Rabbits make wonderful pets.
It is a subject of contentious debate. What is the third most popular pet in the United States after dogs and cats? Some people think horses should hold the third place spot, others argue there are more freshwater fish filling the role of pets in American homes. However, if you are looking for a cute, furry, cuddly, contender for third place, it has to be the rabbit.
Rabbits make wonderful pets. They are social animals and it is a fairly straightforward business to meet their needs as far as feeding and housing. When properly fed and housed rabbits tend to stay very healthy, another point in their favor as a pet.
Rabbits are designed to be grazers. In the wild, they graze a wide variety of grasses. Their intestinal tract is designed to handle a large volume of low nutrient dense food. Unfortunately, domestic rabbits are often fed a diet based on nutrient rich commercial rabbit pellets and their need for grasses and hay can be overlooked. This can lead to a variety of intestinal disorders. A small scoop of commercial pellets in addition to grasses and hay will meet your rabbit's dietary needs. Carrots are treats and should not make up the bulk of the diet.
Rabbits need adequate, predator proof space. A hutch should be large enough to allow a rabbit to comfortable rear up on it's hind legs and allow for at least three good hops. In addition, rabbits need access to outdoor grazing and sunshine for maximum health. In the wild, a rabbit would cover an area about the size of three tennis courts in a day. A large, secure, area where they can hop and play is very helpful in keeping your rabbits happy and healthy.
Rabbits need rabbit friends. They are highly social and in group situations they look out for each other and keep an eye out for predators. Rabbits living alone find that stressful. If you are considering a rabbit as a pet, you should be considering acquiring at least two rabbits.
Typical health care problem of rabbits are dental issues. Rabbits teeth grow rapidly and this can often lead to tooth overgrowth in domestic rabbits. Another important part of rabbit health care is spaying or neutering your rabbits unless you want to have many, many, many more rabbits.
If you acquire a pair of rabbits as pets, come in and visit with us about feeding and housing your new pets . We can review with you dietary protocols and hutch design and space requirements for your rabbits. Learning about these things in advance will keep you rabbits happy and healthy for years.