The Realities of Rabbit Ownership
Bunnies can make wonderful indoor companions for many animal lovers. They are small, cute, fluffy, and can be really fun pets! Thanks to the Easter Bunny, rabbits are also widely considered a symbol of the holiday and therefore frequently given as gifts. Rabbit sales during this time of year have unfortunately become a very lucrative business that exploits rabbits as cute gifts without fully explaining the realities of the commitment. Rabbits are not as low-maintenance as many people may originally expect, and can actually be more costly than owning a cat or a small dog.
It’s important to consider a rabbit’s daily diet before adding one to the family. They require more than just carrots and bunny pellets to remain healthy. Fresh produce, herbs, and hay bills can add up quickly when caring for a rabbit! Petfinder.com estimates that an average rabbit owner spends almost $700 a year on food, litter, and medical costs.
Rabbits are highly energetic and intelligent. They require plenty of exercise and social interaction on a daily basis to enrich their lives. If you are thinking about buying a rabbit for a small child, keep in mind that most rabbits are not always as huggable as you originally imagine. They often don’t like being held and could cause serious injuries or scratches when trying to escape a person’s arms. Most rabbits enjoy remaining on the ground, requiring homes to be “bunny-proofed” as their constant desire to chew can lead to massive damage.
With the above in mind, rabbits can make truly wonderful companion for some people. We encourage all potential rabbit owners to think twice about gifting them for holidays and events such as Easter and to be prepared to spend 10 or more years with your bunny companion.
Many rabbits are often discarded when families learn the realities of rabbit ownership. If you’re truly interested (and prepared) to adopt a bunny into the family, we encourage you to wait until a couple of weeks after Easter and check out your local shelter or bunny rescue. In the meantime, remember that stuffed animals, chocolate and trips to the zoo also make great Easter gifts!
Are you already a rabbit owner? What do you wish you knew that could have better prepared you for your new companion?