What you need to know before getting a pet rabbit


If you would like to add a rabbit to your family, first do your homework! Rabbits make wonderful house pets, but they are different than owning a dog or cat. My blog is called Bunny’s Blog, and it is dedicated to my rabbit Bunny Jean Cook, who was my companion for 9 years.  I would like to share some information with you about adopting a rabbit as a house pet.

I recommend you visit the House Rabbit Society website, which is a great resource for prospective rabbit owners. I also recommend reading the House Rabbit Handbook by Marinell Harriman, which I used as my go-to guide.

Once you’ve learned about the proper care and feeding of house rabbits, make sure you have a safe place to keep your bunny. You will need a cage big enough for your rabbit to stand up and move around, but bunnies can’t constantly be kept in a cage.

Your rabbit needs at least 3-4 hours of exercise daily. You will need to bunny-proof an area to make sure there are no electrical cords or other hazards that your rabbit can get into.

Bunnies love to dig and chew, so make sure you have appropriate toys. You don’t need to buy toys – bunnies love to play with cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, brown paper bags, tissue paper, phone books, newspaper, etc.

You will need to spend time combing and brushing your bunny, which helps remove excess hair. Unlike cats, rabbits cannot cough up hairballs. An intestinal blockage is extremely dangerous and can result in death.

You will also need to trim your rabbit’s nails on a regular basis. A rabbit’s nails can grow to be very long and sharp and will be uncomfortable for the rabbit.

And finally, rabbits are social animals. Your bunny will be very unhappy if constantly left alone. They need daily interaction with you. Take time to get down on the floor and play with your bunny.

Once you’re ready to get your bunny, remember to adopt – don’t shop.  Many, many rabbits are available at animal shelters. Do yourself and your bunny a favor – wait to make sure that you are prepared to make an 8-12 year commitment, and then visit your local animal shelter.

- Guest blogger Vicki Stringfellow Cook of Bunny’s Blog

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