The Best Things About Owning a Rabbit
We wanted to find out what it’s really like to look after a rabbit so we spoke to a rabbit owner to find out. She told us the best things about owning a rabbit. Her rabbit is called Merlin and he is a Rex rabbit. They are absolutely gorgeous bunnies with extremely soft, velvet like fur. Here are the main advantages of owning a rabbit according to Merlin’s owner.
1. They require far less maintenance than a dog, yet in my opinion they are more reliable than a cat (who come and go as they please). Cats are less maintenance than a dog, but this means they come and go as they please. A rabbit is always there, and is less effort than a dog. No walks needed, no attention all day everyday. You can leave them for most of the day, but who would want to? It is advised they have around 3 hours free range of an area per day. This doesn't have to all at once though, it can be spread throughout the day.
2. Rabbits are considered good pets for people who work for the above reasons (low maintanance) and due to their natural behaviours. They are most active early morning, so when you get up and get ready for work, and then again at dusk/evening time so when you get back they spruce up abit. They will likely sleep for most of the day if left alone, and therefore they will often have plenty of energy stored up ready for when you get home!
3. Less space needed. (look up minimum required but its something like able to do 2-3 hops in each direction, if being kept in the cage full time, less if they only go in at night/when you're out).
4. Vet bills for rabbits are often cheaper compared to larger pets. Procedures don’t usually cost much unless they are having a major op. They only need 2 injections a year.
5. They become very affectionate and attached to you, as you become their kin, their partner and best friend. If i stand up, merlin will come bounding out his cage and run circles around me 'humming' his heart out to tell me he loves me and all he asks for in return is a few face strokes. They are very sweet animals.
6. They teach you respect, patience and kindness. They have a hierarchy in their groups and will let you know who's in charge.
7. Rabbits are great life lessons, especially for kids. They provide responsibility but aren't too overwhelming. Some people find they are better than a hamster as you can do more, and they doesn't have to sleep all day (bunnies nap here and there when they feel like it).
8. You can't throw yourself at a rabbit and force it to like you. If you do the chances are it won't. You have to let the bunny come to you, even when you have bonded. If the bunny doesn't want your attention it will certainly do its best to stay away. You must respect this, or you'll never get it to come close. It could take a long time for your bunny to like you, in which case you learn patience. You learn there are some things you cannot do or your little bun will turn its but to you and ignore you. Honestly the trials and tribulations with a bunny are endless and so are the lessons you learn from them. And it all depends on what kind of bunny you have!
9. Rabbits have fascinating personalities and can do some incredible things. Some people think bunnies are bland and boring and don't do much but hop about. They are intelligent little creatures They can play basketball, learn tricks, high five, do agility courses and learn their names. They are incredibly inquisitive and interested in their environment. The only reason some people don't know all this is because they leave their rabbits in their cage for too long and ignore them. Bunnies are social and like to play and be entertained!
10. They often take you by surprise, you never know what they will do next. There are still some things that I see my Merlin do today and I’m like what? I never knew you could do that!!
11. They are quiet, peaceful and they can help you to relax. I find owning a rabbit is very therapeutic.
12. They are simple and cheap to entertain. Toys can be loo roll holders or a cardboard box...seriously...it’s that easy.
13. Some rabbits can be relatively mobile. Most people wouldn't move their rabbit much because they don't tend to like it. But I can take merlin most places with ease and he'll actually love the fact hes in a new environment!
The downsides of owning a rabbit from my experience are as follows....
- They chew. not all do but most will chew so bunny proofing your home is essential, but relatively easy.
- If you dont litter train them they poop a lot, but just like with puppies and kittens a little patience and training and boom your done, no more poops.
- Finally, sometimes you do feel unloved by them, and they're not always as cuddly as you would like them to be. As i said before if you upset them or they don't want a fuss you just have to deal with it and wait until they forgive you or do want some strokes! But that's not always bad because you learn patience and respect for others and their likes dislikes etc.