Would you like a house rabbit as a pet? Then read on to discover what factors you need to consider before you make the final decision.
Firstly, as with any pet, you must take into account the long term commitment. A rabbit can live for anywhere between seven to ten years, so you must be sure that you are able and willing to care for your pet for this length of time.
Any pet also always requires a financial outlay and a rabbit is no exception to this. At the end of the day rabbits will be an expense in terms of veterinary bills, housing and food. A house rabbit will most certainly need to be spayed or neutered as this will make litter training much easier and will also stop male rabbits marking their territory. For a female rabbit spaying is doubly important as a very high percentage of domesticated female rabbits will suffer from uterine cancer, this is because as opposed to in the wild they are not continually having litters, and thus for them spaying is vital. This does not need to be a hugely costly operation but again it is one more aspect to consider.
Another outlay comes in terms of the time you are able to dedicate to your pet. Aside from the usual time required for feeding and caring for a pet, it must be remembered that rabbits are very social animals and thus unless you have more than one, you are going to have to dedicate a considerable amount of time to interacting and playing with your little housemate. Of course this is very enjoyable time, but none-the-less requires you to be aware of it from the start.
Another big factor to consider with a house rabbit is just how much they love chewing. If you are a household with a lot of cabling lying around or you have very treasured furniture, then a house rabbit may not be the perfect choice for you. You are going to have to bunny proof your house to a large extent, making sure that any electric cable is well out of reach or properly boxed away behind cable protectors. Furniture is not quite so easy to deal with and whilst some rabbits will grow out of chewing or you can get sprays to discourage them, I’m afraid this can not be relied upon for all rabbits. A rabbit is not a dog and thus they are not really open to being trained, so just make sure you are happy to deal with the adjustments before you make the choice of a house rabbit.
In line with the above comment about a rabbit not being a dog it must be remembered that their natural instincts are that of a prey animal. They are sensitive to what is going on around them such as disturbance and noise, and need to be in a calm environment where possible. Some rabbits need quite a lot of time to adjust to being picked up, as their instinct is always to have all four feet safely on the ground. If you have young children or other pets in your home then you need to consider whether a rabbit will be a good addition as they are delicate creatures who need careful handling.
These factors aside, rabbits do make lovely pets. They are very clean animals, are easily litter trained and have really cute, mischievous little characters and they love to interact with humans, albeit on their own terms. If you have the right environment for a rabbit, or are willing to adapt the one you have to their needs, and you have the finances and time to commit to their care long term then they are a very rewarding housemate. A rabbit is a very sweetnatured, cute animal but you must consider all the factors before you decide if they are the right pet for you.