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FourRabbits
Midwest Rabbit Rescue & Re-home

Ten Things You Need To Know About Rabbits As Pets

Rabbits make great house pets.

Rabbits are intelligent, affectionate and inquisitive. Their personalities range from bold to timid, gentle to rambunctious, and all points in between.

Rabbits can be litter box trained.

Providing a litter box with clean litter and from which he can reach his hay is the best way to train a rabbit. Once he is going to the box regularly, his space can be expanded until he is free-running in an area with one or two litter boxes.

Rabbits are prey animals.

This means that they are fundamentally different from dogs, cats and humans. They are (usually) shy until you have earned their trust. It also means that most rabbits do not like to be picked up or held. They are more comfortable being next to you while you pet and interact with them. They like quiet, gentle interactions.

Rabbits and children.

Rabbits can be a good choice for families with children. However, many children want a pet they can hold and cuddle. Most rabbits are not going to be happy with that. Having a rabbit is a wonderful way for children to learn how to interact with an animal while respecting his nature. If your child has his or her heart set on a pet she can cuddle, a rabbit might not be the right choice. You will need to be careful to consider your child's personality and be sure it is compatible with that of a rabbit.

Rabbits do really, really well in pairs.

It’s not much more work for you; they will share a pen, litter and food. Rabbits are very social and derive a lot of comfort from a companion. Furthermore, they are unbelievably cute together. They’ll cuddle with and groom one another. Rabbits in pairs entertain each other, so they are less likely to get into mischielf around the house. When you are away from home or your rabbits are in their pen, you’ll know that they have companionship.

Rabbits can live with domesticated cats and well-behaved dogs.

Rabbits are social animals who thrive in the company of others — humans, house cats, obedience-trained dogs. However, it is advisable not to leave your dog and bunny unsupervised.

Rabbits should live indoors.

Domestic rabbits should live and exercise inside the house. Rabbits that live inside become part of the family. Furthermore, rabbits that live outside are susceptible to ticks, fleas, fur mites and predators. Predators will be very determined to get at a rabbit; and the rabbit will be terrified while it is doing so.

Rabbits need more than just rabbit pellets for their diet.

The primary component of a mature rabbit's diet should be good-quality grass hay, such as timothy, brome, or orchard grass. Fresh water and fresh, leafy greens should be given daily. Timothy rabbit pellets, as well as treats such as fresh fruit, should be given only in limited quantities.

Rabbits should be spayed or neutered.

Spaying/neutering prolongs a rabbit's life and limits or solves many behavior problems, such as house soiling, destructive chewing and digging, and aggressiveness. Unspayed females face a very high risk of developing uterine tumors by the time they're three years of age. Rabbits can live 10 years or more. A spayed/neutered indoor rabbit can live a much longer, much healthier life.

Rabbits need a stimulating environment and like to explore by chewing.

For their physical and emotional well-being, rabbits should be given lots of chew toys made of wood, cardboard, wicker, and paper, as well as toys to climb on and toss. Because rabbits are chewers by nature, their play area needs to be carefully rabbit-proofed.

Rabbits need to see specially trained veterinarians.

Most general veterinarians are not rabbit-savvy. You'll need to find a veterinarian who is experienced in diagnosing and treating rabbits.

Read Our Adoption Manual

What you'll need to know about living with and caring for a bunny in your home..

Adoption Manual Cover

Click on the image to open the manual in a new window. You can then download the manual to your computer.

A Companion Rabbit

Much more than twice as good for them
Much less than twice the work for you

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You'll make yourself and your bunny very happy by getting him or her a companion. We'll even give you half off the adoption fee when you adopt a second rabbit within six months of the first - that's how much we want you to get your bunny a friend his own size!

Learn more about having a second rabbit.