means you’ll likely have to bunny proof your house, since the majority of rabbits have a tendency to chew things like cables.
2. Rabbits are sensitive animals
Although this may be common knowledge, bunnies are sensitive animals, which can make them a bit difficult to take care of. Firstly, they get scared very easily, which can lead to health problems, so it’s important for them to feel safe in your home. They are also vulnerable to extreme temperatures and water, so you should never bathe your rabbit, since that can easily lead to hypothermia and death.
Secondly, bunnies also need to be fed an adequate diet. Routinely feeding them something like large amounts of lettuce, for example, can cause severe digestive issues. Their diet needs to consist of 80% hay and 20% of things like fruits, vegetables and pellets. There are also some vegetables such as onions, for example, which are very damaging for a rabbit to ingest, so you’ll need to research all the foods that are safe for them.
3. They can be litter trained
A good thing about bunnies is that they are extremely intelligent animals, therefore it isn’t hard to litter train them. Many people choose not to get a pet bunny because they fear that they’ll make a mess of their home, but that isn’t true at all. Although it can be a bit difficult at first, especially if your rabbit is still very young, litter training is usually very effective.
4. Rabbits are wonderful animals
Even though I’ve begun this article somewhat discouragingly by pointing out all the ways in which bunnies are difficult to care for, that doesn’t invalidate the fact that they are wonderful pets. Bunnies are incredibly smart and sociable animals, and they are very loving and friendly, so they usually end up getting very attached to their owners.
Although they might not be the right choice for everyone, if you’re thinking about getting a new pet and you have the right amount of space and time to care for them, consider getting a rabbit. You’ll end up with a wonderful addition to your home and an intelligent, friendly pet that will surely brighten up your life.