Don’t get us wrong: we love rabbits. We think that they make wonderful pets and we love seeing our rabbit patients, but they are a lot of work. They are not “low maintenance” pets and are not suitable to be cared for by children alone.
Here are some quick rabbit facts to dissuade you from an impulse Easter purchase:
- Rabbits can live for anywhere from 7-14 years. Their lifespan depends on the quality of care, but also genetics. Like in dogs, larger breed rabbits may not live as long compared to dwarf breeds.
- They are not “low maintenance.” Rabbits are very social and need daily interaction and exercise.
- They should not stay in their cage all the time: Rabbits need at least 30 hours of out-of-cage exercise per week! A lack of exercise not only contributes to obesity, but also digestive and urinary tract disorders. Bunny-proofing the home is critical.
- Rabbits need an annual exam (just like dogs and cats!) with an exotics-experienced veterinarian. Rabbits are masters at hiding signs of illness, so regular exams can help to detect problems early.
- Rabbits have complex nutritional needs, and disease related to inappropriate diet is the #1 reason for sick rabbit appointments at Companion Animal Hospital. These problems are much easier to prevent than to treat.
Take a look at our House Rabbit Caresheet, and talk to our helpful staff if you have any more questions about rabbit care and health.