Before buying a rabbit from a pet store, consider the advantages of adopting from a rescue group or city/county shelter.
- For every rabbit bought from a pet store, a shelter rabbit dies. For every rabbit adopted from a rescue group, another can be saved.
- Reputable rescue groups spay and neuter their buns, saving you the expense, worry, and pre-surgical behavior problems of an unaltered rabbit.
- Rescuers know their buns and can usually give you a clear idea of their habits and personalities, helping you find the bun who's right for you.
- They're usually already pottytrained!
Although the city/county shelters may not know their buns as well as a rescue group does, adopting from the pound gives you the inner satisfaction of saving a life slated for euthanasia.
Many of us have pleasant childhood memories of pet rabbits that lived in cages, hutches or loose in the yard. That day is no more. With the dramatic advances made in rabbit medicine since then, we now know that rabbits can't thrive in small cages or outdoors. The average lifespan of an outdoor rabbit is 3-5 years, the average lifespan of a spayed/neutered house rabbit is 10-13 years. Please do some research on current care guidelines and be sure you're willing to do what's needed to care for your rabbit properly. If you're not going to do it right please don't do it at all.
Before you buy a bun, consider the following:
- Rabbits can be a source of absolute joy and loving companionship. They are also a serious long term responsibility. Are you willing to make your bun a priority in your life?
- Rabbits are not good pets for small children, but perfect for adults in touch with their inner child.
- A healthy house rabbit can live 10 to 13 years. Will you commit to seeing bun through his golden years?
- If you get a bun "for your children", they will eventually lose interest and bunny's care will fall to you. Consider adoption as a family endeavor and make taking care of bun a pleasant family experience. It will bring you all closer together.
- Rabbits are social animals and form close bonds with their people. Please don't condemn bunny to a life of solitary confinement in a yard or outdoor hutch.
- Rabbits need daily care and can't be left alone for days at a time. Vacations require boarding or a bunnysitter.
- Outdoor existence takes years off a rabbit's lifespan. Rabbit-proof your home and reap the benefits of a clean, quiet roommate who won't borrow your clothes!
- Vet bills can be expensive. Can you provide for bunny when he's ill?
- There's no reason to leave bunny behind when you move. They pack light and would rather relocate than be separated from their family.
- Are you aware of current rabbit care guidelines? An educated guardian is a prepared guardian.
- Rabbits aren't the right companion animal for everyone. Never give a rabbit as a surprise gift.
- Rabbits are loving, intelligent, loyal, and too cute for words. Are you ready to lose your heart forever?
If you're getting a bun you should know:
- Rabbits can sleep with their eyes open.
- Although commonly thought to be rodents, rabbits belong to the lagomorph family.
- Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they're most active at dawn and dusk.
- Rabbits snore.
- There are so many rabbits put to death daily in shelters they don't even keep count!
- Rabbits can get pregnant an hour after giving birth. SPAY AND NEUTER!
- Rabbits are litterbox trainable.
- Rabbits can live peacefully with non-aggressive cats, dogs, and other (non-predatory) creatures.
- Rabbits love to play with toys.
- Each rabbit has it's own distinct personality, complete with humor, idiosyncrasies, even pet peeves.
- Rabbits can't vomit.
- Rabbits are too much responsibility for a child.
- Dental cavities in rabbits are a relatively new health problem, another reason to avoid junk foods.
- Rabbits produce two kinds of waste. The regular fecal pellets, and cecal pellets consisting of nutrients not absorbed by the small intestine. They eat these. What a way to take your vitamins!
- If lost, rabbits cannot find their way home.
- Because of the placement of their eyes, rabbits cannot see straight ahead of them, making them easily startled.
- Rabbits can die of a heart attack if frightened.
- Rabbits are too domesticated to survive in the wild.
- Rabbits are used to test many cosmetics and household products. Don't support the torture, buy products labeled "cruelty free" or "not tested on animals".
- Rabbits rule!
copyright 2006 c. mc intire. cannot be reprinted or posted on alternate websites without author permission.