What You Need When You Get A Rabbit
How to Buy a Rabbit
Rabbits are very cute animals, which can make them irresistible as pets. Even with their floppy ears, twitching noses, and cute faces, rabbits require a high level of care.By taking the time to make a well-informed decision to buy and care for a rabbit, you will help your rabbit live a long and happy life.
Buying a Rabbit
Do not buy your rabbit from a pet store.Rabbits in pet stores likely come from mass-breeding facilities,which tend to be more focused on turning a profit than providing a healthy environment in which to breed and raise animals. In addition, young rabbits in pet stores may be especially prone to digestive problems,given the stress of living in a pet store and the significant dietary changes.
- When you visit a pet store, ask the staff about where the animals come from. Reconsider buying a rabbit from a pet store if you cannot verify that the rabbits came from a reputable breeder, animal shelter, or rabbit rescue.
Buy your rabbit through a local animal shelter or rescue group.Compared with the staff at a pet store, the staff at an animal shelter or rescue group is more likely to have in depth knowledge of rabbit care.In addition, rabbits tend to be healthier and better socialized at an animal shelter or rescue group than a pet store.
- Visit the shelter or rescue group before purchasing your rabbit. Ask questions about how the organization cares for its rabbits, how rabbits are determined to be adoptable, the process of adopting a rabbit, and what post-adoption care is available.
- Animal shelters and rescue groups often partner together to find good homes for the rabbits in their care.
- Visit the websites and (House Rabbit Society) if you are unsure about where to find animal shelters or rabbit rescue groups in your area.
- Also consider finding a rabbit through private rabbit adoption agencies.
- Rabbits from shelters are usually cheaper than rabbits from pet shops or breeders, since they're usually desexed, vaccinated, wormed and microchipped, while most pet shop rabbits and many breeder rabbits are not. They might cost a bit more at the shelter, but in the long run it will be cheaper to buy them there, since desexing, microchipping, vaccinating and worming rabbits can cost you hundreds of dollars.
Buy a rabbit from a reputable rabbit breeder.Buying your rabbit from a rabbit breeder is another option. Be aware, though, that not all breeders provide the proper rabbit care or are even knowledgeable about proper breeding practices. Unfortunately, some breeders may simply be trying to make money on the side
- To identify a reputable breeder, ask for recommendations from an exotic veterinarian or a trusted friend who owns rabbits. You can also visit rabbit shows to learn about rabbit breeders in your area
- A good breeder should be motivated by a genuine love for what they do, not solely by profit. They should be happy to provide with information about rabbits. They should also check to see if their customers are capable of looking after rabbits.
- When you visit the breeder, take a close look at the breeding facility. It should be clean and well maintained, and the rabbits should be healthy and happy.
- Ask the breeder about his or her breeding practices, and ask to see breeding and genetics records.
- A reputable breeder should be able to provide you with references of others who have purchased rabbits from him or her. In addition, he or she should have a good relationship with an exotic veterinarian.
- If you are interested in a particular breeder, make sure that he or she provides you with a written health guarantee. The breeder should give you time to read through and understand the guarantee before you purchase a rabbit.
Check the rabbit for signs of illness.Although a rabbit from a reputable animal shelter, rescue group, or breeder is likely to be healthy, it is still a good idea to check the rabbit for signs of illness. For example, if the rabbit has a runny nose or has trouble breathing, he may have a respiratory infection. If the rabbit is tilting his head, he may have an inner ear infection.
- If you are not sure how to examine the rabbit, ask the breeder, animal shelter staff, or an exotic veterinarian to walk you through a physical exam of the rabbit. They can help you understand the signs of health and illness.
- If the rabbit appears ill, ask about how the rabbit would be treated, and if the rabbit would still be adoptable following treatment.
Buy a rabbit when it is the proper age.A rabbit should not be bought until it is at least eight weeks old. By this age, the rabbit will be fully weaned from his mother and will be able to eat solid foods.Wherever you buy your rabbit, make sure that they do not sell rabbits that are less than eight weeks old—this could be a sign of unethical breeding practices.
Consider buying more than one rabbit.Rabbits are very social animals, and can get very lonely without a mate.That being said, it is not quite as simple as buying two or more rabbits at a time. Rabbits can be very picky about their mates,so you will need to put some thought into owning multiple rabbits.
- It is recommended to have male-female pairings, but same-sex pairings can work as well.Two females should be fine, but two males will usually fight.
- Make sure the rabbits are neutered or spayed before putting them together. Intact rabbits can display aggressive behavior towards their mates, as well as develop a destructive chewing habit, due to sexual frustration.
