Once you have decided to provide a loving home to a pet rabbit (or any animal in need for that matter), you have not only made a great choice, but you will also gain a great satisfaction that comes with adopting a pet. Without sounding too "political", there are so many reasons to adopt, rather than buy a pet, and if most people adopted, there would be less reason to breed for financial gain.
With that said, congratulations on deciding to adopt a pet bunny! Now what? We found a great resource that is actually sponsored by Purina, Bayer and the Petco Foundation, that can actually help you find a rabbit in your area to adopt. Adopt A Pet says the folowing about rabbit adoption:
"First most, understand that no matter what, even if you buy a Rabbit for sale, or adopt, as a new pet owner it is your responsibility to care for the Rabbit it’s entire lifespan. Part of that responsibility is taking time to understand the basic needs of a Rabbit. At the top of that list should be getting know the diet of a Rabbit. Find out how often and what a Rabbit needs to eat. Next, what shelter do you need to provide? Get to know what habitat a Rabbit is accustom to, what temperature will the Rabbit need to maintain, and what range of temperatures are acceptable for a Rabbit to survive.
It’s usually a good idea to get to know a little more about Rabbit habits, temperament and relationship with humans before adopting a Rabbit. For example, can you handle a Rabbit. What is an indicator if a Rabbit is being aggressive and senses fear? Some pets will maintain much more happiness as long as they live socially, does a Rabbit need a companion pet in order to live happily? What exercise does a Rabbit need regularly?
Rabbit adoption can be an enriching experience, and is a big decision. Whatever pet you adopt will demand certain lifestyle changes, and a financial commitment. Estimating the monthly costs of owning a pet is just as important as making sure you have the time and motivation to feed the Rabbit when necessary, and provide a safe environment to live."
Read the full article and start your search at: What To Consider Before Adopting a Rabbit
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Maybe the first question to answer is - what is a Rabbitat? A Rabbitat is a sort of "Rabbit Playground", sufficiant to provide for the basic outdoor instincts of a pet rabbit, but in a structured and safe manner. Your Rabitat should provide your bunny with safe outdoor space to dig, chew, tunnel, expolore and graze, to name a few activities. The concept remains that a pet rabbit should still live indoors, but allowing her to have some outdoor playtime in your Rabbitat will give her a chance to live like a - rabbit!
PetFinder offers the following on building a Rabbitat"
"There’s no such thing as a blueprint for the perfect rabbitat, but there are a few features for the do-it-yourselfer to consider.
Dirt – Domestic rabbits are descended from European rabbits, who live in groups in warrens, an underground network of interconnecting burrows and tunnels that they dig in the earth. Diggable dirt or ordinary garden soil should be high on the list of things you provide for your house rabbits’ happiness.
Fresh-cut greens – Greens should not be a major component of your rabbit’s diet, but access to a variety of fresh foliage has both dietary and emotional benefits for rabbits. The objective here is to offer cut greens and flowers in a natural upright manner so that rabbits can stand up and stretch to reach the succulent leaves on the tops of the branches.
Security – Your rabbitat must confine your rabbits while also providing shelter from the weather and protection from predators and the unwelcome attention of other animals and possibly unkind children. As prey animals, rabbits instinctively avoid open spaces where they feel unprotected, so locate your rabbitat in a shady corner of your yard, out of view of busy streets, neighbors’ dogs and overhanging tree branches where cats or birds of prey may hover. Even if secure inside an enclosure, a rabbit can die of fright if a predator is able to menace her at close range."
Read the entire article: Designing a Rabbit Playground
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Welcome to the wonderful world of having a pet rabbit! Pet bunnies make great and loving pets, but it is important to help train them like you would other pets, so they know what is acceptable behavior inside your home. When it comes to chewing and digging, both of which are natural bunny behaviors, it is important that they are trained for two main reasons. The first one is danger. If a pet rabbit chewed on an electrical cord, the result could be very bad. The second reason is damage. Naturally, you do not want your pet rabbit to damage carpeting, furniture, or anything else in your home!
