This article will prepare you to become a rabbit owner, with tips on making the decision to become a rabbit owner and finding a bunny.
When to Get a Rabbit
The Easter Bunny comes to your house just in time for Easter. Your new pet bunny rabbit should not. Preparing for Easter may lead to thoughts about what cute little pets rabbits make. While it may seem “cute” to present the children with a live bunny rabbit for Easter, stop and think about the rabbit’s needs. With all the holiday excitement, how will the rabbit get the care he needs? The rabbit needs a calm and quiet introduction to your home. So if you’re attracted to the idea of a pet bunny rabbit, save the thought! Keep the thought to yourself until after the holiday commotion has passed. Then, if it still seems like a good idea, do your rabbit research. Timing is important in bringing home any pet but especially a pet as fragile as a baby rabbit.
Before bringing a rabbit into your home, you should learn the basics of bunny behavior and the essentials of caring for a pet rabbit. With respect to pet rabbit care, take time to explore:
* housing requirements, including cage cleaning
* nutritional needs
* exercise essentials
* rabbit-proofing basics
When considering the timing of getting a pet rabbit, consider the maturity of your children. Rabbits are particularly fragile animals. Take young children to a breeder or pet store where they can learn about and practice proper rabbit handling with an experienced rabbit handler before deciding whether they are ready to provide the kind of home a rabbit needs.
Where to Get a Pet Rabbit
Finding a rabbit may take a bit of looking, particularly if you want a specific breed. Three common sources of pet rabbits are rabbit breeders, humane societies and pet stores.
How do you find a rabbit breeder? You may find rabbit breeders listed in your telephone directory. You can also call a vet who works with small animals and ask for breeder names.
Any given rabbit breeder usually breeds one or a few types of rabbit. If you are seeking a particular breed, you will need to find a breeder who breeds that kind of rabbit.
If you are looking for a baby rabbit, you may have to wait for the next litter to be born and old enough to be separated from its mother. A responsible breeder will not separate a rabbit from its mother before it is eight weeks old.
If your state fair is at hand, that may be a convenient place to find a rabbit breeder. Many rabbit breeders show and sell rabbits at state fairs. At a state fair, you can see many different breeds of rabbit and learn how to distinguish one from another if you haven’t already read up on rabbits.
At a humane society, you may be able to find a rabbit in need of a home.
Check with the humane society in advance to learn how its adoption rules work. Humane societies impose varying requirements for animal adoption. Some of the common requirements include advance application and interviews with the prospective pet owners. Some humane societies require meetings with all family members. They also may have age limits that preclude a family with very young children from adopting a pet. A humane society may also let multiple people apply for the adoption of the same animal and choose the first suitable candidate. It is important to understand how the process used by any particular humane society works, so you can decide whether a humane society rabbit adoption is right for you.
Most pet stores do not sell rabbits, so do your phone calling in advance rather than stopping by a local pet store. When you find a pet store that sells rabbits and has some on hand, go to the store prepared to inspect the rabbit habitat and ask questions. Personnel at some pet stores know how to care for rabbits and do it well, while others may not.
Ask the following:
-when did the rabbits arrive in the store? The longer the rabbits have been in the store, the more the store personnel may know about them. Also, this will tell you how long the rabbits have been living in the conditions you see in the store.
– how do the store personnel care for the rabbits? Are the rabbits allowed out of the cage for exercise? Are the rabbits brushed daily?
– does the store work with one or a few reliable breeders? Ideally, a pet store should have an established working relationship with a breeder. This increases the likelihood that the store is consistently selling rabbits whose pre-store arrival care is known to them. If the rabbits come in from various places, the store personnel will not likely know what type of care the rabbit received before its arrival.
– what does the store owner do to ensure the rabbits are healthy?
Is what you see consistent with what the store personnel report? Do the rabbits look brushed? Are their eyes clear and bright? Do they look alert? Is the cage clean? Is there ample food and water in the cage?
Are the rabbits crowded in a cage or is there ample room for the number of rabbits caged? Are the rabbits active or listless? A listless bunny rabbit may be ill. And an ill rabbit may infect other rabbits around it. By the time signs of a rabbit’s illness are obvious, the rabbit may be close to death. So if you have doubts about the healthiness of the rabbits in a particular store, pass on buying a rabbit there.
If conditions look good and you see a rabbit you like, ask to see the rabbit outside the cage. You will want to make sure the rabbit is active, although if the rabbit is scared, this could take some time.
These tips will help you decide whether a rabbit is the right pet for your family and to find the right rabbit.