I have kept two different types of rabbits the small Netherlands Dwarf, and an averaged sized Lop Eared Rabbit.
Having kept two different breeds of rabbit, I know that it is just as important to consider personalities as size.
My NEVERLANDS DWARF was usually good tempered with adults, especially those he knew well, but was not a suitable pet for children to be around. When my neighbour’s grand-children even came into the garden next door to ours, his first instinct was to hide. One tried to stroke him once. Once was enough for the child and the rabbit. The child was not particularly rough with him, but not quite as gentle as the adults that he was used to. He went to bite the child, but luckily the child’s reaction was quick, and the hand quickly disappeared back over their side of the fence.
With adults that he knew and trusted he could be very patient. If his usual carers accidentally did something he didn’t like, as a first warning he would put his teeth onto their skin but did not bite down. He would bite anyone if he was scared though, without any warning, and he quickly reacted to anything unusual happening.
The LOP EARED rabbit has a very docile nature, and has been extremely patient while we have taught a toddler how to stroke his fur gently in the direction of growth.
My NETHERLANDS DWARF easily beats the Lop for intelligence. Perhaps the fact that he is more aware of danger makes him more nervous, and therefore less tolerant.
The Netherlands plays with us, pushing things back and forth with his nose, but he is harder to catch, for example when it is time for him to go to bed in his hutch, because he seems to have a sixth sense as to when this is likely to happen.
The LOP EARED is a big cuddly softy in comparison, but this is what makes him so trusting and loveable. He loves being affectionately stroked, but hasn’t invented any games to play with his human companions.
They have needed similar as far as food, housing and companionship are concerned. The only obvious difference to me is that the Lop, with longer hair than the Netherlands Dwarf, can do with a bit of extra human help with his grooming. Brushing hair, especially when mounting, is more time consuming in the longer haired varieties.
With limited space, my review is purely about my personal experience of individual rabbits. The RSPCA gives excellent general advice on how to care for rabbits and other pets, and I recommend their website to all animal owners.
I had never had a small furry animal always cats and dogs. After my mother passed away I decided I wanted a pet to keep me company - I choose my first rabbit. I knew next to nothing about rabbits aside from the fact that they are very cute so, my first task before bringing a rabbit home was to swot up.
I read two books about rabbits cover to cover and anything I could find on the internet. If you are considering getting a rabbit I would highly recommend you read up on the animal - rabbits for dummies came in handy for me.
Rabbits are very cute and cuddly to look at but they do have their own personality and very big teeth which can be used on your flesh and it hurts. My bunny is a female (doe) she is a black and white dutch breed rabbit her picture is in my profile.
Female rabbits can become sexually aggressive and very protective of their surroundings when their hormones kick in. My rabbit became a bit manic around 3 months old. During this time she would run round my feet constantly honking, humping my arm and biting me. If you have a female rabbit I would highly suggest you get her spayed i.e her ovaries and uterus removed this makes her better behaved and also removes the risk of cancer which is high for female rabbits.
I would also suggest that rabbits may not be suitable for very young children as even as an adult it is tempting to grab a bunny and snuggle them when they don't want you to - do that and they could hurt themselves trying to escape or hurt your child with their teeth through fear or anger. Older children, supervised children or children who are calm and quiet may suit a bunny very well.
Through the ups and downs I have grown very attached to my bunny and her unique personality and wouldn't change her for the world.
My bunny is a house rabbit - keeping your bunny in doors means you can keep a close eye on them and bond with them more closely. My rabbit loves to be stroked and cuddled - all on her own terms of course.
