How to Know if You're Ready to Care for a Bunny

Опубликовал Admin
25-09-2020, 14:00
Bunnies may be cute and cuddly, but they are a lot of work, too! Rabbits make great pets, but you have to be prepared to put in the time and effort to ensure that they have a safe and fun environment to live in. Think about the financial costs, as well as the time costs before you decide whether or not to get a bunny. Rabbits typically live for between 8 and 12 years, and can live longer, so be sure you are ready for a long-term commitment.

Evaluating Your Resources

  1. Ensure you have enough space for the cage. Before you start thinking about whether or not you can commit the time and effort to look after a rabbit, you need to determine if you can meet the material and practical requirements. The first of these is enough space for your rabbit to live happily and healthily.
    • The hutch or cage should give the rabbit a minimum of 12 square feet of living space.
    • On top of this you should be able to provide a run or alternative exercise space that is at least 32 square feet.
    • Ideally, the living and exercise areas should be one large space, so the rabbit can move freely between the two.
    • You should free roam your rabbit, if you can. It is the best choice, as it provides the rabbit with everything it needs. Rabbits don’t belong in cages or hutches, so don’t put them in one unless you can’t free roam them.
  2. Consider the financial costs. There are significant ongoing financial costs in addition to the time you need to spend looking after a rabbit. You will have to commit a significant amount of money at the start to get you set-up and prepared for a rabbit, and then you will have to continue spending on food, hay, bedding and vets bills.
    • Your initial costs to get everything you need to house a rabbit are likely to be between $330 and $390. This includes the adoption fee, cable protectors, hay and other essentials.
    • You will then have to spend perhaps around $85 a month or food, hay, bedding and other ongoing essentials.
    • Vets bills are unpredictable, and can be very expensive, so you may have to factor in pet insurance too.
  3. Provide for all a rabbit's nutritional needs. You should be sure that you have a good understanding of the particular nutritional needs of a rabbit, and be completely sure that you will be able to meet them. Rabbits don't just need pellets, they need fresh vegetables, greens and a constant supply of fresh hay to chew on.
    • Rabbits also need constant access to clean fresh water.
    • You can give a rabbit occasional treats, such as fruits like apple and banana.
  4. Ensure you can commit enough time. Rabbits generally live for 10-12 years, and they will need a lot of care and affection throughout their lives. Make sure you are prepared to look after him for this long before going any further. As well as the long term commitment, think about the amount of time you will have to spend caring for your rabbit every day and every week.
    • Rabbits need to be fed and watered every day, as well as being given a constant supply of fresh hay.
    • You will need to regularly clean out their houses thoroughly, and spot clean them daily.
    • You will also need to spend time with your rabbits and provide time and space to play and exercise.

Providing the Right Environment

  1. Be able to bunny proof your house. If your rabbit is going to be living in your house or spending any time in there, you need to be sure that you can completely bunny proof any areas he will be in. Rabbits are very curious creatures who like to chew and gnaw on anything they come across. This includes cables, wires, furniture, carpets and anything else they can find.
    • You will have to get hard plastic covers for any cables within reach to keep your rabbit safe.
    • You should also keep house plants out of reach of your rabbits, as some are poisonous and could make a rabbit ill.
  2. Have a rabbit friendly household. You need to think of the environment you are considering bringing a rabbit into broadly. Ask yourself if you have a rabbit friendly family who will be enthusiastic and friendly. If you get a rabbit you might need help looking after him, so talk to your family about whether they would be able to help you out occasionally.
    • Try to agree on who is responsible for what. Perhaps you will take turns cleaning out the hutch, or feeding the bunny. Consider drawing up a rota.
    • You should also consider any pets you already have, and how these might get along with a new rabbit arrival.
    • It is perfectly possible for cats and dogs to get along with and become friends with a rabbit.
    • If you do already have a cat or a dog, think about how you will introduce them to a rabbit, and be prepared to help them get accustomed to each other.
    • Dogs in particular can attack rabbits, so you should get some advice from your vet before bringing a dog and a rabbit together.
  3. Recognise that rabbits need company. Rabbits are very sociable creatures and are generally much happier with another rabbit as a companion. If you do decide to get a rabbit, there's a fair chance you will feel the need to get a second rabbit too. You need to be prepared for this from the start and think about the extra costs.
    • Usually a neutered male and a spayed female of a similar size and breed are the best matches.
    • If you do get a second rabbit you will have to spend time helping them to socialise, and be attentive to their relationship.

Anticipating the Right Care

  1. Be ready to feed and clean every day. Taking care of a rabbit isn't just about providing a safe and engaging environment for him. It is also about ensuring you can commit enough time to looking after him. You will have to feed him every day, and refresh his supply of fresh hay and water whenever necessary. You will also have to spot clean his enclosure every day, and give it a more thorough clean once a week.
    • If you are unable to keep his environment clean, he may become ill.
    • It might be smelly work, but it's an essential part of taking care of a bunny.
  2. Play and interact with your rabbit. You will also have to commit enough time to play and interact with your rabbit every day. Rabbits need to be let out of their cage or hutch for at least a few hours each day. You will have to be there to supervise to make sure they stay safe. The best time to do is this is generally around dusk when rabbits start to become active.
    • Think about whether or not you are normally home around that time and will be able to sit out with a rabbit while he explores and exercises.
    • In this time you will be able to interact with him and bond. Rabbits tend to be shy, but can become very friendly once they get to know someone.
  3. Understand that it's a long-term commitment. Finally, you should remember that looking after a rabbit is a serious long-term commitment. Rabbits can live for more than ten years, and they need a secure, safe and loving home all their lives. They are not low maintenance pets, they require a lot of care and decision to get a rabbit should be taken by the whole family.
    • Rabbits are great fun and make excellent pets, but you need to be certain that you can provide the level of care they require.
    • Every rabbit is different, but a pet rabbit's biology and behaviour is very similar to a wild rabbit. As such, pet rabbits have complicated needs and you need to be sensitive to that.
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