January 5, 2010
Is a Rabbit the Right Pet for You?
Rabbits are great, but they’re not a good match for everyone
Do you have enough space in your home?
Keeping a rabbit in a hutch outside is a big no-no; so is relegating a bunny to the basement or garage. Plus, those tiny pet store cages are way too small. You'll need an available area for a fairly large cage, plus at least one room in your home that has been thoroughly rabbit-proofed. Learn more about rabbit housing »
Do you have children?
Rabbits and young children are generally not a good mix. Rabbits require safe, gentle handling and a quiet environment. As prey animals, rabbits can be easily startled and stressed by the loud noises and fast, uncoordinated movements that are typical of excited children. You may need to wait until your kids are older before adopting a rabbit.
Kids may be enthusiastic about the new bunny for the first couple of weeks, then lose interest when taking care of him interferes with their activities. All pets are ultimately the responsibility of the adults in the home, not the children. Until you, as an adult, are ready for the commitment of caring for a new pet, don't let your kids' pleas challenge your resolve.
What's your budget?
The initial adoption fee for a rabbit may small, but a rabbit's care costs can quickly add up. In addition to veterinary costs, including sterilization and emergencies, these are some of the start-up items that new rabbit owners will need to purchase:
- Large cage or habitat (or supplies to build your own)
- Water bowl or bottle
- Litterboxes and litter
- Chew toys
- Timothy hay (or other grass hay)
- Timothy hay pellets
Do you have time for a rabbit?
Rabbits are crepuscular, which means they generally sleep during the day and night and are most active at dusk and dawn. Rabbits need regular interaction with you to stay socialized and happy. They also need at least an hour out of their cage each day for play and exercise.
A healthy rabbit diet includes fresh vegetables every day. If you want to keep your rabbit happy and healthy, you'll need to go grocery shopping at least once a week.
Your rabbit's enclosure needs to be tidied up every day and cleaned thoroughly once a week. If you travel a lot or work long hours, a rabbit may not be a good choice for you.
Are you ready for the commitment?
Rabbits can live past 10 years of age, so a rabbit may be with your family for as long as a dog would.