Exotic Pet Profile - Rabbits
Few things are more irresistible than the soft fur, gentle eyes, and twitching nose of a bunny. Do you think you know all you need to about rabbits? Take this short quiz before you let one hop into your home.
1. The best place to get a new rabbit is a pet store.
False. Although rabbits can be found in a variety of places, the best source is a shelter or rescue organization. Rabbit rescuers are more likely to ensure that you take home the right breed and personality for your household. Also, these rabbits are usually already spayed or neutered. If you do purchase a rabbit from a breeder or pet store, visit first to ensure that the rabbit was raised in a clean, social environment.
2. Rabbits love to be picked up and cuddled.
False. Although different breeds have different personalities, most rabbits are social animals that enjoy being near people. However, they do not like being picked up, especially by the ears, which can hurt them. Some rabbits will scratch or bite if they feel threatened. They’re much more content sitting on your lap or next to you.
Baby rabbits are very playful, active, and chew everything in sight. In fact, they’re much more destructive than most adult rabbits. Playtime outside the cage is a daily requirement, and chew toys should always be provided.
3. Rabbits don’t need a lot of space.
False. The number of rabbits you intend to own should play a role in the size of the housing space you provide. There should be enough room for each rabbit to have a nesting box in which to sleep and still have enough room to run around. Generally speaking, the cage should be made of wire. It’s easier to clean than wood, and rabbits are less likely to chew on the bars.
4. Rabbits only eat carrots and lettuce.
False. Like their owners, rabbits require a balanced diet, including a mix of vitamins, minerals, and protein. A balanced bunny diet should consist of pellets, fresh vegetables, a constant supply of hay, and fresh water.
5. Rabbits can be trained to use a litterbox.
True. With some simple guidance and a watchful eye, pet rabbits can be taught to use a litterbox. This is especially true for rabbits that have been spayed or neutered.
6. Rabbits are happiest when kept outside.
False. Rabbits fare best when they are kept indoors as a member of the family. While a rabbit can survive outdoors, you should provide extra protection or bring the animal inside if temperatures drop below freezing. You should also never let your rabbit run free outdoors. An unprotected pet rabbit is at risk from local predators, including dogs, cats, and prey birds. They are also exposed to disease and infection and could die from eating poisonous plants.
7. Rabbits need regular veterinary care.
True. Besides helping you decide which breed of rabbit is best for your family, regular veterinary visits will help to detect small problems with your pet rabbit before they become big problems. Companion rabbits should also be spayed or neutered to avoid a variety of undesirable behaviors.