WHY YOU SHOULD ADOPT A SHELTER RABBIT

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Submitted Date 07/02/2019
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July is national adopt a shelter rabbit month. When we think of shelters, we often picture dogs and cats. However, sometimes other animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, and ferrets wind up in hostels too. We adopted our rabbit Abbey from a shelter four years ago, and she has been a fabulous addition to our family.

So, why should you adopt a rabbit?

Rabbits make a great first pet-If your children have been asking for a pet; a rabbit may be a good idea. Although you need to clean their cage at least once a week, they are relatively low maintenance pets care wise compared to a dog or cat. However, they need lots of attention and you as the adult need to be prepared to be his or her "parent" and being their primary care giver.

Rabbits are quiet-You don't have to worry about a rabbit barking while you are gone at work. They are the perfect quiet, gentle friend.

Rabbits have great personalities-Most people think a rabbit is a rabbit, but this isn't so. Rabbits have their personalities, just like cats and dogs. My husband's first rabbit, Boots, was real laid back and gentle. He loved hopping around the living room just as much as he loved grooming you and cuddling in your neck.

Abbey, on the other hand, is more active and is a diva. She loves to hop around inside her playpen or flop on her side and chill out. Abbey also likes her cage just so and will re-arrange it to her liking. Sometimes she will pick up her bedding piece by piece to move it or drag her litter box under her water bottle. If you mess their to change her pan or even dump her food dish to put fresh in, she will let you know with a gentle grunt that this is her territory.

Bunnies are affectionate-Bunnies show their affection in more subtle ways like sitting in your lap while you watch TV, rubbing you with their nose or chin, and licking you.

Rabbits are clean-Abbey grooms herself regularly and will use her litter box as well.

Rabbits are easy to care for- As long as they have a cage that is big enough, bedding, timothy hay, food, water, and either a playpen attached to their cage or one where they can get regular exercise if they are indoors, they are happy. The same goes for outdoor rabbits. You don't have to worry about being home in time to take them for a walk. (Although you can leash train a rabbit.)

Adoption is easy-There are shelters, and also rabbit rescues all across the country that has rabbits up for adoption. Take a look online for a shelter or rescue group near you.

Rabbits come in many varieties-Rabbits come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and breeds. Dwarf rabbits only weigh around two pounds while Flemish Giants can weigh up to twenty-two pounds. You can find short or long-haired breeds and many various colors. And let's not forget those cute ears, you can choose between ears that are floppy and ears that stand up.

Rabbits are entertaining-Rabbits are very entertaining, and having one means you have to learn a whole new language. Abbey will feng shui her house every single day and will often come out to play and socialize at night. She hops around her playpen and tosses her toys around. Abbey loves it when we talk to her and will stand up and stretch over the top of her cage to see us. She is also very expressive. You know when she isn't happy, she gets this look on her face and tends to re-arrange her bedding a little more forcefully. She will also grunt at us to let us know what's up if she runs out of hay or is getting her litter box cleaned. She has her personality and is very good at communicating with us.

Rabbits are smart-Bunnies are brilliant animals. Abbey is liberty trained, which means she urinates in a litter box rather than in her cage. (We didn't teach her this, someone trained her before we got her.) You can teach rabbits all kinds of things from coming when you call them to how to open a gift at holiday time.

No allergies-Unlike dogs and cats, there is less of a chance of being allergic to a rabbit.

Rabbits schedules coincide with ours-Rabbits are most active at dawn and dusk, which is in perfect sync with our schedules. When we are up and around in the morning, so are they. When we get home at night and want to relax and watch TV, rabbits are also active during this time. The evening is also the perfect time to snuggle with your rabbit and also enjoy their antics.

Rabbits help us eat healthier-Although they primarily eat hay and food pellets, giving them fresh vegetables should also be part of their diet. Having a refrigerator stocked with vegetables and fruit makes it easier for us to eat healthier too.

Keep in mind that rabbits can't have any vegetable or fruit. For example, iceberg lettuce is toxic to them. They can have some fruits as long as it is in moderation. Abbey loves green beans, carrots, bananas, and strawberries, but we give them to her in moderation due to their high sugar content. If you're new to owning a rabbit, talk to your vet, and do your research before giving your rabbit a fruit or vegetable. If you're not careful, they can pack on the pounds and cause other issues.

Rabbits have long life spans-A rabbit's lifespan can be between 10-12 years with proper general care, medical care, and diet.

Rabbits make great pets for all kinds of reasons. The fact that they are low maintenance, easy to care for, and are not destructive (provided you bunny-proof your home, more on that in another article) are some top reasons for owning one. If you are looking for a small ball of fur to melt your heart, go to your local shelter or rescue and let a rabbit hop into your heart today.

 

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  • Kiersten Felch 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    I used to have a rabbit and loved them. But I feel like there is a problem promoting rabbit adoption without detailing that they are a very difficult pet to have. Too many people do NOT properly take care of them and need to know that rabbits require constant attention and free roaming, and must be fixed. Just a thought.

    • Carrie Lowrance 1 month, 2 weeks ago

      You have an excellent point, Kiersten. I'm going to add these things in this week's post about health, emotions, and well-being. Thank you for your input. :)