Dispelling the Rabbit MythsMyths, misconceptions, and misunderstandings about rabbits are a rescue’s worst enemies. These ideas have caused countless of people to impulsively buy rabbits without the real knowledge of rabbits as pets.
Myth# 1: Rabbits are great low-maintenance, starter pets.
Truth: Rabbits are anything but low-maintenance. Their housing needs regular (almost daily) cleaning, fresh food and water, and a daily salad should be offered. Rabbits are prone to a couple health concerns that may require special care. If rabbits are not closely monitored with a watchful eye, heath issues can go unnoticed.
Myth# 2: Rabbits love to be picked up and cuddled.
Truth: Although some tolerate handling quite well, most rabbits do not enjoy being picked up and help. Rabbits that are mishandled or insecure will scratch and bite in order to free themselves. Some rabbits will develop aggressive behaviors such as biting and lunging if not approached correctly.
Myth# 3: Rabbits are happiest living outdoors in a hutch.
Truth: Rabbits love being house pets and often have a longer lifespan when housed indoors. Rabbits who are housed outdoors are at risk of developing heat stroke in the summer, picking up a number of parasites, and being attacked by predators such as dogs or raccoons. An outdoor rabbit is easily ignored and forgotten about.
Myth# 4: Rabbits do not require a lot of space.
Truth: Rabbits are very active creatures and require plenty of space to keep them entertained and healthy. Rabbits confined to small cages develop serious behavior problems and health concerns such as obesity and muscle atrophy.
Myth# 5: Rabbits do not require vet care.
Truth: It is true that rabbits do not require vaccinations like dogs and cats. However, rabbits need regular veterinary checkups to ensure their good health. Rabbits are prey animals and hide illnesses and injuries very well. By the time you notice a problem, it may be too late.
Myth# 6: Rabbits are dirty and have a strong odor.
Truth: Rabbits are naturally very neat animals and, when altered, litter box train very easily. A litter box that is scooped out daily will emit little to no odor. Rabbit droppings are easy to pick up and are odorless.
Myth# 7: Rabbits do not need a lot of attention.
Truth: Rabbits can not be left alone for more than 12 hours without someone checking on them. It doesn’t take long for a rabbit to get into trouble or have a life threatening medical problem. When a rabbit doesn’t eat for more than 12 hours, their body will release toxins that can eventually kill them. Rabbits need regular interaction and attention.
Myth# 8: Rabbits make greats pets for children.
Truth: Rabbits and children mix like oil and water. Rabbits are easily stressed by energetic children and children often lose interested or become frighten when bitten or scratched.