The House Rabbit Society offers the following:
"During the training time, do nothing but concentrate on the rabbit. Open the door to her home and let her (or them) come out when she chooses. You may offer toys or treats from your hand, but don’t interfere with her if she wants to explore. And watch her carefully throughout the time she is out of her cage. If the rabbit starts to chew on something you don’t want chewed, immediately offer him as many other things that are okay to chew on as you can. Block whatever he was chewing on so it ceases to be a temptation (block it well, so you aren’t simply challenging the rabbit to break through).
If possible, provide something with a similar (or better) taste and texture to what is being chewed. For example, a piece of untreated, unfinished baseboard (screwed into something so it doesn’t move) instead of the real baseboard; or a piece of scrap carpet instead of the real carpet (as long as the rabbit isn’t ingesting the pieces he pulls out); or a piece of apple branch instead of chair legs.
The same thing applies to digging. If the rabbit loves to dig in the carpet, build a small “corner” or “tunnel” with carpeting on the bottom (frequently replaced) and give this to him to distract him. Or make a digging box by blocking the end-opening of a covered litter box and cutting a hole in the side. The rabbit will go in, turn so her body runs the length of the box (providing she is large enough that her body doesn’t fit cross- wise). The digging material will be flung against the sealed end of the litter box and remain contained. Use something totally dust-free and safe in the digging box (see the litter faq). Rabbits, being the incredibly intelligent little creatures that they are, quickly learn."
Read the entire article here: Training
To fully enjoy the relationship with your pet rabbit, it is best to keep your bunny indoors and to intereact on a daily basis. The time you spend playing, petting and grooming your bunny will pay off in a more pleasurable relationship for all. If you have the space to have a rabbit hutch indoors, then that will give your bunny plenty of personal space. If not, then choosing a rabbit cage, which I prefer to call a rabbit home, is a great alternative. You can also use a puppy training crate, providing it has a design that is both safe and workable for your pet rabbit.
To choose the right rabbit home (cage), wikiHow offers the following suggestions:
"Get an indoor rabbit cage. Indoor rabbit cages can often be restrictive for your rabbit. Make sure you have enough space in the cage for your rabbit. You should also be able to leave the cage open so he can get plenty of exercise.
Give your rabbit enough space in his cage. There needs to be enough room for him to move around in the cage and lie down. The minimum size is three hops long and two hops wide. Of course, the bigger the cage, the better it will be for your rabbit.
Make sure your rabbit has space for food, water, a litter box, and toys. He will need things to do and to eat and drink in his cage.
Try a cage with a front door for your rabbit. Purchase a cage that opens either from the inside and/or outside. Cages with doors that open out enable your rabbit to come and go when he wants, whereas doors that only push in mean you have to get the rabbit out of the cage yourself.
Make sure your cage has protection for the rabbit’s feet. Cage flooring can injure the rabbit’s feet, so provide soft material that can cover the cage flooring, such as an old blanket or towel."
Read the rest of their informative rabbit care article: How To Choose A Rabbit Cage
The answer here, is a cautious "Yes". Some pets will just not mix well and good common sense needs to be used in these cases for the safety and wellness of all pets and people involved. There are some situations where pet rabbits can be introduced and get along with other pets in the household, such as other rabbits, cats, guinea pigs and even dogs. You must take the time to understand how the bonding process works, and take the time to introduce your pets slowly and carefully. The goal is a happy household without unnessary stress and a safe environment for all involved!
To begin the bonding process, Pet Care Tips.net offers the following:
"The first thing you will need to do is find a companion for your rabbit. Male with female pairs seem to work the best for compatibility but female to female can also work. Male rabbits seldom get along with other male rabbits unless started as
littermates. All rabbits should be spayed or neutered beforeintroductions begin.
Start the bonding process before the rabbits are allowed to interact. Place the rabbits in separate cages in sight of each other. Let them get used to the presence of another rabbit for several days before actually letting them meet.
Rabbit introductions should be done in a neutral territory. This is a place the existing rabbit has never entered. The room should be large enough for the rabbits to move around yet small enough so the rabbits can interact.
