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Pet Care and Bunny Moments: Pleasures and Perils of Owning and Caring for a Rabbit
What do you need to know before you adopt a bunny rabbit?
The Unconditional Love of Having a Bunny
Among my menagerie of pets, I have a sweet rabbit named Peaches. He is a long floppy eared bunny, also known as a French Lop Rabbit. He fits in our family wonderfully. I could tell you my rabbit is the smartest bunny in the world, but I don’t have any stories to prove or disprove this. I could tell you he is the most handsome bunny in the world, and I do think he is. I could tell you my bunny can do great tricks and he is the most entertaining rabbit anywhere, but I don’t have any stories either. But it doesn’t matter, because I know he is all of these things, with a great personality too. I love him like I do, my other pets that are part of my life.
The amazing thing about unconditional love, is that Peaches doesn’t have to do anything except be himself, for us to derive pleasure from him. He is very quiet and doesn’t chew on wires when I let him out of the cage. That makes me happy. He is pretty good about doing his business in his cage and not around the house. This makes me happy too. He is comfortable sitting right next to my dogs. He doesn’t run from my cats. He likes to sit on the floor under the bird cage and contemplate about whatever bunnies think about. He gets all excited when I give him a variety of fresh vegetables, hay and other special treats. His favorite hobby is to stretch out in such a relaxed pose, that more than once we ran over to make sure he was breathing. When I open the door to the cage, often he will voluntarily hop back in. Sometimes he will wander, and I don’t know where he is. At this point, I enlist my Golden Retriever, Bonnie, who will joyfully search and find him for me.
Peaches the Bunny Rabbit
Peaches is 4 years old, and we have had him from birth. He is great for recycling the cardboard tubes of the used up paper towels. Peaches has his own personality, and is a special part of our family. He doesn’t have to do a lot of exciting things. He is just sweet and fun and we love him. If you are looking to adopt a rabbit, you can have similar stories to me.
There are some very important things to know about rabbits before you take one in as a pet.
- Taking care of a rabbit is a commitment. Their lifespan can be as long as 10 years. They depend on you for food, water, and a clean environment.
- Rabbits can be litter boxed trained, but it is by no means a simple task. You really have to work out. Cats are taught by their mothers. You must teach your rabbit and it takes a lot of patience.
- Rabbits do best in a home where the wires are bunny proofed. Peaches once chewed on the printer wires just because they were there. Luckily the printer wasn’t plugged in. The printer wasn’t so lucky, though.
- If your rabbit doesn’t feel well, you need to go to a vet who knows about rabbits. Otherwise they may prescribe an antibiotic that can rid their stomach of the good bacteria they need and cause further harm to your rabbit.
- Your rabbit needs exercise, stimulation, and affection.
- Vinegar is an excellent and safe cleanser for their cage.
- Rabbits are not demanding.
- Recent studies have shown many health benefits for pet owners, including reduced blood pressure.
- Rabbits frighten easily and are quite timid. If they get scared enough from noises and other situations, they can die from fright, because they have zero defenses, except to run. If they can’t run, they may give up.
- Rabbits can bite
- Their nails need trimming on a regular basis, so they don’t scratch you.
- Rabbits do well with a mixture of commercially made rabbit food and fresh fruits and vegetables. Never feed your rabbit celery, or iceberg lettuce. Believe it or not, this can be dangerous for your rabbit’s health.
- If you have young children, make sure they treat your bunny with care.
- A bunny should never be pulled up or tugged on by their ears.
There Are Over 40 Different Breeds of Rabbits
Do Research Before You Adopt a RabbitThere are over 40 variety of breeds of rabbits that the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognizes. The main difference between breeds of rabbits is their cost, their looks and their size. It is a personal preference of which breed of rabbit may be best for you. Do your research on the different breeds before you decide on which rabbit to buy.
For more information you can contact The American Rabbit Breeders Association, (ARBA) which is a 24,000 member organization that works to improve the awareness and care of rabbits and guinea pigs (cavies) in the U.S, Canada and throughout the world. The ARBA
even holds rabbit shows. Do your research. www.arba.net is a great place to start gathering information about the different breeds and about caring for your rabbit.
Al the Pug Watches Peaches the Bunny
A Bunny Has No Choice... You Must Do the Right Thing
Choosing to bring a rabbit into your home needs to be a carefully made decision. If you can’t fulfill the responsibility to take care of them, think about what will happen to the bunny. If you let them go to roam and live outside on their own (definitely not a good idea), they will be scared and defenseless. In all liklihood they will not survive on their own. If you leave them on the doorstep of pet stores, which happens often, (Many times my local pet store has called me to help them find a home for an abandoned bunny) this, too is terrible for the rabbit. They are forced to live in a cage in the store, with not much affection or attention, until they get a home, and then they may not make a suitable pet, due to the conditions they were left with. I strongly urge you to give this situation serious consideration before you take on the obligation. The bunny rabbit has no choices, you must do the right thing.
Bringing a bunny into your home can be a wonderful, fun, and rewarding addition to your family, if you can give the bunny a good home and a good life. Choose wisely.
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