The hard work you put into bonding with your rabbit makes you love them all the more. They are very quiet clean pets but can be prone to chewing things you don't want them to therefore, I would suggest you buy them plenty of chew toys that are particularly for rabbits - of course their are cheap alternative such as cardboard boxes and toilet roll tubes which they usually love to play with. A rabbit does not need huge amounts of supervision so suits me as I work full time and would not be able to keep a dog or a cat in the area I live in. They can be affectionate and loving and their is no better sight than a happy bunny bounding around your home leaping and jumping or flopping on the floor at the sheer happiness of life! I would recommend a bunny as a pet - just make sure you do your homework. Feed them healthy food and get your female spayed. If you do decide to get a bunny - enjoy the happiness that this lovely pet can bring :)
I have over 13 different animals all needing different things but my rabbit is probably the easiest to care for and one of the most affectionate. He is a 10 week old lop eared rabbit and already responds to his name so in my book hes as intelligent as my chinchillas( smarter than rats by the way) but no where near as toilet trained. If your planning on getting a rabbit a two tier run is by far the best to get mine is a house rabbit because the people where i live hate animals to say the least but they do need plenty of running space and toys are very important as well to entertain and gnaw their teeth down because if they get too long it causes very serious health problems. You really can't go wrong with a rabbit they are friendly,cute,easy to train and quite clean once they learn to use the toilet the ideal pet for anyone over the age of 10 anyone under must parental supervision and remember a pet is for life not just a few weeks.
Personally I think that a rabbit is one of the best pets anybody can have. They are suitable for many ages, as long as small children are accompanied by an adult who can make sure that the rabbit is being looked after properly. They are great as a first pet and all of the rabbits I have ever owned have been extremely loving animals, and are so adorable!
They're not as much work or as expensive as some animals, like dogs, however they do need lots of love and attention, which some people don't realise when investing in a smaller animal such as a rabbit. The hutch of a rabbit needs to be cleaned out at least every other day, if not every day so looking after a rabbit can be more time consuming than people think.
They are not animals which should be bought solely because they need little attention, as they do, and no animal should be bought just as a temporary thing.
I would definitely recommend getting a rabbit as a pet!
Since I was a little girl I've had rabbits. Because my brother was allergic, they always had their wooden cage standing outside in the garden. I now have two rabbits, one is an old and enthusiastic one (he is about 5 years old) and the other one is almost 1 year old. Both are men, and we have discovered recently they are playing together really well without killing on and another. They are walking around in our garden.
*Why a rabbit is so much fun*
First of all, a rabbit isn't too big and if you treat yours well, can be real sweet and fun to cuddle. Some rabbits don't like it to be picked up but in general rabbits like to sit on your lap and be cuddles. Rabbits like to eat grass, vegetables and fruits, so I always give mine some when i am cooking and have some food left. They do not make that big of a mess and I clean their cages every two weeks. Rabbits do not like to be scared, if they are afraid they will make a nasty graaaaaawling sound and this is the part where you need to be careful because it can bite you as a defence mechanism. But most rabbits don't if they are treated well.
**Facts & Figures**
* The world highest rabbit jump is one meter!
* A rabbit has 18 toenails (that need to be cut if your rabbit doesn't dig that much!)
* The longest lived rabbit was nearly 19 years old when he died
* There are over 150 rabbit coat colors.
* Rabbits are most active in the evening and night
* Rabbits can see behind them without turning their heads
* Before you buy a rabbit it is useful to get some informatioon about the breed, not every breed for example is great with young kids...
* Male rabbits are the best pets and easier to handle, and more curious.
* When a female rabbit becomes mature she might be a bit more protective of her cage (as it to her is her nesting ground) and she might bite a bit quicker.
* Discovering what sex a rabbit has, can only be done after 5-6 weeks.
**How to know your rabbit is pregnant**
If you have a female rabbit and she is doing one or more of the following things, she might be pregnant;
* She puts on a lot of weight at the abdonom
* She gathers hay in her mouth (nesting material)
* She digs in her feed bowl
* Movement in het abdomen
* She plucks fur from her neck, legs and other places on her body.
