Posted: December 20, 2012, 8 a.m. EST
Rabbit Snickers/Courtesy Tracy Worth
Have realistic expectations, and you and your rabbit will enjoy a happy life together.
1. The Rabbit Was Cute So I Bought It
Impulse rabbit purchases are a recipe for failure; a pet of any kind is a lifetime commitment, and rabbit owners must look ahead to the animal as an adult. “Baby bunnies are beyond adorable,” said pet rabbit owner Lana Lehr of Maryland. Lehr pointed out that most “Easter bunnies” end up losing their homes, or worse — die much too early due to neglect and a lack of knowledge in regard to health and care. Planning ahead prepares everyone for what comes after the novelty wears off.
2. Pet Rabbit Unrealistic Expectations
A cute baby rabbit can grow into a hormonally frustrated, aggressive adult pet if not altered. “If they aren’t spayed/neutered they can be pretty obnoxious,” said Susan Davis, co-author of Stories Rabbits Tell: A Natural and Cultural History of a Misunderstood Creature (Lantern Books). “They spray urine, and some may become aggressive. They can get quite frantic, pacing, chewing and hopping around.” Have your bunny examined by a veterinarian before you bring it home. Ask him or her to recommend a spay or neuter surgery date, and mark it on your calendar.
3. Didn’t Know Anything About Pet Rabbits
“We tell people, ‘If you’re thinking about a rabbit, here’s what you need to know,’” Lehr said. She advises prospective rabbit owners to plan for success by learning as much as possible, before the rabbit comes home. Schedule regular playtimes to socialize it with everyone in the home, and make sure the entire family understands and respects the rabbit’s cautious nature. Encourage children to be patient, to move slowly and quietly, and to never force the rabbit out of the cage, and never chase it! Make a game out of “taming” the rabbit, and see who can get it to come to them first!
Excerpt from the Popular Critters® Series magabook Rabbits®,with permission from its publisher BowTie magazines, a division of BowTie Inc.Purchase Rabbits here.