Newly introduced rabbits may go beyond hand shaking; they may fight. You should have a water spray bottle and towels handy to break up any fighting. Do not break up fighting with your bare hands, as the rabbit may not differentiate whom he is attacking. Discontinue bonding session before bites result in injury. Rabbits may chase and show dominance behavior (mounting) during the introductions. These are normal activities to determine which rabbit will be the leader."
Read the entire bonding process here:
How to Get Rabbits to Get Along with Other Rabbits & Other Pets
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As people become increasingly aware of how important a healthy diet is for us, it is logical that many pet parents are looking for more fruits and vegetable options to give to their pets. Pet rabbits are no different. Apples are certainly a tasty, yet healthy snack (or part of a meal) for us, so the question comes up - Can my pet rabbit eat apples?
A pet rabbit's main diet should consist of grassy hay, but
Rabbit .org suggests the following guidelines for feeding apples or other fruits to your pet bunny:
"Fruits can also be fed in small amounts. In the wild these would be special high calorie foods obtained only at certain times of the year. Fruits make great training treats! You also might choose to hand-feed the fruit portion of the diet as part of developing a close bond with your bunny and also to make sure he has an appetite every day. It is a great way to see if your bunny is feeling good when you observe if he takes his fruit treat every morning! If he doesn’t want to eat his treat, it is time to call your veterinarian. Remember that dried fruits are about 3 times as concentrated as the fresh variety so feed less of those. Rabbits, like many animals naturally gravitate towards high calorie foods such as those high in sugar or starch. This is a protective device from the wild days when they could never be sure when or if they would get the next meal. When a plant would produce fruit, it is for a limited time and all the animals in the area would want to gobble these gems up quickly! This means that rabbits cannot limit themselves when given sugary or starchy foods if left to their own devices! Overfeeding fruits can result in a weight gain or GI upset so it is up to you to feed these foods in limited amounts. An approximate amount of fruit to feed your rabbit is a teaspoon per 2 lbs of body weight daily in one feeding or divided into multiple feedings.
IMPORTANT: Before introducing any fresh foods to a rabbit it is best if he has been eating grass hay for a minimum of 2 weeks. The grass hay will help to get his GI tract motility and flora in good working order so that he will be able to accept new foods more easily. When introducing new fresh foods to any rabbit’s diet it is best to go slowly to allow the gastrointestinal tract and all its important microorganisms to adjust. Introduce one new food every three days and keep a watch on the stools. It is rare for a rabbit that has been on a hay diet first, to have any problems using this method, but if you note softer stools that persist over a couple of days, then you might want to remove that food from your bunny’s diet. Keep a list as you go of the foods that your rabbit has successfully eaten; you will then have a handy shopping list when you go to the store!"
The entire article can be read at Suggested Vegetables and Fruits for a Rabbit Diet
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One question that many Pet Rabbit Parents ask is "Why Do Rabbits Thump?" Now, most of the time, it is not because they are busy listening to music and just want to start dancing!
As you probably know, Rabbits are not very vocal. When they feel threatened, or perceive that danger may be near by, they may stand up on all four feet and Thump. Rabbit Thumping occurs when your Bunny take one or both back feet and almost looks like they are hopping, but stay in the same place. Sort of like a rapid foot tap with just their hind legs.
Many times, they will do this with their ears standing up straight (depending on breed) but he or she might continue to have a focused or concerned look until the perceived threat is gone. I have read where it is felt that your bunny is also warning you and other humans about the possible danger to, so make sure you thank her with a big hug and treat afterwards!
Just to be safe, don't disregard this heroic action by your Pet Bunny! Take the time to make sure that the threat is not real! It could be another pet in your home, an animal outside, or something else - just make sure your Pet Rabbit is safe (you too!)
So next time someone asks you "Why Do Rabbits Thump?", you will be able to tell them what a hero your little Pet Bunny really is!
Now that you have opened your home to a wonderful pet rabbit, you will want to keep her healthy and happy. There are a number of things to consider in providing for your buuny's lifestyle, but many people may not realize that by providing the right environment, they can actually help to keep their pet rabbit healthier, happier and overall a better pet. This consists mostly of providing the right living quarters along with the correct diet, and by keeping your pet rabbit interested and engaged to avoid boredom. When you put it all together, everyone, including your bunny, will benefit!