I had a female rabbit for 5 years, she had two nests during that time. The first one was a major surprise as her "partner in crime"a male rabbit had been sterilised two weeks earlier....She did all the things I just listed above and yes, we got ourself a major surprise when we came back from shopping on a saturday, and 5 little bald bunnies were in a corner of her cage. We took out the father so the mum had space to feed and protect her little babies. After 9 weeks we gave one of them away and 4 went to the pet shop (it broke my heart to give them away but we had such a small place we could never offer them a good home...)
The second time we had a nest 3 babies were born dead and one wasn't, we names him "lucky"as he was the one surviving. Unfortunalty last winter, Lucky's mum and dad past away within the same week.....
Rabbits are great, fun and can be easily kept. I do prefer to leave them walking around outside in the garden. Keep them away from cables! Lovely animals and my daughter is nuts about the two rabbits we still have, too..
Over the years my family has had several bunnies, in all shapes and sizes. Amber the mini lop, Sam the dwarf lop, Toby the Cashmere lop and Bramble the Netherland dwarf to name but a few. My family's knowledge of buns has increased over the years and I feel like I could write a review to help people understand them.
Rabbits are often mistaken for rodents, but they are in actually fact lagomorphs.
First off, rabbits make terrible pets for children. Generally, they don't sit still on your knee (though there is the odd exception to the rule) and won't tolerate kids grabbing them. They will nip if annoyed. They are also expensive, as they have to be vaccinated and neutered. The best pet for a child is a rat.
There are a lot of rabbits in rehoming centres, so I'd recommend getting one from there first, or from a good breeder. Rabbits shouldn't be kept alone, as they are sociable creatures. A pair of does (females), or a buck (male) and a doe are ideal pairings. The next section discusses neutering which is required for all rabbits, particularly if keeping a male and a female together.
Sexually mature rabbits can be very aggressive and territorial. Male rabbits will also hump everything in site. Neutering is needed to stop this aggression and helps to prevent cancers (testicular and uterine notably). Some people, men in particular, don't like the idea of remove an animals testicles. But it is in the animals best interests if you are to have a happy bunny. In the wild, rabbits can fornicate to their hearts desire, but pet rabbits become aggressive, as they have no outlet. Talk to your vet for more information about the best time to neuter your bunny.
A lot of people aren't aware that pet rabbits need to be vaccinated against two diseases, myxomatosis and VHD (viral haemorrhagic disease). Even if wild rabbits don't live near by, other animals and clothes can harbour spores.
Talk to your vet about these.
Rabbits can be kept indoors or outdoors. For outdoor bunnies, buy or make as large an enclosure as possible, and make sure it is fox proof. My mum's rabbits have an open hutch attached to a large mesh run, sat on top of the garden slabs. This allows them to run about when they want. A rabbit shouldn't be shut away in a hutch day in day out.
In the hutch cover the base of it using newspaper, and put plenty of hay down for them. Rabbits can learn to use a litter tray so put one in the corner of the hutch, lined with newspaper.
Buy a separate run for putting them on the grass. Don't keep them on for long though as they tend to gorge themselves and can get sore tummies.
Rabbits enjoy playing with branches, toilet roll tubes, and washing liquid balls, which make great cheap toys. There is a great market now for stimulating bunny toys, check out larger pet shops or look online.
A rabbit's diet should mainly consist of vegetables and hay. Rabbit mix or preferably pellets should only form a small part of their diet. They only need a couple of tablespoons of this each depending on the size of your rabbit. Excel is a great complete food, check out the packet for feeding guidelines.
Pet rabbits fed on mainly pet shop mix can have digestive problems. They need fibre from vegetables and hay to keep their gut moving. Rabbits can develop gut stasis, asks your vet about this.
For the occasional treat, bunnies like toast. Stay clear of pet shop sugary treats.
Give fresh water daily to your bun.
Change the litter tray daily and give your rabbit fresh hay. Clean the whole hutch out once or twice a week, changing the newspaper and hay. You can clean the hutch using a cloth and soapy water. Preferably, use a natural soap or washing up liquid.
