We’ve had plenty of rabbits in our home. Jersey Woolies, Mini Lops, French Lops–sometimes all three at the same time. Frankly, we’re surprised more people don’t think of rabbits as pets. The best thing about rabbits is that they generally take it easy during daytime. They don’t really get going until the afternoon, and are at their most active during the times when people are usually at home. That relieves a lot of guilt.
Unfortunately, it seems a lot of people can’t really adjust to rabbits as pets. We were certainly surprised to learn that rabbits are the third-most surrended animals at shelters. Don’t let that give you the idea that rabbits are a bad pet, though. That’d be like dismissing dogs and cats. And we were very pleased to learn that the Petco chain has added rabbits as part of their National Adoption Weekend events running on the weekend of March 9th and 10th.
We have our own favorite things about rabbits, but we’re going to hand over the following fun facts from Petco to further make the case for how incredibly cute and giving a rabbit can be…
- More than half of U.S. households with rabbits also have fish while 23% also have birds as pets.
- Nudges on the ankle or a bit of head shaking are signs that a rabbit wants to be socially engaged and playful. Since rabbits carry their scent gland on their chin, pet parents should consider themselves “marked” when their bunny rubs its chin against them. It’s a sign they are emotionally happy!
- Most domestic rabbits’ lifespan is 8 years, though rabbits that are spayed/neutered can live as long as 10-12 years. Un-neutered male rabbits are prone to prostate cancer and un-spayed females have a 60-80 percent chance of developing ovarian, uterine or other reproductive cancers, so it’s recommended they are spayed/neutered at an early age to help prolong their life.
- Dogs aren’t the only ones that beg! Rabbits can be contenders with dogs when it comes to begging for food.
- All rabbits chew, but those who do more of it tend to be smart and outgoing. Make sure to have lots of toys around to help curb bunnies chewing behavior.
- It’s important to make sure pet rabbits stay physically fit by getting daily exercise and time out of their habitat. Their habitat should be cleaned weekly and always be stocked with fresh hay and clean water. Much like dogs and cats, rabbits should also have plenty of toys to keep them mentally stimulated.
- Rabbits are meticulously clean animals and are easy to housebreak and train. Much like a dog, a pet rabbit can stay mentally alert by being taught to come to his/her name, sit in your lap, and perform tricks.
You can also get some great advice on raising a rabbit from this site–which is Australian, but we like to think that rabbits are the same all over. Maybe it’s not a good time to add something new to the menagerie, but we’re always happy to encourage a little rabbit awareness!