What Makes Rabbits Good Pets?

I completely love rabbits! Since I’m allergic to each cats and canines, I’ve chosen rabbits as my pet of alternative as a substitute. They’re tremendous sensible little creatures with spunky and candy personalities. Whereas there are actually some downsides to having a rabbit (extra on that on the finish of this text), as a complete they’re wonderful companions.

Usually, rabbits are nice pets for anybody who’s keen to discover ways to deal with them. Rabbits are social and might act as companions, the identical manner cats and canines do. They are often skilled, and they’re going to usually stay an extended life in comparison with different small animal breeds.

That being stated, it is best to at all times perform some research about how you can look after any sort of new pet you convey house. Rabbits are not newbie or kid-friendly pets, so that you need to be sure to’re ready to deal with them earlier than you convey one (or two) house. Study extra about how you can look after a rabbit (together with weight-reduction plan, house necessities, bunny-proofing, and so forth.)

In case you are able to undertake a rabbit, don’t overlook to examine together with your native animal shelter. Many rescue facilities have rabbits (and different small animals) accessible for adoption along with cats and canines. 

1. Rabbits are social

Identical to cats and canines, rabbits make nice companion animals. They love consideration and luxuriate in simply hanging out with their folks. Rabbits dance round our ft, groom us, beg for treats, sleep subsequent to us, and luxuriate in our firm.

Within the wild, rabbits stay with massive household teams, referred to as warrens. Amongst these teams, rabbits may have their greatest associates that they stay and snuggle with. Whereas rabbits can’t talk fairly as carefully with people as they do with one another, they’re nonetheless fairly sociable as they work together with us.

Nevertheless, it may well take a little bit of time for rabbits to attain this shut relationship with people. Rabbits are wholly prey animals, so they have a tendency to have extra timid and cautious instincts. It might probably take just a few weeks or months for rabbits to discover ways to belief folks. However when you give your rabbit the time, you’ll see that they do, in truth, make nice companions.

sitting with a rabbit
Rabbits are very social with folks and might make nice companions.

2. Rabbits are quiet

Should you stay in an condominium, a rabbit could also be an amazing alternative for you. Not like canines with loud barks, rabbits hardly ever make any vocalizations in any respect, and a lot of the noises that they’ll make are extremely smooth and nearly imperceptible. For quiet, introverted folks like me, rabbits are an excellent pet since they roughly match my very own power ranges and quiet way of life. 

The one loud noise that rabbits make is thumping. That is when rabbits slam their sturdy hind legs in opposition to the bottom to create a loud thump sound. Nevertheless, they usually solely do that when they’re scared or upset, so it’s not a typical conduct for many rabbits. The sound will likely be fairly loud on wood flooring, however on carpeted areas, thumping is unlikely to disturb the neighbors.

3. Rabbits are (largely) clear

Do you know rabbits could be litter field skilled? Rabbits choose to maintain their mess in a single spot in order that they don’t have to sit down or lay in their very own filth. In reality, rabbits spend a whole lot of time throughout the day grooming themselves to maintain their coats clear and glossy. 

They groom themselves after consuming, earlier than and after sleeping, and at nearly any level within the day they really feel their fur has been tousled. Rabbits like to remain as clear and smell-free as attainable

That being stated, some rabbits are fairly cussed about their litter coaching, and nearly all rabbits will unfold their hay all over the place, making a multitude (their important meals supply). So, whereas rabbits aren’t smelly or soiled animals, there will likely be some mess you must clear up.

classical conditioning
Utilizing the classical conditioning approach you possibly can practice your rabbit to come back when you say their title or one other command phrase each time you give them a deal with.

4. Rabbits could be skilled

Rabbits are a lot smarter than folks assume. Not solely can they be litter skilled, like cats, however rabbits may also be skilled to do tips too. My favourite tips to show my rabbits embrace giving kisses, high-fives, and coming to me once I name their title.

You possibly can even practice rabbits to leap by way of agility programs and carry out complicated tips like strolling on their hind legs. Some rabbits are extra trainable than others, however since most rabbits love candy treats (like fruits and candy greens), they’ll simply be inspired and skilled to do tips.

Coaching and studying tips are additionally wonderful for bonding together with your rabbit. As you practice them, your rabbit will be taught to belief you and see you because the giver of treats. It’ll additionally trigger you to spend extra shut and high quality time together with your rabbit.

5. Rabbits are herbivores

At this cut-off date, I’m positive you’ve heard that consuming much less meat is general higher for the setting. In case you have a pet cat or canine, you possibly can’t keep away from feeding them meat, it’s a part of their wholesome, pure, and mandatory weight-reduction plan. Nevertheless, you possibly can select one other sort of pet that may be a full herbivore and solely eats ‘rabbit meals.’

