Owning a pet rabbit comes with significant costs, starting with purchase or adoption fees, habitat, vet bills, food and litter. You may also want to consider getting any new pet spayed or neutered. Before you decide to bring a bunny home, do your homework.
1. Bunnies Need Space (but not too much)
Indoor housing for a pet rabbit is fairly easy to accomplish. They are much like puppies, social and adaptable. A special hutch is not required. You can buy a cage, roomy carrier or puppy pen, re-purpose a playpen intended for babies, or use a safety gate to block off a section where food, water, and a litter box will reside and the bunny will stay at night and when you aren't home. Rabbits are highly social, so a room with a closed door is not the best option. Like most pets, bunnies want to be part of the family. Do not ignore Bunny.
2. Bunny-Proof your Home
It's important to prepare for your new pet in advance, especially if you plan to let him roam free at any time. Rabbits are very curious and will explore every corner of your home, including the cord thickets behind your computer table or entertainment center. And they chew. They chew everything. Make sure your cords are inaccessible, your phone charger is well out of reach, and your important documents are in a secure location. The number one thing to remember: Anything within Bunny's reach belongs to Bunny.
3. Don't Bore the Bunny
Like toddlers, puppies, and every other living thing, bunnies will do bad things if they are bored. If you don't provide fun things for them to squeeze into, to play with, to tear up, and to chew on, they will find things. In a room devoid of objects, they will chew the moldings off the wall. Fortunately, they love cardboard, paper, boxes and tubes. Give them paper goods and they will happily chew them to ribbons. Bunny never gets tired of chewing.
4. Potty Train Bunny
If you choose to rescue or adopt a rabbit, he's probably already had some litterbox training. But it's easy for Bunny to backslide in a new environment. Remember to reinforce litterbox training with some nice treats for a job well done. Don't bother to scold Bunny for mistakes. Bunny does not care.
5. Feed the Bunny
Proper nutrition is vital to Bunny's good health. Rabbits need plenty of fiber. Get a good-quality food and provide plenty of hay. Hay is highly allergenic, so consider moving that part of Bunny's life to an enclosed porch or outside pen if allergies are an issue.
6. Bunny and Family -Planning Ahead
Bunnies are highly social, but like every living thing, they have personalities of their own. They can be mellow and cuddly, or aggressive and territorial. Before choosing your rabbit, consider the age of your children and how the bunny reacts to them, and consider how the children may react to the rabbit. Bunnies may seem complacent and sweet tempered, but never forget that the are armed with powerful back legs, sharp claws and teeth. Thumping Bunny may have unexpected consequences.
In addition, consider the average rabbit lifespan, which is a little more than 10 years, and consider where the death of a pet will coincide with your child's age and whether your child is likely to leave home before Bunny dies.
What you need to know about owning a rabbit.