Pets 4 Homes offers the following:
"Rabbits are a popular pet for people of all ages, and their popularity has increased over recent years as the modern phenomenon of keeping rabbits indoors as house pets has become more widespread. Whether you keep your pet rabbit indoors or outdoors, rabbits are sensitive animals that require a significant amount of thought and care spent on their welfare and daily management. If you already keep rabbits or are just researching whether or not they might make a good pet for you and your family, read on to learn about the ten most important elements of keeping pet rabbits happy, healthy and safe.
1. Provide enough room
Small, cramped hutches and living conditions are not suitable for keeping rabbits, and it is important to make sure that your rabbit has enough room in their hutch to stand upright, stretch out, turn around and move about freely. A hutch of six feet long by two feet wide and deep is the bare minimum size required to keep two rabbits happily, so make sure you have enough room in the garden or yard before planning your purchase! Rabbits also need to be able to run and hop about on a daily basis, either inside of the house or in a specially constructed rabbit run."
Read the remaining 9 Tips: Ten Tips for Keeping Your Rabbit Happy and Healthy for Life
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There is no doubt that sharing your home with an animal that becomes part of your family is a very nice, and kind, thing to do. Pet parents enjoy many perks which range from health benefits to companionship, and many more. Adopting a pet from a shelter, or one that is in need of a home, are the best ways to find the right pet for your family. Many people look to dogs and cats to adopt, which is wonderful, but please also consider having a pet bunny as well! Rabbits do make great pets!
Pet Finder takes a coser look:
"According to current data from the American Pet Products Manufacturers’ Association (APPMA), rabbit ownership has increased dramatically over the past decade. From 1992 to 2000, the percentage of “small animal households” owning rabbits jumped from 24 percent to 40 percent. There are now approximately 5.3 million companion rabbits owned by 2.2 million households in America. And while rabbits unfortunately continue to be bought as pets for children, the number of adults-only households owning rabbits among all households that own rabbits increased from 26 percent in 1996 to 39 percent in 2000.
What accounts for this increasing popularity? The single most significant factor is probably widespread access to the Internet, which makes information about rabbits more available to more people than ever before. The word is out on rabbits as house pets, and numerous rabbit-focused organizations maintain websites that attract potential owners and offer profiles of adoptable rabbits. The Internet also makes it easy for new owners to get the information and support they need to care for rabbits as house pets.
The House Rabbit
Although the rabbit’s earliest relationship with humans was as a fur-and-food commodity, people were already keeping rabbits as pets by the 18th century. British poet William Cowper kept hares in his home to help combat his severe depression, and he wrote eloquently of his love and appreciation for these creatures as companion animals."
Read the full article: Do Rabbits Make Good Pets?
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As a proud pet parent of a rabbit, one of the tasks of bunny care is to make sure that your pet rabbit’s nails do not get too long. They will need to be trimmed on a regular basis. You basically have two choices. The first is to bring your bunny to the vet and have them clip her nails. Quite honestly, in our family, we feel more comfortable bringing our bunny to have the vet tech trim her nails. But for many folks, having a few basics and a nail trimmer are all they need to do it themselves. It is critical to know how to properly trim your bunny’s nails and to not cut too low, or into the quick.
My House Rabbit offers the following:
“Clipping your rabbit’s nails may seem a daunting task. And many rabbit owners elect to let their veterinarian handle it. Frequent vet visits can get expensive, however. So here is some advice on trimming your rabbit’s nails yourself.
It is easier to trim your rabbit’s nails quickly and effectively when the rabbit is properly restrained. If possible, ask someone to assist you and then wrap your bunny in a towel to reduce movement and to isolate each paw.
Diagram of a rabbit nail and quickExamine the claw to locate the vein inside the nail. This vein is called the quick, and you should avoid cutting it. Cutting the quick will cause your pet to experience some pain, and he/she will bleed. Some rabbits’ nails are quite dark, so you will need a small flashlight to see it. If you do accidentally trim the nails too short, use flour or styptic powder to stop the bleeding.”
Read the full article: Clipping Your Rabbit’s Nails
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