If you have a run, brush up any droppings daily using a dustpan and brush. In the hutch itself you will occasionally find softer droppings, which look like a bunch of grapes. These are called caecatrophs, which a rabbit eats to gain nutrition from.
It's important to keep your rabbit's enclosure clean, to prevent fly strike.
Rabbits make great pets if properly cared for. Given plenty of space, proper nutrition and care a bunny can live up to ten years old. Getting a rabbit (or should I say rabbits) is not a decision to be made lightly, they are a big commitment.
My first rabbit I got when I was 16 years old.
I remember Walking into this pet shop and seeing her, I wanted her instantly I completely fell in love with her, I had to have her !!
Grey shiny fluffy coat, big brown eyes, very alert and friendly I took to her straight away.
At 8 weeks old Opal was such a tiny thing, plus she was a mini lop, which is one of the smallest breeds, but her ears were nearly as big as the rest of her body.
So I took her home with her new hutch, food and everything she needed.
She had her own personality, she was very easy to litter train, she used to sit up on my shoulder licking my ear.
Not long after this I decided to get her a companion, went to the pet shop and wanted another female as I did not want to breed because I did not have the room.
So after around a month of having the new rabbit, which by the way was a dwarf lop slightly bigger than a mini lop, it then turns out that Ruby was not a Ruby, but in fact a Rocky.
Was completely shocked and natures way Opal soon had a litter, even though I had been told I was having another female.
She had a litter of four in July 2006, Where unfortunaly one died at birth.
So I had 3 new baby rabbits to contend with, Harley,Lily and Dacre.
Few months passed babies were feeding fine, growing fast I had to expand everything I had to make more room for more rabbits.
One day someone said they had brought a female dwarf lop 3 months old for there daughter and there daughter didn't take to her, so me being a softy i took her on, Naming her Ruby.
Now adding more to the little family of bunnykins, I had to start separating them.
So I have Rocky and Ruby together (rocky had been castrated by then so no more babies).
Harley I had given to my god son, as he was not getting on with his brother, so dacre was on his own, and Opal and Lily (mother and daughter) were together.
One day i found that rocky had died, now rocky and ruby were like an old couple they hated each other but they loved each other.She used to pick on him but he took it because he loved her awwwww bless!
Once I removed rocky, Ruby started getting really nasty towards me grunting, scratching.
So I asked the vet she said 'it coud be because she thinks you have taken her partner away from her or because she is at the age of bredding, try breeding with her'.
So I took her advice.
In the meantime Opal and Lily died I was devastated, Never thought I would feel like that opal was my first rabbit and I had 5 years with her, she was very close to me. It was bad enough losing her but to lose 2 at the same time was hard.
I took the vets advice and used ruby to breed.... I was shocked she had 13 babies, I thought Oh my god what am I going to do with all these rabbits??
So I raised them, looked after them with the help of Ruby who was a very good mum, and I gave them to good homes, ruby was still nasty with me so I also gave her to a family that could give her what I couldn't because of the way she was with me.
The only rabbit I have now is dacre, he is very much like his mother opal, he is very affectionate, and loving, likes to play and be treated, likes lots of fussing.
He is now 4 years old and quite a character, he has to have alot of time given to him as he has over grown teeth.
Now all the time I was breeding I asked information from vets, pet shops and to be honest they wasn't alot of help to me best thing I found was to just learn yourself and that is what I have done.
There are lots of rabbits that needs homes look at your local rescue centre, don't just go to pet shops as alot of the time on my experience they can be wrong.
Now rabbits need along with lots of attention, plenty of fresh water, hay or straw around 80% of there diet comes from hay, a mixture of either muelsi or pellets, and variety of fresh veg and fruit avoiding anything citrus or strong like leeks onions.
They do not like tough skin fruit and veg.
They need lots of excercise and play time.
