One of the best exotic pets you could ever own is a rabbit. We have a beautiful sable colored rabbit named Abbey and we absolutely love her. She is lots of fun and has a great personality.
Still, no matter how adorable they are, you need to do your homework before adopting one of these cuties. Like cats and dogs, they take some work to take care of to live a happy, healthy life. Here are my top 10 tips about how to choose a pet rabbit.
1. Breeds-Get a book from the library and research the different breeds of rabbits. Some rabbits are very small and some grow to be absolutely huge. Make sure you pick a breed that will grow to the perfect size for the space you have available.
2. One Rabbit or Two-Rabbits are very social animals and some become very bonded to one another. You need to make a decision ahead of time if you will take a bonded pair or not.
You don’t want to pick out the perfect bunny only to find out it’s part of a pair. The bottom line is, pairs are a package deal. No exceptions.
3. Breeder, Shelter, or Rescue-There are many places you can go and look for your new furry friend. You can find a rabbit breeder in your area if you want a specific breed. Some shelters take rabbits, some don’t.
We found Abbey at one of our local animal shelters. There are also rabbit rescues that take in unwanted rabbits and adopt them out. You can do a search on the internet for any of these three options.
4. Take Your Time-Take your time when looking at different rabbits. They all have different quirks and personalities. Like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady will run this race.
5. Bond with Your Bunny-Make sure you bond with the rabbit you choose before you make a final decision. Take your time to find out about his or her personality and quirks to see if you will be a good fit for each other. All members of your household need to be involved in this.
6. Check the rabbits health– The coat should be soft and shiny and there should be no sores on its feet. It should not have any weight issues or exhibit any signs of swelling or skin issues, also check for eye drainage and ear wax, which can be a sign of neglect.
Also check for a nose with no drainage and take a look at the rabbits legs; matted fur can be a sign of nose discharge since they wipe their noses with their legs.
Take note of their breathing. These are just a few signs to check for to ensure you are choosing a healthy rabbit. A proper vet exam is crucial after adoption, of course.
7. Observe the rabbits personality-Some rabbits are calm and cuddly while others are wild and crazy. When we went to see Abbey she was lively but also chill at the same time. She’s perky with lots of personality but she also just lays around and chills.
The other rabbit we looked at was a live wire. He was wild, running around in his cage and I could tell he had no human socialization.
She let us hold her in a towel and pet her for a few minutes before wanting down. She’s not a cuddly bunny per se but she loves attention and is a total diva. She has to have things her way.
8. Decide if you want a boy or girl- From my experience, boy bunnies are more cuddly while girl rabbits are more outgoing but less cuddly. Our first rabbit, Boots, was very cuddly, especially in his old age.
I could hold him on my shoulder and he would cuddle up into my neck and lay for a long time. Abbey is just the opposite, she will sit on a towel in your lap for a few minutes but after that, she’s done. She wants to go back into her cage and play.
9. Ask Questions-Do your research ahead of time and make a list of questions about the specific breed you want or just general questions about rabbits.
10. Gather Your Supplies Ahead of Time-Once you decide on the breed/size you want and weather you want a boy or a girl, get your supplies ready to bring your bunny home. Research and choose a big enough cage for your bunny.
We recently bought a Living World Deluxe Habitat for Abbey and we just love it. So does she. You will also need a food dish, a water bottle, a hay trough, hay, chew toys, a small litter pan (if your bunny is litter-box trained) and food.
By keeping these tips in mind and taking your time, you will have no problems picking out your next furry, hopping friend. Like cats and dogs, they need love, attention, and interaction too.
I can guarantee they will melt your heart with every bink and wiggle of their nose. So hop along and go pick out your new furry family member.