- It may be helpful to set up a time and neutral area for the two rabbits to meet. Animal shelters may have a separate room where rabbits can interact with each other. This would help you determine whether the pairing will work.
Purchase the initial supplies.Your rabbit will need a number of supplies in order to live a happy and healthy life at your home. For example, you will need a large, multi-level enclosure, which can be purchased at your local pet store.In addition, you will need food dishes, a water bottle, a litter box with litter, and plenty of chew toys.
- You will also need to purchase bedding (e.g., aspen chips, paper, straw) to line the bottom of the enclosure.
- A litter scoop and disinfectant will be useful for cleaning your rabbit’s cage.
- Your rabbit will also need a “nest” box in which he can sleep and rest.
- In addition to purchasing fresh vegetables from the grocery store, you should also purchase fresh pellets and hay from the pet store to feed your rabbit.
- The staff at your local pet store can give you additional assistance with purchasing all of the necessary supplies for your rabbit.
Deciding to Buy a Rabbit
Calculate the costs of owning a rabbit.The initial and long-term costs of owning a rabbit can add up quickly. Initial costs are usually between 0 and 0, and long-term care may cost you about 00/year—not including veterinary care.Before you buy a rabbit, analyze your budget to determine if you can comfortably afford to care for one.
- Initial costs include housing, food dishes, electrical cord protectors (rabbits like to chew), a litter box, and toys.
- Ongoing costs include fresh vegetables, hay, and litter.
- Incidental costs, such as veterinary care and furniture and toy replacement,can increase the cost of care.
Determine if you have enough time to own a rabbit.Having a pet rabbit can be time consuming. For example, you would need to feed your rabbit twice daily, tidy his cage once daily, and thoroughly clean his cage once a week.In addition, you would need to provide your rabbit with daily mental stimulation (e.g., chew toys, playtime).
- Your rabbit would need at least one hour per day of playtime outside of his cage (e.g., play pen, rabbit-proof room).
- Healthy pet rabbits can live up to 10 years.Think about whether you are ready to make a 10-year commitment to care for a rabbit.
Learn about rabbit temperaments.Just like other animals, rabbits can have different personalities and temperaments. Some may enjoy being held, and others may resist being held so much that they will injure themselves trying to escape.Some rabbits may enjoy being petted,and others may not care for much human interaction.
- Being aware of these temperaments, and others, may help you determine if having a pet rabbit is right for you.
- A rabbit’s personality is often influenced by how it has been socialized with people.
- Rabbits may not be a good choice if you have young children, since young children may not understand that a rabbit does not necessarily like to be held and cuddled.
Decide what breed of rabbit you would like.There are nearly 50 rabbit breeds that are recognized in the United States.It may seem like an arduous task to research all breeds, but it would certainly be time well spent. It is important to note that some breeds make good pets, and others are better suited for shows or breeding.
- Popular pet rabbit breeds include the Lionhead rabbit, the English lop, and the Dutch rabbit.
- The website is an excellent source of information about the rabbit breeds that are recognized in the United States.
- Consider talking with rabbit owners, exotic veterinarians, or rabbit breeders for additional guidance on choosing a pet rabbit breed.
Determine what age rabbit you would like.As cute as they are, baby rabbits like to chew on just about everything. The chewing action helps them strengthen their jaw muscles and learn about their environment,but can mean destruction if you do not keep an eye on them. In addition, baby rabbits do not like to be held for very long,which could lengthen the time it takes for the rabbit to bond with you.
- ‘Teenage’ rabbits (around three months old) are very energetic and can get bored easily.If you want a teenage rabbit, make sure you have enough toys and extra time to keep him entertained.
- Adult rabbits, when spayed or neutered, are more amenable to being held. Adult rabbits are probably suitable if you have young children.
Decide whether you want a male or female rabbit.Females tend to be grumpy, and males tend to be aggressive, before being spayed or neutered.Although the choice is yours, it may be less important to choose a sex than to ensure that the rabbit is spayed or neutered before you purchase it.
Find out if anyone in your household is allergic to rabbits.People can be allergic to rabbits, or to the hay that rabbits eat.An allergist will be able to determine if you or anyone in your home has a rabbit or hay allergy.
- If an allergy is identified, consider finding another type of animal to own as a pet.
- One reason rabbits end up in shelters is because the owner, or a member of the owner’s household, is allergic to rabbits or hay.Identifying these allergies beforehand can prevent the emotional hardship of having to give your rabbit to an animal shelter or rescue group.