Every rabbit is different with there own personality, you will pick up there signs of love and affection such as licking , runing around your feet, and they also make little grunting noises, you can find out about rabbit language by typing in google.
Now tips when buying a rabbit:
1. Make sure you have the room
2. Make sure you have the time and commitment
3. Get advice on what breed, as some can have different temperments
4. Have fun and enjoy them :B
You can find useful information by searching online for the types of breeds, feeding, and extra information you may need.
My boyfriend thought it would be a good idea to get 2 rabbits about 3 years ago now. It was a bit of a random decision, as we just saw them in the shop and decided we wanted them!
We were in pets at home at the time, and we bought a nice big hutch called thistle hall, and everything else they would need with it. I got them bottles, toys, hay, sawdust etc.
I went back the next day once i had set up the hutch and everything. I chose two lop eared rabbits and they cost me £50 for the pair.
This was the best £50 i ever spent! They are lovely pets and i wouldnt be with out them!
I named one rabbit Bluebell, she is a beige and grey colour. She is very naughty, if you put a shoe or anything in front of her she will pick it up in her mouth and thrown it across the room! She can be very moody, but also very loving too. She loves a cuddle and to be stroked. She loves to eat carrots out of your hand and loves to mooch about the house!
The other rabbit is called splash, as she is pure white, with just a few splashes of black on her back and face. She is the opposite of Bluebell and is very shy and doesnt like people. She will only come near you if she wants food! I have never been able to cuddle her or pick her up, she doesnt like people at all. It is a shame she is like that, but her and Bluebell are the best of friends! I could never split them up!
Every morning when you go into the shed to feed them they are cuddled up to each other. I heard two female rabbits will just live together happily forever and this is true! They love each other so much, they love to groom and wash each other which is so sweet to watch!
Rabbits need cleaning out very often as they poo so much! Mine do not poo in just one place, i have never been able to train them although i have tried with litter trays etc. They poo in every corner of the hutch and shed, so we have to clean it out every week at least.
They can be quite expensive if you buy all you straw, sawdust and hay from pet stores such as pets at home. Their products are not very compact and they do not last very long at all.
If you go to a local farm, which have horses you can buy big bales of hay for about £8 which last us about 4 months. Also they sell very compact bags of sawdust which are absolutely huge! They are used for horses afterall! They cost about £5 and last about 6 months. You can alsy buy straw, and from equestrian centres you can buy huge bags of rabbit food which last about a year for £7 which means it is not as expensive as it is from pets at home. I was spending £15 every 2 weeks in pets at home, on food, straw etc.
My rabbits have got a wooden hutch, but as they like to chew everything they can, they have chewed the hutch to bits! There is a brick wedged under one leg to stop if falling over! I would go for maybe a plastic hutch if i were to buy one again.
Also, buy a heavy bowl to put their food in as they tend to stand in the bowls to eat the food and end up tipping them over all the time.
My rabbits have never liked any toy i have ever bought them, they just tend to throw them out the way if you put them in front of them, and they never bother with them!
They absolutely love fresh food. I give them carrots, potato peelings, salad, etc.
They need a good few hours exercise a day, so if you are not home much, do not get rabbits. Mine hate being locked up all day and get very depressed if you dont let them out. I let them out in the garden in all weathers, snow, rain etc. Snow doesnt bother them at all! It annoys them not being able to get to the grass, but the cold doesnt seem to bother them!
I worry about them in the summer as the shed they are in gets so hot, i always have a fan in there for them! Also in the winter you have to be careful and try and keep them warm by putting lots of extra hay in there, and use huggers you can buy in the pet store for their bottles as they freeze up overnight in the winter.
Rabbits cost a lot in vaccinations. Every 6 months it is £35 each for their myxomatosis jabs and they also have one which stops diarrhea.
I have never had to take my rabbits to the vet for anything else, they are easy to look after and rarely get ill!
I love when im washing up or cooking, and just look out the window and seeing the bunnies munching in the garden!
