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Old 05-24-2010, 04:38 PM
Location: Canada
539 posts, read 307,104 times
Reputation: 1577


I used to raise and show rabbits when I was in my late teens - early 20s, starting with a rabbit that I had as a pet. Went for most of my adult life after that without a rabbit in my life, but then about 7-8 years ago decided to have a rabbit again. I presently share my house with two.

Rabbits do not make good pets for young children (or older children who have not been raised around them). They also don't make good pets for adults IF the adult does not first find out what a rabbit requires in way of creature comforts, and "rabbit-proofing" a home. (That said, however, anyone - even an older child - can be taught how to safely handle a rabbit properly.) I've seen far too many rabbits purchased from a store, placed in a small cage by itself and only let out every once in a while, if at all, to exercise and interact. They can be cute and cuddly (which is what the pet store banks on for sales) but that can get old quickly with both child and adult.

Some things to know about rabbits before considering purchase or adoption:

In most cases, rabbits do not like to be held. They will squirm, kick, and - in some cases - bite, to get away. There is always the exception, but as a general rule rabbits balk at being picked up, as it triggers their prey instinct of fight or flight.

A rabbit's skeletal structure is fragile; dropping a rabbit from any height (which often happens when the rabbit fights to get away from being held, and is one of the most common injuries in rabbits) can result in a fractured leg or spine.

A rabbit needs exercise daily, and often. One small rabbit needs plenty of space to be able to run and romp (ever see a happy rabbit exercising? They 'zoom' all over the house, and will leap up the air and just as quickly take off again). The cages that are sold in pet stores for rabbits are pitifully undersized, and of no use for a rabbit.

A rabbit's digestive system differs from a cat or dog. When acquiring a rabbit, do homework on what they can and cannot eat; and always - always - have fresh, clean timothy hay available. The hay assists their digestive tract motility, which is a must to help prevent gut stasis (life-threatening condition, whereby the digestive tract shuts down). Switching foods - even just a brand of rabbit pellet - can cause illness, as their bodies cannot adapt to quick, sudden change.

Rabbits can be litter-trained. They are naturally fastidious animals, and teaching one to use a litter box (not with clay as the litter, as they may eat it and again, cause stasis; horse pellet bedding is much more economical and feasible) is absolutely possible. However, if deciding to have a rabbit that can have free access to the home, or to certain rooms in the home, a house needs to be rabbit-proofed...i.e., no spaces that they can access and get stuck in, absolutely no electrical wires within reach (if you think it's not in their reach, move it anyway), etc.

If you wish to get a rabbit because it's a novel idea and they look cute and cuddly, then maybe another species might be better for you. If you wish to get a rabbit because you understand their requirements, are willing to set up the right environment for them, and don't plan on having them as 'the pet in the cage in the back room', then know that rabbits can be fun, highly entertaining, and can bond with their owners. Consider also the pets that are currently part of the family; dogs, cats, and other species can get along with rabbits, but you really have to know what you're doing...one sudden nip from a dog who is being pestered by the bunny that constantly follows him or her around, or a lashing out from the family cat on a smaller breed of rabbit, can be a quick tragedy.

One more note: My recommendation if you do decide to get a rabbit...go to either a reputable breeder or a local rescue org. Far too many pet stores sell underaged rabbits who become ill from being separated from their moms too early, and from a sudden switch in feed (entritis, or "scours", is often the fatal result). Also research the breeds to see which one might be best. The Brittania Petite, for example, is a very cute, small rabbit, but can be highly excitable and far too hard to handle for the inexperienced. The English lop (one of my favorites, and one of my current house residents) is really much more like a puppy dog than a rabbit; but this breed can come with its own set of problems, including tendency toward ear infections, and spinal or tail injuries simply because of its skeletal structure - long lanky back and long tail.
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:23 AM
43 posts, read 64,978 times
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i have a lovely rabbits, we love it very much,i often take it to park and camping!Very interesting!
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:15 AM
1 posts, read 1,392 times
Reputation: 10
Default Bunnies

I also am on this bunny roll. Though they might be cute, but you have to think about
money wise and time wise. Bunnies take alot of time to take care of and arent easy.
Bunnies are more prone to sickness so that means alot of vet visits and alot of money.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:25 PM
Location: North Western NJ
6,498 posts, read 14,678,431 times
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my bunnies have never been prone to sickness. infact short of weekly nailclips fresh water and good food and hay every day my bunnies are increidbly easy to keep.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:51 PM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
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Sure they do. Plus if you get tired of them you can eat them.

