I thought it would be a good idea to begin my blogging journey by confronting common rabbit myths and giving you the facts. Although we are very popular as pets, we are also one of the most neglected. I believe this is down to people buying us with good intentions but not doing their homework first. So if you are thinking of buying a rabbit, read this first, or even if you already own one, read this and you may gain some further insight into your furry friend.
Myth 1: Rabbits are cheap & easy pets
I am high maintenance! Sorry to disappoint but although we are seen as a cheap pet, depending on the size of your rabbit the yearly costs can range from £500-£1000. This will cover:
- Hay, greens and pellets
- Extras such as toys, housing repairs!
This does not include the initial start-off costs. This will include buying a hutch & run, bowls, litter tray, toys, chews, bedding, tunnels and hides, rabbit carrier, microchipping and neutering.
Okay, I may not need long walks in the park like Rikki, our dog blogger, but I do expect my humans to put the effort in for me.
- My living area needs daily cleaning
- I need exercise outdoors in the garden
- Fresh water and food – yes please!
- Toys and chews to keep me amused
- Social time – Your rabbit might even groom you, and who doesn’t want bunny kisses!
As I will explain later, we are a long-term commitment so with one rabbit you could be signing yourself up to spending over £10,000.
Myth 2: Rabbits don’t need much attention
Us rabbits are very social animals, thank you very much! The more you get to know us, the more you will discover our personalities and build a friendship with us.
In the wild, we live in large social groups called colonies (or nests). If you are thinking about getting a rabbit, I would urge you to get two instead, or if you already have a rabbit, consider getting a bun-friend. While we enjoy human company, rabbit company is ideal – we understand each other and will play, groom and relax together.
Myth 3: Rabbits are a good children’s pet
Kids love me (who wouldn’t?), but as a prey animal I can often find them overwhelming. I personally don’t like being picked up and overexcited children can often be unintentionally noisy and rough, which scares me. I’m pretty tolerant but I have known some rabbits to scratch, bite and kick when they are scared, or some have even injured themselves (we are quite fragile you know).
If you do decide to get a rabbit (or two) for your children, please remember it is YOUR responsibility to ensure they are well looked after and loved. We know how fickle kids can be sometimes and what if your child tires of their new friend, what will you do then? When I was younger, my owners tired of me and decided to let me free rather than deal with a ‘bothersome rabbit’. I was lucky enough to be rescued in time and found a nice home but not all rabbits have a happy ending.
Myth 4: Rabbits don’t live very long
I know it’s hard to believe but I am over 10 years' old (a mixture of good genes and excellent living!)
Well cared rabbits can live for 8-10 years, so think carefully before buying a rabbit – we are a long-term commitment.
Myth 5: Rabbits don’t need much space
I NEED LOTS OF SPACE!!! Did you know that in one day, the average wild bunny will cover the equivalent of 30 football pitches?
I am a house rabbit and have free reign of the ground floor as well as access to a large garden. I can’t imagine how depressing and boring it would be for those bunnies stuck in small hutches all day.
Let’s get away from the old-fashioned notion of keeping rabbits in small hutches. I am a big fan of the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund campaign: ‘A hutch is not enough’. Click here to find out more information on the reality of small hutches.
Myth 6: Rabbits are cute and cuddly
Actually, this is true…
…but we are more than that. Rabbits make wonderful pets if you, as an owner, get it right:
- Do your research
- Give us a nice (large) home
- Treat us well
- Spend time with us
And you can look forward to a long, happy relationship with your bunny. If in doubt, speak to Tara - who’s one of the veterinary nurses at Lowesmoor and is also my housemate - she’ll only be too glad to rabbit-on about bunny care.