This time of year, the farm supply stores and pet stores are filled with cute little bunnies for the purpose of selling them at Easter, and while they are so cute and cuddly, you might want to re-think the impulse to bring one home. Here is why:
1. Bunnies are a lot of work. They poop a lot. They need groomed. You have to be careful what you feed them. They need exercise. While they can be potty trained, the litter needs to be changed constantly.
2. A pet bunny should really be indoors. It is easy to think that if you get one, you could have it in a hutch outdoors. However, you are exposing a small creature to the elements as well as possible predators.
3. Pet bunnies are not good pets for small children. You have to handle them properly or they could be easily injured. Also, they are skittish and can die of a heart attack from fright because children move too fast and scare them.
4. A pet bunny could live for a long time. If you get one as a pet, be prepared that it could live more than 8 years.
However, if you decide that you really would like to have a rabbit, here are some things you should know:
1. Many rabbits don’t like to be held. Some are cuddly, many are not. If you are looking for a pet to snuggle, a rabbit may not be right for you.
2. Plan on getting a big enough cage that your bunny has plenty of room to move freely. Rabbits need lots of exercise and will need time out of the pen as well.
3. You will need to bunny proof your home. Bunnies are curious creatures. They also like to chew things.
4. Bunny teeth continue to grow throughout their lives. It’s important to have proper chew toys.
5. Bunnies are intelligent and love attention. If you cannot provide daily stimulation for it, a bunny is probably not for you.
6. It is important to get your bunny spayed/neutered. It can help against behavioral problems, spraying, and helps protect female rabbits from uterine cancer.
7. Bunnies like to be clean, so you will need to keep the pen clean. Also, they can be potty trained. It is pretty easy too. You just look for the corner that the bunny goes potty most and put the litter box there.
My advice is that if you have small children, a bunny is not the best choice for a pet. Also, as an Easter gift, a chocolate or stuffed bunny would be a better choice. If you are looking to have a pet bunny and are willing to make the commitment, I recommend seeking a reputable breeder over a pet store bunny.
I have raised rabbits most of my life. I lived on a farm and had show rabbits as well as market rabbits for 4-H. Once I got married, I got a pet rabbit named Molly, who was my spoiled rotten fur baby until the day she died. She was very intelligent and had ways of letting me know when she was hungry or wanted to play. She also liked to watch me play video games. She was protective over me and my daughter (whom I think she thought she was the mama), and she did not like it if I had to go away for a few days. So I am not writing all of this to tell you that you shouldn’t have a rabbit as a pet. I am just writing this because I want you to know what it takes to have one.
To all of you who celebrate Easter, I wish you a very happy holiday!