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Welcome to our page! We do our best to provide to-be and current bunny owners up-to-date info on the best care for their house rabbits. When we adopted our first bunny in 2005, there was almost nothing on the internet to tell us how to care for him. Just in the past few years, information has exploded online, and now it can be confusing! We try to simplify it by posting weekly articles on current issues, daily care, concerns, proper feeding, and other info so you can enjoy your house-bun! If you are just finding us, feel free to look through the older posts also. Please email us if you have any questions! Happy bunnies make happy hearts!
Email: thebunnyhut101@yahoo.com

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Rabbits can make great pets with proper care and attention

Rabbits can make great pets with proper care and attention

  Every year when Peter Cottontail comes hopping down the bunny trail, people across the country decide to take home a hippity-hoppity pet of their own.

After all, what could look cuter in a pastel basket than a real, live Easter bunny?
But experts say it's important to look further down the bunny trail than the initial "aw" moment when contemplating the purchase of a floppy-eared pet.


*Rabbits live an average of eight to 12 years, according to the House Rabbit Society, a rabbit rescue and education organization, and are not "low maintenance" pets.
"People don't understand that cute little bunnies can live as long as large dogs," said Susan Mangold, one of the co-founders of Make Mine Chocolate!, a campaign that aims to educate the public about the responsibilities involved in owning a rabbit.

*"If you buy a rabbit for your kid, that rabbit could still very easily be alive when the child goes off to college. It's something to think about. It's not a two- or three-year commitment," Mangold said.

There also are a few responsibilities that come with being a bunny owner.
"You can't just leave them in a cage and not do anything for them," said Gina Hale, a veterinarian at Rolling Hills Veterinary Hospital.

*Rabbits need a high-fiber diet, fresh drinking water and a clean cage. They don't typically need shots, Hale said, but they do need periodic physical exams to check for eye problems, overgrown teeth and weight issues. Rabbits are prone to upper-respiratory infections and gastrointestinal issues, she said.
It's also important to spay or neuter rabbits for behavioral and health reasons, Hale said, even if you have a single rabbit.
 Beyond the vet care, at-home maintenance includes regular brushing and nail clipping.

*Aside from upkeep, there's a certain personality that comes with a rabbit, Mangold said. They're prey animals, so they tend to spook easily, and many don't like to be picked up or held.
Still, the omnipresence of bunnies in the spring might pique kids' interest.

"When you walk into any pet store this time of the year, you see the most adorable baby bunnies. They're bouncing around, and they're very cute. ... People look at them, and kids beg to bring them home," Mangold said.
People might also be attracted to the idea of baby bunnies but might not necessarily want an older rabbit, he said.

*Rabbits are the third-most commonly 
  relinquished pet to animal shelters

Mangold said. The Central Missouri Humane Society typically has one to two rabbits at all times, shelter relations coordinator Colin LaVaute said.
Although the shelter doesn't keep data on whether rabbits were given as Easter gifts, the Humane Society did see a slight bump in rabbit intakes during the summer months of 2011.

"Unwanted," "cannot afford" and "too much time/ attention" 
were some of the most common reasons for giving up the animals. 
Allergies and moving were two other popular reasons, according to intake data from the Humane Society.
Some owners might also release their rabbits into the wild if they decide they no longer want the pet. The problem with that, Mangold said, is domesticated rabbits have "had all their survival instincts bred out of them." Often they're killed by other animals or hit by cars.

Of course, there are perks to bringing a bunny into your life.
Kelly Wildsorf, who raises rabbits as a 4-H project, said they make good pets for people willing to take the time to care for them.
"They are very lovable," she said. "They can bond easily with you."
Rabbits don't make a lot of noise, she said, and they can be trained to use a litter box. Smaller breeds and good-natured rabbits also can be handled by (mature children 12+) children, she said.
LaVaute agreed and said rabbits can be great pets for families with children.
"It's just realizing that it's not a toy. … It's a living animal," he said. "Just like a dog or a cat, it's going to require a little bit of work here and there."