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Rabbits are often chosen and loved as a family pet. Discuss your favourite breeds and share tips on grooming, feeding and general bunny care.

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      04.01.2014 19:12
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      Great companions and very clever.

      RABBITS AS PETS
      Rabbits and becoming an increasing popular family pet.
      Being cared for with the right love and attention, rabbits can be an amazing part of any family.
      Unfortunately a lot of rabbits are bred and even homed but many people forget, get bored or suddenly have no time for their pets anymore. So many pet rescue centres are full of unwanted animals, even bought on a whim or people thinking that they are so easy to look after.
      The myth of rabbits being aggressive, biting and scratching is not always the case, this can be due to you not meeting all their needs, every rabbit isn't the same, they all have different personalities, just like humans, you can however encourage good and bad behavior to help...

      ***Before buying any pet please do your research.***

      Before adopting a rabbit there is a lot of things to think about:
      - Time, space and money
      - Habitat
      - Nutrition and diet
      - Size / Breed / Fur (different rabbits have different types of fur, if you are allergic to one you might not necessarily be allergic to another)
      - Outdoor or Indoor (season change)
      - Care, Attention and Company.

      Keeping a rabbit:
      A healthy rabbits lifespan is anywhere from 8-15 years depending on breed, size and care.
      There are so many different sizes of rabbit, from as small as a hamster to as big as a large dog. Larger breeds are best suited as house pets, as they do not like to be picked up (due to straining there back and stomach) and need a dogs bed to sleep in; as hutches generally aren't big enough. Outdoor larger bunnies are suited to their own shed or outhouse.
      Indoor rabbits find it hard to adapt to the outdoors, if indoors most of the time, do not place an indoor rabbit in an outdoor hutch, it takes time to adapt and the correct steps need to be taken.
      Rabbits need a lot of space, in their run, hutch or play space as they have a lot of energy to burn off.
      Rabbits need a lot of time and attention as they thrive off of good energy and company. They are generally very clean animals and will clean themselves most of the time, although they it is healthy for them to poop a lot so a daily clean or collection is usually necessary.
      Male rabbits are generally neutered to stop them breeding or to calm them down, female rabbits on the other-hand have a 50% less likely chance of getting cancer/tumors if they get spayed, so it is highly advised.
      Rabbits have tiny, sensitive hearts, so any stressful situation such as travelling long distances or loud noises isn't advised. They do not like to travel so if you go on holiday you will need to find someone who can help with the care of your rabbit.

      Keeping more than one rabbit:
      Rabbits are best suited to be keep in pairs or groups, as the are social animals, usually containing one male and females, as males are known to fight. Keeping more than one rabbit means double to space and cost.

      Rabbits diet:
      Rabbits have a simple yet complex diet. They need an unlimited supply of hay, as their teeth are continuously growing and this helps there nutrition and grind their teeth down to a healthy level.
      Their digestive system is very sensitive so a good range of foods is needed, all-in-one nuggets are best, so that your rabbit can't selective feed (picking out the bits they like) and some fresh fruit and veg is a great healthy treat. Be careful, you should be able to tell by the change in feces whether you are feeding them to much, too little of a certain food and there are lots of useful guides and lists to tell you what you can and can't give them.
      Becareful of the amount of sugar your rabbit is getting in their diet as these can be hidden in foods, treats and fruit.

      Cost:
      The initiation cost is quite pricey, for the hutch/home, bowl, water bottle, toys, food, hay etc.
      Not always necessary items/charges: insurance, micro-chipping, general vet bills, neutering/spaying, nail clippers, hair brush etc.
      Baring in-mind hay and food is a reoccurring cost along with their injections and jabs.
      I would say on average £20-£60 a month to take care of a rabbit.

      Training a rabbit:
      Giving your rabbit toys and cardboard tubes, can keep your rabbit's brain active and more likely to be happy, affectionate and learn more. You can train your rabbits, whether it is just litter training (potty training) or more complicated tasks such as competing in jumps and obstacles.

      OUR STORY
      How we became rabbit owners:
      Due to the recent passing of our dogs, we felt that we were missing a part of our family. Both being animal lovers, but not being able to have a cat or a dog due to where we were living at the time, we needed an animal that would be able to have its own space. Already owning a large tank and not having too much space for an animal indoors, due to the move, we needed an animal that would be able to have space outside or in the garage.
      After a long though process and researching animals and rescue centres, we found a sanctuary for small animals nearby and decided to take a visit.
      Checking out all of the animals; we came across this tiny little black bunny who lived in a hutch in the guinea pig house.

      Hearing the story of him and his brother being there since birth, who was then 6 months old when we visited, saddened us. The fact that nobody wanted their friendliest bunny, young, lovable, energetic and they took in the house everyday to watch TV, have cuddles, to bounce around and play, all because of his colouring!
      His brother was re-homed without him, due to the two boys fighting.
      She asked is we wanted a cuddle and placed him in my arms, his little pointy ears up in the air, little brown eyes looking up at me, I couldn't believe that nobody wanted him.

      We asked if we could go away and think about it, she was willing to throw in a double rabbit hutch, plenty big enough for him and a female if we decided to get another one, beings as he hadn't been neutered yet and that is usually included in the price. (Most of their rabbits get checked, vaccinated, neutered/spayed and paired up with another rabbit before re-homing)
      Later on we called her up and told her we were on our way, bringing our own newly bought pet carrier with us and an empty car for the hutch.
      Home he came...