Chickens are good pets too. You do not want them in the house, but they are good pets.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:26 PM
Location: North Western NJ
6,498 posts, read 14,678,431 times
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LOL cold, i have frineds who DO have house chickens...all deends on who you ask what a "pet" is

i have 8 bunnies currently and am hopeflly adding 2 angoras in the next few weeks who will be housed sepertly from my rex.

whil i can say they dont like to be "picked up" as in carried around all 8 of my current bunnies will happily climb in your lap or snuggle wiht you they are quite happy to be held off the ground too as long as they feel secure....but rex are wel known for thier mellow temperments.
ive placed plenty of my rex babies in homes with kids, BUT only after talking to the parents AND tlking to the kids...i reguiarly give "lessons" to future bunnyfolks on how to hold and handle bunnies properly...
I dont think there a good "kids pet" i do think however they cna be a GREAT family pet if everyone is capable of handling the rabbit properly (parental supervision)

bunnies DO make good house pets (suming you keep al wires out fo their way they chew) but my bunnies despite being outdoors are also litterbox trained, i cna bring anyone of them into the house for any reason and they will return to the box to go potty...(and im freuently bringing buns into the housefor snuggle time ect.

the big thing i want to adress here...
BREED AND BREEDER plays a huge roll.

ive found many of the dwarf breeds while adorable and often favored for "kids pets" to be completly the oposite, they tend to have napoleon comlplexes, and are much mroe fragile...so if choosing a bunny for a house with kids, go BIG, rex, english lops, lemmish giants...there much more mellow and alittle less delicate to slightly rougher handling!
rabbits also come in different coat types...
rex for example tend to be great for people with allergies, where as angoras and lionheads and fuzzy lops need DAILY combing and brushing to keep them from matting/tangling great for a quiet little girl whos goal in life is to be a hair dresser...but sucks if youve not go anyone who WNTS to spend time every week playing barber shop!
lops are more prone to ear problems ect...
so choose breeds carefully...
the MEANEST bunny ive ever known was toodles, a TINY netherland dwarf, she made grown men cry, and the sweetest bun ive ever met was roger, a huge flemmish giant who thought he was a dog! (and big enough to be one) he shared the bed with a 6 yr old boy and was his bestest buddy... and pretty much lived life the same way youd expect a dog to...roaming the house, playing with the cat, snuggling by the tv ect...
and bunnies can have LONG lifespans...

this is not a "throw away pet"
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:31 PM
Location: Canada
539 posts, read 307,104 times
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so if choosing a bunny for a house with kids, go BIG, rex, english lops, flemmish giants...there much more mellow and alittle less delicate to slightly rougher handling
I agree wholeheartedly to this! When I was (much) younger I used to have smaller-breed rabbits...raised and showed Polish for a number of years, had a Netherland dwarf or two, etc. And while the smaller bunnies all had their own unique personalities, I've found that in general (there is always the exception or three), the larger the breed, the more laid-back and easy to handle they are. Right now I have two rabbits, one is a 12-lb English lop. He is the biggest cuddle-bunny I've ever met, biggest personality, and wouldn't hurt a fly. He hates being picked up but will not kick or struggle, and if he is frightened by something, doesn't lash out as some smaller breeds might. A few years ago he went through a rather bad bout of sore hocks, and every day I had to clean and treat his hind feet twice a day. He hated every second of it, yet tolerated the washing of the (sore) area, accepted my applying cream, and sat there semi-quietly throughout. Of course he emphasized his displeasure once I was done by promptly running away, directly into his room where he would sit and sulk for several minutes...but then, every time, he'd return a few minutes later, hop up onto the sofa next to me, and would nudge me with his nose. I tend to think of these guys - and all of the other large breed rabbits - as the 'gentle giants' - because that's truly what they are. My bunny, Yofi, has put up with a lot in his life...not only the sore hocks, but a life-threatening infection that had developed on his chest and went deep into the bone (vet finally pinpointed it to a bacteria infection that was related to the flesh-eating virus; it's a miracle that he survived), and throughout this one Yofi was forced to wear a cone on his head for several months. Ever want to see a mad bunny? Put a cone on him and leave it there. Yofi definitely expressed his dislike of the attire, but even during his worst days he would greet me with kisses on my hand and a nose nudge.

Here's Yofi (with his partner-in-crime, Anna):

and during his 'cone' days:

How's that for an angry bunny face??
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:07 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
33,744 posts, read 29,448,857 times
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this bunny likes to take a shower

Bunny Loves Taking His Morning Shower! | Facebook
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:53 AM
Location: North Western NJ
6,498 posts, read 14,678,431 times
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basset, hes BEAUTIFUL!
e-lops are a soft spot of mine but there just too expensive for my pocket book right now...

i love the velveteen lops too (english lop x mini rex) and lways have dreams of stritng my onw GIANT velveteens (e.lop x standard rex) those big loppy ears with the rexy coat *drools*
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