Rabbits: Buying a Rabbit
Buying a Rabbit – Pets play an essential role in the lives of most American families. Making a thoughtful decision about which pet best matches your family, house, and way of life can make your pet-owning experience that much more pleasurable. Insufficient fulfillment of expectations is the most common reason for pet surrender, so make an educated decision. On the other hand, rabbits make a great pet companion. It is one of the most eminent pet species nowadays.
What to Look for While Purchasing a Rabbit?
For the greatest results when selecting a rabbit, it is always preferable to observe the entire litter if feasible. Each animal should be lively, attentive, and full of energy. They should all have glossy, luxuriant fur, as well as being plump and well-nourished. If any of the animals in the litter are sick, do not pick them or another animal that appears to be healthy since that animal may become ill soon after.
Hands and eyes should be running over the entire rabbit. Both sides of the rabbit should have the same appearance and feel. Symptoms of the illness include a rabbit with a dull or rough coat and one that is excessively thin, has a pot-bellied or is slow. Check to see whether your rabbit has had any human interaction. Rabbits must be handled and socialized from a young age if they are to become comfortable with people and make good pets.
Other considerations to bear in mind when purchasing a rabbit are as follows:
- Rabbits are naturally social creatures, and it is preferable if they are maintained with another rabbit in the same household. It can be beneficial to introduce rabbits to one another while they are young; otherwise, they may fight and become ill.
- Keep rabbits and guinea pigs apart since the rabbit may bully or harm the guinea pig when they are together.
- Rabbits are highly clever creatures who require mental and physical activity to thrive.
- Generally speaking, neutered rabbits are happier and healthier, and they exhibit fewer behavioral issues.
- Check that your rabbit has had myxomatosis and VHD vaccinations to ensure that it remains in good health.
- When selecting a rabbit as a pet, keep in mind that healthy rabbits are attentive and energetic. Scaly areas might indicate poor health on the inside of the ears as well as drainage from the eyes and nose. Make sure to examine their teeth and back as well.
What is it about Having a Pet Rabbit that is so Special?
Rabbits are ideal home pets because they are clean, loving, and gregarious. They are highly lively and amusing and can be litter trained if you want to. Rabbits maintained indoors can survive for 5 to 15 years if they are well cared for.
What Options do you have when it comes to Rabbits?
With more than 60 different rabbit breeds available, rabbits may be found in a wide range of sizes and appearances. The Dutch rabbit is a popular rabbit breed in the United States, and it is often black and white or brown and white in coloration. Dwarf rabbits are typically smaller than their larger counterparts, and the lop type has ears that drop down rather than standing upright.
If you are a first-time bunny owner, it is usually preferable to start with a single rabbit. If you pick a male (buck) rabbit, you will want to get him neutered in order to prevent him from marking his territory with urine. When properly socialized, both male and female rabbits become friendly and loving towards one another.
Breeds of Rabbits that are Popular as Pets
You may be surprised to learn that your Flopsy, Mopsy, or Cottontail will be one of a range of distinct breeds, with the majority of them also being available in “dwarf” or “small” breed varieties. Generally speaking, smaller kinds of rabbits are more timid, while larger types are more gentle in their behavior. Within each breed, though, a rabbit’s temperament can vary significantly, and this is frequently determined by how each individual rabbit is treated and nurtured. Consider the following features of various common pet rabbit breeds before making your final decision on which one to bring home:
- The Lionhead
- The Holland Lop
- The Dutch Rabbit
- The Angora
- The English Spot
- The Flemish Giant
What are the unique Behavior of Rabbits?
Even though rabbits are pretty popular among youngsters, they are more sensitive and fragile than other pets. It is common for rabbits to get distressed while being held close or carried, and they may react by struggling or clawing. Furthermore, they must be taken up and handled with care to avoid harm to their backs and legs. Angora rabbits have long hair and need to be groomed regularly.
