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Every spring when Easter rolls around, many families decide to surprise their children with more than some chocolate and trinkets in their Easter baskets. A lot of children will wake up on Easter morning to find their very own, real life Easter bunny as a gift. Each year a lot of rabbits are purchased as Easter gifts and sadly, those rabbits are soon forgotten. It is estimated that 80 percent of bunnies purchased on Easter are abandoned. This is incredibly sad. Bringing a bunny into your family isn’t something to take lightly. Bunnies are not just fun for Easter. They require a big commitment and a lot of care. If you take on rabbit ownership with the responsibility it requires, a rabbit can be an amazing new furry family member.
Before you stop by the pet store on Easter weekend, here’s what you need to know about owning a bunny beyond Easter.
Bunnies are cute. We get it. That little bitty bundle of fluff would look beyond adorable in an Easter basket, and yes, your Easter photos will be amazing. However, a little baby bunny is not a toy or a photo prop. A bunny is a living, breathing creature, and bringing one into your home is a real responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Buying any animal without considering the needs of the animal and how it will fit into your home for its ENTIRE LIFE EXPECTANCY is grossly irresponsible.
Rabbits have a long life expectancy, 10-12 years to be exact. That baby bunny in the Easter basket will grow quickly and live a long time. Please do not get a rabbit for Easter unless you plan on celebrating 10-12 more Easters with that rabbit. Rabbits are intelligent animals. They need stimulation. They need social interaction. They enjoy being with their “family”, and they need to stretch those bunny legs everyday. If you want a pet that can stay in a cage around the clock and just get fed once a day, get a fish.
Rabbits are a wonderful pet. Here are some of the traits that allow them to fit so nicely into the right family:
- They are quiet. No howling at the neighbors or chirping all day long.
- They bond closely with their owners.
- They are easily trained to use a litter box, and can do tricks.
- They need less space than larger animals. While rabbits need space to roam around, they don’t need a large backyard or lengthy walks twice a day.
- They are very clean and very cute!
If you have considered all the factors and still want to add a rabbit to your family, consider adoption. Maybe even wait until a little while after Easter. With the extremely high rate of abandonment of Easter bunnies, there are sure to be a lot of them showing up in your local shelter. Give a homeless Easter bunny another chance with adoption!
The Perfect Home
You know that your rabbit doesn’t need to be caged 24 hours a day, but you do need a safe place for him to call his own. Rabbits, when left unattended, will chew on things, like wires. That is not safe and kind of annoying, so having an enclosed area or cage for any house bunny is a good idea. We discovered a very nice indoor hutch, so nice in fact, it is called the Park Avenue Hutch.
Your bunny will be living a life of luxury during his time in his safe space with the EcoFLEX Habitat n’ Home Park Avenue Hutch from New Age Pet. This hutch is designed to be indoors, which is the safest place for a rabbit. Rabbits kept outside in the elements live much shorter lives than house rabbits. It is stylish and won’t look odd inside your home. It blends in easily with your decor. We love that it is eco-friendly, made with a composite of non-toxic recycled polymers and wood. Check out all these fabulous features for you and your bunny to love:
- Moisture and odor resistant
- Easy to clean with a clean out drawer
- Clear front for viewing your bunny when he is inside
- Hinged lid that lifts open for easy access
- Two level design with house for the rabbit
- No tools required for assembly
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
A Bunny’s Diet
Rabbit pellets are not a full diet for a rabbit. Rabbits need a mix of different foods like hay, veggies, pellets, and fresh water. The majority of a rabbit’s diet should be hay. He should have access to hay and fresh water all the time. They love timothy hay, and it can be purchased in bulk from a local farmer for cheaper than buying bagged hay from a pet store. Hay provides a rabbit with fiber and is good for their teeth. Rabbits need a variety of vegetables. Some veggies that rabbits like include celery, collard greens, romaine or dark leaf lettuce (never iceberg!), mint, and kale. Rabbit pellets should be high in fiber and low in protein, and limit pellet intake so you don’t end up with an obese rabbit. If you want to give your rabbit a treat, fruit is great when given in moderation. Rabbits like strawberries, bananas, pineapple, and apples (with no seeds). Do not buy “rabbit treats” from a pet store. Those treats are usually harmful to rabbits, so they aren’t a treat at all!
Your bunny will need to see a veterinarian at least once a year. They don’t require annual vaccines, but rabbits need a check up! Besides an annual check up, here are some other reasons a rabbit may need the care of a veterinarian:
- Spay/Neuter – You need to get any rabbit fixed once they are old enough for that surgery.
- Teeth – If your rabbit has malocclusion of their teeth, meaning that their teeth are misaligned, causing them to grow excessively long, a vet will need to trim them regularly.
- Nails – Need to be trimmed every month or so. A vet can show you how to do it at home or trim them for you.
- Fever – A normal temperature for a rabbit is 101 degrees.
- Poop – Diarrhea is not common in rabbits and is a sign that something is wrong. It can quickly lead to dehydration.
We hope this information about bunny rabbits will help you make an informed decision this spring when it comes to adding a rabbit to your home. If you have more questions or concerns about rabbit ownership, you should contact your local veterinarian. Never make an emotional decision when it comes to deciding when to buy or adopt a pet. Just because a small child asks for a pet does not mean you have to oblige. Everyone in your family should be on board with bringing a bunny into your home, and everyone should understand the responsibilities and commitment involved. If you do decide that a rabbit is the right pet for your family, you can look forward to a fulfilling and fun relationship with your new furry friend.
Just remember, don’t get a bunny for Easter unless you want to celebrate the next 10-12 Easters with that bunny. If that sounds like too much, a chocolate bunny is the way to go!
Are you currently searching for the perfect pet? Here are 5 Things To Consider Before Adopting A Pet.
Photo Credits: Kristen D.