Newest Review: ... hurts. My bunny is a female (doe) she is a black and white dutch breed rabbit her picture is in my profile. Female rabbits can become... more
a wolf in a rabbit coat
Rabbits in general
Member Name: Murphypig
Rabbits in general
Advantages: great company, cute
Disadvantages: bite furniture, need time
Many people might think, because their kid is asking for a pet, a rabbit would be a great solution. It's not much work, you only need a cage (so you can lock it away if it gets on your nerves), clean it every so often and give it some food, and it doesn't make any noise like dogs do. If you think that, think again. First of all I wouldn't recommend keeping a rabbit if there are children under 10 in the house and even then don't leave them with the responsibility to look after it. Rabbits are not toys and very sensitive animals. They can scratch and bite if not handled properly and need attention, otherwise they will get sick and can even die. I would like to tell you a bit about my experience with them so you can get a picture and make your mind up:
I had a rabbit since I was 16. My first rabbit, charly, was great. It was a dwarf lop ear rabbit, white with ginger spots. Very, very cute. It was immediately litter trained and never had an accident on the carpet. Back then I was living with my parents so he lived in my room and could run around during the day. He had a guinea pig friend, Murphy. They liked each other a lot and Murphy was like Charlys shadow. When Charly lied down Murphy would lie across on top of him, it was a beautiful picture.
Even though rabbits can live up to 10 years, I only had him for just over a year. One night I heard him and Murphy running around in the cage and I turned the light on. Charly was lying on his side and breathing very heavy. That night I closed the top of their cage, what I usually don't do. I think he jumped up and broke his neck. This was a very sad time, for Murphy as well, so I got him a guinea pig friend, Maggie. A few years later I moved to England (from Germany) and here my boyfriend decided (after hearing a lot of charly stories), that we need a rabbit, so we got Lupus (Latin for wolf) from a pet shop. He is a dwarf lop ear rabbit as well. He's got the cutest little face you can imagine and he has a great personality. He will follow you everywhere, like a little dog, which is dangerous, because he just jumps under your feed. (Here I see already an accident happen if you have a child that is running around the house!)
Lupus lives in our kitchen when we're at work, but when we're home he can come in the living room or go outside in the garden (it's fenced in). Rabbits are great lawnmowers by the way, but they don't only use their teeth on the lawn I'm afraid. My boyfriend suffered most, because 5 playstation controllers found their way into the bin after the cable was bitten through and we have the 3rd telephone now in 2 years. Because I don't like keeping an animal on it's own we got a guinea pig at the same time, Leonie. It was quite clear from the beginning that this will not be a love relationship like Charly and Murphy had. Lupus just ignored her and was more interested in spending time with us. So we got a second guinea pig after about 2 weeks, to keep Leonie Company. She's called Lucy. Lupus was fine with having our company so we didn't get him a friend at that stage. It was very easy to train him to use the guinea pig cage as his toilet or do his business outside, but just a few months ago, when we got him neutered, we decided to have a second rabbit, Lulu. She looks like a little princess, but behaves like a little devil. She's the first non lop ear rabbit that I have and I blame it on this ;-). She's white with black and brown bits in her fur and a little beard around her head, so she's very very cute but she wees where she likes, bites carpets and our new dining table and chairs have her teethmark everywhere. She is a naughty little thing that loves to dig. Lupus was an angel, but after her arrival he started digging as well. We had to get them back from our neighbours twice already and I'm just glad that they prefer to dig on this side of the fence and not to the side of the street.
Another thing they love to do is eat all plants in the garden. I had lovely black tulips this spring, which got killed just after flowering. Not one pansy survived either. So now we have only big plants, that are very fast growing. The trick is, they have to grow quicker, than they can be eaten.
Rabbits are a big responsibility. Especially when you like to travel you have to think first what you'll do with your rabbit. We have a friend that lives just a few streets away and comes in to feed them if we're away for a weekend. If we go on a longer holiday we leave them in the petshop we bought them from (together with the guinea pigs). They usually charge us £10 per week. If you're thinking about getting a rabbit I would check in a RSPCA first. I regret that I haven't done that with mine, but at this time I didn't knew about them. You can even get young rabbits, or get a 1 year old to save you some trouble with littertraining. It is best to get a cage that is as big as possible, and even then your rabbit will still need to be able to get out and run around every day. So you will have to make your house, or the room it will be allowed to run around in, rabbitproof. This means, no wires lying around, no toxic liquids (like cleaning liquids or other chemicals) should be in sight or any sharp objects (like knifes) in reach. Pls remember, that rabbits can jump. I found my rabbit (Lulu again of course) on top of our dining table, trying to eat a yoghurt that I left there for 2 minutes. She jumps on the chair first and then on the table. It's not a problem for them to jump on the couch either or on the coffee table.
All this has to be remembered when you leave something lying around. Food is very easy. I'm a vegetarian, so I have lots of vegetables and fruit at home anyway. They get some green food (grass or salad) and some vegetables and/or fruit (carrots, peppers, apples for example) in the morning and evening. In the morning they get some dry food as well, which you can buy in every supermarket or pet shop. They love this stuff, but I'm afraid it's not very good for them. The dry food contains the most calories and makes them fat. So no matter how much the scratch on my leg to get more, I can't give it to them.
If you consider getting a rabbit, you have to think about the costs as well. The food and bedding is quite cheap, but there are vet costs that can occur at anytime and be very high. When I got Lupus neutered I took one of my guinea pigs to the vet at the same time because she had a cyst at her back that needed removing. At the end I paid about £120 that day...
I hope this helped you to make your mind up if a rabbit is the right pet for you and pls if you decide to keep one, give it the best home you possibly can.
Summary: great pet if you provide the right place
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