February is ASPCA’s Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month. If you are planning on adopting a small pet, a rabbit can be a great choice! They can be trained to use a litter box, they’ll come when called, and some will engage their owners in a daily game of tag! Domestic rabbits are delightful companion animals. They are inquisitive, intelligent, sociable and affectionate—and if well-cared for, indoor rabbits can live for seven to ten or more years.
Remember that rabbits, although very soft and cuddly looking, don’t usually like to be picked cuddled by their human friends. If your household has small children, be aware that they will have to show some restraint with the new family member. Thousands of rabbits are abandoned each year because they scratched a small child when picked up. Rabbits can’t make vocal noises when they are afraid like a dog who might yelp if injured. Instead they attempt to defend themselves with what they have, their teeth and nails! Be careful with bunny, they’re surprisingly fragile!
In addition, many rabbits have been surrendered to shelters because of destructive behavior. In most cases, their owners likely failed to provide them with appropriate toys to fulfill their natural urges to dig and chew. Safe chew toys include cardboard boxes, an old telephone directory (that’s no joke!) or commercially made chew sticks. You bun will greatly appreciate his own digging box, such as a cardboard box filled halfway with soil or shredded paper.
Another way to prevent destruction from bunny is to make sure he gets lots of exercise. Be sure that when you take your bun out he is observed at all times. When left alone curious minds tend to wander…
Soft and mild mannered, your new fur baby will enjoy a varied diet of timothy hay, pellets, and fresh leafy greens for a balanced diet. He will need an enclosure that is large enough for him to hop around in, and he will need his bedding changed regularly. Rabbits pens can become a real mess if not properly maintained! Rabbits are very clean by nature, and will do their best to keep their living quarters clean, but they can’t remove waste from their area themselves. They will usually choose a corner for the potty, so once that becomes apparent put a nice pad of newspapers there and you can easily wrap up any waste to throw out. Lastly, Be sure if you have more than one rabbit, particularly of varied genders, that all animals are spayed and neutered. There’s a reason for that old adage!
This is just a little info about caring for house bunnies. If you want to know more check out the ASPCA’s page on rabbit care.