Dd would like a rabbit - what to consider before I get one?

(14 Posts)
perceptionreality Thu 14-Feb-13 18:46:20

I read somewhere that they are expensive to keep - is that true?

I would like to buy from a local breeder rather than a pet shop as we had a guinea pig from a pet shop and he died after a few months sad any advice appreciated...

Floralnomad Thu 14-Feb-13 18:49:46

They can be . They should be kept in pairs , need neutering and vaccinating for myxomatosis and VHD . They also need a very large run and adequately sized hutch. How old is your daughter as rabbits are not ideal pets for very small children

tabulahrasa Thu 14-Feb-13 18:57:10

They're not massively expensive to feed, but the initial outlay can be a fair bit ... They need way more space than you'd think.

perceptionreality Thu 14-Feb-13 18:57:14

She's 9 and very responsible so I think she's old enough. I was advised that you need to keep them indoors now as it's so cold. I was told to let them hop around a room for exercise - is that right?

NatashaBee Thu 14-Feb-13 18:59:35

I would consider whether you want a rabbit - if it's a passing phase, you will be the one that ends up traipsing out into the garden every morning to clean and feed it.

Dragonwoman Thu 14-Feb-13 18:59:44

Just bear in mind that they can live for 10 years. I would get one from an animal rescue centre - people dump rabbits fairly regulatly because their longevity means the kids get fed up with them. The rescue centres near us are overflowing with them.
An adult rabbit may already be neutered & you will get an idea of its temperment. Some rabbits can be surprisingly aggressive even if you have them from babies...

Dragonwoman Thu 14-Feb-13 19:01:50

Also if you let them roam free in the house they will chew cable & carpet. Rabbits can live outside all year if well sheltered. Its best if you can give them free run of the garden for at least part of the day. Watch out for holes in the borders though as they can dig a burrow & escape.

amillionyears Thu 14-Feb-13 19:03:49

Yes we had ours either indoors or in a outside warmish building.
And yes, we let ours run around indoors.

We considered size before anything else.
Small ones so they are easier for a child to handle.

tabulahrasa Thu 14-Feb-13 19:10:43

If they're indoors now, they'll need to live inside until its warmer, then over the summer you can leave them out and they'll acclimatise - or you can keep them as indoor rabbits.

perceptionreality Thu 14-Feb-13 19:14:07

Thanks for replies - I am happy to carry on looking after it if she gets fed up with it - I wouldn't even consider it otherwise. I had heard that they could be aggressive. I was going to get a small breed and the idea of a rescue center appeals too.

Can you answer me a question? Do they or don't they like being picked up as I have heard polarised views on this one!

Dragonwoman Thu 14-Feb-13 19:18:54

Many rabbits are afraid of heights & don't like being picked up. If they don't feel secure they will struggle & have a hefty kick! Children will not usually be able to hold a kicking rabbit & may drop it, the rabbit will then be more afraid of being picked up & a viscious circle starts.

Tame rabbits will prefer sitting on your knee when you're sitting down to being carried. Some rabbits however will never like being handled at all. They aren't really cuddly animals.

perceptionreality Fri 15-Feb-13 08:10:57

I've decided to get two guinea pigs instead as I've been reading that they make far better pets for children - I'm going to get 2 girls.

Floralnomad Fri 15-Feb-13 08:16:22

Much better pets for children of all ages. Put a new post on as there are some serious piggie keepers on here who could give loads of good advice .

perceptionreality Fri 15-Feb-13 11:18:17

Thanks Floral.

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