Rabbits are voracious chewers! If you do not intend to keep a watch on your rabbit at all times, do not allow it to walk freely around your yard or house. The chewing of electric cords, furniture, and decorative plants is quite enticing, but it is also extremely hazardous and expensive. So be sure to offer your proper rabbit toys to ensure that it is happy and healthy! Consult your veterinarian for information on correct feeding, handling, and care for your rabbit.
Who will take care of your Rabbit as a Pet?
Your rabbit’s food, shelter, exercise, physical and mental health, and overall well-being will ultimately be your responsibility for the remainder of its life as its owner. While families should engage their children in the care of a rabbit, children will require the assistance of an adult who is willing, able, and accessible to monitor the animal’s daily care and maintenance.
Rabbits are well-known for having the ability to generate huge numbers of offspring at a rapid pace. It is inappropriate for rabbit ownership to purchase and breed a rabbit to allow youngsters to see the birth process. If a female rabbit becomes pregnant, you must locate suitable homes for the rabbit’s children. Spaying and neutering females and males inhibit reproduction and reduce behavioral issues and health concerns in the animals.
Does having a Pet rabbit a Good fit for your Lifestyle?
Rabbits are excellent pets for those living in a variety of environments. They are tiny, quiet, and clean, and they may live peacefully in cages of sufficient size in a house or apartment. They are not aggressive. Although keeping a rabbit in a hutch outside may appear more “natural,” it might be detrimental to the rabbit’s health. An outside cage exposes the animal to harsh weather conditions as well as predators such as cats, dogs, and foxes. Even if a predator is unable to gain access to the rabbit, the stress of the attempted assault may cause the rabbit to succumb to its injuries.
Because most no-pet restrictions apply solely to dogs and cats, many condominium organizations allow their members to keep rabbits as companion animals. However, before bringing a rabbit inside your unit, check with your association’s bylaws to ensure that you are not breaking any rules.
Are you Able to Afford a Pet Rabbit?
The cost of purchasing a rabbit is pretty inexpensive at first. The rabbit will require extra housing, food, and veterinary care throughout its life, which the owner will pay. Regular veterinarian checkups will assist in keeping your rabbit healthy and enhance the chances of early diagnosis of illness or other health concerns, even though rabbits are not routinely vaccinated.
Where is the Best Place to Buy a Rabbit?
Rabbits may be purchased from a variety of sources. Unwanted and abandoned rabbits are taken care of and placed in loving homes by many shelters and rescue groups. Rabbits may also be purchased from reputable pet retailers and breeders that have a good reputation.
Supplies Needed to get ready for your Rabbit?
Before taking your new pet home, educate yourself about the needs of rabbits, including their care, husbandry, housing, food, and socializing requirements. Feeding your rabbit with a nutritious meal is critical to maintaining his or her health. Simply providing rabbit pellets will not be enough to fulfill all of his or her nutritional requirements. Fresh greens and high-quality hay for roughage should be provided regularly for your companion. Additionally, fresh water and frequent exercise are required to maintain the health of your rabbit.
Choose the appropriate size cage or hutch for your particular breed of rabbit. The rabbit should be able to move freely about the cage if the cage is large enough. Choose a hutch that is at least three feet above the ground, that is shaded that is sheltered from the wind and bad weather, and that is covered to keep your rabbit happy and as secure as possible from predators if your rabbit must live outside.
How long do Rabbits to Live?
A rabbit requires a long-term commitment; on average, they live between 8 and 12 years; however, some rabbits can live even longer.
Where Should your Rabbit be Kept?
The environment in which your rabbit lives is quite essential, and you should consider this before bringing it home. Keep in mind that a tiny hutch will not provide adequate storage space. Rabbits will require a big run that is linked to the hutch so that they may stand on their hind legs within the enclosure.
If a rabbit does not have enough area to run around, it will grow irritable. Your rabbits want protection from the sun and rain, which you may provide by draping a tarpaulin over a portion of their enclosure.
