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Keeping A Pet Rabbit

Updated on May 1, 2011

wild rabbit

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pet rabbit

Rabbit are cute and cuddly with warm furry bodies. Springtime brings the wild rabbits out to bask in the sun and eat the leafy green grass as well as some of your leafy green plants that are growing in your flower beds.

Did you know it is illegal for an unlicensed individual to possess a wild animal even if it is a baby? Any wild animal, even rabbits, are considered to be exotic. If you find an abandoned baby rabbit, you must call the Game Commission or a wildlife rehabilitation center in your state.

This was news to me. When I was 5 years old, the neighborhood kids use to play in a field across from our subdivision. There were some trees sprinkled about that was home to rabbits, squirrels, and many other small creatures. We liked to watch them play.

My friends and I would overhear the older children talking about catching a rabbit. They said if you sprinkled its tail with salt, you could catch one when he shook the salt off. I believed them. So I set a goal to catch my very own rabbit but I can’t remember if I used the salt shaker.

Because I was so small, I lay down on the ground beside a small dead tree limb; I would peep over the top waiting for my rabbit. It took me a while of waiting and watching but eventually, I saw a rabbit just on the other side of the tree limb with its back to me. I reached over and grabbed it.

I was so proud! I went to everyone in the neighborhood to show them my rabbit but when I showed my mother she wasn’t very happy. Besides, girls and women wore dresses back then and that rabbit had wet all over my dress multiple times. I kept the rabbit overnight and mother talked me into releasing it the next day. Catching the rabbit was one of the highlights of my childhood but I never had the desire to own another one.

Each year near Easter, you see people selling domestic rabbits in the shopping center parking lots or in an area by the side of the road. I guess some people think this is a cute gift for their children at Easter. I think the children are excited about having their very own pet rabbit until they find out how much care is involved.

A couple of weeks later, one or both of the parents are taking over the care and feeding of the rabbits. I guess that is good because I am certain that those parents needed just one more responsibility on their shoulders. After all they did not ask the children if they wanted a rabbit or explain the care that would be required for this cute little pet. For the family that walks into pet rabbit ownership with their eyes open, like ownership of any pet, it can be a wonderful experience.

What kinds of food do you feed a domestic rabbit I wondered besides carrots? Or do they really like to eat carrots? According to some who have owned these rabbits, they will eat the following foods:

· Cut carrots and carrot tops

· Green leafy vegetables

· Herbs like parsley

· Fresh cut grass

· Grass clippings that look like hay

· Dandelions

· Rabbit food bought at a pet store

You can keep rabbits indoors or outdoors when you provide the correct style cage. Indoors it is good to purchase a cage with a tray so you can clean the cage easily.

You care for the domestic rabbits much like dogs and cats. You can spay or neuter your pet rabbit; as a result your rabbit will live 7 to 10 yrs of age and this also will keep odors down in its cage.

It is a good idea to keep chewable items in the cage because it will help the rabbit’s teeth stay strong and healthy. The temperature does not need to get above 85 degrees to help it stay disease free. Finding a veterinarian that is knowledgeable about rabbits is a good idea and they can instruct you on taking care of a healthy happy pet rabbit.

 

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    • anidae profile imageAUTHOR

      Anita Adams 

      7 years ago from Tennessee

      Thank you dearabbysmom for your comment and thank you for stopping by to visit. I remember those dyed baby chickens---I share your concern.

    • anidae profile imageAUTHOR

      Anita Adams 

      7 years ago from Tennessee

      Thank you RTalloni for your comments.I appreciate your encouragement.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 years ago from the short journey

      Good way to put it! So glad you posted the important info on keeping a rabbit as a pet.

      What an amazing story from your childhood! I can just imagine the thoughts that ran through your mother's head when you brought home a wild rabbit that you caught with your very own little hands!!! I'm sure they ranged from, yes, the play dress that you were wearing might never come clean, to wondering what in the world you would grow up to do with that kind of patience and determination! :)

      Voted up.

    • dearabbysmom profile image

      dearabbysmom 

      7 years ago from Indiana

      Very timely and informative hub. When I was young stores used to sell dyed baby chickens. People need to know they are committing to caring for a living thing, not just a novelty purchase.

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