Friday, December 18, 2009

Are Rabbits Right for You?

Before I got my first rabbit I wondered if rabbits were right for me. I wasn't sure because I didn't know what rabbits were like. Do I get an older rabbit, or a baby? What do I need for housing? What do they eat? Will they destroy my stuff?Just like any other animal, all rabbits are different. Some are needy, some are pushy, some love pets, some hate pets, some are skittish, and some are right in the thick of any trouble. If you have kids, they must be supervised around rabbits. Sometimes rabbits don't like being picked up. If you have other pets, you cannot leave them alone with rabbits until you are 100% sure nothing bad will happen. Rabbits take daily care just like any other pet. Do not leave your rabbit's well being up to your child. They are an adult pet.

Should I get a baby rabbit or an older rabbit? Babies tend not to be litter trained. Babies take a little more patience. I got Steve when he was a baby and he liked to leave poop everywhere. It isn't a big deal with poop because a dust buster cleans that up quickly. I also had two babies born from a foster rabbit, and they learned to use the litter box from their mother. They also learned to drink from a bottle from her. As soon as they are old enough get them altered. This helps with the litter training. Plus, baby rabbits are so darn cute!

Babies also haven't shown their true personality yet. It's a lottery with babies. They haven't had the hormonal shifts yet. They haven't lived through adolescence. It is difficult to predict later on what you will encounter. Older rabbits will already display their personality. For example, you will know if they like to climb on the table when you leave the chair out.

Just like babies, rescue rabbits are difficult to read when you first get them. They are skittish and they are scared. Consistency is key with rescue rabbits. Consistent food, consistent water, consistent hay, consistent treats, consistent litter cleaning. Feed them the same time every day. From my experience rescue rabbits tend to be crazy about water, or hay, or food, or pellets. One rabbit I couldn't keep enough water in his bottle. Another, not enough hay. Another scarfs down veggies, and pellets quickly. This is normal. Until they gain trust in getting consistent food, this will happen.

So should you get a rabbit?

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