Is a Rabbit the Right Choice for a Pet?

Before you decide to get a pet bunny, be aware of the following things:

Rabbits can easily live five or more years. They are not a pet that just lives for a few years, like mice do. They need a good home and plenty of attention for the duration of their life.

Rabbit urine is very high in ammonia, so it WILL smell bad if you do not clean often and have decent ventilation.

Rabbits and other animals rarely get along, mostly because a rabbit is at the bottom of the food chain. A rabbit and a dog or a cat should NEVER be left along together. Even if they seem very friendly together, it only takes a second for a dog to snap a rabbit’s neck. Even a little dog can kill a rabbit, no matter what size the rabbit is. Also, never keep a rabbit cage where a dog can get to it. Dogs can and will kill a rabbit right through the wire of the cage.

Rabbits need attention. They do not like to just sit in their cages and do nothing. You would not like that either, so why should a rabbit have to be stuck in a cage all day long? Rabbits should have toys and they need plenty of human contact in order to be happiest.

American Fuzzy Lop Rabbit

Finding a good rabbit veterinarian can be difficult. Many veterinarians know about dogs and cats, but few know about rabbits. Certain drugs that are fine for cats and dogs are deadly to rabbits, including Moxicillin, Lincomycin, Clindamycin. Also, vet care for rabbits is often very expensive since most vets classify rabbits with exotic animals (even though they are one of the most popular pet animals!)

Rabbits must be fed a good rabbit pellet. They cannot live off of lettuce and carrots. In fact, they should not be fed iceberg lettuce at all because it can cause them to have digestive problems.

If you get a female bunny, she should be spayed to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to prevent uterine cancer, which is very common in rabbits.

Some bucks, and even some does, do spray urine to mark their territory. Spaying or neutering will usually solve this, but it is best to get it done BEFORE the rabbit starts spraying.

Rabbits cannot tolerate direct sunlight or very hot temperatures. They can handle the cold better, if they are properly cared for and precautions are taken, but heat and sunlight are deadly. The best place for a pet bunny is in the house, with you!

Many rabbits can be litter box trained, but be aware that some will never learn. Even those that do will often leave a few dry poops here and there, but they are easily vacuumed or swept up.

Baby rabbits often change their temperament as they mature. A sweet little baby may become a hormonal terror when it gets older. Your best bet is to purchase a rabbit that is at least 3 months old, preferably 4 months. A rabbit is sexually mature at 6 months (except very large breeds, which mature at 8 months).

Rabbits love to chew and dig, so even if you "rabbit proof" your house, they may cause some damage.