A separate compartment will be required for the purpose of concealment and peaceful slumber. Provide them with various activities to engage in, such as tunnels, wood to gnaw on, and toys to play with. A sandbox or a place for your rabbit to dig will be fantastic additions if you have the space.
Bedding that may be consumed must be clean, fresh, and natural, such as hay or straw that has not been exposed to dust. It should be checked every day and changed regularly. Your rabbit will require a place to relieve himself, which can be provided by hay or shredded newspaper. A rabbit will return to the same position over and over again, so if you place a litter box in a convenient location where they prefer to go, your rabbit should utilize it!
Make sure the hutch and run are safe and secure so that your rabbit cannot escape and predators are unable to get access to the enclosure.
Grooming and Overall Care
Rabbits will typically keep themselves clean, but you will still need to groom them in order to keep their fur in good condition.
If long-haired rabbits are not groomed regularly, their fur can get matted. In addition, especially during the warmer months, you should inspect their back end to clean and dry.
Most rabbits will also benefit from having their claws cut on a six-weekly basis, and they will require frequent worming and flea treatments to keep them healthy.
- Vaccinations: First, your rabbit will require vaccines against the two strains of Rabbit Viral Hemorrhagic Disease that have been identified (RVHD). It is possible to protect rabbits by injecting them starting at five weeks of age and then administering a booster shot every 12 months, which is when it is included in the combination Myxo-RHD vaccination. Every 6 – 12 months, your rabbit will also require an additional RVHD2 immunization to keep him healthy. Every 6 – 12 months, your rabbit will also need an additional RVHD2 immunization to keep him healthy.
- Neutering: neutering is essential, especially for female rabbits (not only to prevent many unwanted baby kits but also because a very high percentage of females have uterine cancer). Make sure you budget for any associated veterinary expenses.
- Dental care: Rabbits’ teeth develop continually throughout their lifetimes, and eating hay regularly can keep the length of their teeth under control and at a safe length in the wild. The quantity of hay consumed by pet rabbits may differ from that consumed by wild rabbits, and some of the smaller or round-faced varieties may not have adequate space for their teeth. If you have a companion rabbit, you will need to pay close attention to the care of their teeth, and you should consult your veterinarian on what to watch out for and the best rabbit tooth care. Whenever you see any concerning signs in your rabbits, such as a runny nose, hair loss, appetite loss, lumps or bumps, or breathing issues, you should take them to the veterinarian as soon as you possibly can.
Diet and Nutrition
Rabbits are known as herbivores, which means that they eat plants as their primary source of nutrition. They are adapted to a diet consisting of vast amounts of grass and leaves, with occasional flowers and fruits thrown in for good measure. In a rabbit’s diet, GRASS HAY is by far the essential component.
Timothy hay, meadow hay, oat hay, rye hay, barley hay, and Bermuda grasses are all examples of grass hay. A constant supply of grass hay should be supplied to rabbits at all times. It is high in vitamins, minerals, and proteins, and it promotes healthy gastrointestinal motility as well as the regular wearing down of teeth by chewing. It also helps to reduce inappropriate chewing of other items, which can be harmful.
Furthermore, grass hay aids in the creation of a full sensation in the rabbit’s stomach, which helps to avoid overeating and obesity in the rabbit. It is appropriate for people of all ages. It is recommended to offer a range of two or more different types of grass hay to your horse. It is also preferable to give sun-dried hay rather than commercially dried hay since sun-dried hay keeps more of its nutritional value.
In addition to alfalfa and clover hay, there is also legume hay available for purchase. Legume hays are not suggested since they contain far more calories, calcium, and protein than a typical pet rabbit requires. They may result in gastrointestinal problems and obesity in the rabbit. Even mixing grass hay and legume hay is not suggested since the rabbit may select out only the legume hay and consume excessive calories as a result. It is also crucial not to feed straw since it is devoid of nutrients and would result in severe nutritional deficits if consumed in large quantities as a major component of their diet.
