Rabbits are cute.
If you are considering adopting a bunny, you should know this: rabbits are absolutely adorable. Their cute little noses point upwards and their big eyes have a somewhat comical expression that just makes you want to hug them all day long!
Another great thing about rabbits is that they’re a lot of fun to watch. Of course, when I say “watch”, I mean that it can be very entertaining to watch your rabbit play, dig and run around the house. When my wife and I first adopted our two rabbits, they were very playful and would spend hours exploring every nook and cranny in our apartment (and sometimes into the kitchen cabinets while we weren’t looking).
Rabbits can live 8+ years.
Rabbits have a lifespan of 8-10 years, and in some cases, they can live longer than that. Keeping your rabbit indoors will give him or her the opportunity to have more exercise time, a healthier diet and lower stress levels. Rabbits who are kept outdoors are exposed to elements, predators and diseases which can result in shorter lifespans for rabbits.
Rabbits need a large, sturdy cage or enclosure.
Like dogs and cats, rabbits are much happier when they have a space of their own that is theirs alone. Unlike cats and dogs, though, rabbits need a large, sturdy cage or enclosure to keep them safe. This enclosure should be at least 6ft by 4ft, on the ground (as opposed to on a table or other surface), and accessible 24/7. Your bunny should not be able to escape from the cage nor chew through it.
Rabbits will chew everything they can get their teeth on.
One of the most important things to know about rabbits is that they chew on everything. Their teeth grow continuously and they need to grind their teeth down. This means that if you don’t let them chew on toys or chews sticks, they will chew on furniture and other items such as electrical cords. It is also very important for rabbits to chew on things to keep themselves healthy because the chewing helps move food through their digestive system. This can cause problems if they are not able to gnaw down their teeth with natural chewing behaviors and when they don’t have enough fiber in their diet. So, it is very important that owners provide appropriate things for rabbits to chew on and make sure that there are no objects around the rabbit that are potentially dangerous for them to chew such as electrical cords or furniture legs.
Rabbits use litter boxes.
Bunny parents often don’t realize how easy it is to litter box train a rabbit until they are faced with the task. The truth is that rabbits are clean animals and will naturally seek out a spot to go to the bathroom. If you place your bunny into his or her litter box, they will more than likely use it!
If you have ever wanted to convince your friends that rabbits are not gross animals, this is a great opportunity to do so. Rabbits eat their own poop and your house might not smell like roses when they leave you little presents on the floor, but they will go in their litter boxes most of the time. When you bring home your new friend, I recommend setting up a room for them at first with everything they need (food and water bowl, toys) inside of their cage. This way when you move them in to explore larger areas of the home over time they will still have a space that feels familiar and safe.
Hay should be the primary ingredient in your rabbit’s diet.
Hay should be the primary ingredient in your rabbit’s diet, and though you might think rabbits need a lot of pellets, this isn’t true! A rabbit should be fed 1/2 to 1 cup of pellets per day; the rest of their diet should consist primarily of hay. If your bunny eats only pellets, they are likely to become obese and develop GI stasis. Hay must make up the majority of your rabbit’s diet.
In addition to hay, rabbits need a variety of fresh vegetables and greens every day (the more green veggies like broccoli or kale, the better!). Give them one cup total daily—a mix that includes at least four different kinds of veggies is best. Carrots are okay for rabbits as treats but not as a staple food because they’re high in sugar.
Rabbits are social animals, and need a friend to cuddle up with.
Before you decide to adopt a rabbit, you should know that bunnies are social animals and can get lonely. They need a friend to cuddle up with, even if they are already fixed. You don’t want your bunny to be lonely, so it’s important to consider adopting more than one bunny.
Adopting a bunny is a big commitment
Adopting a bunny is a serious commitment. While bunnies are cute and snowy-soft, it’s important to remember that they’re living animals with needs of their own.
A bunny is not a cuddly toy with its stuffing removed. In fact, rabbits are very social creatures and should live in pairs; you should be prepared to adopt two bunnies if you want to become a parent (or “bunrent”? I can’t think of an appropriate word at the moment).
Bunnies also need room to move around and play, so having a large cage or enclosure for your bunnies is essential. Wire cages are ideal because they’re sturdy and don’t fall apart when your bunnies start chewing on them, which is something all young rabbits do.
Additionally, you’ll need to provide plenty of food for your new pets. Hay should be the main ingredient in their diet; most pet stores will sell hay specifically made for rabbit consumption.