Are you a fan of Judy, the little brave rabbit from Zootopia? well, then we have got good news for you. Most people don’t know that rabbits can make great pets too. Especially if they are introduced to humans from a young age, they tend to be quite interactive. But here is the thing, before getting all hyped up for adopting a happy little bunny of your own, you should carefully research them to get an idea about what you can expect. Read this article to sweep away any confusion and finally make a decision if you want rabbits as pets.
How do you know if you will like rabbit or not?
That seems to be an obvious question. Because we hear people label themselves by their pets, such as “I am a dog person or I am a cat person”. But it’s so rare when someone says ‘I am a rabbit person”. So who exactly is a rabbit person and how do you know if you are one of them?
You will love rabbits as pets if you live in an apartment with neighbours. Pets tend to be loud which causes disturbance to your neighbours. But rabbits are naturally calm and peaceful which is a great benefit if you are a light sleeper. Rabbits as pets are not demanding at all. They don’t need you to walk them for several hours.
One thing you should keep in mind that rabbits are not low maintenance pets. Even if the initial cost is low, there are ongoing costs too. Unlike other pets, rabbits live longer ( average lifespan is 10 years) and costs increase with their age. If you think you can afford your pet’s primary and supplementary costs for a long time and care for its welfare then start calling yourself a rabbit person.
So, lets dig in deeper and get you prepared with the basic information before adopting a bunny.
How much does it cost?
The first thing I want to warn you about is, rabbits as pets are NOT in low maintenance category. The total initial cost would be around $330-$390. Puppy pan, flex tubing all wires of your house, bowls for food, Hay feeder, chew toys, nail clippers etc are included in this. If you want to buy two rabbits as pets, then consider desexing them. This procedure will also cost you a lot. But you can simply avoid it by picking them up from a shelter, as they would’ve taken care of these procedures already. However, picking one rabbit is also smart.
You have to and have to bunny proof your house. Otherwise, you will find your rabbits chewing on almost everything including your TV remote, chair legs, furniture, electronic cables and the list goes on and on. Buy them some chew toys to reduce boredom. Otherwise expect to come home to find a destructed living space. You may have to repair furniture. Also if you want to spoil your naughty little bunny, you can buy tunnels and toys to keep them entertained, which will cost a lot.
If you are low on budget and still want cute little peaceful pet, then you can opt for hamsters. They make excellent pets with not so high ongoing cost.
As rabbits live longer, you are committed to them for a very long time. Ongoing costs keep increasing every year, so be prepared. Not only these but veterinary bills for periodic and sudden health issues like malocclusion or cardiac arrest due to fear can cost you thousands.
Pet Rabbit price in India
Rabbits are one of the most affordable pets available in India. Pet rabbit price in India= 600INR-1000INR (pair). The price may vary a little based on the location. Hey! don’t forget to check the health of rabbit before adopting one.
What type of food is good for rabbits as pets
When it comes to food we have a common notion that rabbits only eat carrots. Though it is a great source of calcium, only providing carrots is not enough. Hay grass should be readily available all the time. Hay has fivers that result in a healthy digestive system. Rabbits teeth are growing continuously, chewing hay helps in wearing down of teeth.
You can give the adult rabbits timothy, grass and oat hays. But try to avoid Alfalfa as it contains high protein and fiver resulting in obesity. For younger pets, you can opt for Alfalfa. Different kinds of vegetables should be present in the diet menu. Everyday providing new veggies will help you understand their taste. And last but not the least cool drinking water has to be available to them all the time. If your pet is not drinking enough water try to serve veggies wet. But nonetheless, doing a little research before deciding what you should give your rabbits as pets is a good initiative.
foods to avoid at any cost
- Never give your pets chocolates. It is toxic.
- Do not give them houseplant leaves to eat, it is poisonous.
- Apple is fine as a fruit but don’t forget to remove the seeds before giving it to your rabbit.
- Avoid foods that contain pesticides.
- Do not feed high carbohydrates like bread, beans, crackers, chips etc.
There are some more food like this, which you must avoid at any cost.
Try to avoid buying food packets worth of 6 weeks at a time, as it will be spoiled. It’s better to take hays from local farmers.
Which type of housing is comfortable for rabbits as pets?
Rabbits need your love and affection to become comfortable around you. They are one of the preys in the wild. That’s why they don’t jump at your lap from the first day. Because they are always alert about their surroundings.
So it will be a great idea to provide your pets with a housing inside your house. They may not feel safe outside fearing possible attacks from predators like dogs or cats. You can buy a puppy pan with enough space. Though rabbits are small themselves, they still need big space to exercise or stretch out. Their housing should contain bowls for food and water. You can add a hay feeder with their bedding. Try to clean their bedding once a week, as a precaution to some lethal diseases.
If you love to spoil your bunny, build a cardboard castle. Remember the housing has to be at least 3- 4″ vertically long, so that they can stand up without bumping their head. You can use a big cage also. You have to supervise your rabbit’s exercise time so that it doesn’t mess things up with its ever-growing teeth. A big gate that is out of reach to the pet is a good solution.
Are rabbits ideal pet for children?
Unfortunately, rabbits are not the ideal pet for kids. As mentioned before, rabbits love the calm environment and are always alert. If a child holds it too tightly, this can send wrong signals to the pet. Kids are normally very loud which is opposed to the nature of a rabbit. They are comfortable with owners who are gentle with them. Taking care of a young pet is not an easy task. It’s more than giving food and cleaning poop. Young children may be overwhelmed with so many responsibilities.
Also, rabbits have an independent personality and they prefer to stay alone sometimes. I suggest rabbits as pets for families and couples. Children within the family can learn from elders how to take care of rabbits as pets and eventually can pet them too. Unlike dogs or cats, rabbits don’t like to be picked up, if handled incorrectly, they can bite too.
