Are you considering welcoming a bunny into your family? If so, this is not a decision that should be made lightly. Before making this addition to your family, consider the following information and how this decision will affect the life of a rabbit or two and every member in your household.
Adequate Space and Safe Housing
Rabbits require safe housing for those times when they can’t be supervised. Your home also needs to be prepared for this addition. This furry friend tends to chew on furniture, nibble on or through cords, eat houseplants (poisonous or not) and may have potty accidents. It is ultimately up to you to protect any rabbit coming into your home as well as your belongings.
Since rabbits also require adequate space, you should not keep them in a hutch outside, or relegate a bunny to a basement or garage. Additionally, those tiny pet store cages are extremely too small. You will need an available area for a fairly large cage, as well as at least one room in your home that has been thoroughly rabbit-proofed.
How Rabbit-Friendly Are Your Kids?
Small children and rabbits do not make a good combination, as young children do not have the dexterity to handle a rabbit safely and securely. When small children attempt to lift and/or carry a rabbit, one or both usually end up hurt. Therefore, we do not recommend children under the age of nine to be allowed to handle rabbits. All too often, rabbits are purchased by parents for a child family member — Easter being one of the heaviest times of the year for this. The child is excited, the rabbit is terrified, the child loses interest, the rabbit is ignored and unwanted and the parents end up disappointed and resentful.
Additional Animal Family Members
If you have any additional animal family members, then any introductions should be done slowly and with strict supervision. However, some animals—such as ferrets—should never be considered for introductions. Ferrets are precise, accurate and avid hunters of rabbits. In addition, dogs should never be left alone with a rabbit. The most friendly, calm canine’s instincts to hunt or herd could be awakened. Even during play, the rabbit could end up seriously injured or worse.
Introducing a new rabbit with a current rabbit family member also needs special consideration beyond a slow introduction. Guinea Pigs, cats and birds are some possibly animal family members, but make sure to give consideration to their personalities and behaviors. A bird imitating a hawk or being excessively noise can result in stress for the rabbit, which will affect his or her health and personality. Similar to people, rabbits have very distinctive personalities along with likes and dislikes.
If anyone in your household has fur or hay allergies, rabbits will not be an appropriate addition to your family. If you are unsure, it would be in everyone’s interest to visit a local shelter to see whether or not any allergies are triggered.
Always make sure to have rabbit knowledgeable vet such as All Pets Veterinary Medical center before welcoming a rabbit into your family. Unexpected emergencies are bound to occur and the best way to handle them are to be prepared as much as possible ahead of time. Also, once you have adopted a rabbit into your family, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your vet so everyone can get familiar with one another and to set up a spay or neuter if your rabbit is not already altered. Don’t hesitate to contact us with the link below for more information or to schedule your new pet’s appointment today!