A third crucial component of a bunny’s diet is the consumption of GREEN FOODS. Green vegetables and fruits include dandelion greens, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, celery, and parsley, amongst other things. Green vegetables give all of the same nutritional advantages as hay, but they include a larger range of nutrients and also help to keep the body hydrated by providing water.
This is because rabbits don’t always drink the amount of water they should be doing. If you provide your bunny with many greens, it is natural for them to consume less water as a result. Green vegetables are highly beneficial to the kidneys, bladder, and gastrointestinal system, among other organs. Because green foods do not provide enough calories to maintain a rabbit’s average body weight, they should not be the basic component of the rabbit’s diet. Rabbits of all ages can eat nutritious green vegetables. If at all feasible, get organic green foods or cultivate your own green foods. Always wash all greens well before eating them. It is advised that you serve at least three different types of greens every day.
Additionally, you should add TREATABLE such as FRUITS AND VEGETABLES in your rabbit’s regular diet. They can also be used as a kind of motivation during training sessions. The consumption of fruits and vegetables is far healthier and less expensive than commercial rabbit treats, which should be avoided because most of them are heavy in carbohydrates and fat and can cause significant health problems.
A few examples of natural goodies that you may offer to your rabbit include apple slices, bananas, berries (including blueberries and raspberries), cherries, cranberries, carrots, green or red bell peppers, mango, peaches, pineapples, and butternut squash. You may also feed dried fruits, but you should limit the amount to one-third of the regular amount due to the high concentration of nutrients in them. Bananas and grapes are not advised since rabbits can become addicted to these items and may refuse to eat anything else if they are given a chance.
The use of COMMERCIAL PELLETS should be limited to a tiny percentage of a rabbit’s overall diet. It is simple to overfeed pellets since they do not provide the same sensation of fullness as hay does, and the high-calorie content might result in obesity in the animals fed pellets. Aside from that, pellets do not encourage regular tooth wear, and the absence of chewing might result in behavioral issues. Urinary tract illness might also be caused by a lack of water content in the diet. In an ideal situation, commercial pellets should account for no more than 10% of a rabbit’s total caloric intake.
High-starch and fatty meals, such as beans, bread, cereals, chocolate, maize, nuts, oats, peas, refined sugar, seeds, wheat, or any other grains, should be avoided at all costs while feeding rabbits. Other foods to avoid are potatoes, carrots, and any other root vegetables. It is also not required to augment the food of a healthy rabbit with vitamins or other nutritional supplements since, if the rabbit is properly fed, the nutrients will be absorbed via the diet. Misuse of these substances might result in serious medical complications.
Temperament and Behavior
Rabbits are loving and friendly creatures who like spending time with their owners and engaging in interactive and playful activities.
Many rabbits are delighted to be handled and will appreciate the opportunity to establish a bond with their owner. Still, they’re delicate and may be easily injured, so you must understand how to handle them correctly.
Purchase a rabbit for children under the supervision of a responsible adult. Teach your children about rabbit behavior and handling before leaving them alone with a pet rabbit or any other animal. Leaving rabbits alone for extended periods of time is not something they are comfortable with. This might lead to feelings of tension and anxiety.
Allow for fun and exercise outside of the “home.” Make time for yourself. This should always be done under supervision since most rabbits will happily chew electrical cables if allowed to come inside. It is vital to keep a careful eye on them at all times if they are allowed to come inside.
Buying more than one rabbit is an option since it is usually beneficial for pets to have another to engage with. However, be cautious, as two bunnies may rapidly become too many rabbits! As a result, ensure that they are neutered in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
When you bring a rabbit into your home, you are taking on the duty of caring for another living thing’s health and well-being. You are also accountable for the influence your rabbit has on your family, friends, and the rest of the community. A rabbit will be a constant presence in your life for many years. Make the time and effort necessary to ensure that your years together are filled with happiness. When you pick a rabbit, you commit to taking care of it for the rest of its natural life. Make an informed decision, follow through on your commitment, and enjoy one of life’s most gratifying experiences!