Important Factors to Consider Before Getting a Pet Rabbit

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Rabbits are a common house pet because they are generally clean, cute, and cuddly. But despite all appearances, rabbits are not for everyone. This goes especially if you have children at home. Before getting a pet rabbit, here are certain factors you need to consider:

Not Ideal for Children

Because they are cute and cuddly, rabbits are often given to children as pets. Unfortunately, most kids do not know how to handle such delicate creatures and they end up stressing the animal. The fact is, rabbits are prey animals. Any human physical contact feels like an attack to them. This is the reason why most rabbits would try to escape when held. Although some rabbits can get used to gentle handling without showing signs of fear or stress, others are not so lucky. That said, you can still keep rabbits as pets as long as you let the animal roam on their own. It will take a lot of patience to get the animal to respond to gentle handling but it is well worth the effort.

Sensitive Stomach

Rabbits have very sensitive stomachs. The wrong diet could quickly turn deadly for these creatures. Rabbits are prone to a condition called gastrointestinal stasis. This condition is caused by intestinal blockages, which in turn cause bacterial overgrowth in the stomach. Severe cases of GI stasis could lead to death in just 24 hours or less.

The best way to prevent this condition is to feed your pet with the right food. Avoid giving your rabbits muesli or yogurt-type treats sold in pet stores. Instead, give your rabbit plenty of fresh greens and hay to nosh on. If you plan on giving store-bought pellets, consult your vet first. Finally, do not introduce new food to your pet’s diet without getting the green light from your vet!

Exercise and Play Time

Rabbits are very active creatures. They require plenty of space to move around, exercise, and explore. Never keep your rabbits in cramped spaces. You can either keep your pet rabbit free range in the yard or get a bunny condo. Bunny condos are enclosures that offer sleeping, feeding, and exercising spaces for your pet rabbits.

If you prefer to keep your rabbits free range in the yard, just install an enclosure with netting so the rabbits are free to roam without jumping out. You can also keep your rabbits inside the home but be sure to bunny-proof your space first. Remember, rabbits love to chew and it is only a matter of time before they destroy all the baseboards and wires in your home.

Long Lifespan

Before getting rabbits as pets, make sure you are prepared for the commitment. When cared for properly, rabbits can live up to 8 to 12 years. Just like other types of pets, rabbits require careful care, regular vet visits, and plenty of room to explore to live a healthy, happy life. If you are not ready for long-term love then it is best to settle for pets with a shorter lifespan.

Regular Vet Visits

Vet visits are critical to your pet’s health, especially for exotic animals like rabbits. The fact is, rabbit meds and vitamins are different from dogs or cats’. Do not experiment with dog or cat antibiotics because these drugs are deadly to rabbits. You have to take your rabbits to your vet for regular checkups to ensure health.