I wouldnt recommend rabbits if you love to have nice flower beds in your garden, as they eat every single plant they can get to! I have no colourful plants left in my garden, but they sure do keep the grass and short! They eat all day and night long, and will eat all your plants.
Rabbits are lovely animals to have as pets, they are great to watch and easy to look after!
I was in a pet shop one day and remember begging my mum for a rabbit :( My mum said NO naturally..we had quite a collection at home already!! But me being a moody 13yr old and asking her over and over again she eventually changed her mind on one condition! We would re-home from a rescue centre. We brought home Jasper and Mouse a few weeks later they were quite big, fully grown males... there was lots of baby rabbits, but the boys had been there a while so we decided to give them a home.
Re-homing from the sspca is the way to go not only are you giving an unwanted, stray or abused animal a place to call home,You find out there medical background and they neuter/spay most animals also .... We had a Sspca officer come to the house before we could bring them home he checked our garden to make sure there was plenty of space, our hutch was a good size etc. My step-dad built a run for the boys only to find them running about outside it about half an hour after they were put in the first time. We ended up building the biggest rabbit run EVER..no need for them to escape because there was plenty of room for them to run about now!!
Rabbits are great pets and love company from other rabbits and humans, they enjoy being able to run about as freely as possible and having a plentiful supply of good quality grass or hay. We bought our hay from a local farmer which cost between £2.50 and£3.00 for a small square bail..much cheaper than buying from the pet shop and lasted a lot longer, also rabbits need mixed meal as well as fruit and veg which has all the vitamins and minerals they need to keep healthy. You can purchase mixed meal from your local pet shop or market and costs around £1.00 per bag per rabbit
Rabbits are not an expensive pet to have, but just like any other animal they need a lot of affection and plenty of TLC.
If you thinking about re-homing an outdoor rabbit from your local rescue centre you will need the following;-
*A friend to keep them company
* Be willing to visit the vets and pay for any necessary vet bills
*A large hutch thats warm and weather proof which you will have to clean regularly to keep clean and dry.
* A large run on a grassy area were the can run a play on dry days
* Bedding for them to snuggle up in
*A plentiful supply of fresh food
*Fresh water on a daily basis
*and lots of love and affection.
Remember rabbits need commitment and can live up to 12yrs if looked after properly.
I originally homed one "female" french lop eared bunny but after a few months realised that the rabbit wasnt very happy to be housed alone. I kept this rabbit as a house rabbit so the rabbit had plenty of human interaction but lacked animal interaction so maybe not the perfect pet for somebody who only has the space/time etc for one. After taking advice I decided to home another female rabbit on advice that two female rabbits would have more chance of bonding. Well they bonded alright.. a few week after bringing the new rabbit home we noticed her acting suspiciously building a nest and sure enough some time later what started off as one rabbit was now two adult rabbits and 5 yes 5 bunnys. So my advice would be if you are planning on keeping more than one rabbit and dont have the intentions of breeding would be to make very certain that you have the sexes you want or have them neutered. Overall rabbits are very enjoyable pets.. it was quite nice to watch the bunnys grow.
Me and Boyfriend own 2 Dwarf Lop house rabbits Lilly and Neo! Both of my rabbits live in the house and are completely house trained now! Athough many people think Rabbits are a childrens pet and not a lot of responsibilty ..think again! I find it quite sad that a lot of rabbits are just kept outside and forgotten about as they need lots of attention and company. After having my bunnies now for quite some time there are part of the family! and each one of them have there own little personalitys! and can often be found lying strecthed out in front of the TV! If you are a parent thinking of getting your child a rabbit please think hard as they really are not a pet you can just leave outside. Rabbits also get used to be handling so at first when you try and handle them they will try and jump away from you. So kids will get disheartned and get bored! After time of being picked up they will get used to you and like coming up to you! There are also so many things that can go wrong with a rabbit you have to be extra careful what you feed them...NO LETTUCE! and do not change there diet..if you do introduce new food slowly as there digestive system does not handle to well with new foods! I would also 100% recommend getting them neutered as there easy to train, will not chew and it stops further underlying health problems in the future!
