Spring is in full swing and it’s likely that many people will be considering buying a rabbit this Easter. Whilst they may seem like the perfect Easter ‘gift’, it’s important not to buy on impulse.
The sad truth is that many people buy rabbits at Easter and then abandon them months, or even weeks, later because they weren’t prepared for the responsibility that rabbit ownership entails. That’s why we want to make sure that you’re armed with all the furry facts to ensure that you make the right decision and are fully prepared to treat a new bunny (or better still bunnies) with a lifetime of love.
1. A Fur-ever Home
Sadly, many ‘Easter bunnies’ end up in rescue centres. If you really are prepared to give a rabbit a forever home, then buck the trend by waiting until after the Easter madness and visit your local rescue centre. Not only are you getting yourself a brand new fluffy family member, but you’re also giving an unloved rabbit a new, caring home.
Rabbits are social animals. In fact, most rabbits require company and it’s often advised that they are kept with at least one other friendly rabbit. If you’re bringing home a rescue rabbit then the rescue centre will be able to advise you on whether your rabbit needs a playmate.
3. Outdoor Space
If you’re keeping your rabbit outside it will need a much larger hutch (water tight shelter) than you might first imagine. Quite simply, bigger is definitely better, but the most important thing is to have a secure, permanent run space attached to it so the rabbits can stretch their legs by hopping and running around. This is important not only for burning energy, but also for their psychological welfare, for good bone and joint health and to wear down growing nails.
In the wild, rabbits live in warrens, so the easiest way to emulate this is to add lots of tunnels for them to run through and shelter in. We have 6 different types of tunnel, one of the best being our new Woven Jumbo Play Tunnel - ‘hoppy’ times!
4. Time Commitment
At first your rabbit will need time to settle in and get familiar with their surroundings, so try not to fuss over them too much in the first week. Once they are settled into their new home they will need lots of love and affection, so it’s important that you give your rabbit daily attention and interact with them regularly.
Grooming can be a good way to build trust and a bond, as well as keeping their coats in good condition (a major consideration and commitment if you ever thinking of keeping a long-haired variety). And of course you’ll need to put aside a bit of time each day to give their home and run a quick clean up, with a bigger one at least once a week.
5. Break their Boredom
As well as being incredibly social, rabbits are intelligent animals and they need to be occupied through interaction and challenging toys. Our Boredom Breaker range has something for all bunnies! Our Woven Rollers are made from 100% natural materials like palm leaf and abaca, making them paw-fect for not only rabbits, but guinea pigs, rats and even chinchillas!
6. Healthy Diet
Unlike Bugs Bunny, rabbits don’t just live off carrots! It’s important to give your rabbit lots of good quality hay, as a rabbit’s digestive system is specifically designed for a low energy, grass-based diet. This means that rather than a large bowl of “muesli-type” food, which they often just pick the more carbohydrate-rich, lower fibre parts of and leave the rest, they actually need 70% of their diet to be hay with some high quality pellets and fresh veg. Rabbits also love to forage, as they would in the wild. Our Naturals Nibble ‘n’ Dig Meadow is a real slice of cultivated meadow and acts as a nutritious and fun activity treat for rabbits!
7. Spread the Word
Unlike the Easter bunny, your rabbit will be with you for a long time so make sure you’re prepared to give your bunny rabbit a lifetime of love and affection! Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @RosewoodPet and spread the word - a rabbit is for life, not just for Easter!