With Easter coming up, I thought I’d do a series of posts on what it’s really like to own a rabbit (or to be a “bunny slave” as they would put it) – just in case any of you see my photos and think “gee, bunnies sure are cute – maybe I’ll get one for Easter!”
A lot of people are under the misconception that rabbits are a “set it and forget it” type of pet – but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
This is because rabbits need exercise just like any other pet. If you keep them in an enclosure (as I do), you have to let them out to run around – just as you need to take dogs for a walk if you keep them inside.
Most rabbits are much, much bigger than hamsters, gerbils, or even guinea pigs, so unless you have an absolutely enormous enclosure for them, you’ll need to let them out to play and run around. And unless your rabbits are very well behaved, and your house perfectly bunny-proofed, you’ll also need to spend that same time watching or supervising them as they play. Bunnies have a natural instinct to chew on things (much like how cats have an instinct to scratch) so you need to keep an eye on them in case they do something naughty.
Some rabbits can be placated with chew toys (much like how you’d give a cat a scratching post), but not all can – different rabbits have different personalities and respond to things differently.
With my buns, I generally let them out for about an hour in the morning and again in the evening – and during that time I have to stay and watch them pretty closely, as they still haven’t quite learned not to chew things (mainly biting at the carpet).
So, unless you’re willing to spend that time with a rabbit each day (or if you can afford to give them enough space – like an entire room, which also needs to be protected from the rabbit’s instinct to chew things), maybe a rabbit isn’t for you and you should consider another pet – or just get a chocolate or candy rabbit if you’re thinking about Easter.
Stay tuned for more insights as to the “true” experience of being a rabbit owner!