Dogs and cats are the most popular pets to own in Australia – but perhaps you’re looking for something a bit smaller, or a lower-maintenance pet for your kids. Rabbits make great indoor pets – they are cute, friendly and fun to play with. Before you head down to your local shelter or pet store to pick out a bunny, read our tips below!
Think About Housing
Consider where you will locate the rabbit’s home – will it be inside or outside? Rabbits need to have a space that feels private where they can relax, but they are also very sociable animals and won’t want to feel too secluded from the rest of the family all of the time. Will you have a free-ranging house rabbit or get a cage, hutch or pen? If you’d like to keep your pet inside then make sure you really do have space for an adequate pen, where your rabbit will have space to move around.
Learn About Rabbit Nutrition
What your new rabbit needs to stay healthy is very different from what your other pets need. Rabbits need to eat a lot of fibre, and must have access to grass hays at all times. In addition to this you’ll need to supply vegetables, pellets and fresh water to keep your rabbit healthy and happy.
Remember Litter Training
The stress of moving into a new home can often cause a rabbit to forget any litter training it has been taught. You’ll need a litter box or storage container, rabbit-safe litter and lots of hay to get started and then it’s time to get training. Confine your rabbit to a small area around the litter tray using a puppy pen, and once it gets used to using the litter box in this area you can gradually increase the amount of space it has until it uses the box every time.
Consider Your Finances
A rabbit may be small, but that doesn’t make it cheap. As well as the upfront costs of adoption and equipment, you’ll need to factor in regular costs for food, litter and vet bills over the course of its life. Rabbit-proofing your home could cost more than you expect as these animals have a habit of gnawing away at furniture, books, shoes – anything they can find!
Make a Real Commitment
Adopting a rabbit is a long-term commitment as they can live for over ten years. Make sure all of the family is ready to make this decision together, and the rabbit won’t lose its primary carer when your child grows up and moves out. Rabbits get very stressed in unfamiliar environments or while traveling, so if you’ll be moving around a lot then this isn’t the pet for you. It’s important to think long-term before you dive in to adopting a bunny.
Arrange a check up as soon as your new rabbit moves in – call the Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital team today on 08 6555 5149 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.