      Our Experiences:
      Our short haired, black Netherland dwarf cross, certainly is playful, doesn't like the outdoors much, although he does own a lead and rabbit run, he prefers the warmth of the house, space to run and play, the company, also important cuddling and bonding time.
      Being over a year old now, his temperament hasn't changed much at all, such a happy and healthy bunny, is does live on his own in the shed but we make sure he gets plenty of attention. We haven't neutered him yet and aren't planning to for a while unless we see any healthy benefits or his temperament changes.
      He is a loving part of our family and wouldn't change a thing, highly recommend a rabbit if you have all of the care and attention they need and want to make them a part of your family.

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        10.07.2010 22:48
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        Not for Children

        A Rabbit is not for children! A rabbit is not a pet to be kept in a box alone at the end of the garden! A rabbit does not make a good Easter present. I am sick of seeing rabbits abandoned or in poor conditions due to people's ignorance and lack of compassion. In May I took a rabbit off a free-ad because the 8 year old girl she was bought for had gotten bored after 4 weeks. When I went to the house she was in a tiny box hutch and they had gotten her a puppy! I wonder how long that will last! Breeding rabbit' is not a good way to make money -there are far too many in rescue as it is with no where near enough homes, and so thousands are being necessarily put to sleep each year!

        A rabbit is a social animal so if you don't have oodles of time to spend with it, then you will need to get it a companion. But ONLY after both are spayed or neutered. This is another advantage to adopting a pair of rabbits from a rescue, not only will they be vaccinated, but also neutered, and bonded.

        A rabbit or pair of rabbits require a minimum of 6ft x 2ft x 2ft hutch and access to a 6ft x 4ft minimum run. More buns will need more space. Personally I find it better and cheaper to buy a 6ftx4ft shed for a lot less money and attach a run via a cat flap. It's also a lot nicer when its raining to sit on the shed to spend time with them. My four have a 6x6 shed and a 6x8 run as well as free range time.

        Rabbits NEED hay!
        Not loads of carrots. In fact due to the amount of sugar in carrots these should only be given as the occasional treats! Pellets are the best food as the muesli food contains no nutritional value and the buns tend to pick out the bits that they like. Fresh veg every day is also necessary. But Hay is essential and should consist of at least 90% of a rabbits diet.

        Rabbits are a lot harder than cats or dogs as pets, as being prey animals they do not always appreciate being picked up, and given their ability to hide pain they require a lot more monitoring. They require a lot more attention than people think. So do not rush in to getting a rabbit, and if you are thinking about an Easter present, or a child's birthday....get a soft toy

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          28.11.2007 21:18
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          Be sure before you choose an angora as a gift for a child.

          When I suggested this category, I used a somewhat different title and the site decided to change the title, though the point of writing the review was to answer the question as to whether buying an angora rabbit for a child for Christmas was a good idea.

          Christmas nears and more and more people make the mistake of thinking a cute little rabbit is just right to give to their little ones for Christmas. Christmas lasts a week. A rabbit's lifetime can be anything up to 15 years, so it really is important to realise the importance of what may seem a flippant choice of a pet for a child.

          The Angora rabbit breed is a particular breed that requires hard work and energy and many children do not have the patience for the care that they need. Included below are many of the characteristics that may make them an unsuitable choice for children which include:

          *Habits
          *Care
          *Grooming
          *Characteristics
          *Patience

          HABITS

          The habits of Angoras are quite fixed. They are not keen on change, and introducing them to a noisy environment can unsettle them. They like meals at fixed times, and enjoy having their litter tray in the same place. Although these rabbits can be kept in cages, they thrive if being let to roam within a safe area in the home.

          One of the negative side of Angora rabbits for children is that their sleeping habits would mean that often the children sleep during the waking hours of the rabbit, who sleeps all day. If confronted by children upon their return from school, a rabbit will attack. Many do not attack seriously or hurt children intentionally, but in their fear, they tend to snap because their sleep pattern is interfered with.

          CARE

          Does your child have the patience to care for a rabbit. Angora rabbits need more care than normal rabbits and will leave hairs all over the place. They will need their nails clipped, and regular love and attention. They will also need their tray changed regularly and many kids are not keen in this chore at all. Angora rabbits are very clean animals and if their tray is not cleaned will do their business elsewhere.

          GROOMING

          Angora rabbits can die if they are not groomed on a regular basis. Sure, they look like a big ball of fluff, but believe me, they need brushing almost daily, not just for cosmetic reasons, but because the loose hair can actually threaten their wellbeing. Rabbits clean themselves with a licking motion and unlike in other animal species, their digestion system works differently and the creation of a hair ball can be lethal, since a rabbit cannot vomit.

          CHARACTERISTICS

          The characteristics of Angoras differ from one animal to the next, and here while they may be cuddly when they are little, they are fiercely independent animals that can be easily alienated against being picked up. It may prove to be a disappointment to a child that their rabbit doesn't want to be caressed and even care in the choosing stage can never determine what that rabbit is going to be like as an adult.

          They are extremely good fun. They hop and skip and actually have a memory, but it is this memory that will alienate them from the children, in that they will remember all the times they are picked up and brushed and avoid those that do this work, not seeing it as a positive measure.

          PATIENCE

          Patience is essential when you have a small creature like an Angora, since these little critters cannot complain when something is wrong, and an owner needs to be very sensitive to the needs of the rabbit at all times, and quick to deal with illnesses and to call the vet when necessary. They take a lot of patience to care for, and perhaps are not the wisest choice for a child that has very little patience, where a guinea pig or small rodent would be a better choice and easier to care for.

          Giving an Angora rabbit for Christmas, give the whole concept thought because it is more than just the smile on a child's face that matters. What matters is the fifteen years that follow and the part the animal is allowed to play in your life. They say that dogs are not just for Christmas, though this applies to all animals, especially those little white fluffy balls called Angoras who need love and care long after the Christmas wrappings have all been packed away, and Christmas forgotten about.

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