Rabbits look adorable and this is usually what convinces us to adopt or buy rabbits, but they are so much more than a cute ball of fluff. Unfortunately, many people don’t take a rabbit’s needs into consideration.
With that in mind we urge anyone thinking of getting a rabbit to check they can answer yes to these questions:
1. Are you able to house a minimum of 2 rabbits?
Rabbits do not like to live alone and need company. While we do come across the odd rabbit that needs to remain a solo rabbit, it’s very uncommon. They are highly sociable animals, therefore they need to have another rabbit’s company.
2. Are you able to provide enough space?
Rabbits need exercise and places to explore. Rabbits cannot live in a just a hutch, it just isn’t enough for them. We are a rescue that follow the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund’s guidelines which are a minimum permanent area of 10ft x 6ft x 3ft high (3m x 2m x 1m) for a pair of average sized rabbits, regardless if they live indoors or outside. This space will need to be bigger for lager rabbits.
3. Are you and your family suitable?
People assume that rabbits are great for children, but this isn’t always the case. Just because they look cute and cuddly doesn’t mean they are. Rabbits can bite, scratch and kick and they will not always enjoy being picked up or even touched at all. Many children also get bored very quickly. You need to take into consideration if you have children will your children be safe and are you willing to care for the rabbit if the novelty wears off.
4. Are you able to feed your rabbit the correct diet?
Rabbits deserve the best quality food just like any other pet. They have an extremely complicated digestive system and feeding them incorrect food can cause health issues, pain and sometimes even death. A rabbit should have access to unlimited hay, which should make up 85% of their diet along with a handful of bunny-safe veg and a small handful of pellets.
5. Are you able to afford the cost of vaccination and health care?
Rabbits need yearly vaccinations to protect them from deadly diseases. These vaccinations can cost you up to £80. A rabbit also needs just as much veterinary care as any other pet, so you need to consider whether you can afford treatment if your rabbit becomes unwell.
6. Are you able to provide the time and care that rabbits require?
People are under the impression that rabbits are easy to care for… Wrong! Rabbits need regular cleaning, daily feeding (including fresh water) and attention. They can end up taking up a lot of your time so you need to consider whether you can provide this.
So, when considering taking on rabbits are you able to tick off the full list?
If you aren’t able to then we would advise that a pet rabbit isn’t right for you right now.