A pet rabbit’s important weight-reduction plan staple is timothy hay. They eat a whole lot of hay, but it surely’s actually only a kind of lengthy, high-fiber grass. Even rabbit pellets (which make up a smaller portion of a rabbit’s weight-reduction plan), are usually timothy-based.

The opposite meals that rabbits eat are primarily leafy inexperienced greens (assume romaine lettuce, kale, and spring greens). They’ll have recent fruits and veggies (like carrots and bell peppers) as treats, however these ought to be a really small a part of a rabbit’s meals consumption.

rabbit sleeping positions
Rabbits primarily sleep on one in all these three positions. They typically sleep with their eyes open too.

6. Rabbits sleep throughout the day

In case you are somebody who goes to work or faculty throughout the day and spends time at house within the night, then a rabbit’s sleep schedule would possibly line up with the occasions of day that you’re house. Rabbits aren’t nocturnal, however they’re usually not awake in the course of the day both. They’re a class of animal generally known as crepuscular, which implies they’re most energetic round daybreak and nightfall within the morning and the night.

This implies your rabbit will likely be awake to spend time with you when you get up and prepare within the morning. They’ll sleep when you’re away. Then round 5 or 6 within the night, your rabbit will begin to be energetic once more and able to socialize with you.

7. They’ll stay 10 years or extra

Most breeds of rabbits (and blended rabbit non-breeds) will stay a mean of 8 to 12 years. This quantity has elevated prior to now few many years as rabbits have turn out to be identified extra as home pets than livestock. 

In comparison with many different small animals, this can be a comparatively lengthy lifespan. You received’t get a younger rabbit solely to need to say goodbye just a few brief years later. They’ve a very long time to develop with you and turn out to be a beloved companion.

The oldest rabbit that I’ve cared for lived for 13 years. I’ve additionally had different rabbits stay longer than 10 years, and am more and more listening to tales of home rabbits that stay lengthy and wholesome lives. My private perception is that as we’ve got discovered how you can higher look after rabbits and embrace them as a part of our households over the previous few many years, rabbits’ life spans have elevated accordingly.

how to set up a rabbit enclosure diagram
If you first convey your rabbit house, you should utilize a big ex-pen to deal with your rabbit (be taught why I like to recommend this), however finally you might need to free roam your rabbit.

8. Rabbits don’t have to be stored in a cage

Whereas it may be useful to have a pen for a rabbit once you first convey them house (or if they’re a troublemaker). Most rabbits can finally be allowed free entry to the house, or particular rooms within the house. 

That is nice for rabbits as a result of it means they received’t be feeling lonely, bored, and depressed by sitting in a cage all day, but it surely’s additionally nice for us caretakers as a result of the rabbit has extra alternative to work together and socialize with us.

Animals which can be stored in cages are usually extra remoted from household dynamics. So, with the ability to free roam a rabbit means they’ll turn out to be a extra integral a part of the household.

9. Rabbits love being pet

Should you’ve ever wished to the touch a smooth, fluffy cloud, attempt petting a rabbit. Their fur is smooth and thick, or velvety smooth (within the case of Rex rabbits). A overwhelming majority of rabbits I work together with will fortunately sit whereas I give them head scritches and a therapeutic massage behind the ears and shoulders. 

If you pet a rabbit, you’ll discover they soften into the bottom comfortably. Many will begin gently grinding their tooth collectively. This is named a rabbit purr. It’s a totally totally different mechanism from a cat’s purr, but it surely means the identical factor, your rabbit is content material and relaxed.

gentle rabbits
Rabbits are very mild pets and luxuriate in spending time with you and being pet.

10. Rabbits are mild

Rabbits are a kind of prey animal. This prey standing causes many rabbits to be fairly timid, instinctively afraid of any predators (together with people). They don’t have sharp tooth, since their mouths had been made to cut up grass and greens. 

This doesn’t imply that aggressive rabbits don’t exist. I’ve had my justifiable share of rabbit bites whereas working with rescue rabbits (none had been critical, although). Nevertheless, rabbits are more likely to answer worry and anxiousness by working away fairly than making an attempt to assault.  Should you undertake a rabbit from an animal shelter, they can assist you choose essentially the most mild rabbits which can be accessible.

11. Rabbits have massive personalities

Rabbits are extremely foolish animals. They prefer to zoom across the room and actually bounce for pleasure (one thing referred to as a binky). As you get to know your rabbit, you’ll begin to learn the cute and spunky physique language that your rabbit makes use of to specific their particular person persona.