QuestionWhat rabbits make the best pets?
Doctor of Veterinary MedicineDoctor of Veterinary MedicineExpert AnswerAlmost any rabbit that is socialized to humans can make a good pet. Rabbits are good pets as long as they are provided the right housing.Thanks!
QuestionWill the bunny get scared when I'm not home?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerRabbits spend their time eating and sleeping. As long as the rabbit has a shelter to hide in, this is like a wild rabbit going down a burrow, and she is unlikely to be scared when you aren't there. However, rabbits can get bored, so make her hutch and run an interesting place for her to be by providing interactive toys and activities. Simple things, like hiding small amounts of food under upturned flower pots, can encourage foraging behavior and provide mental stimulation. Likewise, stuff cardboard tubes (such as toilet roll inner) with hay so the rabbit gets the double interest of chewing the cardboard to get to the hay. You could even try putting dry food in a puzzle feeder.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I help my rabbit stop stressing out?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerRabbits are prey animals, and stress is a default position if they feel anxious or unsafe. Key to reducing stress is to build their self-confidence and help them feel safe. Start with basics, such as siting the hutch in a quiet corner, well away from other pets and a noisy TV. Make sure the rabbit has a shelter where she can hide, and that part of the hutch is covered so she has a dark area to escape to when fearful. Rather than pick her up if she is frightened, gently encourage her to come to you with food treats. Be patient, because it could take weeks or months. Once she learns she's safe, then she'll stop stressing.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I figure out whether a breeder is a good one or not?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerDo some research online, including rabbit forums, and ask around locally about the breeder's reputation. Do they have a website? If so, look for testimonials and photos that indicate the rabbits are well cared for. Turn up at the breeder's premises unexpectedly and ask to have a look around. Do the facilities look clean and the rabbits well cared for? Ask for the contact details of people who have purchased rabbits from and chat to them about their experiences with that breeder. Also, a good breeder will have as many questions to ask you as you have of them, because they want their rabbits to go to good, loving homes.Thanks!
QuestionHow much money does a rabbit cost from a pet shop?
Doctor of Veterinary MedicineDoctor of Veterinary MedicineExpert AnswerIt ranges, from free to a couple hundred dollars. A standard ballpark is to .Thanks!
QuestionHow do you get it to not bite?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGive the rabbit time. It can take up to three months of ongoing human contact to get the rabbit to like being held. Just give the rabbits a little contact with you each day, and eventually it will open up and not react by biting.Thanks!
QuestionI'm a student. Will my rabbit get bored when I'm at school?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerProbably, it depends on what personality it has. If it is a very friendly rabbit consider getting your parents to fuss it while you are gone.Thanks!
QuestionDo I have to buy more than one rabbit?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, however if you will not be able to spend lots of time with it, it is recommended you do to give your rabbit company.Thanks!
QuestionHow will the rabbit react once I take it home?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerEach animal is different, but generally, most rabbits are scared for a few days, up to a week, and mostly sit inside their hut or hiding place, so make sure you provide one. Do not pet your rabbit much during that time, as he needs to get used to his new home. Give your rabbit hay, food and water two times per day. After a couple of days, you can start petting your rabbit and maybe take him out on the floor or the garden.Thanks!
QuestionIs it ok to leave a rabbit home with a hamster instead of another rabbit?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. Rabbits are way bigger than hamsters and they can seriously injure the hamster or kill it.Thanks!
To buy a rabbit, start by visiting your local animal shelter and seeing if they have a rabbit you like, since animals from shelters tend to be healthier and better socialized than those from a pet store. Alternatively, use petfinder.com to search for a rabbit before heading out to a rescue organization. You can also ask your veterinarian for a recommendation for a reputable rabbit breeder, and contact them directly about buying a rabbit. Either way, make sure to examine the rabbit for signs of illness, like a runny nose or head tilting, before you bring it home.
- Rabbits are among the most frequently surrendered pets to animal shelters.Do your research to determine if you are willing and able to care for a rabbitbeforeyou buy one.
- Rabbits usually do not make good pets for young children, due to the fact that rabbits generally do not enjoy being cuddled and become easily stressed from sudden noise and movements.
- Rabbits should be spayed or neutered between three and a half and six months of age.Usually, a male rabbit should be neutered when his testicles drop (become visible outside of his body).
- Spaying and neutering reduces territorial marking, aggression, and the tendency to chew.
- Rabbits’ chewing can be very destructive.Provide your rabbit with plenty of chew toys, and replace them frequently.
- Rabbits can injure themselves, and may bite people, in an attempt to escape from being held.
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