These really are great pets to have. My bunnies are actually like dogs the way they act and there intelligence! Great little house pets!
I recently adopted two rabbits from the RSPCA and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone considering buying a pet rabbit. Not only are they cheaper, have had full medical check ups, jabs and often are chipped but I could not justify giving my money to a pet shop allowing them to make a profit when the RSPCA has hundreds of the gorgeous little things just waiting for someone to love them!
You must think very carefully before getting a rabbit as a pet as they can require a lot of time and effort. They need lots of room to run around and it is vital they they receive a constant supply of hay in their diet! I was suprised how much there is to learn about them (dietary requirements, care and habbits in particular). You can keep them both inside and out and they can be easily trained. They do prefer to live in pairs (the RSPCA will have done this/do this for you). Mine bimble around the living room but i have had to rearrange it in order to make this possible as they love to nibble things they shouldn't e.g. skirting boards, wires and paperwork.
I continue to be surprised by the little critters, they have such great personalities and are very inquisitive creatures.
Rabbits are popular small pets, especially for children, and are relatively easy to look after, but they still have needs which must be met daily so somebody must be able to fulfill these if the children are away/ ill/ bored with it!
Rabbits are by nature sociable animals so it is best to keep more than one so they have company; two does from the same litter is probably best as unrelated males can fight. Too many rabbits are starved of company and do not have enough exercise or living space. They need a good sized hutch with two compartments, preferably with daytime access to a run, or if not a run that they can be put into for regular exercise.
My rabbit care regime went something like this:
Mornings: Fed dry rabbit food, top up water and hay, remove and replace soiled sawdust.
Afternoon: Placed in run for exercise
Evening: Fed greens
Weekly: Replace all hay and sawdust and newspaper underneath
Monthly: Disinfect and thoroughly rinse hutch
When needed: Clip claws
In winter: Moved hutch into the shed for protection from cold, he then had free run of the shed.
Rabbits can be fed a wide variety of greens but avoid lettuce as this is not good for them. Ask at greengrocers and they may give you spare leaves etc for free. You can also grow carrot tops by putting a cut off carrot top into a saucer of water and the green tops will grow again. these were very popular! Mine also loved dandilion leaves, but check that no chemicals have been used on them first.
There are many varieties of rabbits and it is important to get one suitable for your circumstances. Some breeds are too big for children to handle, and require more space and food. Dwarf rabbits can be a good option for children but still need just as much care and attention. Rabbits temperament can vary. They can be lovely and docile but can bite and scratch badly. Learning to handle them properly can help, but if your rabbits temperament is not ideal you will still have to care for it well. They are popular childrens' pets but think carefully about whether your child is ready for the responsibility. If not a smaller animal may be better. Rabbits are not short lived pets, they can live for 8-10 years. A ten year old child may be mad keen on a rabbit now but will they want to look after it throughout their teenage years?
I would like to write a short paean to the humble bunny rabbit - specifically the joys of owning a house rabbit. I'd like to promote in people's minds the notion that these pets are more than just slightly disappointing, scratchy and bad tempered fur balls that live outside in an old box and are forgotten for a great deal of the time. This is, in fact, the sad fate of many domestic rabbits - one of the most neglected of pets according the the RSPCA. And having shared a house with a rabbit for the last two years it really distresses me that people should treat rabbits in this way. If they knew their rabbit and shared their living space a whole new picture would emerge.
Rabbits have as much personality as a cat or a dog. They are social, affectionate, hilariously funny and capable of meaning as much to you and your children as any other house bound animal. Let me expand.
