Is a Rabbit the Right Pet for You?
Caring for a rabbit is, at least, a ten year commitment, are you ready? Ask yourself these questions and see if you ready to be owned by a rabbit.
- Rabbits can live up to ten years and many times up to twelve. Are you able to provide a permanent and forever home for this length of time?
- If you are adopting for a child, please realize that a child is not capable of taking care of a pet all by himself. Realistic expectations are the child will participate in it’s care but you will be the one cleaning the cage and making sure the rabbit is an integral part of the family. If you are not ready for this commitment, do not adopt a rabbit for your child.
- Rabbits are social creatures and become stressed by change. Circumstances arise in life. Are you willing to keep your rabbit when you move, change jobs, divorce, kids lose interest or go to college?
- Do you accept your rabbit as a rabbit and understand and realize its temperament and behavior will be different from a cat or dog?
- Are you willing to provide an appropriate and safe living environment for the rabbit in your home, making sure it has a safe bunny proofed area for daily out-of-cage exercise time?
- Rabbits need to see an exotic veteranarian – a vet who specializes in small animal care such a reptiles, birds, chinchillas, and rabbits. Are you financially stable to afford taking the rabbit to the more costly exotic vet if a health issue arises?
- Will your current pets and any possible new pets get along with your rabbit?
- Does everyone in your home agree with having a house rabbit?
- Does anyone have allergies to rabbits or grass hay? If so, are you willing to take daily allergy medicine and any ohter modifications you may have to make?
- Have you researched how to properly care for a house rabbit? They have different needs than other animals, make sure you are able and willing to meet these needs.
Did you know?
- Rabbits are the third most popular pet, behind dogs and cats, and they are also the third most surrendered pet at shelters.
- Rabbits are very clean animals who, like cats, groom themselves.
- Rabbits can be litter trained and are great house pets.
- Rabbits are not rodents – they are lagomorphs. Lagomorphs differ from rodents in many ways.
- Rabbits can get along with most other animals including cats and dogs.
- Rabbits can be trained with positive food reinforcement. You will be surprised at what they can learn!
- Rabbits are social animals and love the company of other rabbits. However, rabbits are also very territorial. Therefore, do not ever put two rabbits together and expect they will get along. It is a process that takes time before two rabbits decide to get along. And sometimes, they may decide otherwise!
- A domestic rabbit that is turned lose in the wild may only survive a few days.
- Rabbits let out a shrill scream when in great pain or when very frightened.
- Rabbits are naturally curious and playful.
- Rabbits are not low-maintenance pets; it takes dedication and time to properly care for a rabbit.
- Rabbits like to be near their humans but don’t always like to be held.
- Rabbits are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk.
Thank you for making adoption your first choice instead of purchasing one from a pet store or someone who is randomly breeding rabbits. For every rabbit that is purchased and not adopted, a shelter or rescue bunny loses a potential home.
The Problems of Purchasing from a Pet Store
There are many problems with buying animals from pet stores. For starters, the “breeders” who supply the pet stores with baby rabbits are very similar to puppy mills. The breeding females are only valuable if they are producing large litters and if they are doing so often. They live a lonely existence of producing litter after litter only for their babies to be taken away too soon. Pet stores usually do net sell spayed or neutered rabbits and employees are not educated on proper rabbit care or the sexing of baby rabbits. So when you are told you have two females, you have a good chance of having a male and female and will wake up one day to baby bunnies. While baby bunnies are cute, any litter is contributing to the rabbit overpopulation problem. that cute baby bunny that you were told would remain small may grow up to be an 7 pound rabbit. Most people want a small and cuddly baby, however, this is not always the best choice. Baby bunnies grow up extremely fast and within a few months are sexually mature. Since pet stores bunnies are usually not spayed or neutered you will experience your rabbits raging hormones. Hormonal behaviors such as aggressiveness, digging, spraying, nipping, boxing, grunting, and growling are all common with an unfixed rabbit. In order to control these behaviors and most likely eliminate them you will need to get your rabbit fixed. Getting a rabbit fixed requires finding an exotic vet to perform the surgery. Rabbits are very sensitive to anesthesia so extra precautions have to be taken which puts the average price range of getting your bunny fixed at $150 – $250! So the question is why buy a cute rabbit on impulse at a pet store when you can adopt one from a rescue or a shelter where they are already spayed and neutered? You will also feel good knowing you aren’t contributing to the “rabbit mill’ bunnies but are saving a life instead. Fo all of these reasons, we encourage potential rabbit owners to please adopt instead of shop.
- Rescues know the personalities of their rabbits and can help you choose the rabbit that will enjoy sharing your home.
- Most have already gone through the adolescent phase and their hormonal changes.
- Most rescued rabbits have had a challenging past and deserve a chance to experience “the good life”.
- There is a special reward you get from saving a bunny as opposed to a pet store impulse purchase.
- Rescue rabbits are socialized by volunteers as part of the rehabilitative process.
- Adoptable bunnies are already spayed or neutered which eliminates hormonal behaviors and helps prevent certain health problems.
- If you are a first-time bunny parent, it is reassuring to know that you are not only adopting a rabbit from ECRR but have an educational support network.
- For every bunny you buy at a pet store or from a breeder, a bunny in a shelter somewhere loses a home.
East Coast Rabbit Rescue bunnies are kept in loving foster homes and are provided with medical and rehabilitative care, spayed or neutered, socialized, and litter trained. Our adoption fees are $65 for a single rabbit and $85 for a bonded pair. This includes their spay or neuter and a vet visit.
All our rabbits are spayed or neutered before adoption. This is a big savings for your wallet! One of the most important aspects of any rescue is to ensure that every animal that is adopted is spayed/neutered. The bunnies are no exception. They multiply – well – like bunnies so we will not take any chances in creating more homeless rabbits. In addition to the routine and necessary spaying and neutering, we provide each rabbit the proper medical attention whether it is a tooth extraction or a broken leg.
With adult supervision, our bunnies are socialized with children, dogs, and cats. This prepares each rabbit to be comfortable and well adjusted to almost any type of indoor home. Each rabbit has a unique and different personality, so depending on the rabbit will depend on how it internalizes the socialization process. Some buns require more than others, while some quickly accept environmental changes.
Yes, rabbits can be litter trained just like a cat! This is probably the best kept secret about rabbits. Because of this, rabbits make excellent house pets. Litter training is quite simple. All you need is a litter box, pine pelleted litter or Yesterday Newslitter, some hay, and a little bit of patience.
Looking for a Friend for your Bunny?
If so, we can set up a bunny date. Rabbits are happiest and healthiest when they have a spayed or neutered bunny friend to keep them company when their human caretaker is not available. If you currently have a spayed or neutered rabbit and would like to get him a friend, we can arrange a bunny date and see if any sparks- or -fur fly. If you have a rabbit that is not neutered, please contact us and we can give you information on getting him fixed at a low-cost clinic.
If you are ready to make a ten year commitment and welcome a bunny into your family, we welcome you to fill out the adoption application. We will contact you to tell you more about our rabbits, conduct a phone interview, meet the rabbits, and set up a home visit.
We want to make sure that every rabbit finds a deserving permanent indoor loving home. This is why we go through great lengths to interview, screen, conduct a home visit, and properly educate each applicant. We are dedicated to improving the lives of companion rabbits through education on how to properly care for a house rabbit. After the rabbit is adopted, he is not forgotten, we will check in every so often to see if you have any questions or concerns.