What are some common health issues of rabbits?
Rabbits as pets are not as wonderful as you dreamed of. They suffer from serious health issues if not taken care properly. So you have to be conscious always.
You should take your pet rabbit to a veterinary doctor for a periodic check-up. Most of the rabbits go through a condition called malocclusion, where rabbit’s teeth are not aligned. Overgrown teeth are a continuous problem with rabbits. To get rid off this try giving them enough hays to chew on, which grinds their teeth naturally.
Never ever give them a bath, as they may have a sudden cardiac arrest. Regularly grooming is just enough. Do not worry about hygiene, rabbits can take care of their regular cleanliness. The popular English lop breed has iconic ears that need regular cleaning, especially during winter. Their ears can become really wet in winter.
Their exercise time should be supervised carefully to avoid disease like Myxomatosis. Which happens due to the mosquito bites. There are other diseases too such as uterine tumours, hairballs, snuffles etc.
How do you know if your rabbit is sick
Your pet will show symptoms like change in appetite, change in behaviour, dull mood, face swelling etc. It doesn’t want to eat food that is used to eat happily before. Mostly, you will know by studying weird behaviour that something is off with your pet.
In such cases, don’t wait too long and take your pet to the nearest Vet. During the time of choosing your bunny to ask for medical history, to get a clear idea about your pet’s health issues.
where can I find ideal rabbits as pets?
Well many pet shops sell rabbits as pets. But I would suggest you pick one from the Shelter homes.
Rabbits in these shelters are properly trained and taken care of. They keep records of their rabbit’s medical history. These rabbits are of different breeds and colours. English lop, Dutch rabbit, Dwarf rabbit, American rabbit, Blance de Hotot, Californian rabbit whatever you are looking for, this is the place to find. You can look around the place and choose the right one. They also give you the facility to connect with the pet and spending quality time to help you understand your pet. During this time, the volunteers describe to you everything you should know before adopting rabbits as pets. It helps you to find the perfect rabbit which can cope up with your lifestyle.
The sellers in the pet shops don’t give you a proper medical history of your pet. Which makes it difficult to treat the rabbit during any health issue. As the owner has no idea about pre adopting health issues of the rabbit.
What are the most popular breeds of rabbits as pets?
The American Rabbit Association (ARBA) has officially recognized 50 breeds of rabbits. As you can assume
you have a wide range of breeds to choose from. But in this article, we are highlighting only 6 of them. so check out the list to find your perfect rabbits as pets.
- English lop
- American rabbit.
- Dutch rabbit.
- Dwarf rabbit.
- Blanc de Hotot
- Californian Rabbit.
This is one of the fancy breeds. They can be easily identified by their iconic extra-long ears. Their ears can be 21 to 32 inches long. In winter you have to take extra care for your pet’s ears as they tend to get wet. They are one of the large rabbits and require big rooms. So consider buying them if you have a large space. During the Victorian era, English Lop was the most favourite breed of rabbits as pets. They love socialization.
To care for an English lop is comparatively easy but you have to regularly check for ear infections. Ears are the most sensitive part of their body. Try to hang a water bottle instead of water bowl in its hatch to avoid wet ears.
In the whole United States of America, these rabbits are the first-ever breed of domestic rabbit. They are generally large in size coated with soft white fur and red eyes. Their ‘sweet’ nature and calm temperament have made them one of the best breeds of rabbits as pets.
Their average life span is 5 to 8 years and weight around 4 to 5.5 kg.
If this is your first time purchasing a rabbit , you should definitely consider this breed. They are easy to handle and so lovable. Normally rabbits are of shy nature and take time to let their guards off around you. But this breed of a rabbit will surely win your heart.
3. Dutch rabbit:
Many people confuse these breeds with Dwarf rabbits. Though I agree their little cute shape attracts most of the buyers, they are not dwarf.
Their average weight is 2 to 2.5 kg and the average life span is 5 to 10 years. But with proper diet, regular check-up they may live longer. Six different colours are available for dutch rabbits as pets, such as black, blue, chinchilla, chocolate, grey, steel etc.
Just be sure to provide them a healthy and calm environment.
4. Dwarf rabbit:
Rabbits with the dwarf gene are known as the dwarf rabbit. Some people claim they look exactly like rabbits of Disney movies. Though it is essential to know that small is not dwarf. It is a genetic condition found in humans too.
They weigh less than 4 pounds. If you are one of those who think ‘small is cute”, then trust me you are going to love dwarf rabbit. But it is a misconception among many people that small rabbits need small space. But unfortunately, that’s not the case. Rabbits need a wide area to run around and exercise.
Another benefit of purchasing dwarf rabbits as pets is that they are easy to hold because of being so small and they need less food.
5.Balanc de Hotot:
Just one glance and you can identify a Balanc de Hotot breed. Their most noticeable feature is soft luxurious white furs and big dark eyes with a black ring around it. They possess a red nose with not so long but erect ears.
They weigh about 4 to 5 kg and their life span is 5 to 8 years.
They have good eyesight, hearing for survival in the wild. They do best if only pet in the house.
This breed was originally developed for meat and fur industry. Their coat is thick and not so soft. Have dark markings on nose, feet, tail. They require a little time to become comfortable around human owners. Naturally have a mild temperament, loves to play, can be active or sit back lazily depending on mood. They make awesome pets. Provide them with chew toys to prevent boredom.
If you have read so far, you probably have decided whether you are a rabbit person or not. And If you are, then don’t just keep thinking start preparing for the little member of your house. You can start by bunny proofing your house. Hope one day you realise how amazing rabbits as pets are.
Hope you enjoy your journey with your little cutie. Thank you for reading.