As I’m penning this, one in all my rabbits has crawled underneath a blanket and is enjoying beneath it (since rabbits are burrowers by nature and stay in tunnels within the wild). My different rabbit retains making an attempt to hop on my lap and beg for treats.

Typically it takes some time for rabbits to come back out of their shell after they’re first introduced house. It could appear to be they’re consistently hiding or cautious round folks. Be affected person together with your rabbit. They’re a prey animal and have the intuition to be very cautious in new locations and conditions. As soon as your rabbit has turn out to be snug of their house and begun to belief you, you’ll see their persona begin to shine.

What makes rabbits a foul alternative for you?

Rabbits are nice pets, however they’re not for everybody. Usually, they are usually pets that are perfect for a quiet or introverted way of life. They’re additionally not nice decisions for households with younger kids as a result of rabbits are delicate and are usually extremely wired in chaotic environments.

If the above record of optimistic rabbit attributes has you pondering of getting a cute little bunny, however you’re undecided but, I’ve additionally included a easy record of the much less optimistic bunny attributes for why you won’t need to get a rabbit proper now. Listed below are among the causes rabbits won’t be one of the best pet for you:

  • You don’t have time to spend together with your bunny. Since rabbits are such social creatures, they’ll get lonely and depressed in the event that they’re left alone on a regular basis. Should you can’t spend time together with your rabbit, it is best to wait till a time in your life once you can provide them extra consideration (or contemplate getting two)
  • You’re ceaselessly away from house. Should you’re away on enterprise journeys or weekend getaways on a regular basis, the rabbit left at house can get lonely and anxious. It’s additionally fairly attainable for rabbits to get sick in a brief time period, so that you need to ensure that somebody is monitoring them at the very least each 24 hours.
  • You have got kids who’re rambunctious or don’t know how you can be mild with animals. Rabbits have a fragile bone construction and don’t often do effectively with youngsters. They’ll additionally scratch or attempt to chew folks if the rabbit feels cornered.
  • You’re allergic to rabbits or to hay (grass allergy). It’s much less widespread to be allergic to rabbits than cats or canines, however hay allergic reactions are fairly widespread. Should you’re not keen to take allergy drugs or put up with the allergy signs, a rabbit might be not for you.
  • You haven’t achieved any analysis on how you can look after rabbits. At all times be sure to’re ready to deal with a pet earlier than you convey them house. Rabbits are larger upkeep than most individuals anticipate them to be, which ends up in many, many rabbits being deserted just a few months after they’re taken house. (be taught extra about in-depth rabbit care pointers)
  • You desire a cuddly pet. Whereas rabbits like to be petted, most hate to be held. Should you’re in search of a cute pet to choose up and hug everytime you need, a rabbit won’t be the only option.
  • Rabbits shed rather a lot. Rabbits have thick fur, and so they undergo some heavy molting seasons yearly. It’s like a whirlwind of fur and it will get on all the pieces.
  • Rabbits could be harmful. Rabbits have pure instincts to chew and dig. They have a tendency to go after electrical cords, baseboards, and carpets within the corners of rooms. You possibly can rabbit-proof your own home as a lot as attainable, however your rabbit is prone to destroy one thing and get into some sort of hassle no matter how effectively you do.
  • Rabbits can get sick simply. Rabbits can get sick and likewise disguise the signs of their diseases. To catch indicators early, you want to have the ability to watch your rabbit and search for delicate behaviors of sickness. It’s a good suggestion to have a pet emergency fund accessible simply in case.

Suggestions and Tips Publication

In case you are new to caring for rabbits, try the Bunny Girl bimonthly publication. Proper after you join, you’ll obtain a FREE pdf rabbit care guidebook. I put collectively a information that goes over all of the fundamentals of rabbit care so you’ve gotten it multi function place. Then you’ll obtain suggestions and tips about rabbit care straight to your inbox in order that you realize you’ll be taking wonderful care of your new rabbit.

Really useful Merchandise and Manufacturers

Vital: These are Affiliate hyperlinks. As an affiliate to Amazon, Small Pet Choose, and Chewy.com, I’ll obtain a small fee from qualifying purchases.

The 2 manufacturers that I exploit when shopping for meals for my rabbit are Oxbow and Small Pet Choose. These each have prime quality rabbit merchandise and are firms that care in regards to the well being of our small animals. In case you are buying something from Small Pet Choose use the code BUNNYLADY at checkout to get 15% off your first order.

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