Rabbits as pets

by Sandra Krug

Kids often wish for pets more than parents. Kids think animals are cute and fun to have. Grown-ups know the work required. But, owning a pet can make a home complete. Let’s look at rabbits as pets.

Like all pets, rabbits need specific care. Speak with a vet about rabbit care and any questions you may have before purchasing a rabbit. Be sure to find a vet with rabbit experience. Don’t forget they also need proper feed daily, and routine scrubbing of their pens. If you choose to purchase a rabbit, you will need to know precisely what their care requires. Before diving in to rabbit needs, you might want to know some of their varieties.

The most common rabbit pets include cottontails, dwarf, and lop-eared. Dwarf rabbits, as the name implies, are tiny and must live inside. Cottontails are a little less vulnerable to weather and can have an outdoor pen if you live in a moderate climate. Lop-eared rabbits, like cottontails, grow up to a decent size and have those long droopy ears. Another great breed to keep as a pet is the Flemish giant. As the name implies, they grow rather large and can weigh 15lbs but they are gentle giants that love attention. The kind of rabbit you have as a pet will play a part in determining the care involved.

Three important things to consider:

  • Health: Rabbits require shots from the vet to keep them in good health, similar to cats and dogs. People carry diseases that can harm pets. So, wash well with soap and water before and after handling them. Rabbits are vulnerable to worms and other dietary parasites. It is essential to take your rabbit for its vet visits.
  • Diet: Rabbits eat pellets, hay, and vegetables, like carrots or romaine. You want to feed your rabbits daily to ensure they are getting the correct quantity of food. Different from cats that eat when they are hungry, a rabbit might overeat and grow overweight. Some commercial feeds for rabbits contain nuts; but nuts are typically not suitable for rabbits because they are high in fiber. You may give your rabbit small amounts of fruits for treats, but not every day.
  • Enclosure: Shelter for a rabbit can be in your home, or if necessary, some can be outside in a well-secured wood and wire cage. Outdoor enclosures must let waste fall through the bottom, so they are not sitting on it or laying on it. The enclosure must be large enough to house an adult rabbit with bedding spread out to make a lovely tiny house. They must be given plenty of water and have it changed out twice daily. Having a fenced-in area in your backyard for your pet rabbit is a great idea. They can roam in this area – WHILE BEING SUPERVISED – for a bit of exercise, which all pets need. Dependent on how dirty or smelly it becomes; you will want to clean their cages out at least twice a week or more. Rabbits need a clean environment just like you to eliminate the possibilities of disease.

Rabbits generally live about seven years. An essential factor in having a long-living rabbit is it’s atmosphere. Fuzzy cotton-tailed and floppy-eared rabbits are some of the cutest pets you can have. They are medium-maintenance pets requiring appropriate feeding and environment care. Rabbits are a great way to complete a family and provide enjoyment for everyone.

Resource: Rabbit Care and Tips