Rabbits are adorable. They have tiny fluffy paws and big personalities. However, any experienced rabbit owner will tell you they’re no walk in the park.
If you’re thinking of adopting a rabbit (we strongly discourage buying one from a pet shop), there are a few things you should know before welcoming one into your home. Unlike a kitten or even a puppy, rabbits take a significant amount of time, space, and patience.
Here are 5 things you should know before getting a rabbit – especially if you have children!
1. They Get Depressed
As sad as it is, even adorable fluffy rabbits can experience depression. This can happen if their environment isn’t suitable if they become sick or stressed, or even if they lose a dear rabbit companion. If a rabbit isn’t socializing as much, sleeping more, and doesn’t seem interested in food, it may be suffering from depression. Biting, thumping, overgrooming themselves, and hunching over are also signs.
While rabbit depression is treatable, it is something owners have to look out for and be prepared to put effort into to help cure. Rabbits are very intelligent and require a decent amount of stimulation to keep mentally fit. These sweet animals should have at least 3 hours per day in a large enclosed area so they can run free and get exercise. They need a stable home, plenty of attention, and a lot of space. If you aren’t prepared to provide your rabbit with these things, you may want to look into adopting a different kind of pet instead.
2. They Need Companionship
Everyone gets lonely, and rabbits are no exception. This means that if you want to get one rabbit, you actually need to get at least two, otherwise you risk giving the pet an unfulfilled life. When introducing rabbits to one another, the pet owner must be patient and deliberate. Ideally, the space should be new for both rabbits to avoid territorial feelings.
If this sounds too complicated, it’s because rabbits are very sensitive creatures and should only live with compassionate and well-informed carers.
Not having a companion can lead to depression or even illness. However, all rabbits need to be neutered before living together
Human companionship is also important and pet owners should aim to spend at least 2 hours every day with their rabbits. Rabbits love to bond with their owners to fellow fluffy companions, so allowing them to do so is essential.
3. They Aren’t Very Social Towards Children
Children often find rabbits disappointing, so this needs to be kept in mind.
This may sound contradictory to the last point, but rabbits and children don’t mesh well together. A rabbit enjoying companionship with a human is very different from actually playing with a human.
Rabbits are quiet and shy creatures who don’t like being picked up. This may be disappointing for a child who expects to be able to pick up and play with their new pet. Rabbits can actually hurt people or end up being hurt if held incorrectly.
Quiet children who will enjoy observing a rabbit and being a part of taking care of it (although rabbits require a responsible adult’s attention) are best suited for this unique pet.
4. They Poop… A Lot
Rabbits can poop up to 300 times a day. Each poop is about the size of a chickpea. This may be alarming to new rabbit owners as the thought of cleaning all of those balls of poop up every day may feel impossible.
Luckily, rabbits can be litter box trained similar to cats. However, this won’t mean they’ll poop in there every single time, and training a rabbit requires patience.
It’s not just the cleaning up of poop that can be tedious to some owners. Rabbits have evolved to hide any signs of illness to avoid looking weak to predators. Because of this, their poop is usually a good indicator of their health — so be ready to inspect some rabbit poo!
5. Rabbit Regret
Rabbits may be exciting at first. After all, getting a new pet and family member is a big deal. However, expectations need to be managed within a family before committing to a rabbit. They are high-maintenance and the return is significantly lower than that of an excited puppy or cuddly cat.
Rabbit regret is a real thing, so prospective owners are always encouraged to do plenty of research and consider the types of personality in a household before welcoming a sensitive rabbit into the space.
This isn’t to say everything about rabbits is bad. Rabbits can become dear companions as long as you give them the space and care they require. They live to be around 10, although some can live twice that long. Being quiet, they’re great for people looking for docile and tranquil pets that enjoy being relatively independent.
If you’re looking for a thrilling pet that will provide constant entertainment, a rabbit may not be your best bet. But if you’re in the market for an intelligent creature that requires steady care, time to itself, and is relatively clean, you may want to start doing your rabbit research.
Just remember: adopt, don’t shop!
- Why You Need to Stop Buying Farm Animals Like Chickens, Ducks, Pigs, Rabbits and Goats as Pets
- Thinking About Adopting a Bunny? Here’s Why You Need to Stop Right Now!
- Are Rabbits Good Pets for Kids? 3 Important Factors to Consider on Bunnies as Buddies
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