Mungo is a Rex rabbit, which means he has proper sticky up ears, not floppy ones. His coat is short and as soft and anything I have ever touched. The breed was discovered and bred for this beautiful velvet like fur, and I can see why. We bought Mungo from a local Pets at Home and he has lived inside with us ever since. I cannot imagine life without him now.
Rabbits make ideal pets because a) they don't smell b) they keep themselves very clean c) they can be house-trained d) they enjoy physical pampering!
Cleaning out Mungo's tray takes less than five minutes a week and is not a disagreeable task. Even my son is happy to help. Mungo grooms his own fur several times a week, but is always appreciative of a good brush which we do in the garden to save fur flying around the room. So he is low maintenance.
In terms of pampering Mungo is somewhat ambivalent. He simply loves to have his head stroked (all rabbits do) and will sit for hours on end having this done. In the evening he will sit on the back of the sofa and watch the television with us. Rabbits like to watch tv and nobody really knows why. So he will sit and watch telly while one of us strokes him. The ambivalence is towards being held or cuddled. All rabbits, unless they have been handled extensively from very small babies, will find this a bit of a problem. It is their instinct and should not be taken personally. In the wild something clasping them would be a predator, so it makes them very frightened. It can be overcome to some extent but it is very difficult to get a bunny to feel completely happy being held unless they have that temperament and you have had them from a baby.
The only downside of rabbits in the house is NIBBLING. They will nibble. Carpets especially. Again, this is instinct, and is why they should always have a constant supply of hay at all times. Rabbits left unsupervised in your home are likely to nibble, so you do need to keep a close eye if your rabbit it prone to this. We have an area (hall, stairs and landing) which he is allowed freedom to explore but there is always someone to keep an eye. But it's lovely to see him bombing up the stairs and jumping in the air with excitement. A real delight. He even knows where the hot pipes are now, and after a good jump around will flop down for a rest. We have a specific time for play like this, several times a week and it's just ten to twenty minutes of keeping an eye out. He will go outside into a run when the weather is good whenever possible. But look out for foxes!
There are some good sites about rabbit owning and house rabbits. The best one is fuzzyrabbit.com which is very, very good and has helped a huge amount. The people are very extremely knowledgeable and friendly and have saved me loads in vets bills. You can just post a question and they will answer it. Also there are tons of articles to help you understand rabbits better.
I would not say rabbits are a perfect pet for children personally - better for older children perhaps. See how they get on with guinea pigs first. Rabbits live longer, are not likely to enjoy being handled, and are just not quite as child-friendly. But for me, with an older son, Mungo is perfect. I love his personality (yes, they can be naughty and attention seeking like children!) and his warmth. He will sometimes just reach over and lick your face, which is such a sign of trust it always moves me.
I have had a few rabbits in the past and have one at the moment. Rabbits are a small mammal and generally tend to live outdoors although some people keep them as an indoor pet and house train them.
Rabbits are an ideal pet for both children and pet lovers alike. Apart from being cute and cuddly they don't take up to much of your time. All rabbits need is food and fresh water on a daily basis. Somewhere clean, warm and safe to live and an outside place for exercise.
Before buying a rabbit as a pet you need to buy the equipment I suggest that you buy a reasonably large hutch that has two compartments one for living and one for sleeping. You also need bedding I suggest hay or straw for the bedroom and sawdust for the living area. A bowl for the food and a water bottle for his or her water. You may also need to purchase an enclosed run depending on the area you live in and what other animals you have.
Rabbits need feeding daily with rabbit food that can be brought in pet shops and most supermarkets. They also like carrots,cabbage broccoli stems, apples and weetabix.
Rabbits occasionally need a trip to the vets to have their claws cut and sometimes their teeth filing. There are ways to avoid this to keep the nails sharp I would let my rabbit have as much exercise as possible and with regards to their teeth a branch off of an apple tree for them to knaw on seems to do the trick.
Rabbits have a life span of approximately 8 years.
A great pet for all the family but please think carefully before purchasing any animals.