Rabbits make beautiful pets, whether you have children or not. There are several rabbit breeds, so make sure that you take your time choosing one for you and your family. Rabbits make great pets because they need little space, bond closely with their owners, and are easy to train. They are also beautiful and are fastidious groomers. If you have been looking into getting a pet rabbit, here are all the things you should know before adopting a bunny.
Adopting a Bunny VS Buying From a Breeders
The next thing you need to decide when preparing to adopt a bunny is whether to adopt from a shelter or buy from a rabbit breeder.
Adopting A Rabbit from the Shelter
Pet shelters work with animal rescue organizations and breeders to get their rabbits. They serve a crucial role in putting animals in safe homes where they are treated well.
- Pet shelters usually have rabbits available all the time. You will not have to wait for weeks for the mum to deliver the baby rabbits; you can walk in and leave with your new bunny.
- Pet shelters are often conveniently located. You will not have to plan for weeks to take time off to pick up your bunny.
- Rabbits from the pet shelter may not be healthy. Some of the rabbits you find at your local pet store are from irresponsible breeders or animal hoarders who did not take good care of them.
- Pet shelter rabbits may be of a mixed breed since the shelter does not have access to the rabbit’s birth records. If you are looking to get a purebred rabbit, it is advisable to buy from a breeder.
- Pet shelter staff may sex the rabbit incorrectly as they do not have the same knowledge and experience as a breeder.
Buying from a Breeder
There are quite a large number of breeders available, each working with different breeds. Good breeders will have clear records of their rabbits. If you are looking for a purebred rabbit, make sure that you buy from a breeder.
- You can get a pure breed bunny when you go to the breeder. The breeder will show you the birth records of your bunny, and in most cases, its mother.
- You will get the correct rabbit. If you called the breeder for a specific breed, such as a Chinchilla, they will keep their promise.
- You will have to wait for your breeder to have the rabbit that you need.
- Young rabbits require a lot of care so that they do not grow into fearful adult rabbits. You will need to study thoroughly when preparing to adopt bunny. You can see our article, 8 Ways To Get Your Bunny To Trust You, for help with this.
What To Know Before Adopting
Here are crucial things you should know preparing to adopt a bunny.
Rabbits Have a Long Life Expectancy
Unlike gerbils and other rodents, rabbits have very long lifespans. With good care and proper feeding, a rabbit can live for up to 12 years, so before you adopt one, make sure that you are prepared to feed, house, and care for a pet for that many years.
Rabbits are Best as In-door Pets
If left outside, rabbits are likely to get carried off by predators, such as eagles and stray dogs. Outdoors they may pick up pests or diseases that may reduce their lifespan. They also have little fur on their feet, so they can get frostbite if left outside during winter. If you must take them outdoors, take the necessary precautions to protect them.
Rabbits Need Exercise
You will not need to walk your rabbit every day, but you should make sure that you let them out of their living quarters for a few hours each day. The running and hopping about will help with weight gain and digestion. Rabbits love to run and jump onto things, so make sure you have a penned-off area where they can comfortably do this.
Rabbits Need Socialization
Young rabbits are timid and tend to hide from everybody. Ensure that before adopting a bunny that you can spend time with your pet and socialize it. Pet and handle your bunny as much as possible during the first days to make it less timid. If you have young active children, you will need to supervise their play with the bunny.
Rabbits Need a High Fibre Diet
Make sure that you can provide a high fiber diet for your rabbit before you adopt. If rabbits do not get a lot of dietary fiber, they will have digestive problems. Make sure that you include green leafy vegetables in their diet, such as kale and lettuce. Carrots are high in sugar and should be given in small amounts. Remember that you should not feed fruits to your rabbit.
Essential Rabbit Supplies You Will Need for Your New Rabbit
To ensure that your new bunny is comfortable in your home, you will need to buy the following supplies before you go to the breeder.
- A Cage or Pen for when you are not at home
- A food and water bowls
- A carrier for when you need to take them to the vet
- Rabbit care book
- 2 litter boxes
- Rabbit safe litter
- Rabbit Pellets
- Hay and fresh vegetables
- Medical supplies such as a thermometer, tweezers, and Neosporin
Tips for Finding an Exotic Vet
Exotic vets tend to work with zoos and game reserves. Regular veterinary doctors may not have the training to treat rabbits, so take time to find an exotic veterinarian. It is advisable to start looking for an exotic vet at your local veterinary practice. If they do not have one, they will give you helpful guidelines. You can also check out larger animal hospitals, which are more likely to have an exotic vet on staff. The local vet association will have a list of all local vet doctors certified in treating exotic pets.
Before picking an exotic vet, it is essential to ensure that they are experienced, have certification, and the necessary equipment to treat your bunny. It is crucial to choose doctors who already work in an animal hospital or their private practice.